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Congratulations on securing your place at Brunel

We’re looking forward to meeting you - either in person or online - and introducing you to life at Brunel. To help us get started, we’ve put together a short activity and some further information to help you prepare for your course - including a snapshot of the topics you’ll cover and useful resources. If you have any questions please email chmls-tpo-psychology@brunel.ac.uk.

Your pre-arrival activity 

We’d like you to complete a short activity before you join us. We can discuss your answers in one of your first personal tutor sessions. Your work will not be officially assessed however it will allow your tutor to get to know you better.

We’d like you to think about what job you might like when you graduate. We know you might not know this yet – this is fine! However, we find that our students can benefit from beginning to think about where they’d like to be in three or four years’ time, so that we can help you make the very best use of your time here.

Many graduates go on to become psychologists, furthering their learning with a Master’s or Doctorate, and pursuing specialist research in particular areas of study. The role of a psychologist can vary from practising in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, to providing counselling in schools or prisons. However, a degree in psychology could equally lead to a career in media, marketing, HR, law enforcement, finance, government or education.

Have a look at some job websites and bring to your first tutorial an example of a job you’d like to be able to apply for in a few years’ time. The following sites may be useful:

As you look at these potential careers, ask yourself:

  • What knowledge, skills and abilities will you need to demonstrate (the ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria are useful for this)?
  • What gaps will you have to fill? 
  • What barriers might you face in filling these gaps?

We also advise you to take a look at the information below. Completing wider reading and getting familar with what you'll be learning, will help prepare you for academic life at Brunel.

Sample lecture topics

  • Are there biological constraints in Classical Conditioning? Discuss. Report the procedure and results of two studies supporting your answer.
  • How can attitudes be changed? Explain your answer using evidence from empirical research and psychological theory. 
  • Choose a specific behaviour you are interested in (eating, sleeping, social behaviour, exercising, studying etc) and quantify it over a period of time. Then record it (pen-andpaper, or through electronic means e.g. using an app) and save it as an exceldataset. Use descriptive statistics and graphs to generate and illustrate insights into your behaviour over time.
  • Select, describe and discuss the method and results of TWO studies that Bandura conducted to test his social learning theory.

Reading list 

  • Carr, A. (2012). Clinical psychology: an introduction. Routledge. 
  • Jhangiani, R. S., Chiang, I. C. A., Cutter, C., & Leighton, D. C. (n.d.). Research methods in psychology (4th edition). 
  • Ward, J. (2015). The student’s guide to cognitive neuroscience (Third edition). Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group. (Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 15).
  • Pinel, J. P. J., & Barnes, S. (2018). Biopsychology (Tenth edition). Pearson. (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10). 
  • Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2014a). Cognitive neuroscience: the biology of the mind. In Cognitive neuroscience: the biology of the mind (Fourth edition, pp. 3–19). (Chapter 1, 2, 3)
  • Mazur, J. E. (2017a). Learning and behavior (Eighth edition). Routledge,Taylor & Francis Group. 
  • Branscombe, N. R., & Baron, R. A. (2017a). Social psychology (Fourteenth Edition). Pearson.
  • Navarro, D. J., & Foxcroft, D. R. (2019). Learning stats with jamovi: A tutorial for psychology students and other beginners (Version 0.70). 
  • Visit here to learn about career options with a degree in Psychology. 
  • Visit here to familiarise yourself with APA writing style