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Five reasons to study psychology

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Dr Helen Driscoll is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Team Leader for the undergraduate Psychology courses at the University of Sunderland, where she teaches on: BSc (Hons) Psychology, BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling, BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology and BSc (Hons) Clinical Psychology. Her areas of specialism are evolutionary psychology, individual differences and quantitative research methods.

Here, Helen shares her five reasons why you should study Psychology at Sunderland:

Helen Driscoll, Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Team Leader for the undergraduate Psychology courses

1. Inclusive

The School of Psychology is a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment. One of our core values is inclusivity. Fundamentally, what this means for you as a student is that we want you to feel part of the community that is the School of Psychology, and that you can be yourself, whoever you are. We care about our students and our friendly staff provide a very supportive environment for you to study. In recognition of this we were awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2021.

 2. Do things differently

Our psychology courses are unique, in a good way. Many undergraduate psychology courses teach the core areas of psychology in separate modules, such as biological psychology and social psychology. We redesigned our courses a few years ago, guided by changes to British Psychological Society requirements and a report on the future of psychology. We also used our own student feedback, which told us that our students wanted to learn in a more integrated and applied way, this is how psychology operates in the real world. We now have exciting, integrated core modules such as Cradle to Grave, which draws on different areas of psychology to tell the story of human development across the lifespan, from conception to death. Drawing on a fictional family we have created, we explore childhood attachment; challenges in adolescence; intimate relationships; midlife crisis; and ageing in this module.

3. Optional modules

At Sunderland, we offer an extensive and exciting range of optional modules for you to choose from at Years 2 and 3, allowing you to shape your degree with the aspects of psychology that interest you most. Our staff are working on research in many interesting areas at the cutting edge of psychology, and this feeds into our optional modules. Our options include Dark Personalities; The Psychology of Serious and Violent Offending; Anomalistic Psychology; Clinical Neuropsychology; Mental Health and Illness; Development and Neurodiversity; Male Psychology; Occupational Psychology; Meet the Relatives: Evolutionary Psychology and Animal Behaviour; Psychology of Addiction; and Health Psychology amongst a number of others.

4. Student feedback

We do very well on the National Student Survey, an independent survey of final year students. BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology achieved 100% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2021, indicating that our students rate the course very highly.

5. Specialist routes

We offer a number of different undergraduate routes in Psychology, allowing you to specialise in a particular area if you want to. You can choose from BSc (Hons) Psychology, BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling, BSc (Hons) Clinical Psychology and BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology. All of these courses are accredited by the British Psychological Society. Our specialist routes stand out in having a very high proportion of content bespoke to them. This means that you get a lot of specialised content in, for example, forensic psychology, taught by experts in the field.

Published: 9 June 2021

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