BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology

What is psychology?

Contemporary psychology attempts to understand, measure,and modify behaviour using scientific methods and evidence. Psychologists are interested in diverse questions such as: “Why are emotional memories better remembered?”; “How does prejudice arise?”; “How do our abilities to perceive and act in the world develop?”; and “Is there such a thing as personality?”.

About the Course

This course covers a wide variety of material, including classic and contemporary psychology theory, methods and practice, as well as the option to study another subject area up to Year Two. Later years include extensive focus on the cores areas required by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The course will enable you to develop and refine a high level of psychological literacy, including critical thinking and writing, excellence in research skills and ethical practice, all of which are transferable into a number of graduate careers. Successful completion of credits up to and including a fourth year Honours classification of 50% (2:2) and above confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Status (GBC) with the BPS. This allows graduates to undertake further training as a chartered psychologist.

In Year One, you will be introduced to classic and contemporary theory and research in psychology, and will be asked to begin reflection on the historical dimensions of the discipline as a whole. You will be given the opportunity to study either sociology or physiology and pharmacology. In Year Two, you will 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 will been encouraged to participate in and reflect on current research taking place in the Division of Psychology and Sociology. You will also study your other chosen subject for the first semester of Year Two.

In Year Three, you will continue to critically reflect on the historical underpinnings, and contemporary context of psychology, 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 practical 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 will choose modules according to your interests and, now immersed in the student research culture, carry out a research-based dissertation in a specific area. This year also offers the opportunity for students to gain credit for reflection on work experience in an area of your choice.

Course Structure

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, as outlined, each year.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBCCC

A Level: BBC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

Required Subjects: Maths and Eng at S/ Int2/N5/GCSE level

Mature/Access: Access to Humanities/ Arts/ Social Sciences.  We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience.

Advanced Entry:

Year 2

  • HNC Social Sciences will be considered with an A in the graded unit. HND in Social Sciences will be considered with CB in the graded units.

  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher. 

  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects.

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5.


Year One

Introduction to Psychology 1/ Foundations of Psychology/ Introduction to Psychology 2/ Methods of Psychological Inquiry/ Plus 60 credits from either: Sociology (Introduction to Academia and The Sociological Imagination/ Diversity, Identity and Wellbeing); or Physiology & Pharmacology (Introduction to Physiology and Anatomy/ Developmental Biology & Ageing/ Contemporary Issues in Biological Science/ Introduction to Neuroscience/ Genetics/ Integrating module)

Year Two

Social and Developmental Psychology/ Data Analysis/ Psychological Literacy/ Biological and Cognitive Psychology/ Enquiries in Psychology/ Psychology: Practical Investigation/ Psychological Citizenship/ Individual and Historical Perspectives in Psychology/ Plus 60 credits from either: Sociology (Social Inquiry – Philosophy and Design); or Physiology & Pharmacology (Human Physiology and Pharmacology/ Pharmacology/ Drug Abuse and Addiction

Year Three

Critical, Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology/ Social Psychology/ Developmental Psychology/ Qualitative Research Methods/ Literature Review/ Psychobiology/ Cognitive Psychology/ Individual Differences/ Quantitative Research Methods/ Research proposal

Year Four

Contemporary Issues in Psychology/ Dissertation research project/ Plus three modules from the following options: Neurodevelopmental Disorders/ Identities/ Cognitive Science of Religion/ Abnormal Psychology/ Eyewitness Psychology/ Volunteering & Community Engagement/ Evolutionary Psychology/ Risk Behaviours

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of the printing of our Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 (Feb 2017) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


As graduates have a wide range of transferable skills, opportunities exist in many areas including social work, nursing, sales, the NHS and voluntary organisations. 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). In addition, graduates may also pursue postgraduate study.

Quick Facts

  • You will gain a range of transferable skills which are highly sought after by employers.
  • There is opportunity for self development through volunteering, individual dissertation topic choice and choice of elective modules.

Learning and Teaching

From Year One, you will attend lectures, seminars and workshops for approximately 10 - 12 hours per week, in addition to time for personal study and independent learning. In later years, you will spend less time in a classroom setting.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'

Study Abroad

It is possible to study for a period of time at a university overseas.

Professional Registration

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).

Associate Student Places

You can study this course as an associate student completing the first year at Newbattle Abbey College.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants:   The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding
C800 BSc/PS

Related Professional Bodies