The increasing popularity of Psychology in UK higher education

According to a survey by BBC News, Psychology has seen a spiral rise in choice and popularity among students studying in the UK. In 2014, more than 100,000 students registered for a UK Psychology degree, and demand has been on a steady rise ever since. As a matter of fact, this subject represents one of the fastest growing courses in the region. The continuing popularity of Psychology at the undergraduate or graduate level could be the thrill it presents students throughout the research and analysis process.

It’s common knowledge that Psychology is the study of mind and nature in both human beings and our furry counterparts. Students get excited at the prospect of analysing different aspects of complex human behaviour. They are able to research and understand whether certain characteristics – be it kindness, cruelty, narcissism, creativity, and beyond – are ingrained or acquired; how some people boast such a positive, glowing aura while others seem surrounded by greyscale negativity. These types of analyses offer a chance to explore the unanswered issues faced by the human brain, which is of course just as interesting as it is mentally stimulating. In accordance to Freudian theory of psychoanalysis, researching about human mind is one of the most complex aspects of life, as it incorporates so many different layers of deep-seated human emotion.

Image via the University of Lincoln

The best part of Psychology is that it attracts students from a diverse range of backgrounds, including science, the arts and literature, just to scrape the surface. There are no specific criteria as to who can study Psychology. Anyone with a research or analytical bend of mind, combined with an ardent interest of human behaviour will do well in this subject. Most University courses cover a vivid spectrum of themes associated with this subject – including mental health, evolution of child, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, social research, neuroscience, psychology of prejudice, cognitive processes, and many more.

Students who are studying or researching varying aspects of Psychology garner the skills to create situational hypotheses, allowing them to effectively formulate theories that help them understand the complications of human behaviour. Often students will employ a variety of statistical techniques to create an accurate report of their research and findings. Whether it’s to comprehend the Psychology of criminals, the trauma of victims, or even analysing the mind of a sporting star after the winning/losing game – these are the mysteries we find both baffling and captivating, and the ones we begin to investigate through detailed Psychological study.

Notably, the employment level is also very high among UK Psychology graduates. Their wide range of transferrable skills makes them all lucrative candidates for highly aspirational positions. According to the Independent, a Psychology student has an enviable range of employment options in comparison to others; for example he or she could work as a Criminal Psychologist for the Police or Legal Department; as a Clinical Psychologist to try and understand the trauma of a patient; they could become a teacher of Psychology, or perhaps impart statistical analysis at various Scientific Departments.

Image via the University of Exeter

Psychology remains a favourite field of study in the UK – the world’s second most popular study abroad destination. If the intricate workings of the human mind are of great interest to you, here are 5 leading UK schools offering captivating courses in Psychology:

Ranked No.1 for student satisfaction according to the Complete University Guide 2017, Lincoln’s School of Psychology is a thriving multi-cultural community that receives positive ratings from its students. Ranked 6th overall amongst psychology departments in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2017), the school has won awards for its innovative teaching and good working relationships between staff and students (BPS award for innovation in undergraduate programmes 2016).

A University degree doesn’t just dramatically improve career prospects; it is about pursuing academia or a vocation, developing life skills, building confidence and independence. A degree from the University of Lincoln is an investment in your future and in yourself. At the University of Lincoln you will be taught by leading academics, have the chance to work alongside them on research projects as part of the Research Engagement initiative, and will live and learn in a state-of-the-art, award-winning campus.

With an award-winning £170million campus set in the charming Brayford Pool marina, the University provides a student-centric working environment just a short walk away from the city centre. One of the world’s great historic cities, Lincoln is renowned for its fusion of old and new. The winning combination of a vibrant city centre and its historic quarter, both with a broad range of cultural activities and venues make Lincoln a fantastic environment in which to live and study.

The School of Psychology provides a comprehensive range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes, all of which grant students access to great facilities and practical opportunities, consistently developing graduates who are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the competitive professional sphere.

Image via the University of Lincoln

The University of Exeter is recognised around the globe for its high-quality Psychology Department, making its presence felt among all international universities. More than 80% of Exeter’s research is classified at a global level among the world’s leading institutions. In addition, staff members are recognised for their prominent research output and excellent academic record.

The University has successfully researched numerous psychological disorders, such as mood turmoil and swings, mental trauma, cognitive neuroscience research, animal behaviour among human beings, organisational psychology, social psychology, psychopathology, and neuropsychology. Notably, Exeter’s Psychology Department carries out active programmes to understand various types of human and animal behaviour.

They have also set up “Online Depression Therapy” programmes in order to comprehend the nature of mood disorders, as well as how visual perception of a human being can be deceptive, and numerous other conditions relating to human and animal cognition.

The University of Glasgow has been recognised for excellence and innovation for over 550 years, and boasts a long standing reputation for being one of the world’s leading universities.

Glasgow’s School of Psychology is recognised for its research and teaching facilities, ranking No.1 for its research intensity in 2014. According to the Guardian University Guide, Glasgow received the highest scores overall for student satisfaction. Most of the research facilities of this university take place in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology.

The University boasts cutting-edge technologies in its research facilities, consistently presenting a wide range of theories on issues concerning experimental psychology, and cognitive science & neuroscience. Furthermore, the Psychology Department was nominated for the 12 Herald Higher Education Awards and was also shortlisted for the Enhancing Student Learning Award, for its ability to improve research quality & statistics and training methodology.

Image via Cardiff University

Cardiff’s School of Psychology offers outstanding research and training programmes for UK and international students. They have world-leading facilities consisting of state-of-the-art technologies, an excellent learning environment, interdisciplinary research programmes, and a broad range of methodological techniques to deal with numerous behavioural and psychophysical issues.

Psychology students benefit from a large number of options to conduct research on complicated issues concerning the genetic, molecular, neural, and cellular behaviour among human beings. Students get to monitor the psychiatric and neurological disorders in people at the University’s specially-designed laboratory.

Additionally, the University has set up a special committee that monitors research facilities and ensures all the activities are carried out ethically and responsibly. They also provide training on numerous ethical principles to the students and staff members.

Birmingham’s School of Psychology ranks among the Top 5 in the UK for its excellent research and training facilities. The School holds a strong reputation and is acknowledged and endorsed by the prestigious British Psychological Society.

Birmingham’s Psychology facets host over 800 undergraduates, 200 postgraduates, and more than 100 PhD students. Due to its high-end facilities, the University stands among the best schools in the country, being incredibly well-connected to government organisations, local hospitals, police departments and industries, allowing students to gain practical experience alongside their studies.

All modules are designed to carry out effective psychological research based on scientific theories and statistics. The School has also received live grants worth £14.1m for its research facilities, helping them generate an annual income of approximately £3.8m.

Feature image via Shutterstock

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