our online Psychology courses video transcript

Hi everyone welcome to this presentation about our online psychology courses my name is Dr Natalie Zadurian and I'm going to be leading the presentation today.

So there I am on the first slide so I am one of the program leaders for the masters and postgraduate diploma courses in psychology. I joined the University of Derby in 2016 and my background is in health psychology. My PhD specifically explored how people cope with chronic pain and in particular how they cope with low back pain and I looked at how that coping could actually influence the course of their condition and the overall outcome of their condition. I also have lots of experience teaching developmental psychology as well as all areas of health psychology and research methods and statistics.

So I'm just going to introduce you to a few of our other program leaders for the online courses. This is Dr Sophie Williams. She's the program lead for the undergraduate BSc honours in psychology. Sophie joined the University of Derby in 2012 and her specific research interests are around women's health and long-term conditions and she does a lot of research on polycystic ovary syndrome and looking at people's quality of life who have that condition.

And this is Dr Gulcan Garip. She's the other program lead for the MSc and postgraduate diploma psychology courses. So I work very closely with her. She joined the university in 2013 and her research interests around digital behaviour change and interventions for the self-management of health and illness. She looks a lot at well-being in different contexts so sexual health, online learning, general health and well-being, well-being in the workplace and lots of other things as well. She does both quantitative and qualitative methods so she's a mixed methods researcher.

And then finally we have the program lead for the MSc health psychology this is Dr Elaina Taylor. Elaina joined us in 2020 and her PhD explored the experiences of patients with atrial fibrillation who are undergoing procedural treatments. So, within that, she focuses on quality of life, anxiety and depression in these patients as well as different models of self-regulation. So that's your program lead team there are many many more lecturers that you will come across if you study with us but these are your key program leaders.

So our psychology courses online are renowned. They provide accreditation with the BPS which is the British Psychological Society. Our school of psychology was established in 1994 so we've been running a long time and we've been delivering these validated or accredited online programs in psychology since September 2005. We did revalidate the program in 2017, so we made lots of changes and we're actually looking to revalidate very soon. We're going to make the program even better. So we were actually one of the first psychology departments in the UK to offer these BPS accredited online programs so we really know what we're doing. We've been doing it for a long time and our courses are designed around chartership. Now what that means is that they are accredited courses so that if you complete the courses or one of our courses to a certain standard, if you pass to a certain level you will achieve graduate basis for chartership with the BPS and we often refer to that as GBC or graduate basis for chartership. And that GBC is really really important if you want to go on to a career as a psychologist and we'll talk a little bit more about that a bit later on in the presentation.

So we have a really long-standing relationship with the BPS and they come and look at our programs, they talk to us and they're always really positive about what we're doing and how we deliver our courses online.

We also have a strong research ethos at the University. All our team are very research active and our teaching is underpinned by that research. We also work with some of our students to get their research published as well when it's of a high standard so that's something that you might be interested in doing.

So just to look in a little bit more detail about some of that research that we do at Derby. It is a big part of academic life. It's something that's kind of very important to us alongside our teaching and some of our research areas are actually world leading and have a huge impact globally. Two of the main kind of the biggest areas that we have research impact in are these on the slide: the nature connectedness and contemplative psychology. So just to give you a little brief overview: nature connectedness is about the natural environment and how connected we feel and we can actually use that in interventions to try and help people to connect with nature more, to improve their health and well-being. And then contemplative psychology is, it's a little difficult to understand. It's about religious spiritual experiences and it links to things like mindfulness, compassion and again there are lots of ways that we can come up with, produce interventions that can help to improve people's well-being. So these are two really key areas at the University of Derby and they are areas where our research is leading the field.

So now you know a little bit about us at Derby, let's talk about psychology and what you might study if you come and join us. So psychology as you may or may not know is the scientific study of the mind and its influence on behaviour and you can see on the slide several different areas of psychology. Now these are the key or core areas that the BPS outline that every psychology student has to study. So regardless of which institution you study at you will come across these key areas. You have to have an understanding in all of these areas to get your graduate basis for chartership.

Thinking about the roots into psychology and how you might go about becoming a psychologist you usually start in one of two ways: so you can see on the top of this slide on the left, I suppose this is the typical route. So you would take an undergraduate degree in psychology and you would need to make sure that it's accredited so you'd have that GBC. The alternative on the right is for those people who already have an undergraduate degree in another area or perhaps in psychology that hasn't been accredited. So, if you did an undergraduate psychology course but you didn't get GBC from the institution you were at, then you might want to do an MSc conversion course. And this effectively converts your previous study to psychology so we make sure that you cover those key areas.

So regardless of which of those routes you take, the outcome will be hopefully that you gain your GBC and you can then go on to the specific routes into being a psychologist. So one way you can do this is to then apply for doctoral research programs or PhDs or you can go down the more practical route and you can apply for what we call the stage 1 and stage 2 training. Again I'll talk a little bit more about this a bit later on in the slide but you would then perhaps do a specific MSc so for example an MSc in health psychology and that would give you your stage one training you would then after stage one you would progress to stage two which would be your doctoral training stage so that would be a doctoral level course then at the end of that stage two that's when you become a chartered psychologist and you can work in the field that you've trained in.

So thinking about some of the key routes into becoming a psychologist you can see on this slide we've just taken three different examples here but for each example you're looking at around seven years possibly more full-time study if you're doing it part-time it's going to extend that duration.

So regardless of which route you take you will need that undergraduate degree with GBC or your MSc conversion. Then the example at the top here is to become a chartered health psychologist so this is what we talked about on the previous slide. So for this you would need your stage 1 MSc training and then you would do a professional doctorate which would be your stage two. Now the MSc usually takes one to two years and the doctorate is kind of two to three years depending on how you go about it. Now for something like clinical psychology the route is slightly different you do start with your undergraduate degree you then can take an optional MSc. A lot of people will do this because it's quite a competitive route so it is helpful to have that MSc and then once you have that you can apply for clinical doctorate training. So there's no stage one and two here it's kind of combined into a longer doctorate. And then finally you've got the academic lecturer researcher route. Again you'd start with your undergraduate degree and you may want to do an optional MSc which again I'd say is a good idea and you'd then apply for research training, research positions or PhD which normally takes three to four years.

So I've already mentioned the BPS accreditation. This is really important wherever you're looking to study you want to make sure that your courses are accredited with the BPS. This is what you'll need, this is the first step in becoming a qualified psychologist within the UK. So you need to make sure that your course is accredited. Now here at the University of Derby online our BPS accredited courses are our undergraduate degree, our MSc and postgraduate diploma conversion courses and our MSc health psychology. So all of these courses are accredited by the BPS. So your undergraduate and your conversion courses will get you your GBC and then your MSc health psychology is that stage one course if you wanted to pursue that route. Now we have a lot of experience delivering these accredited online courses. We have over nine years of experience like I said, we've been doing this for a long time so we know what we're doing here.

One of the benefits of studying with us is that you will get free student membership of the BPS if you're on one of our core programs, which are the ones we just talked about on the previous slide. Now student membership of the BPS is great. It's obviously free so there's no harm in in doing it but it's going to give you a lot of benefits so you'll get access to a wide range of online journals and resources. You'll get a monthly magazine from the BPS which is really interesting. It's got lots of articles and job adverts and all different kinds of things. You'll also have access to both online and in-person events. So things like talks, conferences, discussions, debates, that kind of thing on a range of psychology topics so there's always something of interest so it's well worth doing.

So here we've got the duration of our courses. Now we've got three entry points for our courses so you can join us in September which is the traditional starting point but we also have intakes in January and May. So you've got that flexibility in terms of when you start with us. And these are all the courses that we offer in psychology. Now we haven't mentioned the University Certificate yet. This is a kind of introductory course. So it's a 12-month course and you would study three modules at level four so that's the first year of your undergraduate, that sort of level and the main reason for taking this course would be perhaps you are interested in psychology, you want to explore it a little bit more before you commit to one of our bigger courses.

Or it could be that you need to gain some credits as part of the entry requirements for one of our other courses which I'll mention again a bit later on. Now the University Certificate course, the three modules that you study are three of the first year undergraduate modules so you could take those and then decide to continue with the undergraduate course so you could essentially transfer onto the BSc course. So the BSc is a six year course. This is part time remember and you study at levels four, five and six across the six years and then you've got your Postgraduate Diploma which is a two-year course so that's the conversion. You've also got an MSc conversion which takes a bit longer, that's three years and the entry requirements are different for these courses. So if you have previous study in psychology then you may be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma which reduces the length of time that you're studying for. If you don't have that previous study that's fine you can apply for the MSc psychology. That would be the option for you. We also have the MSc health psychology which is that stage one training course and that also takes three years and then you've got your Certificate of Credit courses in sport and in exercise psychology now these are really short 10-week courses. They're really good for CPD professional development and just good to kind of explore the area and find out a little bit more about becoming a sports psychologist.

So I'll just go through the structure of our courses quite briefly. So this is our undergraduate program and stage one or what we refer to as level four. It's kind of like your first year in a traditional on-campus course and for this stage you will study all of the core modules that you can see on the slide. So there's six different core modules that you'll take and you need to pass all of these modules before you then progress to stage two.

So for stage two these are the core modules on the left that you will study. So there's five core modules there and then you will choose one of the optional modules from the two on the right. So you need to make sure you do six modules across stage two before you can then progress to stage three. Now one of the important ones to point out in the core modules is our psychology in practice module. Now this is a one week residential module. So you'd study the module for the same duration, so you'd study across your 10 weeks but for one of those weeks you are required to come to the university for what we call a residential week and we deliver lots of sessions in person. You get to meet students and tutors on the course and it's really really enjoyable. I'll come to that in a minute but that is a requirement so you have to do that residential part and that module overall to gain GBC from the course. If you choose not to do that module so you can see it's moved over here to the optional modules side, so if you decide you don't want to do that you can still complete the course but you would come out instead of an undergraduate degree in psychology you would get a BSc in psychological studies which is not accredited so this wouldn't give you the GBC. So in order to get that GBC, if you want to be a psychologist you do have to complete that psychology in practice module.

Okay and this is the stage three. This is the final year so to speak of our undergraduate degree so the only core module at this final stage is your research project module.

If you are on the psychological studies course you can take the psychology literature review project instead but anyone doing the psychology BSc would have to take the psychology research project. You then have to choose four optional modules at this stage so this is where you have some flexibility in what you can study and you can see outlined on this slide just a few examples of the optional modules that we offer. So you've got things like clinical applications in psychology, forensic applications, you've got psychology and education, neuropsychology, the psychology of health. Lots of different options that you can choose from.

So moving on to our MSc psychology course. So this is our conversion if you already have a degree in another subject. So you can see on the left here you've got your core modules. Now you've got five 20 credit core modules there that you have to take and these cover all the core areas that the BPS require to get that GBC. You also have to take your masters research project which comes at the end of the course. That's a big 60 credit module. It runs across a whole year so three terms and that's where you get to choose a topic that you want to research independently. Then in addition to those core modules on the right you can see we've got our optional modules again and on the MSc you get to choose one of those optional modules. So you have to have to do one optional module in order to complete the course. If you are on the Postgraduate Diploma course, the way that differs and why it's a little bit shorter in duration is firstly that you don't have to do that optional module so you only do the core modules. The second way in which it's shorter is the research project is just a 20 credit module so it's a shorter duration module and it's also a shorter project that you write up at the end.

Finally here we've got our MSc health psychology. You can see that there are no optional modules for this course. You have to do all of the core modules. I believe there are six modules plus your research project and this is the course that you would do after getting GBC, if you want to be a health psychologist. So this will give you your stage one training to then go on to doctoral training afterwards.

And one of the things that we offer in addition to your modules and your taught courses is that we provide a number of seminars, guest lectures, webinars, talking about different career routes so these are really good. They're really good if you have a specific career in mind. You might find a specific one really interesting and helpful. But, also, if you're not quite sure what you want to do afterwards, you can explore all these different areas. And, in the last sort of 12 months, we've had talks on how to become an educational psychologist, how to become a clinical psychologist. And then we've had more specialised talks around data analysis and becoming a PhD researcher. And we get qualified psychologists but we also get trainees as well. So we've had, say, for example, we had an educational psychology trainee came in and spoke about her experiences and how to get onto the course and what it was like studying to become an educational psychologist. And we do put lots of these sessions on across the year so you'll have access to all of these. Also what we do is we record the sessions and we save the recording so if any of these previous sessions look interesting to you, you will have access to these as well if you join us on the course.

So here's an example of just one of the activities. It's taken from one of our sports psychology modules and this kind of gives you a little bit of an idea of what you might see in your materials that you get for for your modules. So you can see in this activity I think in the picture they're playing tennis it's a little bit small on my screen but we're talking about, thinking about what distractions are there in this competitive environment for the athletes. So this is part of a module on focus within competitive sport, just gives you a bit of an idea of what you might see on the course.

So thinking about beyond the course of what you might want to do. A really useful resource is the BPS careers website and you can see the address on the slide there, the web address.

Now this website explores all the different core areas of psychology that you can train in to become a chartered psychologist. So there are lots of different areas. So you've got health, clinical, education, that we've talked about already but you've also get things like counselling and neuro psychology, forensic psychology. So do go and have a look on that careers website. There's lots of information about the different routes and the different training pathways and what you would need to do to become a psychologist in those areas.

So once you've explored that then you would hopefully know what to do next. So you might want to do a masters or a postgraduate level degree.

And that like we said previously, is a step towards becoming, having that chartered status as a psychologist.

You can see on this slide we've got a global student body so you can see it's kind of represented with all the faces. This is probably quite accurate. We do have students from all over the world because we're an online provider so there's that flexibility. You don't need to be at the university so we do get students from a diverse, a really diverse range of backgrounds, cultures, countries and it's something that I particularly like about the course. You get to interact and get to talk to lots of people that you wouldn't normally talk to or you wouldn't have come into contact with and it can be really really interesting in some of the discussions that we have on the modules, getting different perspectives on things. So that's really really great.

And then just to give you some statistics from our very recent 2021 BSc Psychology survey at Derby; so 100% of the students said that they've been able to contact staff when they've needed to, we had 92% overall satisfaction with the quality of the course and then 92% of people said that IT resources and facilities have supported their learning well. So you can see that students are really happy with what we're doing.

And just to go over that in a bit more detail we've got a couple of our graduate students have written a little bit about their experiences on the course and what they found really good about Derby, what they really enjoyed. I won't read these out, you can read them in your own time on the slides but the things that are coming up about people being really friendly, wanting to help and you can see the last line here, Amanda's, talking about her tutor for her final research project and she just said that the tutor's always willing to help and a lovely human being to chat to. Which I think is really nice.

Then we have Kelly who was an undergraduate student. And again that kind of global reach of our courses is coming out here so Kelly said that she's met people from all over the world and made friends and they've supported each other throughout the degree which is again really really nice to hear.

So just like a traditional on-campus course we do have lots of on-campus courses at Derby this is our university campus but you have, when you study online, more of a virtual campus so I want to just kind of go into a little bit more detail about what that looks like and what you might expect.

So to start with we've come up with some tips for getting started and some things to get you into really good habits at the start of your studies. The first being to create a space to study in - which seems really obvious but having a nice clear space is really important. Another really important thing is to protect your study time. So we do say that for part-time students they should be studying 20 hours a week. That's each module is 20 hours a week of study so do make sure that you pencil that into your diaries, that you do protect that time and you use it wisely. Another really important thing to think about is regularly engaging and interacting with people on the course. So not just other students but also your academics as well and making sure that you put a lot of effort into those interactions because really the more you put into the course, the more you will get out of it. There are lots of opportunities to interact with peers and academics so do take advantage of those.

Another really good thing to do is to get into good habits at the start of your studies. So one thing that we say is that you should be checking all the time. So checking important announcements that come to you and checking your emails regularly as well. Also checking your learning portal, the online environment, for additional resources that might be helpful for you. And then possibly the most obvious one but don't leave assignments to the last minute. It's never a good idea so always try and plan in to finish your assignments way before the deadline.

So let's think a little bit about the online community and what it looks like. We use a virtual learning environment or platform called Blackboard. You may have heard of it and that's where all our materials for our modules are housed. So everything you need for your studies will be in Blackboard. Then for each of your modules you'll also have discussion forums and this is where you'll take part in learning activities for the modules. So within these discussion forums you'll talk about your experiences, your thoughts, your findings, in relation to those activities. You can also ask questions of your module tutor here. So they've got FAQ threads where you can ask frequently asked questions for general things. They also have assignment threads so you can ask anything about the assignments. And then we also have something called Cafe forums. Which is a kind of a student-led discussion forum so it's like an online cafe where you interact with your fellow students and you can just chat and get to know people so there's lots of opportunities for interaction there.

You then have your emails which again are really really important. Like I said previously, just make sure that you're checking those all the time. We have a specific unimail address and that's where all of your university emails will go. So make sure that you're keeping on top of those.

You'd use your emails for things of a more personal, confidential nature. So, for example, if you wanted to ask your module tutor a specific question related to your personal situation, then you might do that via email instead of on the discussion boards. And you can normally expect a response within two working days to your email.

Then another big part of our module teaching within Blackboard is what we call collaborate sessions. Now these are your live sessions where you get to interact with your module tutor and your fellow students in real time. You get to actually talk to them. We have several of these sessions per module. So we've got on the slide here one to three sessions per module. That does differ depending on the module. Some modules have more, some will just have maybe two or three sessions.

These are often used for assessment support. So looking at the assignments for the module, asking questions about those. It can be really helpful to do that in real time but don't worry we do record all of these sessions so if you were unable to make the live session for whatever reason you can go back and listen to the recording.

And then finally we use virtual meetings. So we tend to use Microsoft Teams quite a lot for our meetings. So you'll meet with your tutors online in that way or they can meet via telephone if you prefer.

So you do have a big support network at the university. We've talked a little bit about the academic support so you do have support from your program leaders that's the people like myself that are introduced at the beginning of the presentation. We're the people that run the programs. You also have module leaders so for every module that you study, you will have a module leader that coordinates that module. You then get a specific module tutor for your module that may be the same person as the module leader, it might be somebody different and that's the person who essentially teaches you and who you would ask questions about the module content and the assessments and then finally you get a personal academic tutor. Now this person will be the same throughout the whole duration of your course. They provide consistent support and they are there to talk about anything that's not specifically academic related directly to your modules but in a more general sense. So it could be for example looking at your feedback across the course and how you can use that to improve, maybe thinking about developing your time management skills or your study skills or your referencing and they're also there to talk about careers with you as well. You obviously have your fellow students on the course which can be a huge source of support so definitely take advantage of those opportunities to interact with other course members.

You then have the online learning advisors. We have a team of online learning advisors and they provide non-academic support so that's perhaps things like registering for your modules or changing your module registration, thinking about getting extensions if you need them, or taking a break from study. They will help support you with those things.

We also have a lot of student services at Derby. So like our well-being service or our library and careers, and we have the Union of Students. You also have an IT support service as well and you get lots of storage in your IT account and you'll have access 24 7, all the time to that student portal that Blackboard portal which is the virtual learning environment.

You can see on the right of this slide. Lovely picture of our library. We have a huge online library that you can use. We have online reading lists with links to books and journals online. If you live close to the university you are more than welcome to come and use our library in person. But if you can't, you don't want to do that you can use that online library and it's great. It's really extensive. We have something called Library Plus which is our online search facility catalogue. It contains everything and it's really good.

Our library team also put on live sessions to help support you to use the services and to get the most out of them so there are sessions for example on literature searching that are really helpful. So each module that you study will have a reading list and that will contain some core reading and then some recommended reading as well.

We also have a subject librarian. So we have a specific psychology librarian that can help you with any questions relating to perhaps literature searching within psychology.

Okay and then looking beyond your course. So what happens at the end when you actually complete your course? So although you study online when you graduate you do have the option, you don't have to, but you do have the option to come onto campus for a proper graduation and you can see some really nice photos of our graduation ceremonies on this slide. It's a really nice day. Usually we really enjoy it and it's a way to come and celebrate your achievements over the last however many years you've been studying and to actually meet some of your fellow students in person and to meet your module tutors and the people that you've kind of been interacting with online. It's a really great day.

So if you're now thinking that you might want to find out more, you might want to come study with us. The next steps would be to have a look at our website. There's lots of information on the website about the entry criteria for all of our different courses that we've talked about today. There's also information on our website about course fees and payment plans and then you'll find details of our next intakes and when to apply. So you see the address of our website at the bottom of the slide so do go have a look at that.

There are some contact details here on this last slide if you have any questions you want to get in touch but thank you very much for listening and watching this presentation and I do hope that we will see you soon at the University of Derby Online.

Our online Psychology courses video

Back to Course description