2018 entry

Welcome to the School of Psychology

Psychology is a large and varied discipline concerned with the systematic investigation of mind and behaviour. It is a “hands-on” subject in which students learn practical skills for designing and conducting research as well as developing proficiency in writing, numeracy, presentation and critical thinking.

You should already have been allocated with a Personal Tutor from among the academic staff in the School of Psychology. Your Personal Tutor is a first point of contact for general guidance on academic and career development and, in consultation with yourself, may refer you to specialist academic support services within the University. Please do get to know them!

Please note that the current year tutors are:

Our Teaching Fellows provide learning support in the School of Psychology for all students. They offer weekly drop in sessions, one to one bookable appointments and also manage an email service specifically for learning support. As well as this they also deliver additional workshops focused on skills development e.g. essay writing, referencing and library skills. The School prides itself on learning support and Teaching Fellow accessibility is highly valued among students. Keep an eye out for posters around the School which advertise the Teaching Fellows availability or email psychology.tf@keele.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Psychology peer e mentors are 2nd year students trained by the Teaching Fellows to provide support to new 1st year psychology students. As they have just been through their first year in the School they are ideally placed to offer advice. Peer e mentors will be there to provide practical advice, support and reassurance. Although they are not there to help with your learning, they will be able to point you in the direction of someone who can help. The peer e mentors will contact you on a regular basis to see how you are getting on but you don't have to wait to hear from them if you have a question. If you would like to know more, contact the Teaching Fellows psychology.tf@keele.ac.uk.

Staff profiles including contact details, weekly office hours (when students can drop-in without an appointment) and research interests are available on our 'people' webpage. Spend some time browsing academic staff profiles. You might be surprised at how staff are involved in the wider profession of Psychology outside of teaching. If you are interested in any of this then please get in touch. Staff are always on the look out for keen undergraduates to help with research.

The School of Psychology is situated in the Dorothy Hodgkin Building and most teaching takes place here. Room numbers starting “DH” are in this building. Most lectures are held in the Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture Theatre (DH0.21) or the Westminster Lecture Theatre over in Chancellor’s Building. Lab classes take place in the Hunter Lab (DH0.31) and the Sloboda Lab (DH0.44). Seminars are generally held in smaller teaching rooms in the Dorothy Hodgkin Building–please check your electronic timetable for room details. Personal Tutee meetings and Final Year Project supervision are held in staff offices. The James Hartley Room (DH0.39) is available to students all day and is a great place to chill out between classes and/or catch up on some reading or study. Please also feel free to settle down in the comfy chairs and sofas spotted about the School of Psychology anytime you are looking for a place to study.

Teaching is by a combination of lectures, practical classes, and seminars, supplemented by individual meetings and supervision. You should, of course, attend all classes, meet all deadlines for coursework and attend scheduled examinations. Note that registers of attendance are used for many classes. Coursework is generally submitted electronically. Please check module guides for more information. These are available on the Keele Learning Environment (KLE), accessible from here: www.keele.ac.uk/students.

Most coursework receives a mark out of 100. A mark of 70 or above is First Class, 60-69 is Upper Second Class, 50-59 is Lower Second Class, 40-49 is Third Class and a mark below is 40 is deemed to be a fail. Here’s some advice – when marked work is returned try not to focus solely on the mark, but instead read the written feedback from your marker. This is a key element of university teaching, shaping student work towards a professional ideal. It will congratulate on what you did well and offer concrete advice on how the work could be improved. Our external examiners regularly comment on the depth and helpfulness of the feedback our staff provide on student work. It is something that all staff take very seriously.

If you can’t attend class or a meeting due to illness or some other issue, please DO formally notify us beforehand using the “Absence Request” form. This can be found on eVision under "Course/Module Details", then "Notification of Short-term Absence"; choose 'Absence Request' in 'Type of Request'. We monitor attendance of many classes and should you miss one of these without telling us, an informal warning will be sent to you automatically. Further escalating warnings will be issued for subsequent un-notified absences.

Where you are unable to submit coursework on time or attend an examination, you have the option to put in an “Exceptional Circumstances” request for an extension on coursework or to defer an examination. For advice please go to www.keele.ac.uk/ec/ and/or contact your Personal Tutor or Year Tutor. If you feel you need a break from your course for personal, financial, medical or other reasons, it may be possible to take a Leave of Absence, which usually lasts for a semester or a year.

A great way to get more involved in Psychology is to volunteer as a Student Voice Representative on

the Student Staff Voice Committee. This committee comprises around 12 students across our various psychology BSc courses who work collaboratively with staff members of the committee to ensure that our modules and courses function well and take in the student perspective. Some Student Voice Representatives also sit on the School of Psychology Committee, the Psychology BSc Courses Committee, and the Learning and Teaching Committee.

A vibrant research culture exists within the School of Psychology such that the majority of staff that you encounter as teachers also carry out research at the cutting edge of psychological knowledge. Our research is organised into three groupings: the Cognitive and Biological Research Group; the Social Psychological Research Group; and the Health and Well-being Research Group. Within these groups, multidisciplinary special interest groups have developed organically and are actively supported, including the Centre for Research with Children and Young People, and The Qualitative Research Forum. Please see these web pages for more information www.keele.ac.uk/psychology/research/.

In your first year and second year, you have the opportunity to take part in some real psychological research being conducted by staff members and students within the School. Known as the “Research Participation Time” scheme, this is an exciting opportunity for you to experience how research is conducted, and to contribute to cutting-edge research. You really do have the opportunity to be an integral part of our continued effort to understand human psychology.

Second and third year students will have the opportunity to apply for the School of Psychology’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship Scheme. The scheme provides a wage for up to 4 undergraduates during the summer break, enabling them to get “hands on” experience of research with the supervision of a Staff researcher. The scheme aims to give students an insight into scientific research and provide training for those considering research and academia as a future career.

This course provides the option of spending some time studying outside the UK. You can take a semester out in second year (called Study Abroad) or you can take an entire year out between second and third year (called International Year). We have partner universities in a number of European countries, the USA and Canada.

The unique combination of skills that characterise the study of psychology are transferable across disciplines and into the world of work. These include skills in oral and written communication, the use of IT, numeracy and data analysis, team working, problem-solving, and skills in research methodology. We also intend that our course will prepare our graduates for, and stimulate their enthusiasm about pursuing continuing educational opportunities following graduation and indeed the course prepares our students to study Psychology at postgraduate level and to pursue professional training courses in an applied setting. In addition to support from Keele’s Careers and Employability Centre, as a Psychology student, you also have access to a dedicated Psychology Careers Officer, who can advise you on pathways to careers in Psychology, and help with writing CVs and cover letters. One-to-one Psychology careers  appointments can be made by emailing Dr Donna Berry: d.m.berry@keele.ac.uk.

We have tried to keep this document brief and to the point. Please see the School of Psychology Undergraduate Student Handbook for greater detail. This can be found from the webpage www.keele.ac.uk/students. (Click to access the Keele Learning Environment (KLE), then “Psychology Noticeboard”, then “Learning Content” and finally, “Information for Undergraduates”).