Psychology degree - how to choose

(9 Posts)
ISingSoprano Sun 26-Jan-14 15:43:00

Dd is year 11 and will be going to sixth form college in September. She is keen to make sure she has chosen the right A levels and is therefore looking ahead at possible degree courses. She is interested in psychology and/or speech therapy or linguistics. Looking at UCAS there are hundreds of psychology degrees. Is there an easier way to find out which have linguistics modules without having to read every single course outline?

Any help or suggestions gratefully received!

crazykat Sun 26-Jan-14 16:09:33

I'm doing a psychology degree with the open uni with a different career goal so its a bit different.

Does our DDs school have a careers service? They might be able to help narrow the courses down. Another way would be to contact a few universities and ask to speak to someone about courses.

For some careers (like clinical psychology) you need a general psychology degree and then apply for a post-grad training position. These can be highly competitive and hard to come by though.

amumthatcares Sun 26-Jan-14 17:00:37

I don't really have any linguistic specific advice but DD is doing a Psychology degree (1st year) and hasn't yet decided what path she will take with it. She is very strong at Sociology and is also exploring the optional modules she has chosen, before taking a more specific path. She has always been drawn to the crime topics. The A levels she took were English Lang, Sociology (which she did at GCSE too) and Psychology. It's worth bearing in mind that if DD hadn't done Psychology at A level it wouldn't have affected her Uni offer, but the fact that she did do it, she had to achieve a least a B grade in that subject to be accepted.

MrsBright Mon 27-Jan-14 07:40:42

First, check any Psych degree is accredited by the BPS - http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/ac.

Also good careers info for Speech Therapy here http://www.rcslt.org/speech_and_language_therapy/careers/career

Then check what her likely predicted grades (based on her AS grades) will allow her to apply for - http://www.whatuni.com/ Enter the subject name then the next page has filters for likely grades, areas of the country etc.

Then go to some Open Days. How are each of these subject taught at Uni? And she needs to start to get a feel for what sort of Uni she'd like to be at - campus, city, big, small etc.

If she wants to do a 'health related' subject she also needs to start thinking about what other experience she needs beyond A levels (ie. work shadowing, relevant voluntary work etc) to enhance her application.

rightsaidfrederick Mon 27-Jan-14 10:06:34

Don't forget that you're a good 18 months away from getting anywhere near a UCAS form - your DD won't be applying until the Autumn term of Y13, and her aspirations and interests may very well change in the meantime. Most people's do - e.g. my fourth AS that I was originally going to drop became my degree subject.

Make sure any degree is BPS accredited - otherwise she will be very restricted in terms of actually working in psychology afterwards.

Ensure she realises that degree level psych is much more sciencey than A Level psych - if she really struggles with / dislikes the maths and biology elements of the A Level, then she should think very carefully about whether or not it's the right course for her.

You'll be narrowing down her choices using her AS grades and A2 predictions, so you won't end up looking in any detail at all those hundreds of courses. If she is predicted CCC nowhere asking for AAA will take her, and if she's predicted AAA, anywhere asking for CCC would be a waste. As RM mentioned, whatuni is useful.

I'm afraid, however, that she will eventually have to go through all the modules of courses she's interested in - it's the only way.

There are also some options to do joint hons psychology and linguistics at uni - Oxford, Bangor, Edinburgh, Lancaster and Sunderland all offer it. Kingston also offers English Language & Communication with Psychology, and Sheffield offers Speech and Language Science (which looks more theoretical than S&LT)

She should be more than able to find a combination of AS that will fit all three courses - I would be thinking along the lines of English language, psychology, a modern foreign language, biology, psychology and maths (not all of them...)

MaddAddam Mon 27-Jan-14 12:25:35

You can also read Psychology and Speech Pathology (or speech therapy) as a joint first degree, those courses are a good option if dd is clear about what she wants to do.

Linguistics modules and courses tend to be more academic/theoretical, and speech and language therapy courses tend to be more oriented to the practicalities and possible jobs, so it depends a bit whether your dd likes the conceptual or the practical side of language more.

ISingSoprano Mon 27-Jan-14 15:16:22

Some really helpful stuff here - thanks everyone. I am familiar with the whole application procedure, ds is in his first year at uni but the course he was interested in (and now studying) was only offered in a few places - much easier to whittle down what he was going to apply for!

It is the science side of things she is more interested in at the moment. She has applied to do Maths, Human Biology, English Language and Psychology A levels. She also does a lot of singing which is what has prompted the interest in speech therapy and linguistics and how we use our voices.

Kemmo Tue 28-Jan-14 08:36:49

She needs this newish course at UCL:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/students/prospective/UG/UBSPSYALAN05

ISingSoprano Fri 31-Jan-14 17:52:12

Wow Kemmo that's exactly the sort of thing she is looking for. Thank you!

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