The prospect of studying a degree in Psychology can seem both exciting and daunting. Psychology isn’t typically a subject option until A Level, so many students haven’t studied psychology very much, if at all.
There are also some stereotypes about psychology courses – usually that we are all training to become mind readers which, for the record, we absolutely cannot do! To dispel these myths, I thought I would share 6 honest things a prospective Psychology student should know before enrolling.
There will be maths.
When people say ‘psychology is a science’, many students don’t believe this or understand the extent of its scientific roots. The degree is 100% science-based and research methods are a huge part of the course. As a psychology student, you will use statistics software, conduct your own experiments and analyse your results. Don’t worry though – speaking as someone who hated maths at school, there is lots of support and you will get there eventually!
It’s super broad and interesting
Before starting my degree, I had no idea how many different areas of psychology there were. I’ve studied modules in fields such as counselling, forensic, biological and social psychology to name a few. You will learn about so many fascinating theories and how these relate to the human behaviour. I’ve also discovered areas of psychology I didn’t know existed like cyber, educational and health psychology too!
You don’t need to have studied it at A Level
Many people believe that you cannot study psychology if you haven’t studied it at A Level. Studying the subject previously did help me a lot but this definitely isn’t true. The first year of the degree is designed to get everyone up to the same level, so don’t let this put you off from giving it a go.
You won’t instantly become a psychologist
An undergraduate degree in psychology is the first step to a career as a psychologist. It is important your undergrad degree is BPS accredited as this will give you Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. This basically means you can continue the path to become a psychologist after you graduate. For this to happen, you’ll need to apply for a doctorate and gain lots of work experience in your chosen field. My ultimate goal is to become a clinical psychologist – wish me luck!
Amazing career prospects
A degree in psychology doesn’t mean that you have to become a psychologist. There are so many career options that I’ve considered careers in music therapy and journalism in the past. When you study psychology, you gain tools that help you understand how people work and this can be applied to numerous fields. Teaching, marketing, advertisement, writing – you name it, you can probably do it with a psychology degree!
Speaking from my own experiences as a psychology student, this degree is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It requires a great deal of discipline, reading and taking ownership of your learning. It is assessed in many different ways: from academic assignments like exams, essays and reports, to more practical tasks like role plays, presentations and videos. I can honestly say (biased or not) that it’s the most fascinating subject I’ve come across. Being challenged isn’t a bad thing and the hard work is always rewarded, so it’s worth trying your best!
I hope this post gives you an honest idea of what to expect and makes you look forward to becoming a psychology student!