February 10, 2015, by Tilly Potter

Psychology: study of the heart?

Being in final year can lead to a real love-hate relationship with studying. But as it’s leading up to Valentine’s day, I’m going to look fondly at my subject of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience – or feel the positive affect, as a psychologist might say.

heart-bullet I get free reign to choose my modules this year, with this semester definitely being the best. One of my favourites is a module about dyslexia, where extra study includes watching documentaries – definitely not a hardship! There’s also a mixture of coursework-based and exam assessed modules, so you can choose whatever works best for you.


Watch a documentary? If I have to…

heart-bullet My timetable. Psychology is (as far as I am aware) unique in being a science subject yet having not many contact hours. If you fancy just one 9am and two days off a week, psychology is perfect. Some lecturers then try to liven things up by playing visual illusions to make you feel dizzy, or joking about their chocolate addiction (to name some recent examples).

heart-bullet Your own project. Although a project (similar to a dissertation) can be a lot of work, you also get to choose a topic of interest to research. For me this has involved creating an online questionnaire which has been quite fun. You can then guilt-trip your housemates and friends into carrying out your study by telling them you’ll fail your degree if you don’t get any participants (well, it’s true!).


Questionnaire nearing completion!

heart-bullet Although I grumble about it from time to time, psychology is actually really interesting. I may not be able to read your mind but I’ve studied topics I didn’t even think I would through a psychology degree, such as a module on vision and another that included topics such as cybernetics and chaos theory, gaining me some (albeit brief) respect from my physics-studying boyfriend!

heart-bullet Opportunities such as summer scientist week, which I took part in last summer. This involved me testing children while they also got to get their faces painted and play psychology-related games – it was great to see them having such a good time, as well as having greater interaction with people throughout the department.

heart-bullet All the extra stuff. From cake sales to weekly reminders to come and eat biscuits in the social space, there’s definitely a fun side to being a psychology student!

The cake I made for a psychology 'bake off'

The cake I made for a psychology ‘bake off’

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