What’s it like studying Psychology?

Cecily Kay

Why Psychology?

I chose to study Psychology because of my interest in human behaviour, specifically the development of behaviour and how it can be influenced by so many different factors. The Psychology course at Durham is different to a lot of other universities because it’s research-based. This means that there is a big focus on learning how to conduct and report research, as well as opportunities to be involved in research being conducted in the department, either as an assistant or as a participant. So at the moment, I’m working with a professor on a literature review for a study on the development of creativity and executive function in children. The involvement in research sets you up really nicely for your dissertation and other research projects you may do because you learn a lot of new skills that are hard to pick up elsewhere. 

So many societies!

We have a Psychology society and a Behavioural Science society which most Psychology students are part of, but it’s not necessary. They organise some really fun activities that you can get involved with, and can help in getting to know your course mates a bit better (which can be difficult on such a large course). For example, we’ve done things like: trips to the cat café, pub quizzes, and the psychology ball (of course!)

Look at more than just the course when choosing your uni

Choosing which university you want to apply to can be really daunting but one good tip that I got when applying was to look at more than just the course. Societies and clubs are a massive part of university life and help you make loads of friends. Durham has loads of different societies to join in with which you can find out about on the Durham university website.

Discover more

Our Department of Psychology prides itself on being a collegiate and welcoming department, committed to success for all who work here. Through dedicated teaching sessions, an optional placement module, external speakers and even an employability retreat – we actively prepare students for working life. We are proud to be ranked in the Top 10 Psychology departments in the UK by The Complete University Guide 2022 and in the World Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.   

Feeling inspired? Visit our Psychology webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes. 

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Cecily Kay

Hi my name’s Cecily and I’m a second year psychology student in St Mary’s College here at Durham University. Other than a psychology student I am also a cox for the Durham University Boat Club and part of the Psychology department’s research assistant scheme.

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