Written by Talya
MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology
Hi guys! This is Talya, an international student from Turkey, studying MSc in Clinical Psychology at BU. Today we are going to touch on the main differences between Turkey and the UK in terms of postgraduate study skills. I hope this will give you some insight before coming to study in the UK.
Preparation before coming to the lectures
Master’s level requires lots of self-reading and research. Although the lectures take place a few days a week, they require full-time effort. In Turkey, although lecturers encourage students to read additional sources, they still base their exam questions on the resources they provide. Thus, students choose to focus on offered articles rather than improving their knowledge with more reading and research. However, in the UK, you are less likely to get a merit or a distinction if you don’t do additional reading. I spend most of my time reading the articles provided by the lecturers and find additional resources based on what they offer. This allows you reflect more on the literature and helps with critical thinking and gain comprehensive evaluation skills. Clinical Psychology is a demanding course and without critical thinking I am less likely to investigate more and improve my knowledge.
Lecture structure and flow
The structure during lectures in Turkey is based on the lecturers where they focus on their presentation and answer students’ questions. The main focus is on the professors and they lead the course. However, in the UK, professors encourage students to ask questions and direct many relevant questions. The focus is on students and they flow is based on the questions asked by them. This helps the students clear their minds and allows more engagement in lectures.
While in Turkey students are evaluated based on their exam results, UK universities focus on coursework and presentation. They require students to show their reading and research outside lectures. In addition to that you should be able to explain what you gathered from the lectures. They believe the best way to learn is to explain what you understood. For example, recently I have done a thorough research on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as part of my Root and Ranges of Psychological Disorders module. They asked us to make a presentation in addition to 5000 words paper. However, 70% of our grades came from our presentation skills, while the rest of 30% was given to the paper. In the long run, this allows students to develop their communication skills and help them express their thoughts and ideas in a better way with greater understanding.
In conclusion, both countries focus on similar aspects of the fields. However, the way information is offered, and the evaluation criteria differ substantially. Make sure to be ready before coming and prepare yourself with a lot of research. Your future self will thank you for your time and effort.