Researchers Explore Psychology of Student Journey

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Psychology has long been a popular subject choice for A-level students but how those students choose to continue the subject at degree level is the topic of a new piece of research.

Researchers and students at the University of Worcester are exploring the transitions from pre-tertiary to higher education in psychology as part of a wider project funded by the British Psychological Society and the Higher Education Academy Their initial findings were presented at a special symposium at the Society’s Annual Conference in Harrogate last week.

Dr Tim Jones, Programme Lead for Psychology at the University of Worcester and Chair of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P), said: “The transition from pre-tertiary to higher education is a critical process in the educational journey, and understanding the challenges and expectations faced by students will enable us to better prepare our students in this journey.

“I was delighted to be able to fund the attendance for two University of Worcester students to take part in the symposium at the annual conference, and to work with them on this important project.”

The British Psychological Society and the Higher Education Academy both recognise the need for a better understanding of the expectations, concerns, and aspirations faced by students continuing their educational journey in Psychology.

DART-P funded attendance for four first year undergraduate students to participate in the symposium and discuss their transitional experiences from pre-tertiary to higher education. Students from the University of Worcester, and Bournemouth University were invited to participate in order to provide a range of lived experiences, and build upon the commissioned work conducted by Helen Kitching (DART-P).

The students have now been invited to publish their experiences of working alongside the Division, their attendance at the annual conference, and how this has aided their educational journey in a special edition of Psychology Teaching Review entitled ‘Transitions: Journeys through an education in Psychology’.

Dr Julie Hulme, Discipline Lead for Psychology at the HEA, said: “The Higher Education Academy is delighted to have been able to support this research on student transition and to collaborate with DART-P.

“Students face many challenges in making the transition from pre-university to university Psychology education, and it’s crucial that we better understand their journeys in order to improve their learning experience, retention and success. This important work will facilitate this process and contribute to the much-needed dialogue between the sectors.”

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email