Malaika is a third-year student studying Psychology, who enjoys watching crime documentaries on Netflix.
What I study
I study Psychology, which is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour – how humans act, think and feel in different situations and why. Because Psychology is a science subject, we get to learn about interesting experiments and do our own to find out about these things!
I wanted to study Psychology because I wanted to be a Counsellor when I am older. This is someone who listens to people going through difficult problems in their life and helps them to find solutions to these problems.
Now, I want to be a Clinical Psychologist which is similar to being a counsellor, but you also do other things like assessments (tests) on people and your own research. To become a Counsellor or a Clinical Psychologist, you need a degree, which is a qualification you can only get at university. Plus, I found Psychology really interesting, so this seemed the natural way forward for me!
What subjects I took at A-level
At A-level, I did Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. This is when I quickly became interested in Psychology and all of the different topics within it. Studying Biology also helped me with the more scientific areas of Psychology, and the information that I learnt then has even helped me during my time at university!
Even though I found A-levels a little bit difficult, I really enjoyed focusing on only 3 subjects that I liked the most and then liking one of them so much that I chose it to do as my degree at university. It can be really useful choosing A-level subjects that you enjoy, or that will help you with the career you want!
How I’m assessed on my course
There are a lot of different ways we are assessed, which are ways of seeing how much we have learnt and understood. For example:
- Exams at the end of each term. These might have multiple choice questions, short answer questions or essay questions. Exams are the main way we are assessed on the course!
- Coursework. These are written pieces of work that we do, usually over 3-5 weeks. For example, writing an essay answering a question about a topic you have just learnt about
- Class tests. These are short tests we do in the classroom, usually in the final lesson of a module (these are what we call specific courses in your degree where you focus on one certain subject area, for example ‘social psychology’).
- Lab reports. This is when you get to do your own experiment on your classmates, collect the results and write about what you have discovered. It can be pretty fun using your own ideas and deciding what to do!
- Dissertation. This is a big project that students do in their final year of University, based on their own research on a topic they are interested in
My favourite thing about university
One thing I really like about university is that we think a lot about careers and what we might do in the future.
There are a lot of chances to do work placements – where you spend time working in a job you’re interested in, like in the NHS for example.
This can be for a few weeks (what we might call a ‘micro-placement’) or even for up to a whole year as part of your degree (a ‘sandwich year’), both of which I’ve taken part in. This has helped me to develop a lot of good skills, such as communication, teamwork, research skills and even my confidence!
I also really like how my time is organized at university. Usually, I go to lectures for 10 hours each week – a huge difference compared to how many hours you have to go to school! I spend some of this time studying and the rest is spent doing other things that I enjoy, like spending time with my family and friends. Because I go to a university in London, this means I’m close to a lot of cool places and activities, like the London Eye or food markets!
University has also been a great way for me to make friends from so many different cultures and backgrounds, and I really feel like part of a community at university. I have not only made friends with people on my course, but also through joining societies (similar to clubs) and part-time work too!
Read more about Malaika and her university experience as a Psychology student.