BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

Psychology takes a scientific approach to finding out what makes us think, feel and behave the way we do. Sociology takes a similarly rigorous approach to understanding the social relations that underpin human interactions, social inequality and social change. By studying both subjects, you will explore a large and fascinating world – the fundamental nature of human beings and how that nature shapes our social environment.

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.

QMU is ranked top in Scotland and 14th in the UK for Sociology (out of 91 institutions) in the Guardian University League Table 2019.

Why QMU?

  • You’ll learn how psychological and sociological knowledge can contribute to positive changes in people’s everyday lives.

  • You’ll learn how to make sense of complex and challenging social issues.

  • You’ll be confident developing, planning and managing independent research projects.

  • You can choose to study for one semester at a university overseas.

  • 100% satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018*


* QMU internal analysis of unpublished NSS 2018 data


About the course

Are you fascinated by human nature, by who we are and how we interact? Do you want to know how the society around us came to exist and how it could be changed for the better? Then our joint course in Psychology and Sociology could be the course that helps you make your mark on the world.

You’ll 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 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 the exploring 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 European social policy and politics. 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 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


Year One modules

  • Introduction to Academia & The Sociological Imagination
  • Diversity, Identity & Wellbeing
  • Introduction to Psychology 1 & 2
  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Methods of Psychological Inquiry

Year Two modules

  • 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 modules

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

Year Four modules

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





Exchange opportunities*

In Years Two or Three, you have the opportunity 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/

*Subject to availability


You’ll graduate with a wide range of skills, knowledge and aptitudes, and probably some wisdom too. You’ll be ready to step out into a wide range of careers, to develop yourself in even greater ways. Perhaps even change the world you inherit for the better. Our alumni are now shaking things up in social and community work, consumer and social research, public policy development, teaching, academia, marketing and human resource management.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBCC

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 subjects: Maths and English at S/Int2/N5/GCSE.

Mature/Access: See related Access courses. 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/college-qualifications.



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 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year 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 2019
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...