UCL News


Year 12 students enjoy an "amazing experience" at PaLS Summer School

22 August 2017

The Psychology and Language Sciences 2017 Summer School has been hailed an "amazing" and "insightful, fun and enjoyable experience" by its students.

Summer School group photo

UCL Widening Participation Summer Schools are open to Year 12 students, advancing to Year 13, in state schools across the UK. The aim of the Summer Schools is to let students experience university life and sample some of the subject areas that UCL offers at undergraduate level.

Although the Faculty of Brain Sciences has hosted summer schools before, 2017 marked the first year that it was residential; this meant that it was more accessible to Year 12 students from across the UK.

24 students attended lectures across the core areas of psychology and language sciences expertise, including: visual perception; cognition and decision making; social psychology; developmental psychology; language lateralisation in the brain; and how the brain works and what can go wrong. Lectures and interactive practical sessions were delivered by Dr Hugo Spiers and Dr Lee de-Wit, as well as current Faculty PhD students Chantelle Bowers, Anna Estevao, Holly Bear, Paul Forbes and Eleonora Lugara.

Interactive session with Dr Hugo Spiers

Students also enjoyed a range of social activities each evening including bowling and seeing a West End musical.

They were supported by 8 undergraduate student leaders from BSc Psychology and BSc Psychology and Language Sciences programmes, whose role was to guide and advise students throughout the summer school. Their support was much appreciated by the students, who described them as "friendly" "helpful" and "welcoming."

UCL student leaders: Candice Walker, Arthur Yue, Stephanie Darby, Gwydion Williams, Lilian Tu, Zuzanna Slonina, Sirma Naydenova and Iram Munir.

On the final day of the summer school (Friday 28th July), the Year 12 students took part in a friendly competition for best presentation, presenting for five minutes on the project they had worked on throughout the week. The presentations were judged by Dr Julie Evans (Faculty Tutor), Dr David Vinson (Admissions Tutor, BSc Psychology) and Professor Alastair McClelland (Programme Director, BSc Psychology).

The winning group and runners-up received National Book Tokens as prizes and all students were awarded certificates and departing gifts; the winners presented again to other participants from across UCL's Summer Schools on the Friday afternoon.

Presentation competition runners-up

Presentation competition winners

Student feedback

The Year 12 students gave extremely positive feedback from their experience at the Summer School:

It was an insightful, fun and enjoyable experience. I'm really glad I applied and I would highly recommend other students to apply.
An amazing experience, thank you!

The students were also asked what they had enjoyed most about the Summer School:

 Thursday's academic sessions: they were very interesting as well as interactive and helped me to confirm my decision to study psychology
I enjoyed the evening activities and meeting the staff members, student leaders and people attending the summer school
Meeting supportive and likeminded peers

Being able to learn about different topics in psychology and working with psychology students

The Summer School on the UCL Portico

Find out more

To learn more about Summer Schools for Year 12 students, visit the UCL Widening Participation website: