Get your head around our new BSc in Psychology
We spoke with Dr Jenny Yiend, Programme Director of University of London’s new BSc Psychology programme and Reader in Cognitive Psychopathology at King’s College London, about how the online programme provides a more accessible way of earning a psychology degree from anywhere in the world.
The field of psychology is an area that is constantly developing. It is a subject where there is still much to be discovered, and where the introduction of new methodologies and technologies continues to contribute to different ways of thinking and practice.
“Psychology tells us about the way people tick and how our minds work. Particularly when it comes to neuroscience and how the brain works, there is a lot that we don’t know, which means there is a lot that can be found out, making it a very exciting field,” said Dr Yiend.
With advancements in technology, there have been considerable changes to how we are able to access and study the brain. A good example of how new technologies can lead to ground-breaking discoveries is the use of imaging technology. One well-known study used imaging technology to examine the brains of patients in a vegetative state. By using neuroimaging to look at the brain working in ‘real-time’, scientists could see that the brains of people in a comatose state were actually more active than we had previously realised. This has led to changing the way medics, carers and nurses think and behave towards these patients.
We are learning about the human mind and the way people work, not by speculation or by guesswork, but by scientifically studying it and drawing conclusions based on the evidence we find.
Another area of psychology which is currently of great importance is mental health and well-being, especially in schools and the workplace. There is great potential for psychology to be used across a number of professions including management, human resources and within the education sector. In fact, psychology has something important to say about almost every field of work and life. Gaining an undergraduate psychology degree may set you on the path to working in mental health, but will also provide you with a broader understanding of the human mind, the individual as a whole, how the child mind develops into the adult mind, and the way we relate to each other in groups, as well as many more topics to do with the way people function.
“It’s important to realise that psychology is about normal, healthy functioning, as well as considering mental illness and disease. A lot of students are interested in mental health specifically, but should be aware that an undergraduate degree also covers a wide range of other topics including how the healthy brain is organised and functions, cognition (how we pay attention and how we remember things) and social psychology, which looks at how people interact with each other and in groups,” said Dr Yiend.
An area of particular importance that is covered in the programme is statistical analysis. The BSc Psychology programme teaches both quantitative and qualitative research methods, which involve mathematical and statistical analysis as well as systematically analysing and extracting themes from what people say when we interview them.
The flexible online format of delivery is fantastic because it opens up the possibility to people from all over the world to the study this fascinating subject and to access the impressive expertise and academic resources that we have at King’s College.
“Students need to have a good grounding in statistics and need to understand how statistical inferences and the mathematical underpinnings of statistics are used to draw conclusions from the data that scientists collect.”
Dr Yiend said, “We are learning about the human mind and the way people work, not by speculation or by guesswork, but by scientifically studying it and drawing conclusions based on the evidence we find.
“We’ll be teaching problem solving skills and how to apply knowledge to real-world situations. We’ll be teaching the skills of scientific inference: the concept of collecting information, manipulating that information and then drawing conclusions. This is referred to as an evidence-based approach, which is one of the core concepts in the science of psychology (as well as being key to modern medicine and clinical psychology).
“For people who feel that they have an aptitude for psychology but do not have a maths A-Level or equivalent, we offer a performance-based entry route.”
A unique feature of the programme is that it is fully available to study online. The content of the online programme is developed from the highly successful on-campus version at King’s College London.
“The flexible online format of delivery is fantastic because it opens up the possibility to people from all over the world to the study this fascinating subject and to access the impressive expertise and academic resources that we have at King’s College,” said Dr Yiend. “Our faculty, the Institute of Psychology Psychiatry and Neuroscience, is the largest concentration of expertise in psychology in the whole of the UK. This means that the expertise provided for the online programme are second to none.”
An undergraduate psychology degree is the first step in moving towards a variety of careers such as clinical psychology, research or health and social care. It will also give you very useful skills for generic graduate level employment such as management, finance, media, publishing or the third sector. With the flexibility to study at your own pace from anywhere in the world, this programme also provides the benefits of learning in a truly global classroom.
Find out more about the BSc Psychology.