To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:
Suggested reading and listening
You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.
In the meantime, here are some suggested books and articles you may like to read, and Ted Talks you may want to listen to, before starting your degree. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online.
- Carlson, Buskist, & Martin (any year from 4th edition onwards) Psychology: The Science of Behavior: Pearson Education
- Field, A (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. London: Sage
For both of these books a 2014 version is available but the 2010 and 2009 versions, respectively, are still perfectly good and cheaper.
Other non-essential, but interesting, books recommended by our staff include:
- Della Sala, S (2007) Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain: Separating Fact from Fiction. Oxford: Open University Press (ISBN: 0198568770)
- Sachs, O (1985) The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. Picador Publishers (ISBN: 0330294911)
There are a number of articles in ‘The Psychologist’ which is published by the British Psychological Society which we recommend, including:
- The journey to undergraduate psychology – This article is a guide for students considering making the journey to undergraduate psychology and provides an account of what to expect, how to prepare for the transition to university and a rough guide to studying psychology
- The freshers guide to psychology – This provides many resources for those about to start their degree – including ‘The Psychologist guide to university life’, ‘How to succeed in your degree’ as well as some personal student accounts of their experience of their undergraduate degree so far
- What your emoji says about you – This TEDTalk by Dr Linda Kaye, a Reader in our department, would be useful and interesting as a demonstration of an interesting area of research in social psychology – one of the core areas of study for a psychology degree.
- How do drugs affect the brain?
- How quickly do you judge a face?
Over the summer months you can prepare for your studies by familiarising yourself with online resources such as:
- Getting started with UniSkills: this is an online resource that provides information, support and guidance with academic skills (e.g., academic writing, research skills and many more) that you will use at University.
- Discovering statistics – this is a resource by Andy Field, author of Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics which is our recommended text for studying research methods and statistics in psychology. ‘Postverta’ is the first section of this guide and provides some of the foundations to statistics ‘Demystifying statistics’ and ‘The SPINE of statistics’ would both be really beneficial for those about to start a degree in psychology. His guides are accompanied by videos and tutorials too.
- Go Cognitive – this is an online resource that provides resources relevant to cognitive psychology, one of the core areas of psychology. There are a number of fun demonstrations of classic psychological phenomena such as ‘change blindness’ that you can take part in. There are also a number of interviews with noted psychologists (such as Professor Alan Baddeley) that cover key areas of cognitive psychology that are studied at undergraduate level such as language, attention and decision making. These are also topics linked to the research interests of many members of our department.
- Listen to the PsychCrunch podcasts – in each episode of this podcast from the British Psychological Society’s research digest they ‘explore whether the findings from psychological science can make a difference in real life. Just how should we live, according to psychology?’
Other useful resources
- Introduction to Psychology Mastery by gWhiz is an app that can be downloaded via Google Play or from the App Store. The free version will give you access to practise questions and give some basic metrics on your progress.
Things to do over summer
Psychology is about understanding the present to improve the future, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of Psychology for all levels of society. These recent developments can prove crucial throughout your degree and may open up opportunities for your future career. Below are some quick activities that will help you feel more prepared for your next step into Higher Education:
- Has the pandemic affected people equally? Consider how a person’s class, ‘race’, gender, age, employment status has affected their experience of the pandemic.
- Are we ‘all in the same boat’?
- What impact has the pandemic had on everyday life; wellbeing and mental health?
- As we return to a ‘new normal’ some may feel uneasy about returning to old routines. How can we ensure everyone is supported during this transition?
Here are a few other activities to keep you busy over summer:
Take a look at our ‘Visualising Success’ brochure to gain an insight into the range for career paths our recent graduates have taken
Additional ways to prepare
Preparing to start
This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.Watch the session
Find out more about who you are
The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.Start preparing yourself