Through our widening participation activities we inspire college students to study Psychology at the University of Manchester.

As an active psychology department we have a lot to share with AS and A-Level students considering a career in psychology. This was demonstrated on December 18th 2013 when we hosted a ‘psychology taster’ day for 24 students from a local college. We ran a selection of events throughout the day, including a series of mini-lectures delivered by a range of academic psychologists; a “speed-careers” session involving students from both undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes; and an activity where the college students designed a health campaign and subsequently presented it to academic staff.

‘Widening participation’ events such as this, aim to inspire young people from areas with low University attendance to pursue Higher Education. This ‘taster event’ received a lot of Twitter attention, as well as positive feedback from the college teacher, university staff who participated and attending college students. The college students’ comments demonstrate increased awareness of psychology-related careers and University life more generally:

  • ‘I learnt a lot about health psychology and I will use this in my psychology lesson’
  • ‘learnt about what psychology is like in higher education – the wide variety of what we can go on to do’

Finally, we have been asked to provide the session again for the college next year and are already looking forward to the event!

Posted by Debbie Smith, Sam Rowbotham and Simon Kyle. Find out more about the School of Psychological Sciences Outreach Group.