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Best uni for psychology?(13 Posts)
Just wanted the collective wisdom of mn..
My Ds has conditional offers for Southampton, Surrey and Loughborough for Psychology. He is going to the open days but I wondered if anyone new which was better regarded?
All are good universities. Can he look at the NSS feedback on the departments, or their RAE ratings (although these are a bit out-dated now) for a bit more insight?
Really, of these three, he should go wherever he will be happiest. Each department will have its strengths and weaknesses, and he should think about what's important to him; the place, accommodation, department, research, courses offered, work placements/extra curricular stuff etc.
Good luck to him! He'll have a great time.
I did the masters in psych at surrey and it was lovely. Nice campus. Great teachers.
Loughborough - I have colleagues who teach there now - I would rate that dept. there's a sports science slant at that uni so if that appeals then that would be a good place to go.
Don't know much about Southampton. But it's a good uni overall.
There isnt a 'best Uni' - its which is best for your son. Visiting will give him an idea of what each is like, the atmosphere of each, the sort of people who go there, the feeling of the Dept etc. Loughborough is strong on sport - is that important to him?
But he also needs to look closely at the courses - they will not be exactly the same. He needs to read the detailed optional unit descriptions not just the titles. If they aren't on the website, email and ask for them. Its the course he'll be studying for 3 years, not the Uni.
He also needs to think calmly about the offers themselves and pick a very realistic achievable Firm, and a sensible fall-back Insurance with lower grades that he would still be happy to go to.
Look at this or this but as others have said, your ds needs to be looking at the detail of the course and match that to his interests. The vibe he gets (or doesn't get) when he visits is really important. Just because a place has a great reputation doesn't mean it will suit everyone. When he visits he should ask himself, were the lecturers friendly, how accessible are they etc. Also look at other factors such as accommodation, social life, transport links, cost of living etc etc. Then rank them according to the things he considers most important.
What branch of psychology is he most interested in? Whilst all BPS accredited degrees will cover everything, the emphasis is usually on one or two areas. So if he is interested in social psychology heading for a strong neuroscience dept is probably not the right one for him.
He can get an idea of what the dept is most interested in by looking at the staff research profiles.
Thanks for the replies. He is sporty so Loughborough would be good. Southampton does not have a clinical placement year which is a shame as I think its valuable to have. Though because it's a russell group that would be well regarded. Surrey and Luff do have placement years.
Also Luff has a clinical bias in the course as it doesn't have social psychology in it - so it's more scientific. Surrey seems to have a good rounded course. The entry criteria for Surrey (aaa) is also higher than at Luff and South (abb) . I was wondering if this means anything?
We are going to go to the open days so that will play a big part. Would a degree from Surrey be considered second to Luff and South as they are Russell and 1994? As Surrey seems to be the most rounded course, a lovely environment and a placement year.
Thanks for your opinions.
1994 group no longer exists anyway...
Don't get hung up on RG v 1994. The 1994group are/were research intensive universities who were perhaps a little smaller or specialized to be RG. Employers won't care at all - the degree itself is more important.
Personally, I think placements are worth their extra year/fees. I did one (in psychology), and I can pretty much say that without I wouldn't be in the career I am in so quickly. However, if it's impractical - then making sure the dept can help support work experience/internships during term time/holidays can be just as good.
The entry requirements may also be a bit of a red herring... I'd be interested to know whether Surrey fill their course withAAA or whether they accept a decent proportion of students with lower grades.
Surrey attracts big numbers of 'public school', wealthy and overseas students because of the area and its closeness to London. They've hiked their entry requirements for years on the back of this 'popularity'. So don't be impressed by that initself - it certainly doesnt mean 'better'.
PS. A placement is a good bonus but relevant vacation work can match that just as easily.
Also have a look at employment rates for the individual courses/universities:
Maybe also get him to take a look on thestudentroom.com, where he will find students at those universities (and possibly doing Psychology) and can ask about social life/accommodation/transport etc.
Interesting thread. I know lots of people at Southampton who really love it (not psych though).