Sophie - University of Bath, Psychology
Date attended Ashmole: 2009 - 2016
A Levels: Psychology, History and English Literature
University: University of Bath
Course: BSc (Hons) Psychology
What are you doing now?
I am currently in my second year of university at the University of Bath, studying Psychology. Thus far, I have undertaken both practical and lecture-based teaching, as well as carrying out my own psychological studies on the public, investigating areas such as memory, the effects of negative feedback in partnered work and Brexit. Typically, I attend lectures, undertake individual and group-based coursework tasks, and use statistical tests to investigate data.
What did/do you get involved with at university?
The University of Bath offers many societies, my primary involvement being with the Bath Association of Psychology Students (BAPS). This offers the opportunity to bring Psychology students together and bring cohesion to the department. In my second year, I have become a peer mentor for first year students, aiming to guide them through their first year of university by supporting them with their study-based and personal problems. This is very rewarding for me, as the first year can be a difficult time. I am proud to be able to help others make the most of their experience at Bath. In addition, I volunteer, helping a child with autism, through the Son-Rise program, to develop his social skills by teaching him how to interact with others.
Bath has given me the opportunity to conduct my own research on a small scale, which has been very gratifying, as this experience allows me to understand what it is like to conduct psychological research as an academic. This is preparing me for a potential future in the field of psychology.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Ashmole Academy? What skills did it help you to develop?
Throughout my academic career at Ashmole Academy, the school provided me with the environment to better and challenge myself, giving me a strong work ethic and a solid foundation, which I have taken into my further studies. The teachers I learned from and the methods they used allowed me to flourish, and without their support and guidance, I may not have reached the level needed to attend the university I am at today. These principles will no doubt be of use to me, not only for the rest of my degree, but taking into the work environment. Furthermore, my role as Deputy-Head Girl at Ashmole enabled me to develop my confidence, leadership and communication skills, by interacting with my peers and the staff to create unity between the two factions, as well as help organise events within the school.
Which Programme/s did you get involved in during 6th Form e.g. MedSoc, Oxbridge? other:
One program that helped me during my time at Ashmole was the Gifted and Talented program. I was given support with all my studies, which continued into Sixth Form and with the application to university. The extra tasks and support I experienced whilst still aiming for high academic achievement, tested my abilities, pushed me to the limit and ultimately helped me in achieving excellent grades at all levels. This program showed me how to be disciplined with work, as well as helping me outside of the classroom. The range of activities from advanced homework tasks to extra-curricular opportunities, such as visiting top universities in the years leading up to my application, to understand what I was applying to and what universities were looking for, helped enormously.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career to yours?
Psychology is difficult to prepare for in advance, as you are only introduced to it in Sixth Form, unlike other studies such as English Literature which you can spend years cultivating your scope of literature for. To follow a similar career path, volunteering is useful, but not necessary. Universities understand it is hard to gain access to psychological volunteering opportunities at a young age, as many of these practices are confidential. Working with charities such as Mind, or volunteering in places such as schools are useful, as this may be pertinent to a career in child-based psychology. Moreover, reading relevant literature is valuable, although it is best to avoid common psychological texts as many people will have read these; find something you find interesting and read a book about it, as you are more likely to enjoy it and want to say something about it, which will be evident in your personal statement.
How did Ashmole help you reach your goals?
Ashmole Academy gave me a well-rounded and high-quality education, which has provided me with choices and allowed me to pursue studies in which I am interested. With Ashmole’s help, I was able to achieve outstanding GCSE’s and A Levels, which meant I had my pick of universities and was able to choose what suited me the best. Ashmolean lectures gave me insight into topics outside of my A Level studies, as internal and external guest speakers lectured on topics such as politics. In addition, the use of careers talks, mock interviews, and work experience helped to prepare me for what life would be like after leaving Ashmole.
Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.
Since attending the University of Bath, there has been ample opportunity to better my cooking skills and experiment with recipes, new and old. Cooking meals for my housemates and being able to do something enjoyable and beneficial away from university work is a good way to de-stress. This is also a skill that I will carry with me into later life, and one that can always be challenged and improved.
Please write a quote that sums up your experience at Ashmole.
‘I am pleased to have been at Ashmole at a time when there were fantastic teaching staff and a wonderfully supportive Student Services team available’.