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The University of Southampton

Sabrina Ferreira BSc Psychology, 3rd year

BSc Psychology, 3rd year

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My knowledge of psychology has vastly grown (and still is growing) and my ability to convey this knowledge in writing has also improved. Comparing me now to who I was before first year brings forth two different people, for the better.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

Southampton appealed to me for several reasons. I liked the location – how close to London it is for easy travel since as an international student, my flights land at Heathrow or Gatwick. The Student’s Union is so well equipped and appealed to me in giving a well-rounded student experience. Mostly, though, the course was perfect. I met the grade requirements, it is very versatile, and is BPS accredited. It ticked every box I had in mind.

What is it like studying here?

It is a truly positive experience! The course is very engaging and we have the most likeable lecturers that deliver this content. Campus is always abuzz whether people are catching up on studies in Hartley Library or in the Students Union involved in many of the on-campus activities. Furthermore, I feel safe at this university town as students can be found pretty much everywhere so we are never alone! It’s a memorable experience studying at Southampton for all the right reasons.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The psychology department is very well equipped with eye trackers, EEG equipment, rooms with one-way mirrors and much more! It truly is exciting to have access to so much for learning and research purposes. Generally, the University also has fantastic facilities. Hartley Library has five levels with lots of study room, textbooks and journals right at your fingertips. Furthermore, the Students Union contains meeting rooms, a martial arts studio and a fully equipped multi-purpose studio which I especially appreciate being a dancer!

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

One of my biggest highlights has been taking part in our University of Southampton Dance show, Pure Dance, alongside dance competitions. On campus at the Nuffield Theatre, a show takes place where we are able to dance in front of a live audience. I’ve always loved dancing and worried I wouldn’t be able to do much of it at uni so being able to perform has been very special to me.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I’ve become way more independent and confident in my abilities. Being thousands of kilometers from home has forced me to handle things myself. However, this transition has been aided by the accessibility of Southampton and help from University services. My knowledge of psychology has vastly grown (and still is growing) and my ability to convey this knowledge in writing has also improved. Comparing me now to who I was before first year brings forth two different people, for the better. Old me could never reference as fast as I do now!

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I love being able to be involved in research! Our course allows us to take part in studies done by third year students, PhD students and lecturers in order to get participation credits that go towards our module marks. I’ve enjoyed seeing psychology in action and having that applied learning aspect takes things beyond just lectures and textbooks.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

Yes! Taking this course allows one optional module per semester which can be Psychology related or something from outside of the field. I took a Philosophy optional module in first year which was a nice change of pace as well as relevant. We learnt about Descartes who was also a part of one of my core modules at the time. It also strengthened my essay skills since that was purely how the module was assessed. I’ve had friends do language optional modules as well as from many different subject areas. The flexibility of choice is definitely excellent.

Did you/do you stay in University accommodation? What was it like?

I’ve stayed in University Halls for two years and will be going back this next year. I’ve had a great experience at Halls gaining friends along my stay. I’ve felt secure in the accommodation and the specific Halls I’ve been at is very close to campus which is convenient! There is easy laundry access, common room and study spaces and bike storage facilities. I’ve also appreciated the fobs that replace keys for some of the newer accommodations as they are small and allow access through all essential doors in our building including, of course, my own room. It is a warm, buzzing environment that I recommend for students (which is evidenced by me returning to Halls a third time).

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

It’s a lovely city with warm-ish weather, many restaurants and nightclubs and is situated nearby the ocean. It’s easily accessible by bus which can take you into town to West Quay shopping centre, past Portswood which houses both Scoops and Sprinkles Gelato (equally delicious dessert places) and between campuses. There is also the Common which is a large park that is amazing in warm weather for a jog or BBQ with visits from ducks here and there. The city is a perfect balance of activity and calmness.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

I am planning to go into further study starting with a master’s degree in order to become a Clinical Psychologist.

How will you use the skills and experience you have learnt at Southampton in the future?

I am hoping to help people using the skills in psychology gained through my degree and before this, publish a high quality research paper in my PhD using my skills gained in statistics and professionality writing. Beyond these course-specific skills, I know my independence and confidence will help me in my career journey as well as in navigating adult life.

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