Ben Yaxley BSc Psychology

What did you do prior to studying at Swansea University?

I attended Abingdon School from 2007 – 2014, where I completed my GCSEs and A-levels (Biology, Chemistry and Psychology).

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?

One major factor that I needed to consider when applying to universities was that the Psychology course was BPS (British Psychological Society) accredited. Seeing as the course at Swansea is BPS accredited I knew the course was of a high standard. In addition, student satisfaction scores from multiple university-rankings websites were very promising, which was another major contributor.

Fundamentally, however, the biggest contributor for me picking Swansea was the indescribable gut feeling I got from visiting the university on an Open Day.

Can you tell us about your course?

The course is taught by passionate, internationally-recognised staff from all over the world. The course is comprised of multiple compulsory modules in the first two years, allowing for a wider understanding of psychology, to help each student discover which area of psychology they are most interested in. In third year, students pick 8 modules, from a choice of 18, granting students a range of more specific domains to aid their developed interests.

The wide choice of third year modules was implemented for the first time this year, which was a great improvement to the course.

What part of the course do you/did you enjoy the most?

The final year research project was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the course. I relished the opportunity to spend the best part of a year reading and learning about the advancements of a research topic from its early outdated theories, to the current-date frontier of its development.

From doing this, it was academically stimulating to find a gap in the research and have the facilities to conduct my own research to contribute to the literature. Furthermore, I enjoyed collecting, analysing and interpreting the data obtained from the experiment.

What’s been your highlight whilst studying at Swansea University?

Apart from the course, I loved the daily cycling ride into uni. I lived in the Marina so my commute was along the sea front. The wet and windy days were awful at the time, but looking back at it I think it was actually quite fun. I’m definitely going to miss the beach and sea view.

What are your plans/hopes for the future?

In September I am starting a Master’s degree in Clinical Trials at UCL. I’ve enjoyed Swansea a great deal, but I think it would great to live in London and experience the bustling lifestyle.

After my Master’s course, I hope to start my career in the pharmaceutical industry, possibly as a Contract Research Associate.

How will your studies help you pursue your chosen profession?

With my Master’s degree in Clinical Trials, the course focuses on the scientific, methodological and practical issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. The knowledge and skills obtained from this course are then practiced within the pharmaceutical industry.

From my Bachelor’s degree at Swansea, I have developed the scientific, methodological and practical skills necessary to conduct psychological research to a sound level. These skills are extremely compatible and transferable to the clinical trial environment.

Would you recommend Swansea University to other students?

I would definitely recommend Swansea University to prospective psychology students. The course is set up in a way that students can find which area of psychology they are most interested in, and then advance in those areas for their third year. I believe this is the best setup to maximise a student’s ability, and get the best out of their degree.

The university itself is a great place to learn, and the location is beautiful. Not many students can say they revised on the beach!