What’s it going to be like?

How often will I be on campus?

Our students have timetabled “contact hours” for short periods most days of the week, if not every day, totalling roughly 10-15 hours a week. This will include large lectures and also some smaller group learning in seminars and practical sessions. There are also weekly drop-in sessions and workshops that students can make use of to boost their academic and professional potential. Students can also enhance their career prospects by participating in co-curricular research and work experience schemes. While 15 hours may not sound like a lot of time, you will also spend additional time learning and researching independently, either in the library or wherever you find works for you (cafés, at home etc.). There are also some opportunities for one-to-one time with staff as well – make sure you meet with your Academic Adviser, who is your personal tutor!

What will I learn about?

This video really sums up the content of Kent Psychology degree courses and the excellent research community that includes staff and students.

What career-planning support is available to me?

Psychology at Kent’s weekly Academic and Professional Development Workshops are a great resource for our students. They have included CV feedback sessions, guidance about personal branding, and competency and strength based interviews. Look out for the 2017/18 workshop schedule!

The Research Experience Scheme (RES) and the Work Experience Scheme (WES) are two well-established opportunities for Psychology students in stages 2 and 3 respectively. Katie Watson is the Student Experience and Placements Officer in Psychology and she is responsible for these schemes. Please do not hesitate to contact her for information.

The University of Kent also has a fantastic Careers and Employability Service (CES). Students can attend their events including the annual Employability Festival which is a month-long series of presentations, workshops, and career fairs. The CES offers guidance interviews, drop-ins for quick queries, and a wealth of information about job-hunting on its website.

Here’s a video that covers some of the services that are on offer to students.

Is support available for health and learning needs?

If you have specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia), Autistic spectrum diagnosis, physical or sensory impairments, long term medical conditions, or mental health concerns, you should register with Student Support and Wellbeing. We welcome applications from international students and we seek to provide equality of opportunity for all.

The University’s Wellbeing Service is an integral part of Student Services offered on campus free of charge to University of Kent staff and students. Wellbeing has a specialist and experienced team of practitioners who can offer mental health advice and support.The service is available to students, who experience a range of mental health difficulties, for example: Anxiety; Stress; Depression; Panic attacks; Psychosis; Bipolar; Alcohol/Drug complications; and Obsessive compulsive disorder. This list is not extensive and they are able to assist and advise with any other difficulty that may be relevant.

The Wellbeing Service will work in conjunction with other staff members to ensure that difficulties are taken into account whilst studying at University, and they will try to make your experience whilst you are here, a positive one.

For our confidentiality guidelines, please see our website.

What about the social aspects of student life?

We hope that you’ll make lifelong friends at Kent – use the School of Psychology’s informal events and Facebook group to get to know your cohort.

Joining societies and sports clubs is another way to meet like-minded people and share your interests. You can also get involved with the music community, and the arts and culture programme at Kent.

Should you feel like you need more peer-to-peer support as you start to settle in, Kent Union has developed the Buddy Scheme. The Buddy Scheme helps incoming students by matching them with current students who provide informal support by regularly meeting up and sharing their experiences and tips. The scheme offers the opportunity to make new friends from all walks of life and be a part of something that celebrates diversity in an informal, fun and sociable way.

Here are some photos from student-staff events and celebrations within Psychology at Kent.


What about finances?

Both the University and the Student Advice Centre advise you to put together a budget when you first arrive at Kent. It might seem difficult or boring, especially compared to the fun of Freshers’ Week and the excitement of starting a new course, but in the long run it is definitely worth knowing how much you have to spend and keeping track of where the money goes. Use the student budget calculator on the Kent website. More information about living costs is available here.

It can be difficult to adjust to your income arriving in three major instalments if you are used to budgeting with weekly, fortnightly or monthly incomes. Unless you can get a job in the summer vacation, the period from June to the end of September is very lean financially if you haven’t made sure that you have some of your loan still available to cover your spending.

For full-time students, student loan instalments, parent learning allowances and childcare grants are usually paid on the FIRST day of each term. Child tax credits are paid across the year at a frequency you can select, and the Disabled Students’ Allowance is paid direct to the supplier of services and equipment. University accommodation fees are payable in advance at the start of each term.

If you have concerns about your financial position, or you find yourself in difficulties, ask for help sooner rather than later. It is much easier to sort out any financial problems before they accumulate. You are more likely to get a sympathetic reception from banks and other creditors if you explain the situation as soon as possible.

Should you get into trouble there is a range of advice and support available. Please visit our financial advice pages or contact the Student Advice Centre.


Testimonial MSc in Developmental Psychology – Eirini-Sofia Romaiou

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
My Bachelor’s degree was in Pre-School Education and during my studies the modules that fascinated me the most were in psychology. What I found really appealing in Psychology is that it can be applied to everyday life and helps people to understand not only other people’s behaviour but also their own.

The main reason I decided to pursue a Master’s was to build on my knowledge in psychology and focus on developmental psychology, which relates to my initial area of professional specialisation. Also I believe that studying at Master’s level helps you develop transferable skills such as time management, critical thinking and analytical ability. Furthermore, postgraduate study enables you to explore different career paths and opens up a wide range of options after graduation.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
Having completed my BSc in my hometown of Athens, Greece, I was looking forward to gaining some international experience. The University of Kent caught my attention for a number of reasons. Firstly it has an outstanding reputation in various areas of psychology which excited me, plus the School of Psychology had a supportive environment for creative research and learning. This as well as the desire for a campus experience in a small city not too far from London led me to choose Kent, the decision of a lifetime.
Nonetheless, the main reason for choosing University of Kent was the calibre of the MSc in Developmental Psychology. I chose this course over others because of the balance between research and practice. Gaining research experience is a fundamental requirement in the field of psychology, but being able to learn how theory becomes practice is equally essential.

What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?
In my previous degree I was taught very little about research. In contrast, my Master’s degree has already taught me a lot about methodology, ethics and given me the opportunity to work on my very first research project as part of my Dissertation. Ιt helped me realise what an effort is needed in order to conduct a study and some of the challenges that researchers must deal with.

In addition, during my postgraduate course I learned to work independently and develop critical thinking whereas my first degree was very theory based and did not have opportunities for us to pursue our personal interests. Last but not least, through studying at Kent, I had the opportunity to meet so many students from around the world. I really enjoyed being able to work and cooperate with them whilst discovering the similarities and differences between all our cultures.

Tell us about the course…
The MSc in Developmental Psychology helped me understand what processes contribute to the typical and atypical cognitive, social and emotional development of children. We learned how psychologists and teachers can support children with developmental disorders such as ASD, ADHD, language impairments and the ways in which they can boost healthy development in neurotypical individuals.

The highlight of this course for me was the opportunity to meet with different professionals such as child therapists, clinical psychologists, and educational psychologists. They shared with us the way in which ways developmental psychology can enrich professional settings and also the challenges that they face. Furthermore, each of the guest speakers presented a case study and we discussed how we would approach it, what theory could be applied in the specific scenario and what interventions we would propose.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
With the skills I have gained I could work as a Research Assistant if I chose to gain more research experience. My motivation to work as an Educational Psychologist also led me to choose this course. I love the idea of being able to offer intervention and still be in an educational setting. In any case, no matter what will be my future employment, as long as I be able to work with children and support them I will be more than happy.

Testimonial MSc in Social and Applied Psychology – Katie Schumacher

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
I pursued a postgraduate course because I very much value my education and realize that in today’s day and age a Bachelors is not going to set you apart as much as a postgraduate degree will. I am one of the first people in my family to graduate from university with a Bachelor’s degree and will hopefully one day be the only one in my family to have a PhD. I have a passion for education and I am always curious which is why I decided to continue my education and do my MSc at the University of Kent.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
I chose to do my MSc in Social and Applied Psychology at the University of Kent for three reasons. First, because of the University of Kent’s reputation. Kent psychology is very well known globally and does a lot of research in the areas in which I am very interested in. Discrimination, prejudice, ingroups and outgroups, intergroup relations, group processes are just a few areas of expertise within the psychology department here at Kent. Second, the location. I am from the United States, specifically Wisconsin, and I previously studied in London during my undergraduate degree. I really love the UK and I really liked the fact that Canterbury is close to London by train but far enough away that the cost of living, the environment and fresh air are more manageable for me. I love the fact that I can travel by bus to Whitstable and be at the sea, or go to the cliffs of Dover that are so close to me. The location is a perfect mix of UK culture that I love and reminders of my more rural hometown Wisconsin. Third, the price. The University of Kent is a lot cheaper than some of the other universities I was looking at to do postgraduate study. When comparing the US to the UK, the UK was the cheaper option and on top of that the University of Kent allowed me to take out US loans to study in the UK which is an amazing opportunity. These reasons, on top of many more since, led me to the University of Kent.

What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?
The one major thing that this course is teaching me that my first degree did not, is real life application and more communication with people from different countries that speak different languages and are from different cultures. In my course I only have a few British classmates, everyone else is from outside of the UK and that is very awesome to experience in our seminar classes where analysing certain topics can vary a great deal based on ethnicity, nationality or other demographic information.

Tell us about the course…
This course is very interesting. It includes a big combination of group processes, intervention and social change research, theory, statistics (a lot of statistics), practical knowledge, history, politics, and communication skills. I have learned how to communicate in various ways using statistics, writing, presenting, and more. So far courses that I’ve taken are Statistics and Methodology; this has taught me a ton about doing research, the statistics behind research, how to reliably and validly study the concepts I want to study and much much more. Additionally, I’ve taken Advanced Topics in Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, Social and Applied Psychology Part I: Theory and Part II: Practice. This course has been very enjoyable and I’ve developed a new appreciation for various parts of psychology and its applications.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
I could go into many areas of work. human relations, business, law, politics, gender studies, academia, marketing, government, life coaching, teaching, counselling, non-profit, research, technology (software), and much more. This course is very applicable to the real world and it offers a wide array of skills that make me very marketable.

Testimonial MSc in Developmental Psychology – Taryn Hendricksen

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
I have always been interested in the psychological development of children, particularly in regards to learning and mental health, but I have been unsure where to take this. I decided to pursue a postgraduate degree to further my knowledge of the field, develop my skills, and increase my employability. I also wanted to learn more about different areas of psychology to help me figure out where to go next.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
In my third year of my Kent Psychology undergraduate degree I took a module in Advanced Developmental Psychology which cemented my love for the topic. Choosing which MSc degree to do was easy – it could only be the MSc in Developmental Psychology for me! The choice of where do my postgraduate was also easy: my undergraduate was at Kent and I had loved my time here. The university is incredibly supportive and there are a wealth of resources I can access including information and workshops, not only for my study but also for careers and employability. There are also a huge variety of societies that are incredibly active and a lot of fun to be a part of!

What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?
I am enjoying my postgraduate study as much as undergraduate. The course focuses on teaching us to evaluate research and decide for ourselves whether it is methodologically sound, and whether the conclusions are valid. As such, there is a strong critical analysis component which was not as present at undergraduate level. This has not only improved my ability to assess how good a research study is, but it has also allowed me to become a better researcher myself.

Tell us about the course…
I was impressed by the modules on offer and it was incredibly hard to pick! In autumn term I took Advanced Research Methods which really aided my understanding of study design and ethical considerations, especially when working with children, clinical populations, and other vulnerable people. I now have much more confidence as a researcher and an improved skill-set that will help me stand out when I start applying for jobs. Another module I have found invaluable is Developmental Psychology in Professional Practice. This module is made up of guest lecturers who currently work within the field of psychology. They give a fascinating insight into how they apply psychology within their work, and what their job looks like day to day. They are also very willing to answer questions about getting into their field and offer advice, all of which has been incredibly helpful.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
The Developmental Psychology MSc has allowed me to develop many skills including advanced statistical theory and analysis, research skills and critical analysis. All of these are fundamental for many areas of psychology including research and academia, and clinical work, but can also be transferred to other areas such as data analysis. I intend to look for work as a research assistant to gain further experience, before moving on to working with children with mental health difficulties. My postgraduate degree has been a great stepping stone on my path.

Testimonial MSc in Organisational Psychology – Jamie Harper

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
My name is Jamie Harper, and I am currently studying on the Organisational Psychology MSc at Kent. I decided to continue on from my Kent Psychology BSc to postgraduate study because I thought that, not only was it a great opportunity to learn more about the specific area of psychology which I was interested in, but it also showed to employers that I am able to complete a higher level qualification– it really shows your dedication and ability to manage your time effectively which employers like to see!

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
I chose the Organisational Psychology MSc at Kent specifically because I have always believed that since the majority of us will spend half of our lives in a workplace, psychology should be applied to this area to make it as fulfilling and inclusive as possible. My undergraduate degree was great for teaching me broadly about different areas of psychology, but this Master’s is very focused around organisational issues and how we as practitioners can ensure that any organisations we work with are following best practice. It’s great to see such a practical application of psychology!

Tell us about the course…
This Master’s involves a mix of Kent Psychology and Kent Business School (KBS) modules, which I really enjoy as it enables me to mix with students on core Business Master’s degrees and get their perspectives on different topics. It also allows us to learn more about getting qualified by bodies such as the CIPD, which we don’t really learn about
in solely psychology courses. Getting contact with lecturers from KBS is a great opportunity and we are very supported by both the KBS and Kent Psychology lecturers so we are keeping up with the Business Master’s students in our lectures. The majority of teaching is done through two hour lectures, although we do have some seminars within KBS which is great for having in depth conversations about organisational issues. In terms of weekly hours, there are around 6-8 hours contact time per week depending on the modules chosen and the time in the term – some modules run as just one solid week of 9-5, which sounds daunting but is actually really great because you can totally immerse yourself in it for that time. Currently there are less than 20 of us studying this Master’s either full or part time, and I really enjoy that we’re a smaller group because we’re all very close and support each other through any stressful times in the year!

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
It’s great to be working towards a qualification that’s more specific than a general psychology undergraduate, and I think it really helped me to focus my research interests and career aspirations for after university. I’m hoping to go into an HR Management role, and I am currently going through the selection process for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. This is an incredibly competitive scheme, and I think that having my Master’s degree in a business-focused area has really made me stand out to the assessors. This Master’s will allow you to either continue on into psychology focused topics or branch out into business roles, depending on your area of interest. Although this course isn’t BPS or CIPD accredited, this is not a drawback for me since HR graduate schemes will often allow you to achieve CIPD whilst qualifying, and the lack of BPS accreditation allows for a more flexible module layout within the course. I really enjoy studying this course, and it’s really boosted my confidence in my abilities in both psychology and organisational areas. The campus is gorgeous, the staff are lovely, and the course is interesting and engaging – what more could I ask for?

Testimonial MSc in Research Methods in Psychology – Dominika Majewska

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
I chose to do the MSc in Research Methods in Psychology, as I wanted to improve my research skills and study a degree that would be quite broad and allow me to apply the skills gained to a number of jobs. I graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2014 and took two years to train as a teacher of Social Sciences. After completing the qualification, I realised how much I missed studying Psychology and being in a university environment. This encouraged me to pursue a postgraduate course and expand on the knowledge I gained at undergraduate level. Finally, I wanted to improve my chances of studying at Doctoral level if I decided to do so.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
I chose the University of Kent for a number of reasons. First of all, the School of Psychology is rated very highly in the league tables for both its courses and research. This was very important to me, as I have always enjoyed challenging myself, and I knew that studying at Kent would allow me to push myself and develop my understanding of Psychology further. As the University is located close to my home, I can live and spend more time with my family. Finally, the University offers a great number of options of Master’s programmes and many interesting modules to choose from. I chose the Research Methods MSc course, as it allowed me to pick most of my option modules, which has been very helpful, as my interests are quite broad, ranging from areas in developmental psychology, social psychology, personality psychology to clinical and psychopathology.

What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?
The course has taught me quite a lot in comparison to my first degree. Studying for the MSc in Research Methods in Psychology has made me realise how important it is to conduct high-quality, theory-based research. I also learned how much input and work goes into conducting good quality studies. In addition, the Master’s course has expanded my evaluation and analysis skills. Studying at an undergraduate level encouraged me to learn and understand different areas of Psychology, which is a very broad field with a vast amount of research findings. However, pursuing Psychology at Master’s level is more about drawing on the already-gained knowledge to think independently, build arguments, think critically and challenge findings. So I feel that the biggest difference between an undergraduate degree and a postgraduate degree is a greater emphasis on the higher-level skills, which is very helpful when writing 6,000 word essays that require a deeper level of thinking and analysis. The Master’s course has also really developed my knowledge of statistics.

Tell us about the course…
The course has been both challenging and rewarding, in different ways. At the start, it has been a challenge to understand statistics at the Master’s level. However, after revising and making links between concepts, it has been immensely rewarding to find that I actually understand and can carry out complex statistical analyses. The course has been very stimulating, as I have gained knowledge across different fields of psychology; from personality and individual differences to cognitive neuroscience. Having the flexibility to choose from a range of modules has been really useful, as it showed me clearly what I am interested in the most. I also found that there have been a number of additional sessions aimed at supporting us as students including employability workshops and talks from external speakers. We have received additional help with areas such as writing research proposals, conducting literature reviews and putting together PhD applications; all of which have benefited people in different ways. I think that with its emphasis on research, the course prepares individuals well for further study and going into research-based roles. As a result of my dissertation being a cross-disciplinary project that draws on personality psychology and qualitative analyses, I have gained more understanding of how to combine qualitative and quantitative aspects, which is something I have not done before.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
As a result of this course, I can pursue a number of careers, both in Psychology and outside. I could pursue a PhD and become a researcher/academic or complete a Doctoral course and become a practising Psychologist in the field of Educational, Clinical, Occupational or Health Psychology. I could also go into slightly different roles, such as those of mental health support staff or emotional support. If I wanted to complete other courses, I could work in a number of roles, including Careers and Education Advise, Counselling or CBT therapy. I could also work for organisations that conduct research, such as NFER or different charities. I think that Psychology has given me a range of transferable skills that are useful to many different roles.

Kent hosts BPS seminar on vestibular cognition

An international symposium is being held in the School of Psychology today entitled “The Vestibular System: A System for Mental Life”.

The seminar, organised by Dr David Wilkinson, is part of a series supported by the British Psychological Society (BPS) focusing on the psychological principles that govern vestibular-cognitive interactions.

For further details see the seminar series website.


Imagining Autism project featured in short film

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations and to showcase its multi-disciplinary research, the University has made a short film describing the Imagining Autism study and featuring Reader in Psychology Dr David Wilkinson. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Imagining Autism is a collaboration between the School of Arts, the Tizard Centre, the School of Psychology and the Gulbenkian Theatre, which seeks to remediate the difficulties that autistic children have with communication, social interaction and imagination.

Watch film (14:05 mins)