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Psychology ‘in the pub’ event raises a virtual glass to research

Date 19.11.2020

Psychology students raise a virtual glass to the benefits of carrying out research after ‘taking over’ the team’s drink and discussion event, which recently celebrated its first birthday.

‘Psychology in the pub’ is an initiative from the British Psychological Society (BPS) to promote the subject to a wider audience and at the same time enjoy a drink in their local.

The University of Northampton’s (UON) events for the past year have been led by lecturers in the Psychology team and previously covered topics such as ‘What’s the point in psychology?’ and ‘How psychologists understand religion’.

Following the pandemic, they have switched from a Waterside watering hole to being held online. To mix things up for the most recent event, the agenda was handed over to UON Psychology undergraduate students – both past and present – to talk about ‘What questions do psychologists ask?’

They update here about what they discussed and what they feel about research and studying at UON.

What did you get out of taking part in Psychology in the pub?

Psychology student Janae Goodridge Downer

Janae Goodridge-Downer

Janae Goodridge-Downer, Black, young carers experiences: “Taking part helped me gain the confidence to present my research. Research in the UK typically ignores the experiences of Black people meaning they are underrepresented within research, so it was important to share this. I hoped that by taking part I was able to motivate current students to research topics that have a great impact on the lives of people from minoritrised ethnic groups or just to make sure they are properly represented within their study.”

Bernice Appiah, ‘My Black is beautiful’. Attitudes towards black beauty: “I really wanted to present a piece of research that reflected societal issues that matter to me and directly impact my community but also propagate the strides and progress surrounding attitudes towards Black women.

“In light of this I felt it was important to shed light on the experiences of Black women, explore the ways in which we connect through our struggles but also how we utilise our moments of vulnerability and in turn overcome challenges.”

Why is it important to engage with research opportunities?

Luke Townsend, Testing an evolutionary theory of religiosity: “It is important to engage with these opportunities because research is how you make your mark on the field that you study. If you have a genuine interest in psychology and want to be a part of it, as opposed to just studying it, then ‘getting good’ at research is the first step.

“For me, research is fun. It’s sometimes challenging but never boring so I would seriously consider a career in research because I enjoy it. One day, I would love to look at long list of studies of have contributed to and recognise that as my mark on psychology.”

Melissa James Psychology student

Melissa James

Melissa James, Climate change messaging anxiety: “Research is so important, it broadens your horizons and allows you to learn so much about yourself and the world around you. Research feels purposeful, in trying to make a contribution that will have a positive impact on the world and future generations. I hope to progress into a career in research and continue on this journey well into the future, and I have UON to thank for igniting this passion within me.”

Lillie Carter Psychology student

Lillie Carter

Lillie Carter, Transitions to parenthood and the effects on mental health: “Research gives me the opportunity to explore areas I have a passion and interest in. It allows me to challenge current debates and existing research and gives me the opportunity to fill in gaps within current literature that have not yet been explored.

“For me, research was never something that took my interest when I first started my course. However, following my dissertation, I have gained new insight into the world of research and the depth of topics you can explore. I now consider a career in research because my experience has helped me realise that research findings can be powerful and I want to make a difference!”

What has it been like studying and researching Psychology at the University of Northampton?

Katie Bonwick Psychology student

Katie Bonwick

Katie Bonwick, The experience of home education: “I honestly couldn’t have got through the course without the support of all of the lecturers. Every one of them will make time for you no matter what you need, even if it is just a little cry! Their passion for their subject areas really inspired me, especially in the final year when they were all supportive of mine. The freedom of choice that is given at UON surrounding dissertation topic really allows you to explore what is most important to each student as an individual.”

Tanya Maynard Psychology student

Tanya Maynard

Tanya Maynard, Emotional pain and critical decision making: “The course modules are appealing, and I was curious as to how I would cope studying again after 18 years away from full-time education.  I can honestly say it was the best decision I could have made.  The standard of teaching and the academic support from lecturers is outstanding.  For anyone like me wanting to venture back into studying again, I would definitely suggest UON as a place where you can challenge yourself to discover your higher potential achieve beyond your wildest dreams.”

Amy Watts, Attitudes towards aggression and violence in neurological care settings: “I particularly liked the 3rd year modules, now I’m studying my clinical Master’s I realise how relevant the clinical modules are which has been so helpful in achieving good grades!

“I came to Northampton university as it was local to my family home which meant it was financially beneficial. Nonetheless, it exceeded my expectations. The Psychology staff are so varied and knowledgeable in so many different areas! I felt really supported to continue progressing.”