Upcoming Improvements to Psychology Undergraduate Degrees

Robbie Sutton and Dinkar Sharma

Kent is making exciting changes to its Psychology Bachelor degrees starting from the 2022/23 academic year. Leading on these developments were Dr Dinkar Sharma, Director of Education, and Professor Robbie Sutton, Head of School (pictured together above).

Explaining the reasons for these changes our Head of School, Professor Robbie Sutton, says, “I am so pleased that after years of planning we have been able to make these changes which represent real improvements to our degree programmes. Our study skills training in Year 1 is, for the first time, run separately to our other modules and will focus entirely on making sure all students are given the chance to learn the ethos and skills that will translate to success in their degree.”

He continues, “Our Stage 2 programme is much improved. Integrating smaller modules into larger, all-year modules will streamline students’ experience, making their timetables simpler and easier to follow.  The new Stage 2 means that the balance of marks in that year is almost exactly 50:50 split between in-course assignments and tests and exams: it has been 60% exams and tests in previous years.  The new, all-year module structure of the these modules will help us deliver a seminar programme that, for the first time, will be delivered by lecturers: up till now, these seminar programmes have been delivered by PhD students and other staff on part-time contracts.  Lecturers will also be marking their seminar students’ work. All of this really will help students and lecturers to get to know each other, making it possible for more lecturers to be able to write supportive reference letters for each student.  As well, this will make it easier for students to discuss their feedback in person with their marker.”

Robbie caps off his statement with more good news for incoming and returning students. He says, “Finally, with the importance of mental health being more and more recognised in the UK and abroad, we are delighted to be bringing this topic into our Stage 2 curriculum in the form of a new module that all students will be able to take. This module has been one of our most popular and successful Stage 3 optional modules and we are pleased that all students will have the opportunity to engage with this material earlier in their degree. An increased emphasis on mental health and clinical psychology is also seen in the increased availability of clinical psychology modules in Stage 3.  These developments are in keeping with new postgraduate courses including our new Clinical Associate Practitioner postgraduate course, which started this February and is being run in close collaboration with our local NHS trust – and a new MSc in Clinical Psychology planned from September 2023.  Across our programme, some of our distinctive strengths, such as social and forensic psychology, remain a strong feature of our programme through both core and optional modules.”

For more information about the undergraduate degree programmes and their structure, please see Kent’s online prospectus