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The tour today is mainly for students interested in pursuing postgraduate study at King’s in subjects taught at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, for example the Neuroscience MSc or Clinical Neuropsychiatry MSc.
We do have two undergraduate degrees, one in Psychology, which is primarily based at Guy’s Campus, and one in Neuroscience & Psychology, which is mainly taught at Denmark Hill. There is also one MSc which is taught on both Guys Campus and Denmark Hill – this is the Health Psychology MSc.
The IoPPN's long and rich past has made the university and this Institute the world-leading pioneers that they are today. King’s was founded almost two centuries ago. Over that time we’ve grown to have over students from over 185 different countries, meaning that we have a diverse student body that reflects the vibrant city we live in. At the IoPPN we have more than 800 students from over 70 different countries. King’s is one of the top 37 universities in the world, and is part of the Russell Group.
The Denmark Hill campus is home to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience or for short, the IoPPN. This is one of 9 faculties at King’s and our mission is to increase the understanding of how the brain and the mind work and to use this understanding to improve the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders and mental health.
We share our site here in South East London, with two very important partners: King’s College Hospital and the South London and Maudsley Hospital. These are part of the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust which offers the widest range of mental health services in the UK. Both buildings are located at the end of this road to the left. These partners are so important to us not least because this is where so many of our students will have their placements, and students may also have the opportunity to conduct research in partnership with these facilities. On the King’s College Hospital site you’ll find the Western Education Centre or WEC for short, which is home to our Student Services– a ‘one stop shop’ for all your questions. They do everything from replacement ID cards to guidance on matters like housing, visas and money and they can signpost you to other services when necessary. There is also a library within WEC which is open 24/7 and typically very quiet, even during term time, and has 3 large computer rooms.
Beside the WEC we have the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute with its world –class facilities- opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2015. We are the UK’s 2nd largest Neuroscience School and ranked 4th worldwide for highly cited research in Neuroscience.
If you turn right at the end of the road onto ‘Denmark Hill’ you’ll head into the Camberwell area which has lots of shops, cafes and bars. This is the main entrance to the IoPPN but along this road there are several other departmental buildings e.g. the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences and Child Psychiatry & Psychology. Behind the main building you will find the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre which is home to labs, testing suites and classrooms. This research centre focuses on how genetics (‘nature’) and the environment (‘nurture’) interact to affect psychiatric disorders and neurodevelopmental conditions such as depression. As part of this research, King’s was the pioneer for one of the world’s largest ever study of Twins – TwinsUK is the UK’s largest twin registry and the most clinically detailed in the world.
In the same building, we have our renowned Brain Bank – our extensive range of highly-preserved brain tissue samples provide invaluable insights for our scientists working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the most severe diseases and disorders affecting the brain such as Alzheimer’s, motor neuron disease and psychosis.
The majority of the IoPPN's teaching, learning and social facilities and a number of departments (Biostatistics, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Neuroscience, Psychological Medicine, Psychosis Studies) are located in this main building. On the lower floor, to the right (opposite the reception) we have 2 seminar rooms which are used for teaching and also yoga.
As we head down to visit the Wolfson Lecture Theatre, please take a look at the mezzanine spaces we have available that are often used for students to study in groups or socialise, or for small events. The Wolfson has seating for nearly 300 people and is not only used for teaching but also for events such as the Maudsley Debates. There are approximately three debates a year, well-attended by service users, carers, professionals, journalists, which focus on issues that have a direct impact on mental health services. You can hear podcasts of all the debates on our website. If you are in a larger cohort of students, particularly BSc Psychology, you are likely to have classes in these bigger lecture theatres.
Before heading back up to reception, you can also notice the toilet facilities which are easily accessible to students during their classes (on the level between reception and Wolfson), alongside phone charging lockers which allow 30 minutes of free charge and can help with studying and concentration!
The Education Hub was recently refurbished as part of our commitment to provide modern, well-equipped facilities and improve the student experience. The hub space includes three seminar rooms, where students will be likely to have smaller tutorials and seminars (approx. 10-15 students), and the central area where students meet to study and socialise, and where departments hold events and meetings. This area is also often full of students in between classes and can be a great space for group work too! The large sky light on the ceiling means it is almost always bright and makes a nice change of scenery and more relaxed study environment than the library upstairs.
The Robin Murray Lecture Theatre is another large space, where MSc students are likely to have full-cohort lectures (in MSc, approx. 30-40 students) and is named after the IoPPN Professor of Psychiatric Research. He is very well known in the field and regularly appears on the BBC. He was also Knighted in 2011.
Teaching methods vary for undergraduate or postgraduate students:
At university, undergraduate students will be taught using a variety of different methods.
In addition, you’ll find that independent work is a really important part of studying at university level – so for instance, you might be asked to read some journal articles, or some chapters from a book, before a tutorial.
You’ll also find that you will be assessed in lots of different ways, such as:
For postgraduate taught students, you’re likely to have a mixture of lectures and seminars, although the balance and class sizes will vary considerably from programme to programme. Modules may be a mixture of required and optional, and there is likely to be a dissertation written over the summer semester. Subject to approval, you might also be able to take options from other courses or even other University of London institutions. Assessment is mainly via coursework and/or examination, but there can also be the opportunity for internship modules too.
Research students are also often able to join module teaching from taught programmes in order to develop certain skills and knowledges they may need to support their research. PhD students will complete a progress report that assesses your research performance every six month, and following submission of your thesis, there’s then the viva examination – a verbal defence of your dissertation in front of a panel of experts in that field of study. MPhil and PhD students also attend several key lectures, seminars and conferences with scholars invited from other universities.
The Library will offer you all the resources, help and support you need to succeed in your studies. It houses the books and resources relevant to the subjects taught here. Within King’s Libraries & Collections you have access to over a million books and ebooks, thousands of ejournals, hundreds of databases as well as archival materials. The IoPPN library is one of the largest psychiatric libraries in Western Europe. You will have access to a large number of world-class authoritative e-journals and databases, and over 42,000 books and multimedia items, covering psychology, genetics, neurology, neuroscience, psychiatry and psychotherapy. It is really simple to loan books from the library, you simply need to scan the barcode on the loan machine and it will email you the details of your loan and the date you need to return it by.
The library is equipped with friendly staff who are here to help you with a wide range of issues from subject or resource related queries or basic IT trouble-shooting. The library also offers a live chat service called ‘LibChat’. You’ll notice the library is split into zones that indicate where different types of study are appropriate. These include silent, quiet and group study areas. These include silent, quiet and group study areas – group study rooms can be booked via our online system and are perfect for studying with friend or group projects.
The library is open 9-5pm Monday to Friday in term time, the nearby WEC library, next to King’s College Hospital, is open every day with either 24/7 spaces or 24/7 opening throughout the year. We also have 4 other libraries at King’s, so no matter where you are in London, all King’s libraries are available for you to use. The libraries at Guy’s and Waterloo Campuses are also open 24 hours most of the year.
For undergraduate students, all teaching staff have office hours. These are set hours every week where, if you have any questions or need some help, you can drop in and visit them. In addition, every student has a member of staff from their department assigned to them as their personal tutor. Your personal tutor is responsible for your overall welfare, both academic and pastoral. They’ll schedule a meeting with you about once a term, but you can also make an appointment to see them, or drop in during their office hours.
There’s also lots of academic support available for both postgraduate taught and research students via their department, the Graduate School or student-led groups. As a postgraduate research student you are assigned a primary supervisor, a second supervisor or supervisory panel, and sometimes a postgraduate coordinator.
The Graduate School is a professional services centre whose purpose is to provide support for and encourage the best possible postgraduate experience at King’s College London. They offer a range of services, including induction sessions and opportunities for researcher development, funding opportunities, financial support for delivering at conferences and gaining international research experience, as well as providing graduate lounges and facilities at each of our campuses for both working and socialising. Training is also available from King’s on a variety of relevant topics, including academic writing and interviewing.
Student-led groups and networks are also key for postgraduate students, such as the London PhD Students’ Meetup Group, where you can meet other local PhD students from all disciplines to share your experiences. Department-led discussion groups are also popular, organising guest speakers to come in and facilitating discussion with postgraduate students afterwards.
The Institute Canteen was refurbished recently to bring it fully up to date and create more space for socialising.
The Institute Canteen is a real hub of activity. As well as serving hot and cold food, it’s often used as an informal meeting space. Both staff and students make use of this area, so it’s not unusual to be sat eating your lunch next to a world-renowned professor! As well as the inside space, there is also outside seating and a courtyard area for students to relax or socialise. There are plenty of other nice cafes, pubs and eateries nearby too, as well as a leisure centre, gallery and park.
As we move out of the Institute Canteen, you’ll see two of our computer suites with more than 50 computers here that are used for teaching or private study. If the rooms are free, you are more than welcome to use them for studying at any time, and these can be used after working hours once the library is closed! A great benefit of having access to these King’s computers is that they will have all of the software you may need pre-installed, for example SPSS statistical software. Importantly though, as a King’s student, you will be given free access to download the software needed for your course onto your personal laptop/computer too.
Whilst we’re here, I’ll make a quick note about progression after your degree. Our careers services at Guy’s or Strand Campuses help students and alumni progress their careers, as well as find work alongside their studies. They offer careers guidance, interview practice, help with your CV, run careers fairs and can connect students with employers. Postgraduate taught students can apply to undertake an internship programme during their degree, and the College’s Internship Office also offer a programme which allows you to complete a work-based placement for credit, providing it aligns with some of the learning outcomes from your academic degree.
For postgraduate research students, the King’s Learning Institute offers programmes for research students hoping to become academics or wanting to develop their teaching skills. There’s also the Researcher Development Programme, which is designed to enhance employment prospects for PhD students by improving researcher skills, offering hundreds of opportunities for personal development.
All undergraduates and international postgraduates are guaranteed a place in halls during first year, so long as you meet the conditions and apply by the deadline.
We’ve got a wide variety of halls, all of which are within zones 1 and 2, the most central parts of London. For example, the nearest King’s halls to the Strand Campus are Stamford Street apartments, which are just the other side of Waterloo Bridge, but it’s really easy to get here regardless of which halls you’re in. You may also like to live in Intercollegiate Halls, which are located in Bloomsbury. We share them with other University of London students at institutions such as SOAS, LSE or UCL.
King’s offers both mixed and postgraduate-only Residences at a range of weekly rent prices. Postgraduates can also apply to be a volunteer student residence warden, receiving free accommodation in return for being an on-call point of contact for the pastoral care and welfare needs of the students living in their residence, and supervising a small team of residence life assistants. Additionally, many of our students, particularly postgraduates, choose to rent privately for at least some part of their time studying here. The University of London Housing Services help by registering landlords who sign up to a Code of Good Practice, checking contracts and offering legal advice.
Although Denmark Hill is not situated near most of the King’s residences, there is the Champion Hill residence at this campus, and importantly, the overground and numerous bus routes mean Denmark Hill is very well connected to the more central areas of London and it takes around 20-30 minutes to reach London Bridge and Victoria areas.
You can find out much more about how to apply for accommodation on our Residences webpage, or you can speak to someone from our residences team in person by going to their help desk at Great Dover Street Apartments.
That brings us to the end of the tour. Thank you for joining today, we hope you found it useful and informative. I hope the tour gave you a feel for what it’s like to study here at the IoPPN and King’s.
If you want to learn more about our range of subjects, you can explore our collection of recorded introduction talks on our On-demand open day, on our website. We will also be running an Open Day on campus again in the summer, and you can find more details of this also on our Open Day website.
If you have any questions for the admissions team, we recommend contacting the King’s Advisors on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with current students and members of staff directly via our UniBuddy chat service.
Finally, if you were looking for a tour of the accommodation sites, you can contact the King’s Residences team through their webpage to arrange a viewing.
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