Addison House has a floral touch this week – a rather delightful bouquet of flowers arrived to thank the BSc Psychology team for all their work in setting up the new programme, following a successful accreditation visit from the British Psychological Society.
The BSc Psychology programme (which accepted the initial cohort of first year students back in September) received provisional accreditation in advance for the first cohort of students in 2015 – showing that the planned course met or exceeded all of the Society’s standards. The provisional accreditation report was very supportive of our planned programme, highlighting some specific areas of strengths in our planning, including:
- The potential for students to benefit greatly from the research expertise of the IoPPN;
- Very good physical resources, including equipment and specialist labs supported by specialist researchers
- Interesting potential for internships
- Well-thought out integration of content in course modules across the first two years of the programme
We were naturally delighted that the Society approved of our plans in advance – but a lot has happened since then: buildings have been completed (and visited by the Society’s president), students and staff have been recruited, and a planned curriculum has turned into two semesters of real-life lectures, practical sessions and examinations. So the time came for the Society to check that we had actually implemented the plans as well as we had promised, and the King’s BSc Psychology team was delighted to play host to a visit from the BPS Partnership Accreditation Team at Addison House last week.
The partnership team met with the current students, teaching staff and managements, and discussed the course and its development with all concerned. At the end of these sessions, the partnership team provided some very helpful, and positive, feedback to the staff about areas for development of the course at King’s, and the areas where we are doing well – including the staff’s commitment to high quality teaching; our innovative use of problem-based, translational learning from the start of the course; the way in which Personal Tutors are used to support students; the ways in which current IoPPN research informs our teaching; and the integration of content across modules – especially how research methods teaching integrates with other content. While we feel ourselves that these things are among the strengths of our course, we are possibly rather biased – so it is nice to know that other people like what we are trying to do.
Most importantly of all – we were delighted that the team confirmed the ongoing accreditation of the programme as providing eligibility for the graduate basis for chartered membership of the society.
So a successful end to our first teaching year. A big thank-you to the visiting BPS partnership team for their time and very helpful comments, to the teaching staff and senior management for demonstrating so clearly the institutional commitment to the new programme, and to the students who took time out from coursework deadlines and revision to meet the BPS.
And, last but not least, to the Dean’s office for sending such lovely flowers….
Michael R F Aitken PhD
Reader in Psychology & BSc Psychology Programme Director
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience