How to Prepare for BSc Educational Psychology
Hi! My name is Yifei and I’m from Zhuhai, which is a coastal city in southern China. I’m now a year 2 student studying educational psychology at the University of Manchester. I have been in Manchester for a year since last Christmas in 2022.
Knowing how to prepare for and adapt to university life in an unfamiliar environment is important for your first year.
Compared to secondary school, one thing that stands out is that you are the person who’s responsible for your own learning. Previewing is crucial for our learning in the university stage. Taking our major as an example, we have a pedagogy called “flipped learning”, which allows students to access pre-sessional materials that cover basic knowledge before lessons. During lessons, we practice and apply concepts and knowledge through interactions with peers and teachers. This allows students to have a deep understanding of the knowledge and promote a higher level of cognitive skills. In this case, ensuring that you have gone through the pre-session materials in your own time and are fully prepared before lessons are important. Also, post-sessions activities including self-assessments and extended reading allow you to enhance and expand your knowledge after lessons, which are significant in our courses (Being able to show extra-curricular knowledge in your assignment can potentially score you higher!). There will not be teachers chasing behind you about these, but you will get paid off by doing so autonomously. The majority of these resources and materials are available on ‘Blackboard’, which is a virtual learning environment to support students’ learning. Do not worry if you do not master it in a short time as it is indeed multifunctional and a bit complex but try to figure it out during the welcome week at the beginning of the first semester. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your academic advisors, tutors, and peers. This is the start of using technology for your study and e-learning will continue throughout your university career.
Opportunities and supports
We have one of the biggest student unions in the UK and it has its own building. Our student union provides a lot of support for students, including financial support, student voice, adapting to university life in UoM etc. There will also be various activities and events conducted by the student union, such as different culture celebrations, mental health support activities, festivals celebrations, speak up for minorities, which enable you to have opportunities to socialize and have richer experiences in your university life. We also have career services that provide you with abundant information and opportunities to prepare for work. Many companies are invited to provide forums about job/internship opportunities to our students and you may have chances to access those top companies. Career services held by the university also provide you with personal advice and guidance for your career. Therefore, you won’t be as puzzled or confused about your career if you get in touch with them. Also, each student will have their own academic advisor and you can ask your personal mentor any question you have in your learning. In a word, instead of being anxious and trying to solve the problem on your own, seek helps from these departments and organization as they may give you constructive advice for reference.
Also, I want to recommend our placement opportunities, which are really exciting and worth doing. For the second semester of year1, you will have a course called Exploring psychology in the classroom. This course includes a four-week placement task which allows you to go to schools in Manchester to do observations, interviews, and research. You will be going to primary/middle schools once a week. You will be having chances to access forms of classroom observation, interviews with staff, and document analysis of in-situ policy documents and to critically understand how psychological theories can be applied in school settings in the real world. So…be ready for that!
Written by Yifei