BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology

On this British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited course you will learn the skills and the analytical abilities that employers in a range of careers are looking for. You will learn across six core areas of psychology (cognitive, biological, historical, developmental, social and individual differences) and gain extensive practical training in research methods. You can 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 will be able to join the BPS, an essential step on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.

Why QMU?

  • The course will equip you with the transferable skills that top employers are actively looking for in their graduates.
  • You will 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

You will learn to use scientific methods and evidence to understand, measure and modify behaviour. It is 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 will focus your learning on the specialist areas that interest you. Crucially, you will 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 will 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 select from optional classes in other disciplines, including Sociology and Physiology.

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 be encouraged to participate in and reflect on current research taking place in the Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education at QMU. You will also study another chosen subject for the first semester of Year Two.

In Year Three you will continue to critically reflect on the historical underpinning of psychology 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 quantitative and qualitative research, as well as the critical appraisal of research ethics and the identification of your Year Four dissertation project.

In Year Four you can choose modules that suit your interests and focus on real-world applications of psychology. For example, in the Contemporary Issues in Psychology module you will reflect on how you can use your psychology knowledge to approach current problems and issues in society. This year, when 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.


Year One

  • Introduction to Psychology 1
  • Foundations of Psychology: Core Concepts and Practices
  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • plus 60 credits from another topic

Optional modules may be in sociology, biological sciences or education. Please note that optional modules may vary year on year and may not always be available. 

Year Two

  • Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Exploring Research in Psychology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Individual Differences, Wellbeing and Ethical Practice
  • plus 20 credits from another topic.

Optional modules may be in sociology, biological sciences or education. Please note that optional modules may vary year on year and may not always be available. 

Year Three

  • Social Psychology and Social Justice/
  • Psychobiology in Context
  • Historical Perspectives in Psychology
  • The Skilled Researcher
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology

Year Four

  • Psychology for Contemporary Issues
  • 60 credits from a range of modules that could include Dissertation Research Project or Community Engagement
  • plus three modules from the following options: Memory: Origins and Structures/Cognitive Science of Belief/Evolutionary Psychology in the Modern World/Eyewitness Psychology/Happiness and Wellbeing/Psychology of Pain/Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence/Political Psychology

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (April 2021) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2022. Please check back here for any updates.

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.

Exchange opportunities

In Year Two, you have the opportunity (where available) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see Exchanges and Study Abroad

On December 24th 2020, the UK Government announced that as an outcome of Brexit negotiations, the United Kingdom would not be seeking to participate in the Erasmus+ successor programme.

From 2022/23 Queen Margaret University will no longer operate under the Erasmus+ scheme. Over the coming year we will be working with new and existing partners on study abroad and exchange opportunities for the 2022/23 academic year and beyond.


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 our website at:  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: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 BPS. 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 the the 'External review' section on our ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

View open day course presentation

Please note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate). 

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Start Your Application

Course Overview

3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

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