Teaching and assessment
The course is structured into five key strands, which reflect the main areas of psychology. The materials for these classes are posted online, so you can read them in advance and use them to revise.
Teaching in my first two years was organised into lectures, tutorials and stats skills sessions in the computer lab. Lectures included all students enrolled in the programme, and lasted around two hours. They are taught by active researchers in the Department specialised in that domain.
Tutorials involved much smaller group sizes (around ten in my experience) which stayed roughly the same every time. They’re a great way to get to know your classmates better! They are taught by PhD students, and are usually an extension of a topic alluded to in lectures.
Finally, during the stats skills sessions, you’re shown what to do on software programs to perform statistical analyses. You can address any difficulties you have with the lecturer, who is there just in case!
In 3rd Year, the structure of the course changes as I choose four optional modules from more narrowly defined areas. The topics can vary from year to year, but Social Interaction and The Cognitive Psychology of Sleep are at the top of my list! You also undertake an assessed research project, where you use all the skills you have gained from the course to set up your own experiment under supervision of a member of staff.
Assessment over my three years is a rough split between exams and coursework (essays and practical reports).
Participating in research
As part of the British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation of the course, students are required to have a good level of experience and familiarity with psychological research. During your first two years of the course, you are expected to participate in studies going on in the Department.
You should gain nine credits of research hours/year. This is a very fun opportunity to gain an insight into what research is currently being carried out and the methods used! So far, I have participated in face recognition, memory and sleep studies. Did you know that York has a sleep lab known as SLAM? Next term, I will take part in an emotion semantics fMRI study in York’s very own Neuroimaging Centre!
Support and careers
You will be assigned a personal supervisor who acts as a first point of contact for any emergencies or questions you have over the three years. You also meet them a few times a year to check how you’re feeling about the course, and to go over your career journey.
Additionally, something truly unique about studying Psychology at York is the fast-track option into clinical psychology provided to home students. Every year, a small group of Psychology students are admitted directly to the university of Hull’s clinical doctorate programme.
I hope this post has given you more of an insight into the format of the Psychology course, as well some of the engaging opportunities the Department offers!