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Study Health Psychology

iBSc in Psychology

This course is designed for KCL and external students currently enrolled on Medical, Dental or Veterinary undergraduate programmes.

Applications are also welcomed from KCL students enrolled on BSc Biomedical Science programmes.

This programme gets consistently high feedback from students across all elements of all modules (an average of 4.4 out of 5 for various aspects of each session) and the students consider it to be very well run and remark on how friendly and approachable the staff are.

There will be an iBSc Fair on Wednesday 6th December 2017 from 16.00-18.30 at the Gordon Museum, Hodgkin Building at Guy's Campus. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the programme and meet the team and current students.

Purpose

The overall aim of the intercalated BSc in Psychology is to provide students with an in-depth, critical understanding of research, theory and empirical findings in core areas of psychology. Thus, in addition to acquiring detailed empirical knowledge in each area, the key objectives are to ensure that by the end of the year, each student will:

(1) Understand the range of theories and research methods in core areas of psychology

(2) Be able to evaluate critically published psychological research findings and choose between competing explanations, using psychological theory

(3) Have completed and written up a piece of empirical research, using an appropriate methodology and statistical analysis.

Description

The modules are:

Abnormal Psychology

This module is concerned with psychological theories and research on the nature and treatment of a variety of psychological problems. The module organiser leads core sessions, which are accompanied by lectures from guest speakers coming from a variety of professions including academic/clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, who work with people with psychological problems and/or carry out research in the area.

The overall aim of the Abnormal Psychology module of the Psychology BSc is to provide students with an in-depth, critical understanding of theory, research, and clinical management of the most common mental disorders. Lectures come from a variety of professions including academic/clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, who work with people with psychological problems and/or carry out research in the area. The orientation of the module is evidence-based.

In the first semester, students are introduced to classification and definition issues around abnormal psychology. Then, across successive lectures, each focusing on a common psychological condition, students learn how theories from psychology and neuroscience can be used to gain a better understanding of how these conditions develop and can be treated. Topics covered include anxiety disorders, psychosis, eating disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The second semester follows a similar approach, but applies theories to more complex psychological conditions. Again, in each topic, theories from psychology and neuroscience are presented to improve our understanding of the etiology of the disorder, but also its treatment. Topics covered include post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, personality disorders and delirium. It ends again with a lecture challenging the current diagnostic system that is focused on a rigid categorisation of abnormality. 

Cognitive Neuropsychology

Cognitive Neuropsychology or Cognitive Neuroscience is the field that investigates the relation between the mind and brain with both psychological and neuroscientific methods. It is a part of a broader framework which views psychology as a branch of biology. 

Neuropsychological studies help us understand what is going on in our brains when we think, remember, love, feel emotion, take action, and make decisions. Thus, this module focus on different facets of the mind such as learning and memory, emotion, perception, consciousness and decision-making, language and executive functioning in healthy individuals, as well as in patients with brain damage or disease. Social cognition or our ability to think about the mind of other people and our relation with them is also examined.

This module aims to provide students with a grounding in the basic concepts and clinical applications of cognitive, affective and social neuroscience. The module will assume some basic knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurotransmission.

Clinical populations discussed during the course include, but are not limited to, stroke, Korsakoff’s syndrome, dementia and autism. Neuropsychological symptoms to be described and explained will include neglect, amnesia, agnosia, aphasia and disorders of consciousness. Methods of inquiry include structural and functional neuroimaging, experimental psychology, neuropsychological assessment, lesion studies and other state-of-the-art neuroscience methods.

A number of case studies will be described during the module. The course also includes one case demonstration of neuropsychological and experimental assessment of a patient with neuropsychological deficits following stroke. Further neuropsychological tests will be discussed in various lectures. A range of cognitive neuropsychology projects are available, including some in patient groups.

Health and Illness across the Lifespan

The module examines aspects of health and illness from early infancy through to old age. Lifespan development is utilised as the framework for consideration of the psychological processes in health, illness and health care delivery.

There is a strong emphasis on making theoretical and clinical links as the course is taught by many clinical experts within the field.  Students study the main theories of developmental and health psychology to gain an understanding of human behaviour and response to health, illness, challenge and stress across the lifespan. 

In the first semester, students study of early development and infant-parent attachment relationships.  Part of the course focuses on ‘specialist areas’ including developmental disorders like autism and ADHD, and health related behaviours such as symptom perception, help seeking and adherence to treatment.

In the second term, the focus shifts from early experiences to adolescence and adulthood, taking in family therapy and parenting, interventions to manage stress and chronic illness; and the impact of social support and care giving. Case studies and research evidence are presented and debated and the relevance to clinical practice is emphasised where applicable. In the latter part of term, students learn about psychological issues associated with ageing.

Research Methods and Statistics

The Research Methods & Statistics module provides students with a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of designing and conducting research. It equips students with transferable research skills that will be invaluable when using or undertaking research in their future careers, irrespective of the area of medicine or biomedical science they will work in.

Lectures and practicals occur during the first semester and cover key topics in research design, statistical analysis and data presentation. Practicals provide training in the use of the statistical analysis software SPSS.

The research project is undertaken across the duration of the course. There is a wide range of projects from which to choose, supervised by experienced researchers from across the Institute of Psychiatry. Several students each year end up with their projects contributing to papers published in peer reviewed journals. 

Format and Assessment Details

Course Format

Each student studies four modules: 

  • Abnormal Psychology; 
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology; 
  • Health and Illness across the Lifespan; and 
  • Research Methods and Statistics. 

Each module has a module organiser and a number of different contributors on specific topics. 

Within the Research Methods and Statistics module, students complete a Research Project in which they learn how to conduct a piece of original  research - from initial question to final report.

Assessment

The Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Neuropsychology and Health & Illness across the Lifespan modules each comprise 25% of the final evaluation.  

30% of the mark for each of these modules is based on in-course assessment (e.g. essays, case report or presentation) and 70% is based on a written exam paper.  

There is one three-hour written exam paper for each module which typically consists of 8 questions from which students choose three.

The research project is written up in the form of a 7,500-word dissertation which counts for 70% of the mark for the Research Methods & Statistics module, 10% is an independence mark awarded in collaboration with the project supervisor, and 20% is based on in-course assessment (i.e. a practical lab report).

Publications Arising from iBSC Projects

All our intercalating students are required to complete a research project. 

Many of these contribute to a larger programme of research and some are published. 

Click here for a list of published papers arising from iBSc Psychology and Neuroscience & Neuropsychology projects.  

Prizes

Our iBSc students are known for the commitment and application with which they develop their specialism in Psychology or Neuropsychology.  

Prizes are awarded annually recognising excellence:  

The John Weinman Prize

This prize was inaugurated in 2013 in recognition of the pioneering work of Professor John Weinman both in establishing the intercalated BSc in Psychology and in the field of Health Psychology.  

The prize is awarded to the student who achieves the best overall mark in the Intercalated BSc in Psychology. In 2016-17 this was awarded to Tamara Chithiramohan, in 2015-16  Natasha Askaroff, and in 2014-15 to Philippa Clery.

The Haris Ahmed Memorial Prize

This prize is awarded for the best research project by a student on the iBSc Psychology.

Juno Stahl (2016-17) received the Haris Ahmed Memorial Prize for her project entitled "A between-subjects study exploring the attribution of incentive salience to Pavlovian cues in eating disorders using a Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer paradigm."

Naomi Mescall (2015-16) received the Haris Ahmed Memorial Prize for her project entitled "Gluten Intolencence: An Exploratory Study Assessing Cognitive Bias."

Philippa Clery (2014-15) received the Haris Ahmed Memorial Prize for her project entitled "A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis on the Efficacy for People with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Eating Disorders/Disordered Eating/Insulin Omission."

The Michael D Kopelman Prize

This prize is awarded to the best Cognitive Neuropsychology presentation of the academic year.  Sonam Dossani was awarded the prize in the 2016-17 session, Abigail Burrows in 2015-16 Jonathan Collins  in 2014-15.

 

Applications and Key Information 

How to Apply 

Online application pages for internal (KCL) students can be found here and application information for external (non-KCL) applicants is available here.

There will be an iBSc Fair on Friday 1st December 2017 from 15.00-18.00 at the Gordon Museum, Hodgkin Building at Guy's Campus. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the programme and meet the team and current students.

Programme Leader and Further Information 
  • This course is led by Dr Emma Godfrey
  • All prospective students are invited to attend the King's College London Intercalated BSc Fair which takes place in February each year (further details available from the Academic Centre web-page).
  • Follow us on Twitter @iBScPsychKCL 
Key Facts
  • Study mode: FT
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Closing date: internal MBBS/Dental/Veterinary applicants Sunday 15th January 2017 and external/ BSc applicants Friday 31st March 2017
  • Entry Requirements:
  • Applicants will be expected to supply a short personal statement.
  • Intake Full-time: 30
  • Please refer to the this page (all internal applicants) or this page (all external applicants) for details of fees.
  • Location:  Psychology Department (at Guy’s), 5th Floor Bermondsey Wing, Guy’s Hospital
  • Department site: Health Psychology
Contact Details

Tess van Leeuwen

iBSc Programme Officer

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Psychology (at Guy’s), 

5th Floor Bermondsey Wing, Guy’s Hospital, London, SE1 9RT

Tel: 020 7188 0178

Email: tessa.van_leeuwen@kcl.ac.uk

Comments from our students:

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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