A Year in Psychology at Kent

What an extraordinary year it’s been. For many the pandemic has prompted a whole new perspective on life, while bringing up many fears and anxieties for others. This gave us a lot to explore in our research in addition to all the challenges of continuing to nurture students through virtual learning, placements and online graduations. To paraphrase stage one student Alia Awan in her blog below, through venturing outside our comfort zones, we’ve really ‘reaped the rewards’.

We learned a new way to do student life!

  • A year abroad in Italy, competing in the Three Peaks Challenge, winning the Employability Points Runner Up Award and now an Internship in digital marketing. Read about Katherine’s experience.
  • Before she began her Psychology with a Placement Year BSc degree, Alia Awan was worried about where she would sit in the lecture theatre and how she would make friends, but starting university in a pandemic has had its advantages. Read her blog here.
  • Psychology student Theo discussed her experience of a clinical placement during a pandemic. Watch here.
  • What makes a forensic psychology student tick? Through the Forensic Psychology Master’s programme, Joanna Ratsma has been researching areas that are not for the fainthearted!

Our research has been the catalyst for real change in our community…

  • A new Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy will be using Kent campus facilities and new ground-breaking research led by Professor David Wilkinson. Read about it here
  • PhD students with Professor Karen Douglas conducted research that found when people are presented with the idea of a Covid-19 “immunity passport”, they show less willingness to follow social distancing and face-covering guidelines.
  • Cleaning up our acts: Our research found that using low-cost psychological interventions in Canterbury reduced vehicle engine idling and in turn improve air quality. More here.
  • On ‘meatheads’ and ‘soy boys’; Dr Kristof Dhont has been counteracting the backlash against veganism and vegetarianism, particularly in terms of sexual stereotyping, in his research and publications. Look here.

The pandemic gave us a new perspective

  • Dr Pascal Burgmer explained why we should be looking after both body and mind to optimise health and wellbeing. Read more on mind-body dualism.
  • Dr Clara de Inocencio Laporta suggested that we may see more individuals pursuing vocations they are passionate about in 2021. “Even people who thought they had ‘dream jobs’ before Covid-19 are reflecting on what these amount to now that they are working from their kitchens or bedrooms.” Read more.

We celebrated!

  • We said goodbye to a whole cohort of finalists – not in our usual grand style at the Canterbury Cathedral graduation ceremony, but in a livestream at The Gulbenkian on campus, which made for a different, perhaps more personal kind of celebration, sharing students’ memories and stories of their time with us. Watch here.