Psychology Degree Advice

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
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Buxey
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 pm

Psychology Degree Advice

Post by Buxey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:06 pm

Hello Everyone,

I have just started my Degree in Psychology with the Open University.

I would like some tips and tricks that I can do to assure that I leave University with the highest grade possible!

Many Thanks

Jack

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maven
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Re: Psychology Degree Advice

Post by maven » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:12 am

Pay close attention to how things are marked, discuss as much as possible with supervisors, read widely, and don't try to juggle too many extra curricular things as well as your academic work.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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workingmama
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:54 pm
Location: UK

Re: Psychology Degree Advice

Post by workingmama » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:24 pm

Buy Dixon's 'How to Get a First'. 95% utterly obvious stuff (in my opinion). The opening paragraphs were what took me from being a lacklustre mediocre student who didn't really believe I could achieve to a (mostly) straight A all the way through my undergrad and subsequent studies. So well worth that, I think.
Fail, fail again, fail better.

graduateak
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:25 am

Re: Psychology Degree Advice

Post by graduateak » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:04 pm

Best thing I did was tell my dissertation supervisor I wanted to get a first, he obviously remembered it because at graduation he said I saw you got your first.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein.

Prosopon
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: Psychology Degree Advice

Post by Prosopon » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:39 pm

My advice would be to read primary sources extensively outside of the course materials when working on assignments, synthesise information and think critically about everything. Also, try to use contemporary research in assignments as much as possible. Mention classic studies if necessary, but go into more detail about contemporary research and think about how it is applied to the real world. Doing these things helped me to get distinctions/firsts in all but two assignments during my conversion degree.

Good luck!
"Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

~From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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Victoriomantic
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:51 pm

Re: Psychology Degree Advice

Post by Victoriomantic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:05 pm

Prosopon wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:39 pm
My advice would be to read primary sources extensively outside of the course materials when working on assignments, synthesise information and think critically about everything. Also, try to use contemporary research in assignments as much as possible. Mention classic studies if necessary, but go into more detail about contemporary research and think about how it is applied to the real world.
I agree!

I always tried to read at least one or two papers for each lecture / topic, and write a short summary after each one to remind myself of key points. Only took about 10 minutes after each paper because I'd type it up while fresh in my memory straight after reading the paper. But it was an absolute godsend for exams and assignments. Good practice for synthesizing information and being able to quickly summarise your thoughts on a paper including good points, bad points, and how you feel it might have real-world applications.

Another thing I did that was really useful was keeping an up-to-date Glossary of terms in a word document after each lecture and journal paper. Highlighting key terms in my notes in a specific colour* meant I could easily find them and just slot them into an alphabetized list. Again if you get into the habit of doing this it only takes 10 minutes to update each day and gives you a really solid personalised dictionary to go back to -- great for revision and I find it helps me to remember things more generally as well. Especially if you include key references / reference where you read the term next to it too.

*Colour-coding everything (and keeping to the same code) made learning and revision so much easier.

I still do all of these things now in my HI training and it's doing me really well.

Most of all -- have fun and enjoy! You're not expected to love or understand every topic you cover, but for me I find when I get stressed it's useful to try and put the anxiety aside and feel grateful for the chance to study something I enjoy, and that allows me to find at least *something* interesting in each lecture / article etc.

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