Expectations and orientation of psychology students

Porter, Alan
Pearson, Carol
University of Westminster,
London, UK

Undergraduates enter degree programmes with different goals and expectations. Previous research at the University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, on psychology students has identified considerable differences in attitudes to career destination, personal development and skill development as well as wide individual differences in expectations of workload and effect on relationships and social life of study. The accuracy of students’ previous knowledge and expectations of psychology as an academic discipline was also found to be highly variable. In the light of this variability, the present study was designed in order to explore the relationship between the goals and expectations of psychology students and their approaches to studying the psychology curriculum. A cohort of 130 first year undergraduate students were surveyed using an instrument constructed to measure student expectations, and they were tested using the ASSIST (Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students). The implications for curriculum design are discussed.