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Chiara Calissano

Psychology
Chiara Calissano

All the lecturers are truly passionate about what they teach and have a remarkable expertise in their field.

Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?

We have all been there: choosing a university is a very important decision. And it can be a tough one! The BSc Psychology course at City was without doubt my top choice. The programme is extremely interesting, as it offers an incredibly wide choice of modules, especially for the final year, that really allow you to deepen your knowledge in the areas that most interest you. Beyond this, City and the BSc Psychology course in particular, rank among the best institutions and courses in London and the world. The modern campus and its central location added another point, and the choice was easily made!

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The content of the BSc Psychology course is extremely exciting, mainly thanks to the variety of the modules that you can study. What I truly enjoy is the diversity of courseworks that each module involves, as they all have different touch points and might require different structures or approaches. In this way, you really are prompted to develop a structured strategy to understand and tackle problems, and this approach enhances your research skills, teaches you and stimulates an invaluable critical thinking mind-set, and makes you to develop your own perspective on several topics and issues. The course is also greatly organised and all the lecturers are truly passionate about what they teach and have a remarkable expertise in their field of research.

What has been your favourite module and why?

All the modules are really interesting, so it’s quite hard to pick a favourite. But if I have to choose one, I think I would opt for Biological Approaches to Mind and Behaviour. The module provides a great knowledge and understanding of the neuroanatomy and the functioning of the brain, from its basic components, the neurons, to its extremely complex and higher-level functional organisation. Studying the brain from its fundamental biological perspective has been a very fascinating learning experience.

What has been a highlight of your course so far?

A highlight of BSc Psychology at City University is that it provides you with the possibility to expand your knowledge and experience beyond a mere academic level. In fact, during my second year, I was awarded a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship from the Wellcome Trust, thanks to which I had the opportunity to develop and work on a research project with two supervisors and research experts, Dr Corinna Haenschel and Dr Paul Flaxman. During the scholarship, I worked with them on a research project into the effects of work-related worry and rumination on employees’ sleep quality and cognitive functioning.This first-hand research experience significantly enhanced my research and analytical skills, boosting my critical thinking and evaluation skills for a project that went well beyond a piece of research done for my course.

In the same year, I also applied and obtained a 10 months placement as Honorary Assistant Psychologist in a NHS Learning Disability service. This has been a truly amazing learning and working experience, which incredibly enhanced my skills and knowledge of the role of the clinical psychologist.

If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective City Psychology student, what would it be?

To anyone starting the Psychology course at City I would suggest to enjoy the course as much as I enjoy it. Maximise the potential of this course by learning as much as you can about as much as you can. Meeting and talking to the professors, getting involved in their research ideas and projects, as well as by attending events, activities, talks and conferences that the Psychology Department organises. After all, we (usually) are Psychology undergraduates only once in a lifetime, make the most out of it!

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I aim to find a position as Assistant Clinical Psychologist, in order to build on the experience necessary to obtain a place into the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and, eventually, to become a Chartered Clinical Psychologist.