As we start the new academic year, I am delighted as Head of School to welcome our new cohort of Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral students to the School of Psychology at Sussex, and to welcome back our current Undergraduate and Doctoral students. I hope you have all had a fantastic summer and are ready to hit the ground running in your studies. For those of you just starting, you are joining one of the best research-led Schools of Psychology in the UK (10th overall in the last Research Excellence Framework). For those returning, we are delighted that our performance in the National Student Survey continues to show our excellence, with a 92% score for Overall Satisfaction in the 2017 NSS results.
The summer is a busy time for academic faculty, where as well as preparing new courses and revising our lectures, we are immersed in our research. Many of the faculty are presenting events at the British Science Festival, which is being held in Brighton from the 5-9 September 2017 (www.britishsciencefestival.org). A perfect way to prepare for your studies and to get a feel for the people who will be guiding you through your degree would be to come along to as many sessions as you can, including:
- Richard de Visser – britishsciencefestival.org/event/do-drinking-guidelines-make-sense
- The Sussex baby lab – britishsciencefestival.org/event/seeing-the-world-through-a-babys-eyes
- Alison Pike – britishsciencefestival.org/event/psychology-101-for-parents
- Tom Ormerod – britishsciencefestival.org/event/detecting-deception
- John Drury – britishsciencefestival.org/event/the-contagion-of-behaviour
- Martin Yeomans – britishsciencefestival.org/event/why-do-we-like-the-foods-we-like
One of our new innovations for the coming year is to assign our incoming undergraduates to ‘houses’, designed to provide a cohesive social environment in which you can interact with your peers, students from other years, and academic and professional staff in smaller groups. Sometimes, one can feel a bit lost in a large cohort of students: the houses are designed to provide a welcoming environment so that you can feel at home while at university. The heads of houses will arrange social events as well as coordinating the academic advisor scheme, so that you can make the very best use of your academic advisors.
If you have any suggestions for further improvements you would like us to make, pass them on to the Psychology student reps and we will do our best to act on them. We are also upping our game in use of social media, with regular blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. We would love to get stuff from students – please send material to Mar Balboa Carbon (M.Balboa-Carbon@sussex.ac.uk) who is coordinating our social media presence.
Don’t forget that it is really important for you to keep in regular contact with your academic adviser throughout the year; not only can they help you to deal with problems as they arise (e.g., understanding feedback, assistance with writing and analysis, advice about personal issues), but the more they know about you, the better equipped they will be to write that all-important reference for when you apply for jobs and further study.
I hope the coming academic year is productive and fun for all of you (and us!).
Head of School of Psychology