Reflecting on students’ perspectives of a pre-entry psychology course in academic skills (2017-2021)

Gillian Hendry, Zara P. Brodie, Claire Wilson, James McKechnie

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It is known that first-year retention rates are a cause for concern within higher education. One way in which to tackle this is to consider how institutions can best prepare new students for the transition to university. The current paper details a project from the University of the West of Scotland where first year psychology students enrolled on a pre-entry academic skills induction course in order to support their transition to university. The course consisted of engagement with five interactive magazines to allow students to begin experiencing the digital environments, skills, and resources that they would need throughout their degree (‘What is psychology?’, ‘How do I study?’, ‘The importance of critical thinking’, ‘What’s involved in psychological research?’ and ‘Life after university’). Focus groups were conducted with students shortly after taking part in the course, and again four years later upon graduation, to explore its perceived value both as a new student, and across time at university. A deductive thematic analysis showed a positive reception to the materials, but that some topics were less relevant at the beginning of a degree course. We reflect upon these findings in the context of current HE practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


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