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The Basildon Academies

Fantastic forensics

A selection of our Sixth Form students, who aspire to go to university, were recently given a fantastic opportunity to spend the day working with the University of the Year: The University of Essex.

Those involved had expressed an interest in studying Criminology and Psychology.

The aim of their experience was to give them a taste of lectures in these areas and encourage them to consider whether they were subjects they would like to pursue at degree level.

Students participated in a wide range of psychological experiments, including challenging memory tasks, which required them to listen to different types of music.

In addition, students took part in a forensic investigation, where they assumed the role of a police officer or witness. The lecturer praised their application of the cognitive interview process and was highly complementary regarding their organisation and motivation. It was great to see scientific experiments applied to real life situations.

All those who took part felt it was an extremely positive experience and expressed a desire to find out more. Feedback from university staff was equally enthusiastic, in particular referring to how confident students were when answering questions in an open forum in an audience of college students.

During the lecture, Dr Sam Wass of 'The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds' fame, offered selected students the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement at his esteemed research laboratory at the University of East London. The highly coveted placement will focus on conducting psychological research of children and how they develop.

Huge congratulations to Lauren F, who has already secured a place to undertake a placement with him in October. Several other students are making enquires and we look forward to hearing about their progress.

Overall, the day offered an insight into not only the nature of psychological research, but also university life.

Speaking of the experience, Lauren raved: "The university day allowed me to participate in psychological research, which is fascinating, as well as beginning to network within that field!"

Antonia L added: "The visit was a very helpful experience, giving me insight into the work of a psychologist. In the first half of the day we participated in several experiments relevant to the curriculum we are studying for in our A-level Psychology course. The first-hand experience gave me an even better understanding of the subject area. This made me see the world in a different light and fuelled my passion for psychology more than ever before!"