We are listening to you!

We look back at some of the highlights of the academic year so far and the changes that have been implemented as a direct result of student feedback.

You have told us through the NSS, Student Voice Forums, and our Student Experience survey, that you want more employability support and opportunities. The School ran Pizza and Prospects for all stage 3 students, (more to come!) and the Division ran EMPFEST, with alumni here to speak about graduate schemes and summer internships.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to speak with lecturers in an informal context.”

We have also run events on careers in the public sector and careers in Psychology and Mental Health. The Employability team has been available for and met with many students in one-to-one meetings. If you haven’t already done so, do take advantage of this.

For more information on careers events, including past recordings, check out the aspirations blog. You can book your 1-to-1 appointment with the employability team here.

Changes to our Curriculum

We have introduced a new study skills module, the Pathway of Successful Learning specific skills to provide you with successful study strategies and fundamental skills needed to succeed in degree-level psychology. Then in stage 2 we have our new core module Mental Health: Diagnosis, Interventions and Treatments focusing primarily on what research has to say about the social/cognitive/biological bases of some  major health conditions and the implications for treatment of them.

Our seminar led modules have been built around bringing you into contact with our specialist researchers, who lead on their active cutting-edge research, taking you through their own areas of specialisation. This brings our undergraduate cohort in contact with world-leading academics like never before.

Sharing Your concerns

We are committed to providing you with a quality learning experience. Sometimes though, through no-ones fault, things can go wrong with a module, or not be working the way you want them to. At that point you might want to talk to someone about your concerns, so we’ve created The Resolution Ladder. This means we have a clear pathway for you to share your concerns with us.

Then there’s our enhanced academic advisor scheme which has evolved in line with the rest of the Human and Social Sciences division. This outlines guidance and expectations for writing and making assessments.

Student Community and Student Voice

Students have told us in the past that they want more opportunities to meet with their lecturers. We have introduced Catch Up and Chat sessions. These are Drop-in sessions for each stage organised for students to meet with the School’s education team and provide their feedback. We also worked collaboratively with students on our amazing Staff-student Christmas party. It was wonderful to see so many of you there. But we are also over the moon to hear that our Psychology community is flourishing outside of these events.

The common room has become a much loved place for hanging out and making friends.

“It’s cosy with good heating and there’s food round the corner.”

You have told us “The common room is like my second home. It’s a nice calming environment to hang out with friends and study together. I really like having a place just for Psychology students. This year we have had lots of different people from different stages come in and we’ve been able to make more friends. Some lecturers have even stopped by for a chat which has been good fun.”

Positive feedback such as this is useful, so we can continue to ensure this is a space that you can all use together. We asked you how you would like the room to be improved and then funded those improvements, including a kettle, blankets, plants and mindfulness activities.

“The common room allows a spot to see other psychology students and work together easily.”

We are always being asked to provide more opportunities for skills development or exam support, so we have improved and developed our offering from SLAS to meet your requirements and concerns, we’ve developed very well received exam preparation sessions, and last term was the launch of our new APM group study sessions, including support from SLAS and our Library Liaison to help you improve your referencing and make the most of library resources while you study.

“I love the common room! It’s where I met some of my friends.”

For a quick overview the Student Voice Forums this year have been full of enthusiasm and activity, and it has been great to have them face-to-face after covid. You have told us loud and clear that you want more well-being events. Clinical psychology and mental health experts in the school, along with a team of students, are now working together as a committee to offer a series of workshops to promote well-being strategies in the Spring term. Watch this space! We have opened up more module options to more students in stage 3, such as Science of the Imagination and Clinical Psychology 2. Marking criteria are now published in advance of assessments to help you understand what is expected of you, and we are about to introduce a Feedback and Self-reflection process to help you understand, reflect on, and make the most of your feedback.

We couldn’t have focused on the changes you needed without hearing your feedback through the various channels available to us, including the NSS and Student Voice Forums. So we’ve asked one of our Division’s reps to tell us about their experience so far this year.

What it means to you being a rep?

It means that I can have a platform to share concerns or proposals to improve our relationships with our professors and to do better in our modules.

How have you enjoyed the journey so far?

I have enjoyed it a lot since I met new people through being a rep, whom I can work together to help our fellow students.

What is the most rewarding experience, so far, being a rep?

The most rewarding experience for me personally is the opportunity to attend staff and academics meetings, where I can listen to various internal problems or suggestions and that way, I can understand better the situation and propose new effective solutions.

How did the Student Voice Forum go and what you feel it brings to the school community?

The Student Voice Forum went well and I appreciated the effort being put by our Student Experience Coordinators. They really care to listen to our feedback and they do try their best to make a change for the better! Without them it would have been really hard for our voices to be heard.

Do get in touch with our reps if you have any concerns or suggestions, consider becoming a rep yourself, and make sure you complete the NSS so that future students can continue to benefit from the feedback!

Find your reps here: Find My Rep | Kent Union

Complete the NSS here: National Student Survey: National Student Survey (thestudentsurvey.com)