BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

Who are we, and how do we shape our world? On this course you’ll explore both the nature of the individual and society. You’ll learn the critical thinking skills that discerning employers are looking for in a variety of fields including business, health, media, education, social care and management.

Studying psychology and sociology will allow you to explore a large and fascinating world – the fundamental nature of human beings and how that nature shapes our social environment. You’ll engage with debates about the practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis applied in each of the disciplines, and their relevance and value for different communities and publics.

See the foot of the page for some student case studies/ staff profiles


Why QMU?

  • The course is taught by an experienced and dedicated team who are driven by a student-centred approach to learning and teaching. This is reflected in our consistently excellent NSS results: Psychology & Sociology at QMU has scored 100% student satisfaction in 2018*. Sociology at QMU has also been ranked 1st in Scotland in the Guardian University League Table 2019. But don’t take our word for it – come and join us at one of the open days and meet some of our current students!

* QMU internal analysis of unpublished NSS 2018 data


About the course

Studying psychology and sociology will allow you to explore a large and fascinating world – the fundamental nature of human beings and how that nature shapes our social environment. You’ll engage with debates about the practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis applied in each of the disciplines, and their relevance and value for different communities and publics.

Are you fascinated by human nature, by who we are and how we interact? Do you want to understand what impacts the shape of society around us and how it could be changed for the better? Then you will enjoy our joint course in psychology and sociology as it provides a challenging and stimulating environment for exploring these questions around the individual and society.

In this course you will learn to use social scientific methods and evidence to make sense of human behaviour. You’ll learn how to think and write critically, giving you skills that can be valuable in many fields. You’ll be given opportunities to go into communities and apply your skills and knowledge in a real-world context and reflect upon the ways in which psychological and sociological knowledge can effect real change in people’s everyday lives.

The modules in Years One and Two will give you a thorough grounding in the key concepts, theories and schools of thought in both psychology and sociology. You’ll look at the historical development and contemporary applications of psychological and sociological knowledge as well as explore the very latest debates in both disciplines. We know how important it is that you develop a wide range of transferable talents, so you’ll also focus on improving your interpersonal and presentation skills, effective reading and writing, analytical thinking and critical reflection, as well as your research skills.

In Years Three and Four you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of a broad range of substantive debates within the disciplines of psychology and sociology: the psychology of risk, the origins and structure of memory and eyewitness testimony, the sociology of gender and sexuality, sociologies of liberation, and social interaction and social order. Working closely with a member of academic staff, you will conduct your own independent research project in Year Four, in which you will be encouraged to bring together your knowledge of academic theories and concepts, as well as refining your research skills.

Your ability to understand the relationship between complex academic theory and practical research will certainly enhance your employability on completion of this course.


 You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.


Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and laboratories. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. Your work will be assessed using a number of techniques, including essay writing, presentations, report writing, critical reflections and examinations. >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'


Year One

  • Introduction to Academia & the Sociological Imagination
  • Diversity, Identity & Wellbeing
  • Foundations of Empirical Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology 1: Social, Developmental & Individual Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology 2: Biological & Cognitive Psychology

Year Two

  • Social Inquiry – Philosophy & Design
  • Production & Consumption of Culture
  • Social & Developmental Psychology
  • Data Analysis
  • Psychological Literacy
  • Biological & Cognitive Psychology
  • Enquiries in Psychology
  • Individual Difference & Historical Perspectives in Psychology

Year Three

  • Current Debates in Sociology
  • Social Research – Theory & Practice
  • Sociology Option modules including: Poverty & Social Exclusion
  • Sociology of Liberation
  • Interaction & Social Order
  • Changing World: Social Movement & Global Change
  • Psychology Options including: Social Psychology/ Literature Review/ Developmental Psychology/ Cognitive Psychology/ Individual Differences/ Critical, Conceptual & Historical Issues in Psychology

Year Four

  • Sociology Dissertation
  • Sociology options including: Sociology of Scotland
  • European Policy & Politics
  • Queer Theory, Gender & Sexual Politics
  • Gender Justice and Violence: Feminist Approaches
  • Psychology options including: Origins and Structure/ Eyewitness Testimony/ Evolutionary Psychology/ Volunteering & Community Engagement/ Psychology of Pain

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2019). This course shares some modules with the BSc (Hons) Psychology which is being revalidated in April 2019. As a result of the revalidation, there may be a change to the psychology modules offered on this course in 2020. Please check the website for any updates.





*Exchange opportunities

In Year Two or Three you have the opportunity (where available) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

Please note that exchange opportunities are subject to availability. In addition, please note that where exchange opportunities are arranged in the EU, Erasmus+ funding is available subject to the UK remaining in the Erasmus+ scheme.



You’ll graduate with a wide range of skills, knowledge and aptitudes. You’ll be ready to step out into a wide range of careers, to develop yourself in even greater ways. Our alumni are pursuing careers in social and community work, consumer and social research, public policy development, teaching, academia, marketing and human resource management.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard BBCC, Minimum: BCCC

A Level: CCD

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required: English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/ GCSE

Mature/Access: Related Access course — see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC: HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

 Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/college-leavers-and-mature-students/




Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at Newbattle Abbey College or West Lothian College. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/associate-student-scheme/

Professional registration/ accreditation

Successful completion of this degree does not confer Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) which enables access to professional training as a Chartered Psychologist.



Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants: EU students starting their studies up to and including academic year 2020/21 will have the costs of their tuition fees met by the Scottish Government for the duration of their course. For more information, see https://www.qmu.ac.uk/brexiteu-student-funding-update/

Teaching staff may be subject to change.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2020
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Peter Jacobs - BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology "Overall, it’s been a great journey for me. Working for a company that saves lives has really opened my eyes to the world of pharmaceuticals. It has given me a lot to think about for the future and what career path I would like to follow. The internship has allowed me to learn new transferrable skills and make new connections." Read my story...