For Maayan the highlight of studying BSc Psychology was Volunteering and working for the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit
Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?
I got to study at City through the Olive Tree Scholarship – a unique conflict studies programme for Israeli and Palestinian students run by the university. Each scholar could choose her or his desired degree; the BSc programme in Psychology was particularly appealing to me due to its structure, optional modules, and good reputation.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
For me, the best part of the course was the opportunity to participate in academic research. It started three years ago, when we were asked to run a short experiment and sent off to discover the theoretical and scientific background that could make sense to our data.
It was like a puzzle comprised of pieces that were hidden inside books and journals, and I loved it. As a third year student, my affiliation to research is fuelled on a weekly basis in the meetings with my supervisor, Prof Tina Foster, who is always happy to share her knowledge, encourage my ideas, and discuss contemporary issues in psychology.
What has been your favourite module and why?
My favourite module was Biological Psychology. Our brain is unbelievable. It translates electromagnetic radiation that fall on our eyes into colours and shapes, and mechanical waves into sound and voices; biological processes constantly give rise to emotions and thoughts, and enable us to store our most precious memories for years.
Previously unfamiliar with the discipline of Biological Psychology, the course fascinated me, and introduced me to the field in which I hope to pursue my career.
What has been a highlight of your course so far?
Volunteering and working for the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit was definitely the highlight of my course. Under Prof Forster's supervision I was awarded a Welcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship to study visual and tactile attention using electrophysiological methods.
This was an invaluable experience for me: I learned how to design and conduct an EEG experiment, and how to analyse complex brain activity data.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective City Psychology student, what would it be?
Be actively curious. Talk with your lecturers about their research; ask brilliant questions, ask foolish question, share ideas with your peers, go to events, and know your library by heart (and not just the psychology books!).
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
After graduation I plan to complete an MSc in Neuroscience. I applied to the Clinical, Cognitive, and Social Neuroscience Master degree at City, and hope to be part of this innovative programme.
I believe that the high quality of research taking place at City, as well as the supportive and encouraging environment in the Psychology department in general, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit in specific, will benefit me in pursuing a career as researcher in behavioural neuroscience.
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