It has been a busy term for the Ingenious Bar. Our team have spent 40 hours in the recently refurbished School Office talking to students and staff alike, and we can confirm that the new armchairs are very comfy! Since the Ingenious Bar started last academic year, we have been based in the Psychology student space in Pevensey 1 1A1 and in a private office in the 2B corridor, but we hope the School Office (Pevensey 1, 2A13) will be our definitive home: it’s easier to find, it has a smaller room for confidential conversations, and the team can consult professional services colleagues for any matter that required their expertise. Not to mention the endless provision of psychology rock sweets!
70% of all the queries and suggestions that we received this term came from undergraduate students. This is not surprising, as undergrads are the largest group in the School! We had questions ranging from student fees and using Sona to project related work. Some of them were very specific, but in general the topics discussed are of interest to most students. I’ve made a selection with some of the advice that you might find useful:
- Essay planning & writing: We had several questions about how to plan and write essays. If you need any help with your essay, the Skills Hub provides useful resources for essay writing. You can also arrange 1-2-1 support with one of the two University’s Royal Literary Fund Fellows, who can help you with any aspect of writing an essay, from planning to drafting and editing. At School level, we are trying to schedule House study skills sessions, and in the meantime every module includes a section designed to develop your essay writing skills.
- APA Style references: Some of the Ingenious Bar users were concerned about referencing correctly. You should consider learning APA Style because it will provide you with a set of general good writing rules, but remember: what you say in your essay is more important than the formatting! Make sure that your content is right and the rest will follow. Referencing management software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero can help you save time and do your references for you. The apps have an add-on to Word that will allow you to drop in your references as you write. Once you finish, they will generate a reference section at the end of your document automatically so you don’t have to copy-paste from text. The University has an EndNote licence for the computers on campus and you can get your own copy at a discount, and Zotero is free.
- Printing: Several students asked us how to arrange printing of material for their dissertation (e.g. questionnaires, information sheets, etc.). In order to do any printing, you will need to complete a Print Request Form that you can collect from the School Office. The printing will be organised by the School Office (either in-house or via the Print Unit), but you need to give them at least a week’s notice. The cost for printing will be removed from your project budget, and you will not need to pay for anything upfront.
- How to claim for any non-printing related costs (e.g. travel to collect data): Your supervisor needs to approve any of these expenses in advance, so that they are aware that your claim is coming. In order to claim these expenses, you need to collect a Student Expense Claim Form from the School Office, complete it and return it to the Office. Don’t forget to keep any receipt or travel tickets as you will need to attach them to your claim (make sure to keep copies!). The costs will be refunded to you from your project budget.
- Prize draw winners: You are responsible for selecting your prize draw winner at the end of your project. After you have done this, pass their contact details and details of the amount they have won to the School of Psychology (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the School will contact them to arrange payment. This money will be removed from your project budget (ie. you will not pay upfront).
In addition to the School Management Team, this term we also had guest Ingenious *Bartenders: Prof Alison Pike and Dr Vlad Costin, Heads of House Baddeley and Lloyd respectively, who welcomed suggestions for new House events. We invited Claire Ward from the Careers and Employability Centre to provide advice on part-time jobs and what you need to do if you want to become a chartered clinical psychologist. As a result of Claire’s visit we have added a discussion forum in the PGT and UG Canvas sites where we post about employment related events and highlight job adverts from the CareerHub.
The picture on the left shows a quiet corner in the renovated Psychology Student Space in Pevensey 1 room 1A1. Last spring the Ingenious Bar received a request to make 1A1 more student-friendly, and Elouisa and Emily from our Student Experience Team organised the redecoration over the summer. There are separate noticeboards for information, comfortable Sir Basil Spence chairs, microwave, fridge, hot water and cold water fountains, and a weekly supply of milk. We are also trying to organise a psychology book swap point, where people can exchange psychology related books. If you have not use this room yet, check it out and let us know what you think! Any suggestions for what else we could do there?
We have learnt a lot in these three months at the Ingenious Bar. Some of your queries have helped us identify information gaps which have now been included in the Psychology UG student Canvas sites, and your suggestions helps us improve your student experience. So, if you have any suggestions or queries, tell us! ask us! We are here to help.
The Ingenious Bar will come back at the beginning of the spring term.