Not The Project You Want: Don’t Panic

When you start your Psychology degree your third year project seems to be so far away that you do not really give it much thought until mid-way through second year when you have to. From my experience and the experiences of others around me I have learnt a few pieces of advice that will help you get a project you will enjoy.

Firstly, go and speak to relevant members of staff early, whether you have a specific idea in mind or you are just interested in their area of research. Staff will be able to expand and give advice on your ideas. An ideal time to do this would be at the end of your first year as you will have learnt the majority of areas within Psychology and you apply for your project in the second semester of your second year. Also, make sure you have plenty of back up plans especially if you are applying to a competitive area with few supervisors.

The most important advice is to not panic if you do not get your first, second or even third project choice as there are ways of tailoring any area to your interests. For example, I got my last choice and at first I was mortified to say the least because I had my heart set on a clinical project and instead I had to do a project with a supervisor whose main area was perception. Once the initial panic was over I rationally emailed my supervisor who met with me the following week.  As soon as I had sat down he said he could see how much I wanted to do research in the clinical area and although he could not help me in doing qualitative research, we agreed on a clinical topic that relates to the perception of hallucinations.

So, speak to potential supervisors early, explore options in more than one area of Psychology and DO NOT panic if you do not get the project you wanted as all areas within Psychology are interlinked.

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