Imperial Horizons – A Side Quest Walkthrough for You

For prospective undergraduates, you might have come across an opportunity for you to get a taste of non-science-related topics such as humanities, social sciences, or languages. In essence, this programme is called Imperial Horizons, and I would like to dedicate this article to talking about one of the Horizons courses that I’ve taken and the unexpected enjoyment that I had from it.

A crash course on psychology

To begin with, I had to take a Horizons course back when I was in my second year of university as it just so happened to be counted towards my degree credits (they are usually taken for extra credits). I ended up opting for “Advances in Modern Psychology” at the very last minute.

As someone who had little exposure to this topic, particularly because I have been used to studying the “hard” science subjects since GCSEs, I remembered walking into the classroom at the beginning of the course not knowing what I’ve just signed myself up for. What’s more, the lectures used to be held from 4 pm to 6 pm, thus I was starting to imagine myself having to drag my feet to attend these classes in the future weeks, for they seemed like an addition to my already-long day of work. Frankly, knowing myself, I was expecting my attention span to fade away within the first 15 minutes of the lesson.

However, surprisingly, that didn’t happen!

Within a relatively short timeframe of 20 weeks, I was briefly introduced to fascinating topics such as the concept of language development, mental health and the current theories surrounding it, the psychology of love and attraction (which the lecturer, funnily enough, purposely decided to discuss it on Valentine’s Day itself), an insight into criminology, the psychology of willpower, and as a finale, a discussion about artificial intelligence and machine learning!

And not to mention, another mini unexpected highlight was how these lectures felt a lot like a two-way conversation instead of a monotonous presentation. Meanwhile, as I have never really given these topics a thought prior to these sessions, I really enjoyed taking the opportunity to chip into the insightful discussions during the classes. So, I often found myself dumbfounded that I could somehow pay full attention to the lectures for two hours straight (trust me, that is a rare sight).

Why should you take it?

In short, I would say that taking a Horizons course was one of the pleasant surprises that I have had during my undergraduate years. I often like to see it as a nice break away from all the scientific concepts and mathematical formulas that we had to bury our noses into during every other day of the week. In addition to that, the Horizons courses can offer you an additional skill, especially if you are taking one of the language courses. Besides that, it is basically a free opportunity for you to (literally) expand your horizons on different topics, which I believe can help you become a more holistic and profound thinker.

Hence, if you are a current student or someone who is looking to study at Imperial, do consider signing up for one of those courses!

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