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 Post subject: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:36 pm 
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It's a subject that DD2 in Y10 is fascinated by, and is showing some interest in studying for a degree. She doesn't have any definite career plans, and isn't even sure she wants even to work in the field of psychology, but has the impression that it could be a good choice of subject for entry into various fields later.

As far as A-level options are concerned, what might be a good combination? I know Psychology itself is not on the Russell Group list of "facililitating subjects", but I imagine it would be worth taking as the school offers it. The only science she enjoys is Biology, which might be a useful complement. No desire at all to take Maths! Any ideas for a third?

Also - when it comes to applying for a university course, there are so many to choose from! Is the general wisdom that it's better to go for a traditional course from a longer established university, or do the newer universities have a more vocational approach possibly with better career preparation?

Obviously there is some research ahead, but any advice from someone who's been there already would be gratefully received! :)

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Last edited by Marylou on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:59 pm 
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It is apparently one of the most competitive courses to get onto. I don't think Psychology A level is needed, but as far as I am aware, they do like Maths. Biology seems sensible too. My hunch, based on nothing but hunches, would be to choose something like English as a third subject as there would be a fair amount of analysing and writing at length. Check out the British Psychological Society at bps.org.uk- any course worth its salt will be accredited by them.

Eta - in my day, which was a very long time ago, I think you could do this as either a BA or a BSc, the latter of which was better regarded if you wanted to go into clinical practice.


Last edited by Amber on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I agree English or perhaps History as both would complement the style of analysis and extended writing that Psychology requires.

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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Marylou, DS was expressing an interest last year (though it seems to have waned a bit) and A level subjects seemed to be less important than grades. For example, his only 'science' subject is geography and most universities – though admittedly not all – seemed happy with that.

The other point Amber raises is key – make sure that it's a course which is accredited by the BPS, there's a simple check on their website if I remember rightly.


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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:33 pm 
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http://www.ukcoursefinder.com/

Try her on this, free to register, questionnaire.

There is huge Maths content in a Psychology degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:51 pm 
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DD did Psychology to A2 and also RS (Philosophy and Ethics) and said there was considerable cross over content at A2 which gave her added insight.

Have also heard Maths and Biology are important as facilitating subjects for a Psychology degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Not remotely current, but everything I know of Psychology says that statistics (hence maths) is extremely important, so someone who doesn't like maths might find they didn't take to it as much as they expected.


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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Amber wrote:
It is apparently one of the most competitive courses to get onto.


Oh no, not again! :shock: :lol:

Many thanks for responses so far. As regards Maths content, DD is happy with it in the context of another subject, she just doesn't want to study it on its own. She doesn't like Physics much, but loves Astronomy. (Strange, I know!) She also enjoys Philosophy & Ethics, so it's interesting to see that this is relevant, and English. The tip about accredited courses is also appreciated.

Looks as though she'd be going for the HE courses that don't specify Maths A-level, though there will of course be more research before reaching that stage. At least if she knows that by not choosing Maths, she'll be restricting her choices somewhat, then it would be an informed decision and not a nasty surprise at a university open day! And of course studying Psychology A-level may convince her that she doesn't actually enjoy it as much as she thought she would, but hopefully the options would still be open to apply for something else somewhere down the line.

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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Get her to take a careful look at the 'A' level syllabus. DD says several of her friends have done nothing but complain about having to learn (and be able to regurgitate) case studies, and this was really not what they expected. This probably is not an accurate idea of what the degree course would be like. Just a thought. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Psychology?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:06 pm 
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The risk (or possibly, benefit, depending on your point of view) of doing Psychology A level, and then a psy degree, is that you may repeat a lot of the work from the A level in your first year. I think (as someone else has said) that if you want to go on and make psychology a career, then you probably need to choose your degree very carefully. If you just want to do it for its transferable skills, then not all courses require much maths. My niece did a psy degree at Portsmouth, and the maths largely involved plugging numbers into a computer. She did not have maths A level, but did come out with a II:i.


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