Using a student-centred approach to develop innovative employability tools for psychology undergraduates

By Sarah Muir

CEL Innovation Awards, Project Update

During a psychology degree, students gain psychological knowledge that can be used in everyday situations e.g. in relationships, the workplace or in the community. Psychology courses also equip students with skills (e.g. through assignments) that are beneficial in the workplace. Some of these include: problem-solving, team work, critical thinking, reflection and computer skills. This knowledge and these skills are all transferable to real-life situations and are often collectively described as “psychology literacy”. Psychological literacy is a relatively new addition to the British Psychological Society accreditation criteria (BPS, 2012) yet current evidence highlights students find it difficult to transfer knowledge and skills from one area to another.

In this CEL-funded project we will use a student-centred approach to:

1) understand students’ needs for enhancing their psychology literacy

2) work with students to develop a psychology literacy toolkit which will include a roadmap of each course unit and details of the psychology literacy skills developed in each and activities that help students relate the skills to real-world, work-related scenarios.

3) use focus groups to evaluate the first version of the toolkit and modify accordingly.

The aim is for students to peer-deliver the toolkit from academic year 2017-2018.

Five undergraduate students (Katie Covell, Emily Daniels, Adam Harper, Lucy Newnham and Natalie Pavey) have been recruited as student research assistants and have already devised a questionnaire to understand students’ needs for a psychological literacy toolkit and this will be distributed as soon as ethical approval had been gained. They will also be working with the staff team to host a workshop about the project to Psychology staff on 27th February. A poster about the student-centred approach has also been accepted to be presented at The British Psychological Society conference in May 2017.

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