I’ll admit it. I did apply for straight Psychology and was offered a place on this course as an alternative. This was a year after I’d first looked round universities. I couldn’t remember much about any of them other than that I LOVED York. I knew it was my favourite city and I figured this course looked OK, and it turned out that that was the best decision I could have made.
What is it?
Psychology in Education (PiE) is a British Psychological Society (BPS) certified course. It is a look into Education from a Psychological perspective. You will not come out of it as an Educational Psychologist or a Teacher but you will have a wealth of knowledge about how to educate, who to educate, how to facilitate inclusive education and so much more. This degree is a good base from which to explore further into the field of either Education or Psychology or both.
So what does an average week look like?
There aren’t many contact hours for this course. In my first year I was only in 2-3 days per week. You’ll be joined with the rest of the Education degrees for some lectures in first year such as Context of Education and Disciplines of Education. These take education back to basics and look at who should be educated, what they should be educated about, the history and philosophy of education and much more. It will challenge everything you think you know about the modern day classroom- a good place to start. These were completely new concepts and ideologies to me and peaked my interest in the subject matter. In other lectures, it will be just the PiE students and you’ll have more of a psychological focus.
The fewer contact hours, particularly during first year, does allow you to get involved in other parts of uni life. In my first year (I am now a second year), I was involved in four clubs and societies outside of my degree. You may have to cut down when things get a little more serious in your second and third year but definitely enjoy the time while you have it. Uni provides a unique experience where you can try multiple new things whilst you work. This degree does facilitate that experience well.
What can you do with it?
One thing about this course is that there are no optional modules until third year. In order to be BPS accredited, you need to cover a certain number of Psychology modules. Whilst it would be nice to have a bit more choice, one perk of this degree is that you have a lot of choice when it comes to what you go into. It’s great for budding teachers, psychologists- both educational and general, charity sector workers and anyone who is interested in any sector of education.
Why do I enjoy it?
The Education department are a great support network. My supervisor has always supported me if I’ve been struggling with an assignment, needed a reference or even just someone to talk to about general uni life stresses.
I find the subject interesting and applicable. I want to go into the charity sector and work with survivors of human trafficking. In this field, questions of how you educate someone who has been through serious traumas arise. Would a typical classroom be appropriate for this student? Do they need to be educated about other more specific social issues? Therefore, my degree has been very useful for my specific career path.
The subject itself is wider than you might expect and so does cater to a wide range of interests. Some people on my course are interested in neuroscience and so take a keen interest in our second year Biological Psychology module. Others want to become headteachers so focus more on the discussions to do with ‘Inclusive Education’. Finally, there are people like me who take what the degree teaches from a narrower perspective.
Psychology in Education at York is a very unique degree but if you find yourself wanting to ask big questions about education, find out how our environments and genetic influences can impact our learning and discuss who and how to teach, then this is the degree for you. One perk is that it can all be done from the comfort of buildings with views like this: