Psychology

I chose psychology, because I have always been interested in how the human brain works, what drives us and what constrains us. The course in Oxford is very broad and allows insights in many areas of psychology, although the focus definitely is on the neurophysiological side (there fore the “experimental” bit in the course name), but you can choose to take less psychology options and combine it with either philosophy or linguistics.

The EP course is divided into three parts. The first two terms you’ll have introductory lectures in statistics, neurophysiology and psychology. After the preliminary examinations I your first year, Part 1 starts. You will have 8 modules in different areas of psychology and with it Core Practicals (i.e. replicating some experiments and writing them up). Only in Part 2, at the end of your 2nd year, the course starts to narrow down and you will be required to chose some specialised options and to complete an own research project. In general, the course is a great mix of contact time (lectures, labs, tutorials) and independent work (writing essays) and addresses a range of skills.

For me, the most rewarding part of the course definitely is its breadth and of course the many tutorials you will have with an expert in each field. Writing about 2 essays a week can be challenging from time to time, so time management is important if you don’t want to spend a whole night in the library, but overall the workload is more than manageable once you’ve got a hang of everything. I’ve mentioned it in the beginning, but it’s probably worth to stress this again: the course in Oxford is very scientifically based and involves a lot of neurophysiological aspects (we actually share a lot of the options with the biomedics). For anyone expecting to learn things along the line of psychoanalysis is definitely at the wrong address! The department website provides a more detailed insight into what the course is about, so it is definitely worth checking that out, if you have not done so yet.