I did Psychology, Biology and History for A level and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with my studies at uni. I liked the fact that Social Sciences is such a broad subject – there’s social policy, criminology, psychology and sociology all in one. And I knew I was interested in psychology, so I decided to do the psychology and criminology pathway.
I looked at the league tables and saw that Kent is good. I also looked at the student community and thought that it would be a good place to study.
I’m definitely glad I chose to live at Liberty Quays. Everyone’s in close proximity so if you want to meet your friends they’re only a two-minute walk away. I think you make friends quite easily in the first week anyway because everyone is in the same position.
It’s very interesting and you have a good choice of topics you can pick. In our seminars, we often have debates – we are given a question and then we have to argue our points. You might not agree with everyone’s perspective but you find out what they think. I might look at an issue in a completely different way because I’ve learned something I wouldn’t necessarily have thought about. That comes from the lecturers too – we learn about the different theoretical approaches, especially in psychology, for instance the behaviourist approach, the biological approach. In the first year people were sometimes reluctant to speak in seminars but the lecturers allow for that by putting you in small groups. By the second year people were more confident about speaking.
For last term I’d probably say Psychology of Social Behaviour because our lecturer was really good. I think when the lecturers are passionate about the subject it makes it so much more enjoyable. I was interested in learning about the way people think when they’re in groups and about humans as social beings. This term my favourite module is Forensic Psychology. I chose it because it encompasses both psychology and criminology. Psychopathology is really interesting, too – how some mental disorders can result in criminal behaviour, and how they are diagnosed and treated. And I also enjoyed Issues in Criminal Justice, where we’re looking at the whole scope of the criminal justice system!
There’s a lot of help available here. The lecturers make it clear you can email them if you need help. The Student Learning and Advisory Service offers help in areas like referencing, which is really important, especially in first year because we’d never done it before. And then there’s the library, which is quite massive!
I do peer mentoring and I think it’s really useful. We have academic advisers, but personally I think it’s good to be able to talk to someone who’s actually done the course. People don’t want to feel like they need help, especially in first year – you want to feel like you’ve got it all together when in actuality you probably haven’t. It’s open to absolutely everyone.
I volunteered for a year with Victim Support before I came to uni and I think I’d like to do something like that – something that involves offering emotional support and helping out families. But I’m not sure yet!
Have an open mind – you’re going to learn a lot from the different perspectives of other students and lecturers. And if you feel like you need help, then take it. Our uni offers a lot.