Maryam Mehmood

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Upon attending opening evenings, I found the buildings to be incredibly attractive and modern, with great working and socialising spaces. I had also been informed about the facilities and equipment accessible to the psychology department including the EEG and TMS machines. Having attended Cheney School Sixth Form and was studying psychology at A levels, I experienced and saw the Oxford Brookes baby lab facility as part of a learning trip. For the latter reasons and that Brookes was in close proximity to my family home which saved some money, I chose to attend Oxford Brookes University. 

Psychology has always fascinated me since the first time I had encountered the subject at GCSE level, it was the only subject that I felt truly passionate about and was therefore the subject that I performed the best in. During GCSE psychology, I had learnt about the theories that had been proposed to explain the reason as to why dreams occur, about phobias, brain pathologies involved in aggression and other such relevant topics. Based upon my great experience with psychology at GCSE I then went on to take it at A levels. At A levels, we explored more within the realm of psychological abnormalities and mental health including schizophrenia and depression to name a few, but also more personally relevant topics such as sleep. I knew that psychology was the subject for me to pursue due to my continued passion for it, I love that it is an area of study that attempts to understand humans and to explore realms that have not been answered.

Learning psychology within this university has widened my knowledge and has made me more perceptive and explorative in regard to issues surrounding human nature. I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this course. However, the courses that I find myself talking passionately about to others include the modules Influential papers, topics in cognition, personality and individual differences, explanatory concepts and social psychology. Influential papers were incredibly fascinating and allowed me to explore pioneering work, each paper was fascinating in regard to the findings. Topics in cognition allowed me to think and research independently on a fascinating topic that I didn't know existed. Personality and individual differences opened my eyes to the lasting effects of stress and explanations about introversion and extroversion, which I still refer to even now. Explanatory Concepts again, allowed me to think openly and be more perceptive, exploring topics such as free will and the history of psychology. I enjoyed learning more about aggression and the reasons for prejudice within social psychology. This course is engaging and allowed students to converse with friends on psychological topics within lectures, which I most enjoyed. Other such eye-opening topics also include biological psychology where I experienced the more practical side of psychology using EEG machines and exploring explanations of biological abnormalities. Psychology and contemporary issues is also a module that I most enjoyed and still talk about, it led me to be more critical towards media articles and to look at the research behind it.  

I had the great opportunity of presenting my dissertation work at the get published conference, this opened up opportunities for me to converse with other individuals from different backgrounds. One such example would include meeting a female lecturer in criminology, we had an engaging conversation about my work which felt very rewarding, she later had provided me with information about a postgraduate course that I didn't know existed, which has led me to do further research and look into the different postgraduate courses available. Alongside this my research dissertation is now published on the student Brookes publishing page. I had also had the opportunity to attend a prepaid conference in Nottingham with other psychology students and staff. It was a great social experience as we carpooled, had dinner together and stayed overnight, but it was also educational since we attended talks conducted by senior researchers and other psychologists. I had also presented my dissertation at the conference.

I have found academic advisors to be incredibly supportive and helpful particularly when one is in a predicament and in need of advice. It is also nice to have semester meetings to ensure that the university journey is running smoothly. Dissertation supervisors have also been incredibly supportive and topic advisors for specific one to one modules have likewise been very helpful. The lecturing offices are accessible to psychology students, if I am in need of an answer to a question that I have, I feel welcomed enough to knock on the relevant office door and ask, all staff are friendly and very helpful. There is also a statistics support team which has been incredibly helpful during dissertation time.  

I have found the psychology department including students and staff to be a very warm and welcoming community; the union bar is a great social facility within the university. There are many societies available to join which is a great way to meet new people and socialise. 

I love the idyllic and scenic views that it holds, more specifically walking down the river at Christ Church meadows during summer and punting in the river with friends. However, it does not lack the city lifestyle with many shops, food spots and great transport.  

I plan on applying for a postgraduate degree, pursuing the study within psychology, more specifically applying for a master’s degree in either a particular field within psychology doing research or in neuropsychology.
 

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