UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Camillia Florence, Psychology BSc

"Psychology at UCL was an opportunity to feel like a real researcher, and it began almost immediately in the first year of study."

Camillia Florence, Psychology BSc

1. Why did you decide to study your programme?

From early on in my childhood, I would tell people I wanted to become a psychologist – at the time, I thought that just meant doing the kind of things psychologists do in movies (like solving crimes by observing the suspect’s body language). It wasn’t until I studied the subject at A Level that I fully understood how much the human brain and all of its beautiful complexities interested me.

What makes it even better is how broad psychology is as a subject – from psychopathology, to the mechanisms behind memory, to the psychology of creativity. The branches of learning, and perhaps researching someday, are endless. I ultimately chose psychology because I knew there would never be a dull moment in studying the subject.

2. Why did you apply to study at UCL?

UCL stood out to me as a degree because of its heavy emphasis on research. I knew I didn’t just want to read about psychological experiments and findings, I wanted to be actively involved in them.

Psychology at UCL was an opportunity to feel like a real researcher, and it began almost immediately in the first year of study. We learned how to conduct research, how to apply statistical analyses to our data, and how to interpret and report our findings in lab reports.

Another factor in my choice to study at UCL was its location. Although not a campus university, UCL often feels like one because of its dense student population. Seeing UCL lanyards across Central London reminded me of this and of how many students we have at our university. Plus, you can never run out of fun things to do in London!

3. What did you enjoy most about your degree?

The highlight of my degree was my research project in my third year. It was an opportunity, not only to choose a project that interested me, but also to exhibit what I had learned within my years undertaking a psychology degree.

My project was specific to cognitive neuroscience and, resultingly, much of my time was spent at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Research has suggested that the more experiences of depersonalisation a person has, the worse their sensory processing (e.g., sense of smell) is likely to be. I chose to further investigate this in my final-year project. Working alongside a real researcher, whilst also having the opportunity to independently make my own decisions for my research question was exciting, and gave me a taste of what it is like to conduct research (including the difficulties you can run into and how to overcome them!).

4. What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?

Whilst I find all aspects of psychology interesting, my personal interest lies within clinical psychology. I think that understanding behavioural and mental health issues, and the potential genetic/neural/biological risk factors of these issues is necessary in order to be able to treat individuals who may experience them. As well as this, a better understanding may allow for preventing the manifestation of certain mental or behavioural disorders. Attempting to understand the intricacies of the brain and acquiring the knowledge needed to help people is the main reason I am interested in clinical psychology.

5. Do you think studying at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences is a good investment?

Studying at UCL’s Faculty of Brain Sciences is the best investment if you have a true interest in the broad subject of Psychology.

The vast range of content taught in psychology modules at UCL is fascinating, and the passion the lecturers who teach you have for their own research field makes learning all the more engaging. Also, the modules taught provide an opportunity for students to learn what specific fields they may wish to explore after they complete their degree. Further, what makes UCL’s Faculty of Brain Sciences unique is the emphasis placed on research – students can delve into the wonderfully complex world of psychology first-hand. By the end of the degree, you will not only have the knowledge of what you learned from your course, but also have the ability to critically evaluate existing research.

6. What are your plans once you've completed your current programme of study?

I have recently been offered the role of assistant psychologist within NHS services. My plan is to take a gap year, whilst accumulating experience in roles such as this one. After this, I intend to undertake a Master’s degree in a course related to clinical psychology – hopefully at UCL! My goal is to one day be a clinical psychologist, bettering the lives of others.

7. What would be your advice for current students??

My advice for current students is to remember that everybody has different learning methods that work best for them; what works for one person, might not for another. I wish I had realised this earlier on in my studies so that I used the methods that helped me learn best, instead of trying to do what others did. For example, if you’re a visual learner, try to incorporate visual elements into your independent studies/revision.

Secondly, take advantage of all the resources and opportunities available at UCL, such as the expert-level knowledge of your lecturers, or the social opportunities provided by clubs and societies. There is so much to explore outside of your lecture content, don’t be afraid to branch out and explore these opportunities during your time at UCL!