BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

Who are we, and how do we shape our world? On this course you will explore the nature of the individual and society. You will 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.

Why QMU?

  • We offer a stimulating environment in which students can develop the intellectual and professional edge needed for working with 21st century society, and in which our staff work on outward-facing, innovative and cross-disciplinary research.
  • Our course is student-focused and research-informed. It offers students the opportunity to work closely with staff on current, real-world projects and collaborations.
  • Our class sizes are smaller compared with some universities, so you have closer and more personal support and guidance from our staff.
  • Through the unique integration of sociology and psychology teaching with combined ‘hybrid’ modules, we have developed a highly innovative and unique joint degree which is aligned to QMU’s strategic goal to provide distinctive, accessible and high quality education.

On this course you will:

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

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.

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 will 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.

You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. 

Year One

You will: 

  • Gain a thorough grounding in the key concepts, theories and schools of thought in psychology and sociology.
  • Look at the historical development and contemporary applications of psychological and sociological knowledge as well as explore the very latest debates in both disciplines.
  • Develop a wide range of essential transferable talents, by focusing on improving your interpersonal and presentation skills, effective reading and writing, analytical thinking and critical reflection, as well as your research skills.


  • Introduction to Academia
  • The Sociological Imagination 1 – Classic & Contemporary Sociological Theories & Concepts
  • The Sociological Imagination 2 – Diversity and Inequality
  • Introduction to Psychology 1
  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • Foundations of Psychology: Core Concepts and Practices

Year Two

You will: 

  • Start to develop research skills in psychology and sociology.
  • Start to make informed, comparative, critical judgements and evaluations of competing psychological and sociological approaches to substantive issues.
  • Start to develop competence in the critique of published psychological and sociological research in relation to conceptual and methodological considerations.
  • Start develop competence in synthesising relevant evidence in the development of coherent and systematic arguments.
  • Have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, visit Exchanges and Study Abroad*.


  • Current Debates in Sociology
  • Material Culture
  • Exploring Research
  • Self & Identity
  • Individual Difference, Wellbeing and Ethical
  • Practice
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology

*This opportunity is available in both Years Two and Three however you will only be able to undertake it in one of those years. 

Year Three

You will: 

  • Develop skills to critically evaluate the utility of a range of epistemological and methodological perspectives in interrogating psychological and sociological issues.
  • Develop skills to employ evidence-based, comparative reasoning and to critically examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychological and sociological research.
  • Develop understanding of ethical issues and current codes of ethics and conduct.
  • Develop competence in the presentation and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, visit Exchanges and Study Abroad*.


  • Interaction & Social Order
  • Sociology of Knowledge & Science
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sociological and Psychological Approaches to
  • Social Movements
  • Research Skills

*This opportunity is available in both Years Two and Three however you will only be able to undertake it in one of those years. 

Year Four

You will: 

  • Develop specialisms in psychology and sociology
  • Be able to demonstrate detailed and contemporary knowledge and understanding in relation in relation to chosen specialisms
  • Through independent scholarly activity, synthesise and critically evaluate a wide range of
    psychological and sociological theories, theorists, concepts and practices
  • Conduct independent research appropriate to sociology and/or psychology
  • Become an independent, pragmatic, reflective and critical thinker.


  • Dissertation (in Psychology, Sociology or both)
    two Sociology option modules
    two psychology option modules

Sociology options include:

  • Understanding the Sociological Present
  • Embedded Sustainability
  • Class, Poverty and Inequality: Social Policy Response
  • Sociology of Scotland
  • Inequality, Poverty and Social Policy in Comparative Perspective

Psychology options include:

  • Cognitive Science of Belief
  • Community Engagement
  • Critical Engagement with the History of Psychology
  • Eyewitness Psychology
  • Psychology for Contemporary Issues
  • Peer relations in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Memory: Origins and Structures

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. 

Exchange opportunities

Yes. Both the 'Year Two' and 'Year Three' tabs on this page contain more information.


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 at Nat 5/ GCSE

Mature/Access: Visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page for more information. 

We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • 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, visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page

Am I a Widening Access student?: We apply the minimum entry criteria to applicants who meet one or more contextual factor. To see if this would apply to you, please refer to the access and application page.

This course is part of our Associate Student Scheme. Our associate student places enable you to enrol on a Queen Margaret University degree but for the first year you will study at one of our college partners on a linked HNC course. Upon successful completion, you have a guaranteed place to complete your degree at Queen Margaret University.

Awarding body

QMU. More information is in the ‘External Review’ section of the 'How we teach and how you'll learn' page

Open Day presentation

Associate student places

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

Read more about the Associate Student Scheme

Please note:

• The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2022) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2023. Please check back here for any updates.

• The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate)

• Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2023
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level