BSc Neuroscience and Psychology at King's – Welcome to our new students for 2019
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 BSc Psychology degree will be an induction session (run online) on Monday 21 September 2020. However, there are several things that you should do before then, as well as a number of other activities that you can opt into before that first session of your degree.
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 7 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
Many of you asked about how you can prepare in Offer Holder events, now is a great time to start! 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., done over few evenings); please complete this work by Friday 25 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. 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.
King’s will be running induction events online from Monday 14 September. However, the induction activities that are specific to your BSc Psychology degree programme will take place in the week of 21-25 September
Over the week, there will be a large number of activities. These activities 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 Monday 21 September (1300-1400) and Thursday 24 September (1300-1400). We plan that you will meet with your Personal Tutor on MS Teams, either on Tuesday 22nd or Wednesday 23rd September. These times cannot be determined until nearer the date, so watch out for an email to your KCL account inviting you to that meeting. Your Buddies will also be in touch – these are Year 2 or 3 Psychology students who have offered to help you settle into university life.
There will also be a number of e-Learning induction activities that will familiarise you with the resources and online systems that you will be using for your learning on the degree. These are online activities to be done remotely. We recommend that you spend approximately 3 hours on these between Tuesday 22nd and Friday 25th September. Therefore, please keep some time in your diary for these activities - though this can fit around the other things you are doing on those days (e.g., meeting your Personal Tutor). When you begin your e-Learning induction activities, you will be able to sign up for a scheduled online session on university groupwork. This will help you get used to what happens in a university seminar or workshop. There will be a choice of times between Tuesday 22nd and Friday 25th September; therefore, you will again be able to fit this around your other activities.
Here is a summary of the activities for the week:
Monday 21 September, 1300-1400 – BSc Psychology Programme Induction 1 – an MS Teams Online Event. The Dean of Education for the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology, and Neuroscience will welcome you to King’s, and we will introduce you to staff from two of your Term 1 modules (Psychology and the Brain; Psychology and Society).
Tuesday 22 September or Wednesday 23 September – Meet your Personal Tutor and the other members of your Tutor Group.
Tuesday 22 September through Friday 25 September
e-Learning induction (flexible activities) – 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).
Induction session for university groupwork (a timetabled session, with a choice of times) – Get prepared for university study, including finding out about how to make the most of a university seminar.
Thursday 24 September, 1300-1400 – BSc Psychology Programme Induction 2 – an MS Teams Online Event. You will meet the Head of the Psychology Department, and staff from three of your Term 1 modules, and we will answer students’ questions about Year 1 of BSc Psychology.
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 Friday 8 January to Thursday 14 January 2021). 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).
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 give them 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 Wadsworth (Cengage Learning).
- Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L. B. Research methods for the behavioral sciences. Published by Wadsworth (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 (21-25 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 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 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 e--Learning induction activities (to be done on 22-23 September.
Your second activity is to read a research paper (Ashikali et al, 2014). 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 28 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 The Brain That Changes Itself by the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge. This easily accessible book provides a good introduction to the concept of neuroplasticity as well as to other fundamental aspects of neuroscience and neuropsychology. It is particularly interesting as it is written from the perspective of a psychoanalyst and has not only received praise but also criticism from its readers. In the book club, we hope to discuss some of this criticism and why it is important. This should set you up very nicely for your Psychology and the Brain module as well as your degree as a whole. 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 groups will be in the middle of your first term.
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.