The Start of a Journey: Psychological Literacy Award Event

Last week the Department of Applied Psychology was proud to officially launch the Psychological Literacy Award (you can find out more about the award here:  Students and staff came together to find out more about the new development.

We were delighted to be joined by many of the Psychology BSc students as it is their development that is central to the goals of the award.

Dr Dan Heggs, Programme Director for the Psychology BSc (Hons) Programme, said:

“Helping students develop skills for future careers is central to the degree programme, and students have been successfully completing placements as part of their studies for many years.  We now have a range of work-related modules in all years of the programme so from the first year onward students are supported and encouraged to think about how they can use and apply psychology.  What’s so great about the new Psychological Literacy Award is that it recognises more of the extra-curricular work that students complete, and will help them show that to potential employers.”

Leanne Presenting

We were also pleased to be joined by staff from the Department of Applied Psychology, the Student Union, the Careers Service and Professor Antony Chapman, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University.  Professor Chapman is a well-known psychologist and a former President of the British Psychological Society.  The Department of Applied Psychology was very keen for Professor Chapman to be involved in the launch of an employability initiative which is tailored to the skill of psychology students, especially as to how their psychological literacy enables them to engage in the many work areas.

Prof Chapman Presenting

Dr Lalage Sanders, Head of the Department, was very supportive of the launch event and the award:

“I was delighted with the launch of this innovative development for the Department. Our Vice-Chancellor was clearly impressed by the Award and its launch and is keen to be kept abreast of its progress.  I think we may see other disciplines follow this lead.  Another first for Applied Psychology!”

Arial View

We are thrilled to be home to such an exciting initiative and look forward to keeping you updated about the progress of the Psychological Literacy Award.  Please also take a look at our Facebook page for more photographs of the event!

Group Shot

Profile group shot


End of Year Celebrations

Unfortunately this year our annual picnic was cancelled due to poor weather.  This is the first year we have been unable to celebrate outside, but we were determined to celebrate anyway! Instead staff, students and families gathered in our research area for coffee and cake.  


This has been a busy academic year for us with new modules, new placement opportunities and new members of staff so it was lovely to be able to mark the end of the year in a relaxed environment. 

As always it was really enjoyable for staff to spend some time with students outside of a lecture context.  It is good for us to spend some time talking about non-university activities!  As students enjoy their post-exam freedom and staff are busy marking it is important for us to make some time for some enjoyment.  Thank you to all who came and we look forward to next year’s picnic where hopefully we will be fortunate enough to experience some sunshine!

On a warm summer’s day….

Blue Skies in Cardiff


Last Friday was our annual picnic!  Read about last year’s picnic here:

The picnic was originally scheduled for Thursday, but due to a gloomy weather forecast we postponed it to the Friday.  As you can see from the photo above we made the right decision and had blue skies and sunshine for the afternoon!

Staff spent some time with our final year students who, while pleased with having finished their exams, were bemused by having so much time on their hands!  As with all our social events it was really nice to spend some time talking to students outside of the university context, enjoying their company and talking about their plans for the summer.  Students also talked about next year’s picnic becoming a reunion event for them and this would be lovely; it is really good to catch up with our alumni and so we hope to see the same faces at next year’s event!

Most of us enjoyed food, conversation and sunshine, but some felt more athletic and had a friendly kick around.  Staff members also brought along their pet dogs, meaning we were all entertained by the antics of Dave, Meg and Yoshi!  Some staff also brought along their children (it was half-term for Cardiff schools) consequently there was a genuine family atmosphere to the afternoon.

All in all the weather was wonderful and the company excellent so the afternoon was a wonderful way to round off the academic year!

Trivial Matters

Last week the Department of Applied Psychology hosted its first ever quiz!

Staff and students gathered in Zen on Llandaff Campus for the event.  We had eight quiz teams made up by students, with a good representation from all three levels of the BSc Psychology Programme.  Tina Weatherbed was our Quiz Mistress for the evening and Lalage Sanders kept track of the scores.  Leanne Franklin, Annette Daly, Deiniol Skillicorn and Darren Walker made up the academic contingent who were available for students to ‘purchase’ for a round – though there was no guarantee of any right answers! 

Tina - Quiz

Tina posed some very difficult questions, but the teams performed very well.  None better than the ‘Freudian Slips’ who were our winners for the evening.  The team was comprised of Ellie Osborn, Kerry Dare, Jack Constant, Bethan Jones and Joseph Keenan – congratulations!  They were closely followed by the ‘Dyslexic Brians’… the team names also demonstrating that our students are well versed in psychological humour!

Everyone who attended had a great time and we raised over £100 for Ty Hafan!  This was a great effort and an evening which is going to become a regular social event for the department – hopefully we will see you at the next one!  Don’t forget to like our FaceBook page for information on upcoming social events… the next one is a Film Night on February 27th!

Social Events

What a busy term it has been!

All levels have been busy getting into the swing of the new academic year and all have had a deadline filled last week of term… with the final year students also now busily working away on their projects!

Another piece of news (as announced on our FB page) is that we are supporting Ty Hafan this year and will be holding fundraising activities. Ty Hafan is a children’s hospice in South East Wales that provides specialist care and support for all members of the family.

Our first fundraiser was a film night earlier in the term where we showed ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. This is a classic film, with Jack Nicholson playing the role of R.P.McMurphy, a convict who feigns madness in order to escape the hard life of prison and be admitted to a psychiatric ward; while there he brings life and spontaneity to the ward and also challenges the rule of Nurse Ratched.

Film Night

After the film we had a short discussion about some of the issues of psychological interest that were presented in the film. One notable theme was the nature of (in)sanity and the group came to the conclusion that McMurphy was sane, but Nurse Ratched was insane. We also discussed how treatments of mental illness have changed in recent decades, as well as the power relationship between patient and practitioner.

Dr Katie Thirlaway, Head of Psychology, felt that the film night went very well:
“The film night was a great success and wonderful to raise so much money at one event for Ty Hafan. Although for old timers like me it is a little depressing to realsie the film was made almost 40 years ago. It was useful to reflect how in some areas our understanding and response to mental health has moved on, but also sobering to recognise that it is still a very stigmatised and underfunded area in the NHS”

As well as showing the film we raised money by selling refreshments and hosting a couple of fundraising activites. In total we raised nearly £70 which is a fantastic beginning to our support of Ty Hafan.

This week we have also hosted a social evening to mark the festive season. On Monday evening staff, students and families met in the Atrium to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and mince pies. This was well attended with students from all three levels, including some of our Erasmus students. Some staff also brought their children which gave a lovely family feel to the evening. The children in particular were very impressed with the decorations in the CSM building:


Dr Daniel Heggs, Programme Director for the Psychology BSc Programme, was very pleased with the evening:
“It was lovely to see so many students attend on Monday. It gave staff a wonderful opportunity to get to know them outside of the confines of lecture theatres and our offices”

This is the first time we have hosted a Christmas social event and we will definitely be repeating it!

We will be continuing to host events throughout the academic year which will be advertised by email, poster and on FB, so please sign up to our FB page to keep up to date. If you would like to find out more about Ty Hafan then please visit their website at:

Finally we would like to wish all of our students and colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Annual Department Picnic

On a windy and cold day in May members of the Department of Applied Psychology met in Llandaff Fields for the first department picnic.  It was a chance to relax together and celebrate the end of the academic year and will hopefully be the first of many departmental picnics!  All years were invited and it proved to be a lovely way to mark the end of the academic year!


Below are a few pictures (although they don’t demonstrate just how cold it was!):


Some treats made by our multi-talented students who are set to graduate this year!  These were very warmly received!


Deiniol attempted to make the most of the cold breeze and fly a kite!  The photo demonstrates how cloudy and grey it was that day!



 Dr Walker showing off his footballing skills!


Despite the weather, the picnic was a good opportunity for staff and students to relax and enjoy spending time together.  We hope that next year’s picnic will be even more successful!