BSc Psychology at King's – Welcome to our new students for 2021
Congratulations – you’re in! We hope you are looking forward to starting with us at King’s. This webpage includes information, guidance and advice to help you prepare for, and get started on, your BSc Psychology degree. The information below focuses on what you need to know before you arrive, and on what you will do in the first few days and weeks of your degree. The first session of the BSc Psychology degree will be an induction session (run online) on Tuesday 14 September 2021. However, there are several things that you should do before then, as well as other activities that you can opt into.
Enrolment – becoming a King’s College student
You will receive an email from King’s College London inviting you to set up your IT account and complete your profile online (you may have received this email already). Make a note of the ‘K’ number that you are given because this is what you will use as your login for accessing KCL’s online systems. This online enrolment process should be completed before you start your degree. By doing so, you will have access to the University’s systems and facilities. Therefore, once you have your email invitation, please follow the instructions for online enrolment – the sooner, the better – and before Monday 6 September, if at all possible. We also recommend that you use the Welcome to King’s App to plan, book, and manage your activities during the induction period.
Introductory work for the Term 1 psychology modules
Start preparing for your degree right away! We have identified some reading and other activities, which will introduce some of your Term 1 modules. There are details of this material below. This will take less than a day (e.g., they could be done over few evenings); please complete this work by Friday 24 September.
The BSc Psychology Book Club
This is an optional activity – but, if you have the time to participate in our Book Club, this is a great way to prepare yourself for studying psychology at university and meet some of your new cohort and staff. We have identified a fascinating book for this year’s Book Club, and will offer opportunities to discuss it with others who have also read the book, These sessions will be online. See below for details.
Check your KCL email account regularly
Email is one of the main ways that we will contact you with important information about your studies. Once you are a member of King’s College London, the University will no longer use the email account that you used in your communication with King’s during the application and pre-admission process. Therefore, it is very important that you get into a regular habit of checking your KCL email account – ideally, every working day – because otherwise you may miss out on important information. There may only be a few emails in the weeks leading up to the start of term, but once term has started, there will be a great deal of information coming to you via your KCL email account.
Improve your Digital Skills
Email is Your KCL IT Account will give you access to an enormous range of online resources and will open up many opportunities for learning. To help you make the most of these resources and opportunities, King’s have designed a Key Digital Skills programme. You can self-register for this online course as soon as you have the K-number and password for your KCL IT Account. Therefore, we recommend that you make a start on this course as soon as you can.
King’s will be running induction events from Monday 13 September. The induction activities that are specific to your BSc Psychology degree programme will begin on Tuesday 14 September, and continue through the two weeks leading up to the start of teaching on Monday 27 September.
You can find your welcome schedule by downloading the Life at King’s app for iOS and for Android – alternatively, just search ‘Life at King’s’ in your app store. You can also access a desktop version. Once you have downloaded the app, to access the Welcome to King’s Guide for this year, you’ll need to enter our passphrase reggielion21.
You'll be able to view your timetable once you've completed your enrolment by logging into KCL Timetables. Use your King's ID (K number) and email password to log in. You'll be able to view your personal timetable shortly before the start of term. In the meantime, you will be able to view your programme or module timetables to see when classes are running. You can find further guidance on using KCL timetables on our webpages.
You’ll find information on all areas of student life via Student Services Online, simply type your query into the search and select the article you want to read. If you still have questions, just click the “Need support? Contact us” button to contact our friendly and helpful Student Services team.
Please make sure you check the coronavirus pages regularly for information on accessing campus safely and other important updates and advice.
Welcome and Induction fortnight:
Over the two weeks, there will be a number of activities that are designed to give you the skills and information that you need to get started on your psychology degree. Some activities will be at a specific time, and others you can choose when you do them. There will be two large online events to give you an overview of your first term on the Psychology degree. These will be on Tuesday 14 September (1100-1230) and Tuesday 21 September (1100-1230). There will also be some on-campus groupwork induction activities; you can sign up for these on Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th or Friday 17th September. In your groupwork induction session you will meet some of your fellow students and teachers, and some ‘Student Buddies’ (Year 2 or 3 psychology students who have offered to help you settle into university life). In the second week of induction activities, you will be invited to meet with your Personal Tutor.
There will also be a number of activities that will familiarise you with the resources and online systems that you will be using for your learning on the degree. We recommend that you do these activities between Wednesday 15th and Thursday 23rd September, fitting them around your other induction events. Therefore, please keep some space clear in your diary on those days for your degree induction activities.
Here is a summary of what happens each day of welcome and induction fortnight.
Tuesday 14 September, 11:00-12:30
BSc Psychology Programme Induction 1 (Degree Induction)
An MS Teams Live Online Event. You will meet some of the staff from your degree programme, including the coordinators for three of your Term 1 modules, and we will answer students’ questions about Year 1 of BSc Psychology.
Wednesday 15 September to Friday 17 September
There are two sets of activities to work on:
Sign up for a half-day Groupwork induction session – You will get to meet some Student Buddies, and get prepared for university life, including finding out how to make the most of a university seminar.
This is a great time to make a start on the BSc Psychology Digital Learning induction activities (flexible timing) – You will find more about your course and what your first year of study will involve, including becoming acquainted about KEATS (the online platform that provides you with resources and activities to support your studies).
Tuesday 21 September, 11:00-12:30
BSc Psychology Programme Induction 2 (Faculty Induction)
An MS Teams Live Online Event held jointly with the BSc Neuroscience and Psychology degree programme. The Dean of Education for the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology, and Neuroscience will welcome you to your Faculty, and we will introduce you to staff from two of your Term 1 modules (Psychology and the Brain; Psychology and Society).
What will I study in Term 1?
You take five compulsory modules in Term 1. Three modules are completed in Term 1, each one ending with an examination in the new calendar year (Examination Week is Monday 10 January to Friday 14 January 2022). The other two modules continue into Term 2.
Compulsory BSc Psychology Term 1 Modules:
- Psychology and the Brain
- Psychology and Society
- Research Methods 1
- Inspirational Research (continues in Term 2)
- Addressing Real-World Problems (continues in Term 2)
Additionally, Foundation Graduate Attributes runs across both terms. This optional module has a programme of activities that is designed to complement the core modules, helping you develop the skills necessary for your university studies. There are also opportunities within this module to prepare yourself for extracurricular activities (e.g. placements or summer work).
We also recommend that you take a look at this guide that has been put together for students who are about to start university. It is called Know Before You Go and will help prepare you for many of the practical and personal challenges associated with entering higher education.
What do I need to do about textbooks?
The answer is: "Nothing yet!"
We will give you copies of the module texts for your Year 1 and Year 2 core modules – they are yours to keep. We buy these directly from the publishers, and then pass them on to you. These books will be provided as e-books. Here are the details of the books that you will have in your personal psychology library:
- Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., & Wegner, D. with Hood, B. M. Psychology (European Edition). Published by Worth Publishers / Palgrave
- Carlson, N. R. Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience. Published by Pearson.
- Reisberg, D. Cognition: Exploring the science of the mind. Published by W. W. Norton & Co.
- Sutton, R., & Douglas, K. Social psychology. Published by Palgrave Macmillan.
- Leman, P., Bremner, A., Parke, R. D., & Gauvin, M. Developmental psychology. Published by McGraw-Hill.
- Maltby, J. Day, L. & Macaskill, A. Personality, individual differences and intelligence. Published by Pearson.
- Haselgrove, M. Learning: A very short introduction. Published by Oxford University Press
- Stanovich, K. E. How to think straight about psychology. Published by Pearson.
- Howell, D. C. Fundamental statistics for the behavioral sciences. Published by Cengage Learning.
- Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L. B. Research methods for the behavioral sciences. Published by Cengage Learning.
Introductory work for the Term 1 modules
Here are details of some activities to do before the start of the main lecture programme – we’ve identified activities for four of your Term 1 modules (see 1-4 below). You can start on some of these now, and can also work on them alongside your BSc Psychology induction activities (20-24 September).
1. The IoPPN is passionate about psychological research, and this is reflected in your BSc degree programme. In the Inspirational Research module you will have the opportunity to meet with some of King’s most prolific researchers, and to ask questions of them about their research. For this module, it will be valuable to keep up to date with current research so that you can engage fully with these sessions. A good way to keep up to date with research is to read the British Psychological Society (BPS) Research Digest, which appears on the BPS website. For your introductory activity for this module, take an hour or so to read through some of the recently posted articles.
2. In your degree, we will train you to understand psychological research and to be able to conduct research for yourself. This will begin with the Research Methods 1 module. Learning skills in data analysis will be an important part of this training, and we have prepared an online lecture to introduce you to this statistical component of this module. Your activity for this module is to participate in this online lecture.
You will first need to download this lecture handout.
It will take you a couple of hours to follow the lecture and to do the tasks associated with it. The handout also has details of some questions you should answer (which you can do before arriving on campus) and your initial reading for this module (to be done once we have given you your textbook).
3. In your Psychology and Society module, you will be learning about the interaction between the individual and the social world: how the social environment shapes individuals, and how individuals shape the social environment. This module acts as an introduction to the discipline of social psychology.
Your first activity for this module is to write an answer the following questions: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What makes me a good person?’ Each should be answered in a single sentence. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, so don’t overthink your responses. Details of how to submit your responses (anonymously) will be given in one of the Digital Learning induction activities (to be done 15-23 September).
Your second activity is to read a research paper (Cohen et al, 2017). You do not need to learn or memorise the content of this article, but you should complete a series of questions about it, using this handout. These will be discussed in your first seminar (in the week beginning 27 September).
4.Before you arrive at King’s College London to study on the BSc Psychology degree, you will find it beneficial to work through some material related to biological psychology and neuroscience, because this is the focus of your Psychology and the Brain module. A good place to start is a publication by the British Neuroscience Association (BNA), which is free to download from the BNA. The sections most relevant to your study in the first few weeks are those at the beginning of the publication.
Therefore, your activity is to read through Sections 1-3, but you may also want to look over the material on the developing nervous system and brain imaging. You could also look at this neuroscience and psychology blog which links to some interesting articles.
For our first book club meeting, we will be reading Why We Sleep by the neuroscientist Matthew Walker. This easily accessible book provides a good introduction to the psychology and neuroscience of sleep and is packed with research evidence as well as practical advice. This book is affordably available as a hardcopy, ebook, and audiobook from multiple providers.
If you want to be a part of the Book Club, simply get a copy of the book and start reading. The Book Club discussion group will be at 1145 on Wednesday 6th October.
What will my study-load look like?
You take eight modules in the first year of the BSc Psychology degree: three are taught in Term 1 (and have exams in January), three are taught in Term 2 (and have exams in May), and two modules run across the whole academic year (examined via a range of coursework assignments).
Each module requires 150 hours of work – making a total of 1200 hours across the year for the 8 modules. That’s a lot of work to fit into 36 weeks (28 weeks of term time plus two 4-week periods between the University terms) – but the effort is well worth it! Most of this time will be spent in some form of independent study; therefore, for much of the year it will be up to you to organise your time in the way that helps you to get the most from the course. To give you an idea of what this means, you might choose to work 40 hours per week every week during term, and do the same for two of the eight weeks that fall outside of term time. Alternatively, it might suit you better to do 35 hours every week during term and outside of term time, taking a week off at Christmas / New Year and half a week off in the period between Terms 2 and 3.