UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Katie Cunningham-Rowe, Psychology BSc

"After reading so many studies, it’s really rewarding to get to conduct your own piece of high-quality research and write it up as a paper!"

Katie Cunningham-Rowe, Psychology BSc

1. What did you find inspiring at UCL and why?

I found my lecturers, especially in my third-year modules, highly inspiring. The lecturers and guest lecturers often teach their own research, and other research at the forefront in the field. This means the content is up to date and teaches you how issues in the field are currently being solved. In my Topics in Clinical Psychology module, one lecture by John King discussed the use of virtual reality in the treatment of various disorders. Especially inspiring was the way it can be used to increase compassion in those who are self-critical, such as those with depression. I was inspired by the use of evolving technology to update our practices in ways previously not accessible.

2. What did you enjoy most about your degree?

My favourite part of my degree was getting to conduct my own research project in my third year! You get to select your research project in an area that interests you, and then are supervised by an expert in the field to guide you through it. After reading so many studies, it’s really rewarding to get to conduct your own piece of high-quality research and write it up as a paper! Getting to apply all the statistics and research methods you’ve learnt in the last 2 years makes a valuable piece of work.

Furthermore, the compulsorily year two module Science of Bias, run by Lasana Harris, is brilliant and brings an important meaning to the work of psychology in society and highlights inequality in science, essential to understand when studying it.

3. What is your fondest memory of your time at UCL?

My fondest memories come from the time spent with my wonderful friends I met in UCL halls in my first year. For three years, we have all got together and cooked a big roast at the end of first term to celebrate Christmas. It’s so fun to get dressed up and all spend lots of time making delicious food together. We plan fun games and do a Christmas quiz based off what we all got up to that year. This has been my favourite tradition in university, and a great way of celebrating the friends you make.

4. What are your plans once you’ve completed your current programme of study?

I just finished my third year at UCL, so have now finished my undergraduate degree. In the autumn I'm going to Oxford to complete a masters in psychological research! From there, I plan to get relevant work or research experience relating to clinical psychology for a couple of years. This hopefully will lead to acceptance into the DClinPsy PhD program, where I will train to be a clinical psychologist.

5. What would your advice be for any incoming students?

My main piece of advice would be to really make the most of your degree. In my three years of attending UCL I have gone through various phases of turning up to all the lectures and doing all the readings, to failing to find the motivation to turn up to lectures. However, the times at which I have given the most time and energy to my degree, are those were I have taken the most from it and derived the most enjoyment and interest. So much of university is independent learning, and therefore requires discipline. However, holding yourself accountable to these standards and remembering why you came to university, makes learning far more enjoyable and prevents it feeling like a chore.

My second piece of advice would be to change up where you study! If you have been going to one room in the main library for a week and find yourself starting to lose focus, hit up a new study space. One of the benefits of UCL is we have so many places to study so use this! A fresh environment helps to keep me motivated.