Hard lessons of psychology

I AM perturbed that you have described two subjects as "soft". I cannot speak for drama but I can offer some informed comments about psychology, the other subject so labelled.

The contents of a typical psychology degree, such as the BSc in psychology at the University of East London include a number of compulsory and optional modules such as: cognitive psychology, psychology of mental health, brain damage, behaviour and the mind, counselling psychology, drugs and behaviour, developmental psychology, method and design issues in psychology, psychogenetics, evolutionary psychology, forensic psychology - this is just a selection of topic areas within the subject, some of which will be mirrored at school (for example A-level psychology).

The demarcation of subjects at school into "soft" and (presumably) "non soft" is invidious and erroneous; what I have tried to do in demonstrating what components make up the discipline of psychology is to correct a misleading impression about this subject and draw attention generally to the false dichotomy suggested by your report.

Professor Sheila Wolfendale Director, Doctorate in educational psychology School of Psychology University of East London Stratford, London E15

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