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bath, bristol or exeter

(67 Posts)
coffeewith1sugar Sat 28-Mar-15 11:19:50

my dd doesn't know which one from above offers to firm and insure. She likes all the courses they offer and the uni. They all bring things to the table she likes and dislikes and can see herself in any. Shes so confused as what to do. Bath has the year placement. They are all located far from home. Should she choose by best reputation? would it make any difference to employers anyways where she graduated as long as she does well. Or placement year getting work experience is more important with getting graduate jobs. Thanks to anyone who could help her decide her course is in psychology by the way.

Littleham Sat 28-Mar-15 11:35:47

She can't go wrong. In this situation I have told my dd's to go with their gut instinct about where they think they will be happiest. Happy student = happier end result.

So which course did she like? Did she get on with the people who will be teaching the course? Which city did she like best? Is the placement year important to her?

Do it by a process of elimination.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 28-Mar-15 11:51:04

They're all good universities. I assume all three courses are accredited by the British Psychological Society, which is essential if she wants to go onto postgraduate training in psychology in the UK. Most psychology degrees are, and I would be amazed if those at the three universities you mention aren't. They'll say on their website and you can check on the BPS website too.

(Accreditation is only given to courses that can show that there is a good staff student ratio, a reasonable standard of research going on in the department and the degree programme includes various core topics/skills. View this as a safety net.)

The placement year is very valuable experience and can open doors but it's not essential. It's an extra year to fund, which might be a consideration.

My perspective on this is that I used to be the administrator for a very popular MSc in a niche area of psychology. We didn't discriminate at all on the basis of which university the student had attended, but we did look carefully at relevant work experience. Some of the best students at interview and on the course subsequently had done their BSc at universities that many on MN would sneer at. However, generally, the better the university the student had gone to in the first instance, the better they coped with the academic side of our programme.

Good luck! How lovely to have the luxury of choice between three such good options.

HungryDam Sat 28-Mar-15 12:46:28

Is bath the only one with the year placement? I would probably go with that. But she may be able to do placements in the holidays?

UptheChimney Sat 28-Mar-15 13:24:40

She'll have a great time at whichever she chooses. I suppose the main thing is to make a positive choice, so that she doesn't spend 3 years thinking "What if ...?"

coffeewith1sugar Sat 28-Mar-15 15:57:50

Many thanks for the replies really didn't think I would get any.
littleham dd says course/modules are all pretty similar as the BPS accreditation (all 3 are accredited) have to compulsory offer 10 modules (could be less) the same. She visited all the psyc departments, they all had their little areas of specialism within psycholgy, she was liked all of them. So can't diffentiate them there. Location wise as a youngster up to early teenage years we would visit all those areas for short hols in our camper van ( no we not hippies just enjoy the experience and noveltysmile she has fond memories, think that's what's making her decision on location hard.
gasp very grateful for your detailed perspective and feedback. So glad you made dd awares that placement year at Bath will cost her an extra year in tuition she didn't know that. Alternatively she could do internship/job after Bsc save on extra tuition fee. She knows that If she does well at Bsc she would definatley like to apply for MA, knowing that work experience is looked on favourably she is going to look into this area in more detail whether its easier to get internships/job at graduate level or take the Bath route which seems to look easier to get the placement as they have the contacts within industry.
hungaryyes only bath offers the placement.
upthis is what she's finding hard to figure out. Its like going to the cake shop she likes whats on display but can't just choose one she really really wants without thinking about the others with all its enticing flavours and embellishments.
On another note if a uni offers a high entrance offer does that mean its a better uni? or more that its a competitive course not necessarily a better uni.

NiceCardigan Sat 28-Mar-15 16:19:26

A placement year has reduced tuition fees I can't remember what DD2 paid it was so low ( that was at Bath)

NiceCardigan Sat 28-Mar-15 16:23:29

It's here www.bath.ac.uk/study/ug/fees/placement-fees/index.html DD2 paid £600 but she's old fees

coffeewith1sugar Sat 28-Mar-15 16:43:57

Thanks for link nice cardigan dd course is the one with integral professional placement (1year) it doesn't say on there, that I can see, on how much it would be. Something dd needs to find out about.

NiceCardigan Sat 28-Mar-15 16:53:21

Is it not a thick sandwich? The fees depend on how long your placement is rather than what you are actually doing.

NiceCardigan Sat 28-Mar-15 16:59:45

Psychology placements tend to be unpaid so you get an allowance rather than a salary and you can have your maintenance loan for that year. One of DD's housemates is studying Psychology and her placement was with mental health support services.

TaraBoomDeAy Sat 28-Mar-15 17:00:07

I don't think she can go too wrong either. What did she think of the accomodation? Bath centre is quite small but very lovely. Will your DD have a car?
I would have thought having the option of a year in industry is a good thing.
At that level of uni I wouldn't worry unduly about 'rankings'

TaraBoomDeAy Sat 28-Mar-15 17:05:46

BATH placement fees INFO here - it looks like it will cost £1,800 ???

coffeewith1sugar Sat 28-Mar-15 21:06:12

nicecardigan tara ah I see so its classed as "thick sandwich"dd would do 3rd year as placement then go back to do last year. So by the sounds of what you know, there are good placements related to psychology field available at bath.
Dd was very happy with the accommodation available, very clean modern and quite generous in size. She doesn't drive at the moment, so will rely on trains and buses to get home. Its about 3 hrs for her to get home from Bath and Bristol and probably 4 from Exeter. To be honest we don't mind her not coming home for ages as long as she's happy, settled and coping with work that bits fine. From her perspective it will hard for her to come home if she is unhappy. But we cross that bridge if it happens.
DD is in such a dilemma with no clear winner as to who to choose and its kind of getting her down, thats why ive ended up on here to get other people perspective. She just cant find any big negatives to rule one out over the other and by the sounds of the replies here there is nothing really bad that she will lose out on in picking any of the 3, no compromises that are too far she would have to take. Most kids would have a definite "I want to go there" if I get an offer from them or an aspirational uni to want to attend. My dd don't have this strong emotional attachment to any particular one. Probably in an ideal world she would like to attend all 3, one year each.
From what I can gather, having a placement year is the bonus and maybe she should look on that aspect more favourably as it can only help her positively in terms of job prospects even though it will cost her in loans.

Littleham Sat 28-Mar-15 21:15:08

That placement is worth a lot. She can talk about it when she goes for job interviews. Bath has a brilliant university bus service running every 15 minutes from campus to the centre of Bath and the railway station. The bus station is brand new and adjacent to the railway station. smile

FlamingoSausage Sat 28-Mar-15 22:00:34

Bristol - amazing city with lots of do, not too big or too small, excellent reputation, very good psychology department, smaller than most unis, very good student life. Balance between campus uni and city uni (buildings clustered together right in the city). Very hardworking uni - 'work hard play hard'

Bath - campus uni, placement year (BIG advantage), less of a student life because they are all off on placement across the country for their third year, most of DDs friends there love the city but feel they have had quite a weird uni experience and not made as solid friendships as elsewhere. Most think the placement and advantages that brings to gaining jobs outweighs this though.

Exeter- party uni, mostly very outgoing types, known by the employers I am in touch with that exeter students are known to not work quite as hard (big generalisation I know) but have a great time, lots of partying and real student life. Don't know what psychology there is like.

NiceCardigan Sat 28-Mar-15 22:03:00

DD2 is in her final year of a maths degree at Bath and she is sharing a house with the same friends that she shared with in 2nd year. They've all done work placements (different subjects) and have come back for the 4th year. We are 3 hours away and DD2 just gets the train home at the end of term
I have fitted in a few visits over the time she's been there because it's such a nice place to go to smile

tunnocksteacake Sat 28-Mar-15 22:18:10

Bath is a great uni for Psychology, the Times university guide ranks it second in the country. As other have said, the placement is a big benefit. Bath does really well for employability and has been ranked number one for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey two years running. The new accommodation is really nice, there are some great new teaching buildings and there's a new arts centre with lovely cake. And Bath itself is delightful, and just fifteen minutes on the train to Bristol for days/evenings out. Not that far to London too

coffeewith1sugar Sun 29-Mar-15 00:53:36

Really appreciate the very helpful feedback you ladies are giving me they will really help dd build a bigger picture.
flamingo from your review bristol sounds like old skool type uni with traditional ethos. If it was me going to uni i would choose this one sounds like how uni were in the good old days.
nice bath is one of the most beautiful places we have visited in our camper van. Its very reassuring to hear you have children at bath and they have enjoyed the journey so far. Has your DD2 changed for the good ie be more mature and have more direction from having the 1 year placement?
Me and DH have so far given dd no opinions on which uni she should pick, we have remained neutral and impartial let her do all the hard work.
tunnocklots of positives for Bath so far plus the impressive stats you have highlighted, dd really needs to have Bath on her shortlist.
There's no doubt about it in my eyes. The placement year is invaluable as littleham says. I'm wary that i shouldnt influence her but feel Bath does give the edge over the others. All of dd 3 offers are AAA. Bath lowered dd offer from A*AA think its because dd is doing 4 A levels. So its AAA or bust the other 2 offers dd has that are lower, she really doesn't want to go to, this she is in no dilemma about. She would rather take a gap year.

MillyMollyMama Sun 29-Mar-15 12:35:09

I think I would try and find out how many graduates in psychology at these universities actually end up getting a job in psychology. I gather from a neighbour whose DD did psychology, that getting a job and doing further training is very difficult to obtain. I think I would look seriously at Bath because of the year out. That must be an advantage. However, Bristol is a great place to be a student. Where would your DD actually like to live?

SugarPlumTree Sun 29-Mar-15 12:48:25

Difficult decision as 3 good choices as everyone has said.

I think on balance I would go for Bath because of the placement year. There are a lot of Psychology Graduates these days and a lot of competition for jobs and higher degrees.

My experience is from years ago. Did my Psychology Degree, then returned to Bristol (my Hometown) and got a secretary job in Bristol University on a research project. I made contacts there and I then landed a salaried Ph.D Research Assistant position on the strength of that.

There were 50 applicants which was a fair few at the time and I'm sure these days there would be loads more. I'd have had no chance without my work experience. I do something totally different these days but understand it is all more competitive now. I think Bath will give her the edge. But also think you're right to remain neutral and see if she reaches that decision herself.

JillyR2015 Sun 29-Mar-15 12:57:40

If she might not go into psychology afterwards (the pay is not great in psychology) pick Bristol.
If she might go into it and wants the settled placement then perhaps Bath.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 29-Mar-15 13:33:45

I'm not a psychologist myself but as stated upthread I used to work with many aspiring and qualified psychologists. It's a really tough career to get into. Best by far to treat Psychology at undergraduate level as a non-vocational degree subject.

For those who are determined to go on to become chartered psychologists in one of the various specialisms (clinical, educational, health, neuro, forensic, sports, counselling, occupational, research), it's essential to grasp that it will usually take a long, long time.

Typically for clinical psychology the progression is:

> Three/four years undergrad - essential to get a good 2.1 or a 1st

> MSc in a relevant subject (usually one year full-time or two years part-time) - this is not a requirement but it's a big help - again need a very strong result

> Some people then go on and do Ph.D. as well (minimum three years full-time) - not essential but well-regarded

> Two years (at an absolute minimum - five or six years is not unusual at all) as an Assistant Psychologist or Research Assistant or some other relevant work, ideally where you get supervision from a qualified psychologist - none of this will be very well paid

The lucky ones then get onto an NHS-funded clinical psychology training programme - three years, paid at a good salary and all fees (placement travel too, I think) covered too, good job prospects at the end of it all - but a long, hard slog to get to this point. Lots give up the attempt not long after graduation and go and do something else.

NiceCardigan Sun 29-Mar-15 13:39:47

Coffee I would say that the best thing about the placement year for DD2 is that it's given her a clear idea of what career direction she wants to take. She's chosen to do something that she needs a masters for and she had an interview for that last week. She's more confident about what she wants to do - her older sister was completely clueless about what sort of job she wanted at this stage!

coffeewith1sugar Sun 29-Mar-15 15:35:30

milly dd says that according to the stats on what graduates did after a psyc degree the majority don't go into the field of psychology but jobs that take advantage of transferiable skills psych degree gives eg Marketing, Human resources and health care post. The more I think about it, Bath seems like a no brainer. With dd she actually doesn't put area to live in highly on her list as she likes modern and old, can adapt quite easily so can see herself in all 3 locations, she would be happy to live in a tipee?? If need be. As long she's watered and fed she is happy?? .
sugaryour P.hD as assistant to a researcher would be a aspirational job she would like to work towards. Her dream job. But she knows this is quite a rare job not many available and is probably very competitive. Hope my dd will be as fortunate as yourself. Thanks for sharing your story.
jillypsychology is one of those strange subjects it's not regarded as proper science subject that's has the same rigour as phys/chem/bio but it isn't like sociology either as psyc does contain alot of science and some maths. It's caught in between science and humanities I feel. It's a popular degree wonder if it's because many people find psycholgy interesting and so would be a enjoyable degree to take but wouldn't want to take it any further than Bsc.
gasp thanks for another inciteful post, oh my goodness the long slog with no guarantee would put alot off, going down the clinical side. So basically it's going along the routes of medicine but with not much prospects as NHS only funds a few unlike medics. Unless go private.
DD has expressed she doesn't want to go into the clinical side. But thinks she would have to go the same route as clinical but then branch off and do her own work in research within university or private companies. She says she really likes the data handling, analysing, interpretation, sampling side within psychology. Really likes her maths especially statistics side Is there really, realistically any long term jobs in that area?
nice glad to hear your dd2 placement really has been a positive experience and reaffirmed what she wanted to do. This to me is more compelling evidence dd should go down placement route, it would help her application if she can get to MA. plus the experience would either make her more motivated to do a MA or change her mind and go and get a graduate job either way it's not going to be a waste of time.

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