MA Psychology


Hi, my name’s Harpreet Sihre. I’m currently
enrolled on the Psychology MA programme, and I’m also – I was elected as the student
representative for the course at the University of Birmingham, and it’s actually the first
year which they’ve introduced the course – so feeling really proud and honoured to
be here. Hi, my names Gurvinder Jalf. I’m enrolled
on the MA Psychology Masters course at University of Birmingham. The course is about not actively conducting
lab-based research but for students to, you know, engage in contemporary psychological
concepts which they’re interested in. So there’s the opportunity to really enhance in their
own individual interests along with the supervision which they’re assigned to prior to enrolling
on the course. Yeah, and also to gain more in-depth knowledge
of psychology and why the uses of psychology. And you don’t only just learn about psychology,
you pick up many other skills which you can use later on in life. Well the special thing about this course is
that you’re able to really gain in-depth knowledge in a particular area of interest and, you
know, allowing yourselves to, you know, gain wider application outside of the Masters course.
So I think in that sense it’s very special in the fact that it’s not very specific
like MScs and MRes, so as the MA it’s very wide and general so I think in that way it’s
very special. Not only that, even though the course gives
you quite a wider application of psychology, it does give you the opportunity to focus
on a research area that you’re interested in for your literature reviews in your final
project. The course is delivered though a wide range
of lectures, seminars and you have the opportunity to work as groups in terms of group presentations
and that. And also liaising with your supervisors which you get to choose who you would ideally
want to be placed with at the start of the course. Just following on from Gurvinder’s point
about supervision contact hours as well, I think it’s very essential that students
use these hours and, you know, supervisors that we’re assigned to, you know, they’re
very friendly, approachable, and you can ask any concerns or questions in general also
about the Masters course. On our course currently there’s six of us,
including myself and Gurvinder, myself being the representative for the course, and it’s
really nice and small and close-knit and we get that one to one contact. And we also form
really good friendship groups as well and, you know, if you’ve got any, you know, questions
we want to ask we can always go to our peers or our supervisors. So they’ve got that
nice, you know – it’s almost like a little family. And not just in terms of the course also in
the wider University setting. There is a postgraduate society which you can join and they have many
events specially during the first welcome week, such as – I knew there was an event
called, an event to go to Stratford-on-Avon, so it’s a nice way to meet other people
on different courses who are also postgraduates as well. There’s also a meal that we had at the first
semester one – talking a good few months ago, and this was a really nice, you know,
introduction day, get to know peers on your course and just making everyone feel comfortable
because, you know, it’s a twelve month course for most students so, you know, you just want
to make the journey as nice as possible. I chose University of Birmingham because it’s
got such a well-known prestigious reputation. It’s in the top band of universities in
the country, and particularly for psychology it’s got so many professors and well-known
researchers, and it’s great to have that wealth of knowledge that’s available for
you to go to if you’re stuck on anything or you want to expand your horizons and learn
a new topic. It also offers a great support for anything – any concerns you have for
the course or even particularly a certain topic area, there’s always a specialist there
available for you to talk to. I chose the course in particular because it appealed to
me in terms of it was local to my family home, and it offered me what I was looking for in
terms of I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go into yet, but I knew I wanted to go into
psychology. So it gave me a good grounding and a good overall knowledge. So following on from Gurvinder’s point,
I just really want to stress that the University of Birmingham, you know, it’s got a great
representation, you know, locally and internationally with like leading research, leading academics,
and I think in that respect it’s, you know, a brilliant opportunity for students to come
here and network with those researchers and academics. Okay, so the difference between undergraduate
studies and postgraduate studies is that it’s very much independently led. So it’s very
much involved in your own research topic areas, and very much focused towards supervision
hours as opposed to, you know, bigger lectures during undergraduate. So we have more smaller
seminars, more one to one contact, so I think in comparison to undergraduate studies they’re
very much focused towards, you know, one to one contacts and very much in-depth studies. Basically, I would say that it’s – even
though it’s quite independent studies there is so much support out there for you, and
you just need to send an email to your supervisor and they’re like ‘yeah come and see me today,
that’s fine’, and it’s helpful in terms of you don’t have to constantly be like
‘I’m on my own for this and I’ve got all this work to do’ – there’s people out
there that are ready to support you in trying to get you through this and get the best grades
possible. Definitely. And I think students should really
appreciate that and make use of this support because sometimes it can be a bit intense,
but knowing that we’ve got that support it makes it all so much easier.