Spotlight on…Psychology

Welcome back to our Spotlight on…series. In this series of blog posts we’ll be exploring different degree subjects in depth; what it’s like to study that subject, the types of modules available, the extra opportunities available to enrich your study and the type of graduate careers it can lead to. The blog posts will be written by current students, or recent graduates from across all 12 Shaping Futures partner institutions. In this post, Sophie shares her experience of studying Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Is there a specific subject you’d like the spotlight on? Tweet us at @ShapingFutures_ or Contact Us and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Blog post by Sophie Warburton, BSc Psychology Graduate, University of Liverpool. Sophie is the Shaping Futures Project Assistant for Knowsley and St Helens. 

“You study Psychology, can you read my mind then?” is by far the most common misconception related to Psychology, and for most people who study it, it’s their biggest pet hate! Psychology is a science that helps students understand different aspects of the human mind and behaviour. For example, primary school teachers using a traffic light system to manage behaviour in a classroom can be explained by positive reinforcement within the behaviourist approach.


The topics covered within a Psychology degree range widely from forensic or mental health psychology  to individuals sleep patterns and improving team work. You don’t need to have studied Psychology in Sixth Form or college to study it at university, but many aspects, topics and skills will be brought in from other subjects that you might have previously studied. This might include the brain and synapse structure from Biology, or essay writing from English. However, lectures at university assume no prior knowledge and take everything from a basic level.

Studying Psychology at university is different to studying any subjects in school. You learn by attending lectures and seminars, and the amount of time they take up varies depending on the areas you’re studying. It’s usually around 8 hours a week, and you’ll spend the rest of your time doing independent study that you organise yourself (so you can have a sleep in if you want!).

psychologyStudying Psychology offers a wide range of opportunities; you can study abroad for a year or a semester, undertake an internship to carry out research with a researcher in your department, or delivering taster sessions to interested young people on Open Days and events. You can get involved in as many of these as you’d like.

Psychology is pivotal to numerous aspects of life, so with a degree in it you can go onto almost any career you’d like – apart from a telepath.

You can find out more about the course Sophie studied at the University of Liverpool here. You can also study Psychology at the University of ChesterEdge Hill University, Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University.