As we start of 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 Research Excellence Framework outcomes for 2014). For those returning, we are delighted that our performance in the National Student Survey continues to grow, with a 92% score for Overall Satisfaction in the 2015 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. We have had some high profile media appearances over the summer. For example, Karen McComb and Jen Wathan’s research on horses facial expressions was all over the news: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/?id=31416. Andy Field and Laura Pearce published the results of their research on the impact of scary TV on children’s emotions: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/?id=30650. Anna Franklin’s Baby lab collaborated in the creation of “Glow”, a show for babies and toddlers: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/?id=30336.
John Drury and his research team won the University Enabling Impact prize for 2015 for their research on ‘From Risk to Crowd Safety Through Psychology’ (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/broadcast/read/30908), and Dai Stephens received the 2015 Distinguished Investigator Award from the International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society:
Those of you returning will notice we have made a few changes to the furniture in the student social and work areas, providing you with some more comfortable and attractive seating and tables. 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!).