When I first came to the University, walking around the city gave me a little fire in my heart, and on the way home I just knew Plymouth could be my home – I loved that it wasn’t too far from my home near Bristol, and it was by the sea. Initially I wanted to do psychology with human biology. I found few universities provided this course, but Plymouth was one of them.
The lecturers on the open day really showed me how passionate they were about psychology and that ignited my passion even more.
When I came here for an open day, and then subsequently an offer holder day, there was such a warm feeling on campus. Everyone was so lovely and the lecturer, Jaysan Charlesford, I remember to this day was incredible. He made me feel like my opinion was valuable. He made me excited to study psychology.
Studying at the University has opened my eyes up to a world of opportunity, especially within my subject. I feel like many prospective students, including myself, see psychology as having three key areas: clinical, educational, and forensic. Throughout my years of study, I have been shown such a variety of areas which I could explore. I really like the optionality in the course, that I’m able to customise the degree to what kind of psychologist I want to be.
There are a wide range of facilities at the University. For psychology, it is surprising how much specialist equipment we have. For example, for my dissertation I am using the EEG technology measuring humans trust in robots. I feel like they are quite specialist pieces of equipment that the University provides and will allow me to use at an undergraduate level.
The University itself has many areas which we can study in, including a 24/7 library area. If you want a quiet place to study there are silent study rooms, or if you want somewhere to chill out with your friend and have a laugh there is the SU or other cafés dotted around the campus.
Fantastic lecturer support
Every lecturer and member of support staff is an expert in their field. I find this interesting as you find yourself spending hours discussing topics you had never even thought about before with a lecturer. For example, I never thought robots had anything to do with psychology and now I spend copious amounts of time with our state-of-the-art human-like robots, investigating human trust in robotics. This leads me onto many interesting conversation topics with my lecturers, seeing how this links with other areas of psychology.
There are so many rabbit holes you can go down, and if you have a specific interest that a lecturer is an expert in then I have found that they are more than happy to guide you through the tunnels.
Life on placement
I think employers love placement years, as it shows you can work between the hours of 9–5 and that you are reliable. I’d say the most important skill I learnt was confidence in my own abilities. I feel like this confidence is indispensable and employers will like that I am able to work and think independently.
The placement year shows how reliable and trustworthy I am as I have been able to demonstrate I can manage a project and have been trusted to conduct other people’s studies.
On my placement I oversaw my own personal project which was about human’s trust in robots. I did a full literature review to understand the current state of the research and decide what area I wanted to do further research into. From this I decided to look at neurological correlates of trust in terms of how humans trust robots. I formed the methodology to study this question which involved an investment game. I then learnt python coding so I could create the game, and prepared all the equipment for the procedure. Alongside this I was conducting experiments for my personal tutor, which involved collecting data from participants and discussing any difficulties that arose in data collection. Furthermore, I played a role in problem-solving these difficulties to improve the experiment.
Psychology at Plymouth
If you are interested in people, or solving problems in the world, this is the topic for you. There is so much more to psychology that you will never have thought of before. I chose the subject because I found it interesting at A level and was quite good at it. Having studied it for four years my eyes have been opened to so many areas of psychology that I love, and we never had time to explore at A level. Psychology graduates can go into so many areas – if something involves people, then at some level psychology is involved.
Plymouth is the place where I feel safe and happy. I strongly believe that being in Plymouth, with support from the University and other local services I have had access to, has really helped me become the person I am today. I would strongly recommend coming to visit; it is an incredible city and has so many opportunities
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