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Sat, 23 Mar



Exploring Psychology: Exciting Things to Come in Your OU Psychology Degree

A new Face-to-Face event for Level 1 psychology students

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Exploring Psychology: Exciting Things to Come in Your OU Psychology Degree
Exploring Psychology: Exciting Things to Come in Your OU Psychology Degree

Time & Location

23 Mar 2024, 09:00 – 16:00

Cambridge, Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PE, UK

About the event

Please note: We regret that this event has had to be cancelled as several of the speakers are ill. We will be rescheduling the event and will advise when this is confirmed. If you have already booked you should have received an email regarding the cancellation. We are very sorry for this last minute cancellation.


You are in the early stages of your journey through the Open University psychology degree, and hopefully you are enjoying it so far. But what have you got to look forward to in the coming years? The point of our Exploring Psychology Day is to give you some idea of the exciting topics, theories and research that you will be encountering in your journey. The day is being run by The Open University Psychological Society (OUPS) – a charity and member of OUSA set up to support OU psychology students.

The programme is specifically designed to support level 1 psychology students but might well also be of value to those more advanced in their studies. It provides an opportunity for some face-to-face tutoring which many students find particularly inspirational; but, unfortunately, is not generally available in your OU studies today.

The day will be split into four sessions each looking at a different area of psychology, namely social, cognitive, biological, and developmental. Each session will be conducted by a highly skilled lecturer who has extensive experience in the area.

If the day proves as successful as we expect, the plan is to put on similar days in other areas.

Programme and structure of the day

Registration will take place from 9.00am, with lectures starting at The day should finish around 4pm.

9.00 – 9.20 Registration and Welcome

9.20 – 10.40  Cognitive Psychology [Alan]

10.40 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 12.20 Social Psychology [Kate]

12.20 – 13.20 Lunch Break

13.20 – 14.40 Developmental Psychology [Sarah]

14.40 – 15.00 Break

15.00 – 16.00 Biological Psychology [Frederick]


Dr Sarah Critten has been teaching in Higher Education for 20 years and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is currently a Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at the Open University where she leads the module E219: The Psychology of Childhood and Youth. Her background is predominantly in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Sarah’s research interests concern the language and literacy development of children and her publications examine implicit and explicit spelling knowledge, children’s spelling and reading strategies and the relationship between oral and written language in both typical and atypical development, i.e., children with Developmental Language Disorder and Dyslexia.

Dr Kate Hammond has been an Associate Lecturer at the Open University for nearly 10 years, teaching on a variety of psychology modules at level 1, 2 and postgraduate.  She has been an OU student herself for many years as well (PhD, BSc, MSc - in that order). Her PhD looked at political spin and leadership in Ancient Rome - but almost as soon as she completed it, she discovered psychology, opening up a whole new career path.   As a Business Psychologist she teaches in the Faculty of Business, for example, on leadership courses and the MBA research module.  She has also taught at Kingston University and Birbeck University of London.  Her research interests are in social identity and leadership.  She has also regularly trained students in psychometrics and was on the committee of The Psychometrics Forum for several years.  She has authored the online section on Personality on D110 and hopes many of you will recognise her from the D120 Welcome Forum.

Dr Alan Pechey has been teaching OU psychology courses for over 20 years. He is currently a tutor for both E219 and DE200; but has tutored for many years on OU child development and cognitive psychology courses and is a popular tutor at OUPS Weekends. He has assisted in some course writing and has been an  OU exam marker. He has an MA (in cognitive development) and a PhD (looking at human memory) from Cambridge University. Aside from his OU teaching, he worked for many years as a consultant in Organisational Psychology; advising organisations (e.g. Barclaycard, Scotland Yard, local government) on how to adapt to new technology; how to change work practices and how to present information more effectively. Alan is a very engaging speaker, with a passion for psychology and students find his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm highly motivating.

Professor Frederick Toates is Emeritus Professor of Biological Psychology at the Open University, where he has over 45 years experience of teaching and tutoring. An author on DE100 as well as many OU other courses, including SDK100, DE200 and SDK228, his book  Biological Psychology (3rd edition, Pearson Education, Harlow) forms a popular and recommended text in a number of universities throughout the world. He has also had a book on B.F. Skinner published. His latest book is ‘Understanding Sexual Serial Killing’ (2022) C.U.P. Fred has taught undergraduate classes not only in the UK but also in the Netherlands, Moldova, Romania, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the USA. Many of you will know Professor Toates from his involvement in the student forums, where he often provides very helpful and timely explanations in response to students' queries.


Refreshments and lunch are not provided, but there are outlets nearby where you can purchase food and drink [alternatively please bring your own].


This event will be held at the Hills Road Sixth Form College, Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PE. The venue is 10-15 minutes walk from Cambridge railway station and is also on several bus routes. Please follow the link below for a map and more information on travel.


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