A Journey through a Psychology Degree
Choosing the degree is one of the first big choices of the adult life. This choice implies the answer (let’s say provisional) to an even bigger question: “Who I would like to be?” In making this choice we usually follow our personal inclinations and aspirations, as well as the advices of those people we care about. This is what happened in my case, when in 2006 I decided to start a psychology degree…a degree, or better a journey full of amazing surprises. Reading my experience you can have an idea of how a psychology degree can change you life and your career, inspiring you to continue your studies with a MSc and a PhD.
Most people, me included, decided to study psychology because they would like to better understand themselves, they want to make the world a better place, or because they are interested in Freud’s theory. However, during the three years of the BSc Hon you will find more reasons that will keep you motivated even when preparing for the hardest assignment. Wherever you decide to study, a BSc (that can be in Psychology or Psychology and Counselling) is composed of many courses that provide you an overview on the different “schools” of psychology. You will develop your knowledge in clinical, developmental, cognitive, abnormal, and social psychology. You will study the socio-psychological processes at base of our relationships; you will increase your understanding on perception, attention, memory, emotions, personality, attitudes and behaviours, both in adults and children. Usually, at the beginning of the third year of the degree, you can choose the optional courses in the area you like the most. Furthermore, studying these subjects, you will realise the importance of research in psychology. Especially if you are attending a University with a very active research department, you will participate in different experiments as part of the degree modules. In addition, you will conduct your own research project on a topic of your choice for your final dissertation.
In my case, I completed a BSc called “Psychology of Personality and Interpersonal Relationships”. At the beginning I was surprised by some of the modules such as psychometrics, psychobiology, research methods. I was struggling to understand how they were related to psychology. But then, piece-by-piece, I completed the puzzle and I understood how these topics are fundamental for the constant development of the discipline. At the same time, I fell in love with an area of psychology called social psychology that investigates how people behave in the society and more generally groups dynamics. I became so passionate about the topic that I decided to focus my dissertation on it. This was not enough, so I started a MSc and then a PhD, and then a professional career based on this subject… but this is another story!
Starting a psychology degree literally changes your life. The BSc will teach you many transferable skills. First of all, most of the psychology BSc are accredited degrees by the British Psychological Society, so completing the course will make you eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. This provides you with a superb basis for a career as a psychologist. Then, through the course, you will develop analytical, research and communication, IT and interpersonal skills that are transferable in so many other areas of your personal and professional life. You can then decide to become a teacher, a researcher, an academic, a counsellor… you will have so many different options. So what are you waiting for? My suggestion is to try and I am sure that a BSc in psychology will inspire you to increase you knowledge and will make you look at the society with different and more emphatic eyes.