The Department of Psychology offers a five-week program in Ireland and Great Britain involving cross-cultural research in the area of child development. Students learn firsthand about the Scottish and Irish educational systems as they spend two weeks observing and interacting with school children in elementary school classroom and playground settings in either Dundee in southeastern Scotland or Galway, on the west coast of Ireland. As such, this program provides the opportunity to observe and experience the school system in another country and see typically developing children in another societal context.
Students will collaborate with the Program Faculty (Professors Cindy Messina and Joe Manns) on an original research project. Students will collect data from children in their classes in either Dundee or Galway. For the remaining three weeks of the program, students are in residence in the Department of Psychology at University College London and will be taught by Professors Stephan Hamann and Patty Brennan. Classes meet on Monday afternoons, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings of each week. During this time, students will work in close collaboration with the faculty to review the background literature on the research topic, complete analysis of the gathered data, discuss the implications of their results for our understanding of the social and cognitive development of children, and prepare a written report of the research project. For students who aspire to graduate school in psychology or a related field, this is an invaluable training opportunity. Students will also experience smaller towns (Dundee or Galway) and a cosmopolitan setting in London, as well as the different national identities in Scotland, Ireland, and England, and thus, the program affords the opportunity for informal exposure to varied cultures in addition to the more structured cross-cultural study of child development.