Student profile
Marta Toport, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Marta Topor

"The psychology team are fantastic. The lecturers are very enthusiastic and they support every student as an individual, taking into consideration their needs, interests and career plans."


Psychology BSc (Hons)

Entry year


Why I chose Surrey

I have always been interested in psychology and learning about people. I also fancied a career that would let me use my knowledge to help others. Psychology is a very broad subject and at first I was not sure about which area of psychology I favoured.

I came to University of Surrey because of the suitable location. It is close to London and therefore there are many great opportunities to get good experience. It was also high in the league tables at the time and I was impressed that a placement year was also available. It seemed like the perfect place for me.

My course

The BSc (Hons) Psychology course offered a range of opportunities that helped in developing skills in different areas of psychology. This was facilitated via opportunities to assist with research and choosing your own topics to focus on in some assignments.

I have found myself to be among very supportive and understanding people. We do a lot of work in groups and engage in discussions, learning a lot from each other, especially in different areas of psychology. I will really miss the staff and other students after finishing my degree.

The psychology team is fantastic. The lecturers are very enthusiastic and they support every student as an individual, taking into consideration their needs, interests and career plans.

My placement experience

On my Professional Training placement I worked as a psychology student at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. I was part of Tics and Neurodevelopmental Movement (TANDeM) service in the department of children’s neurosciences.

The professional development staff at Surrey gave me plenty of advice and provided good materials that helped improving CVs, personal statements and our performance in interviews.

There was a wide range of different tasks that I could do on my placement. My supervisors were very supportive and wanted me to gain experience that would be most valuable for my studies and my future career. I assisted with clinical assessments and therapies of children with different movement disorders.

I supported the admin staff in organising the clinic schedule and contacted parents on a regular basis. Every week I made sure that the clinic was running smoothly. I also had plenty of opportunities to get involved in different research projects.

I volunteered in the European conference for tics and Tourette’s Syndrome. I presented some of my work in a popular science conference, linking Polish students and scientists from around Europe which took place at University of Oxford.

The whole of my placement year was a fantastic experience. It made me realise that research and scientific career is really what I want to do next. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me a strong candidate for further studies in neuroscience.   

To go on placement was the best decision I could have made during my degree. I would definitely recommend it to others. I have grown as a person and developed a professional and responsible attitude towards my work. There were some tasks I enjoyed doing more than others so it was really helpful in realising what I really wanted to do in my career.  

My greatest achievement was definitely my involvement in different research projects whilst on my placement. I had the chance to work on tic disorders in children and childhood stroke. I have gained a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical research experience.

My life at Surrey

I'm also part of the Polish Society and the Mountaineering Club. Being a member of the Polish society has really helped me in obtaining some professional experience. I found out about a science conference for Polish students and scientists where I was able to present some of my work that I did on placement.

I met very intelligent individuals from many different fields, and I still continue contributing to the Polish scientific community. The mountaineering society is great because you can engage in a physical activity which really helps with stress. It is a good feeling to learn from others and make progress.

Guildford has lovely places where you can relax and unwind after a long day of work – quiet parks, cosy cafes and atmospheric pubs. The campus has everything you need and is located close to town centre.

My career and development

I was able to attend conferences and network with professionals in different fields which was highly rewarding and motivating. I contributed to poster presentations, preparation of articles for submission in academic journals and presented some of my own work.

I have developed a lot of passion and motivation for science which I would have never expected before. I am now a very confident person and hope to achieve great things continuing my work in neurosciences.

After presenting my research at Science: Polish Perspectives conference in Oxford I became very passionate about promoting psychology among other scientific disciplines. I was accepted to lead a psychology workshop during the Science Day: Poland's Contribution event in London. I interested GCSE and A level students in cognitive psychology by presenting an exciting session on 'Attentional Blindness'. Many of them expressed fascination with psychology following my workshop. 

I also applied to become a member of the organising team for Science: Polish Perspectives 2017 conference. I was successful in gaining the role of registration and communication officer. I have registered scientists from 10 different countries and will soon host them at our event taking place at University of Cambridge this year. I am now an active member of the Polish scientific community in Europe and I have been invited to attend a science meeting in Berlin this October. I can proudly say that I have encouraged more psychologists to take part in the conference this year compared with previous events.

I have also presented a workshop on attentional blindness in London during the British Science week in collaboration with Polish scientific community, led a webinar on the results of my dissertation and some further suggestions for International Positive Psychology Association - student division, and am in the organisation team for the conference I presented at last year.

I love presenting and talking about psychology and research. I collaborated with psychology students from the UK and the US to present my undergraduate dissertation findings. My presentation took form of an online webinar recorded for International Positive Psychology Association - student division. It is available to view online for members of the association.

I've definitely changed since I came to the University of Surrey. Psychology showed me that the world is full of opportunities and I became more focused on shaping my career.


Discover more about our BSc (Hons) Psychology course.

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