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 on-campus session of the BSc Psychology degree will be an afternoon of induction sessions on Guy’s Campus on Monday 19 September 2022. There will be a second day of induction activities, also at the Guy’s Campus, on Tuesday 20 September. 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 have probably 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 5 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 23 September.
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
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.
The activities for your BSc degree programme starts on Monday 19 September. We have planned a full induction programme, which will take place on Monday 19 September and Tuesday 20 September. You will meet your fellow students, lecturers and Personal Tutor; and we will have a range of activities designed to give you the skills and information that you need to get started on your psychology degree.
Here is an outline of what happens each day.
Day 1 of Induction: Monday 19 September
Come to the Harris Lecture Theatre (Hodgkin Building) on the Guy’s Campus. We will begin our first session at 12.25pm but please feel free to arrive any time from 12.00pm onwards to ensure that you are there in good time. This first day will include activities in the BSc Psychology Teaching Rooms (Addison House), the Student Computing Rooms, and a campus tour. You will get to know your fellow BSc Psychology students, meet your lecturers, be introduced to some of the online learning resources for your studies (e.g., order the e-codes for your Term 1 textbooks). Please make sure that you have had something to eat before 12.25pm when we start the afternoon’s activities: we will provide some snacks and something to drink in the middle of the afternoon, but we will not be providing lunch on Day 1 of Induction. The day’s activities will finish by 5.15pm.
Day 2 of Induction: Tuesday 20 September
Please arrive at Guy’s Campus in time for a 10.00am start (you will find out on Day 1 of Induction which room to come to when you arrive on Day 2).You will learn more about your course and what your first year of study will involve, and will find out about KEATS (the online platform that provides you with resources and activities to support your studies). You will get to meet your Personal Tutor and meet with other students in your Personal Tutor Group We will provide lunch, which will be one of several opportunities to get to know your lecturers, tutors and fellow students. Day 2 of Induction will finish by 5.15pm.
Please sign up for both days of Induction activities via the Welcome to King’s App. If you are unable to attend some or all of the two Induction Days, please email Ginny Sanders (Programme Officer for Year 1 BSc Psychology students).
For the remainder of King’s Welcome Fortnight, there are no compulsory induction events for the BSc Psychology course. However, there will be many events at King’s that you can get involved in. For example, the KCLSU Welcome Fair on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 September will introduce you to all the clubs, societies and activities that you can get involved with at King’s. There will also be events online and at the Denmark Hill Campus for new students in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (the part of King’s that you are now a member of). So do keep an eye out for anything that interests you.
Don’t forget to complete the introductory work for the Term 1 psychology modules by the end of King’s Welcome Fortnight – see details below.
The “regular” timetable for the term begins on Monday 26 September.
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 9 January to Friday 13 January 2023). 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).
The teaching timetable for Term 1 begins on Monday 26 September. The final day of term is Friday 16 December and your final timetabled activity for Term 1 takes place on Thursday 15 December 2022.
Three of your Term 1 modules have examinations in January: the earliest date for your January Examinations is Monday 9 January 2023.
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.& Rakow, T.Research methods for the behavioral sciences. Published by Cengage Learning.
We will explain how you access your copies of these textbooks in the Induction sessions on 19-20 September.
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 (19-23 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 notable 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 19-20 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 in-class session (in the week beginning 26 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.
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.