BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology

On this BPS accredited course you’ll learn the skills – and the analytical abilities – that employers in a range of careers are looking for. You’ll learn across six core areas of psychology (cognitive, biological, historical, developmental, social, individual differences) and gain extensive practical training in research methods. You can also focus on a particular area of interest through our module choices.

Why do humans think, feel and behave the way we do? As a psychology student you will find answers to some of the most fundamental and fascinating of questions. When you graduate, you’ll be able to join the British Psychological Society, an essential step on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.

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



Why QMU?

  • The course will equip you with the transferable skills that top employers are actively looking for in their graduates.
  • You’ll learn the valuable skills needed to think critically and scientifically and will engage in empirical research throughout your degree.
  • Enhance your broad psychological knowledge by specialising in your choice of dissertation topic and elective modules.
  • Our class sizes are smaller compared with some universities, so you have closer and more personal support and guidance from our staff.


About the course

Why do humans think, feel and behave the way we do? As a psychology student you will find answers to some of the most fundamental and fascinating of questions. When you graduate, you’ll be able to join the British Psychological Society, an essential step on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.

You’ll learn to use scientific methods and evidence to understand, measure and modify behaviour. It’s an incredibly diverse field, and you will enjoy a broad introduction to six core areas of psychology, including cognitive, developmental and social psychology. Later in the course you’ll focus your learning on the specialist areas that interest you. Crucially, you’ll learn how to think, write and critique in a scientific way, giving you the core skills you need to follow a career in the field.

In Year One you’ll learn the building blocks of classic and contemporary theory and research in psychology, and will look at the historical dimensions of the discipline as a whole. You can also study either sociology or physiology. In Year Two you’ll move towards evaluation of the core domains of social, developmental, individual, cognitive and biological psychology through a variety of teaching and learning methods, including group work, skills practice, and problem-based learning. You’ll be encouraged to participate in and reflect on current research taking place in the Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education at QMU. You’ll also study another chosen subject for the first semester of Year Two.

In Year Three you’ll continue to critically reflect on the historical underpinnings, undertake a critical review of the literature, and progress your knowledge and critical awareness within the core areas. Your research skills will be further refined with the opportunity to gain experience of both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as the critical appraisal of research ethics and the preparation of a research proposal.

In Year Four you can choose modules that suit your interests. For example, in the Contemporary Issues in Psychology module you will reflect on how you can use your psychology knowledge to approach current problems in the real world. This year, now that you are immersed in the student research culture, you can carry out a research-based dissertation in a specific area.




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. You will be assessed by essays, case studies or group projects and written exams in Years Three and Four. >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'


Year One

  • Introduction to Psychology 1
  • Foundations of Psychology: Core Concepts & Practices
  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • plus 60 credits from either: Sociology (Introduction to Academia and the Sociological Imagination/ Diversity, Identity and Wellbeing); or 60 credits from Physiology

Year Two

  • Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Research Methods & Statistics
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Individual Differences and Wellbeing
  • plus 20 credits from another topic

Available optional modules may include Sociology, Education or Physiology

Year Three

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychobiology
  • Perspectives in Psychology: Individual Differences and Critical Historical Issues
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology

Year Four

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Dissertation Research Project
  • Volunteering and Community Engagement
  • plus three modules from the following options: Risk Behaviours/ Memory: Origins and Structures/ Cognitive Science of Belief/ Evolutionary Psychology in the Modern World/ Eyewitness Psychology

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2019) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2020 following revalidation in April 2019. Please check the website for any updates.





*Exchange opportunities

In Year Two, 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.




From sports to sales, research to nursing, media to marketing, our graduates have used their psychology skills to forge a huge variety of careers. You can also go on to develop your expertise via postgraduate study.



Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard BBBCC, Minimum: BCCCC

A Level: BBC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: Maths and English at Nat 5/ GCSE

Mature/Access: See related Access courses - www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC in a related subject with A in the graded unit or HND with CB in the graded units may be considered

 For details of related HNC and HND courses, see  see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications



Associate student places

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

Professional registration/ accreditation

The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Successful completion of this degree (2:2 or above) confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Status (GBC) with the BPS, enabling access to professional training as a Chartered Psychologist (educational, organisational or forensic psychology).


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

Related Professional Bodies


A Student Story - more at foot of page

Matthew Gibson - MRes psychology "Studying psychology and the MRes at QMU has enabled me to develop knowledge in a number of areas and acquire a range of skills, including critical thinking & research skills as well as an awareness of issues like ethical practice, all of which are relevant to a number of graduate careers." Read my story...

Steven Darling

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