UCL News


UCL program inspires high-school students to study psychology

7 August 2018

High-school students experience life at UCL and take their preferred subject area - Psychology and Language Sciences - on a trial run this summer.

UCL Student Ambassadors - Summer School

Earlier this month, 23 Year 12 students from across the UK participated in a unique five-day course giving them the chance to experience what it is like to study Psychology and Language Sciences (PaLS) at UCL.

This course was delivered under the UCL Widening Participation Summer Schools programs, which are open to Year 12 students advancing to Year 13, in state schools across the UK.

The Year 12 students attended lectures across the core areas of psychology and language sciences expertise, including: psychological disorders; using video games to understand the mind and brain; how the brain works and what can go wrong; what language can tell us about cognitive and mental health; and disorders of emotion and socialisation.

Lectures and interactive practical sessions were delivered by Dr Hugo Spiers, Dr Julie Evans, Dr Lasana Harris, Professor Rosemary Varley as well as Faculty PhD students Simon Busch-Moreno, Ehtesham Shamsher, Claire Smid, and Pablo Perez-Diaz.

Six UCL Student Ambassadors - Manying Lo, Luca Michael, Zainab Nabi, Sirma Naydenova, Samia Pervin and Chloe Seikus - were also on hand to provide support and guidance to students for the duration of the summer school. 

Dr Julie Evans, PaLs Summer School program organiser, said the course was a great success, receiving extremely positive feedback from participants.

"Throughout the five days we bring together Faculty researchers in a range of disciplines such as cognition, neurosciences, linguistics, education, medicine and health, to lead several introductory workshops.

"The course, designed for Year 12 students to experience what it is like to study Psychology and Language Sciences at one of the world's leading universities, was very well received by attendees," said Dr Evans.

Students reported very positive feedback:

"The course gave me great insight into teaching methods and lectures at UCL."

"I have 100% made my mind up on what I would like to pursue in the future - I was in between but now I know for sure I would like to do psychology."

"I enjoyed the group work because it helped me improve my presentation and team working skills."

Students were also given a tour of UCL and worked in groups to research a topic of interest. The week ended on a competitive but buoyant note, with a mini-conference where groups presented their research topic. All students received a certificate for taking part in the Summer School, alongside a faculty branded stress brain and tubby bear key ring. Prizes were also allocated to the top-performing group presentations as follows:

· Highly commended presentation - Schizophrenia: Diagnosis, Causes and Treatments (Group Leader: Chloe Seikus; Group Members: Naimah Mahmud, Sabihah Fatema and Saba Kia)

· Best presentation - Nature vs Nurture: The Case of Jamie Bulger (Group Leader: Zainab Nabi; Group Members: Naima Ahmed; Khadija Akter; Syeda Raheema Alim and Julia Al-Sharifi).

Find out more

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