Jess Chadwick

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Whilst many undergraduate psychology degrees cover much of the same content, I was intrigued by the optional modules that Brookes provided, as well as the facilities here, such as the Babylab. Having visited the university on an open day, I felt that Brookes had such a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere. An added bonus was that it is only an hour away from home.

Aside from my love of criminal minds/crime shows, I have always been interested in why we all think differently, like different things, what makes us unique. Psychology has so many different career paths attached to it, it is applicable to so many different areas in life. Personally, I am working towards a career in educational psychology, as I am particularly interested in education and the learning process amongst individuals, especially those with learning and developmental disorders, such as autism and dyslexia. 

I love that psychology includes such a variety of areas within the subject, from memory and perception to child development, and neuroscience. I also like that the course draws on other relevant schools, such as sociology and philosophy, to look at different perspectives on theories and concepts. 

Through my course, I have had the opportunity to present my dissertation at the annual British Psychological Society (BPS) conference in my final year. Outside of university, I have been involved in a local charity that works with young people with special educational needs, and have become a leader with Girlguiding UK. These opportunities have allowed me to become more involved in the local community whilst gaining relevant work experience. 

Aside from the teaching staff being incredibly supportive, Brookes also offers a service called Upgrade, which provides one-to-one support with various aspects of your degree, ranging from help with statistics, to reading over your essays and helping with structure and referencing, which is particularly beneficial if you’re wanting to improve your grades or need a bit of extra support with a certain module.

There are lots of societies that you can join at Brookes, which is great for meeting people outside of your course, especially in your first few weeks at university. There’s also an abundance of cafés here, so there is always somewhere to meet friends for coffee! In the city itself, Oxford has so many places and activities to offer, ranging from the new shopping centre, the theatre and the ice rink, so there is definitely something for everyone.

When you join university, you’ll probably find that you have the same conversation with everyone you meet for the first few months; asking where they’re from, what course they do, which halls they live in, etc. As cheesy as it is, this leads to further conversation and you quickly make friends. This happens continuously throughout your time at university though, I didn’t meet some of my good friends until the end of my second year when I worked with them on group projects, and started a new job. I’d really recommend joining at least one society though – I met some of my closest friends whilst ice skating during the first few weeks of university! 

When I started university, I initially moved into a student house. This worked out well though, as I met one of my best friends whom happened to be on the same course, and it felt a bit more like a home away from home, which was comforting during the transition of moving away to university.

Oxford has such an amazing atmosphere and there is always so much going on in the city. The locals are so friendly, and we have great bus links to London, so it’s really easy to go for a day trip. 

I am planning to study a master’s degree in special educational needs after a year of gaining experience in the workplace, before pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology. 

I would absolutely recommend Psychology at Brookes to others. It is so intriguing as you learn about such a wide range of concepts and theories within the subject, and is applicable to many different aspects of life. This also opens up many different opportunities in terms of viable career paths. There is something to interest everyone, and the course is adaptable, as you are able to tailor your module choices to your interests in your second and third years. 
 

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