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.


NSS 2017 92.6% overall student satisfaction

The National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 results are out and the School of Psychology at the University of Kent is delighted that 92.6% of final-year Psychology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. This means that Psychology at Kent is ranked 14th out of 121 higher education providers!

Take a look at our ten reasons page to find out why Psychology at Kent should be your top choice.

Arts engagement can help counter divisions in society

Engagement with the arts can help societies counter economic, cultural and political divisions, new research co-ordinated by psychologists at the University shows.

The study provides evidence that the arts can act as a key social psychological catalyst that can foster and maintain social co-operation.

Researchers, including a psychologist at the University of Lincoln, used data from a national UK survey of attitudes to establish that people’s greater engagement in the arts predicts ‘prosociality’, whereby people were more likely to volunteer and give to charity over a two-year period.

Professor Dominic Abrams at the School of Psychology was the corresponding author on the research, entitled The Arts as a Catalyst for Human Prosociality and Cooperation, working with first author Dr Julie Van de Vyver at Lincoln.

The researchers, who also worked with charity People United and were supported by grants from Arts Council England and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), made use of data from the ESRC’s Understanding Society annual national longitudinal survey of 30,476 people in the UK.

Read more at the Kent News Centre. The full article is available here.

How do children learn abstract concepts?

Since her previous role as a postdoctoral researcher at UCL, Dr Marta Ponari has contributed to a project that was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The project, titled ‘How do children learn abstract concepts?’, is now complete (1 October 2012 – 31 July 2017) and the team have published a final public report and a briefing sheet which are available here.

The research sheds light on how children learn abstract concepts like ‘idea’ or ‘freedom’. This research has implications for teaching in primary school. It also has a significant impact on how children with atypical language skills are supported to learn.

People find it difficult to judge how good their intuitions are

Whether people believe they are ‘intuitive’ or not may have no bearing on how they perform in tasks that require intuition, according to new research by psychologists at the University.

Dr Mario Weick and Stefan Leach, of the School of Psychology, found that the extent to which people feel confident about, and endorse, their intuitions may often not provide an indication of how good their intuitions actually are.

The researchers asked 400 people from the UK and US to complete a questionnaire to find out how much of an ‘intuitive’ person they were. They then required the study participants to perform a series of tasks that involved learning new and complex associations between letters and images.

The associations followed certain patterns and the task was designed in a way that encouraged learning of the underlying rules without people realising this was happening.

For more information, see the Kent News Centre. Read the full journal article here.