School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies

Have you successfully achieved a Foundation Degree or HND in a psychology related subject? Take this one-year top-up and leave us with a full degree and an increased understanding of social, developmental, clinical, cognitive and physiological psychology. You can choose to study psychology or psychology with sociology and you’ll graduate equipped to carve out your future in anything from professional psychology to marketing and management.

You will maximise your learning with a personal tutor assigned throughout your studies to provide the support and guidance you need to get the most out of your course. You’ll immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum continually shaped by the latest developments in psychological research. You'll also be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research. As this is a 'top-up' course for FdSc graduates only, it is not available during Clearing.

Key features

  • Maximise your learning with a personal tutor assigned throughout your studies to provide the support and guidance you need to get the most out of your course.
  • Immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum continually shaped by the latest developments in psychological research.
  • Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’ve got 22 labs to choose from, including a virtual reality laboratory with 3D modelling software, sound-proof cubicles with a range of stimulus equipment and computer laboratories. You'll be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research.
  • To complement your formal learning we offer regular PALS sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment. Find out more about the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS).

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In this top up year you'll take part in academic debates, gaining an advanced understanding of the central areas of psychology. You’ll select advanced topics that reflect your own specialist interests and undertake a comprehensive piece of research as your final year project with the support of your academic supervisor.
    Core modules
    • PSYC401 Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module has two elements. In the social psychology element, students will examine advanced topics in social cognition, social influence and persuasion, group behaviour, intergroup behaviour and sociological social psychology. In the developmental psychology element, students will focus on language development, theories of children's mind and the development of socialisation.

    • PSYC406 Applied Psychology Dissertation

      This module aims to consolidate and put into practice the research training carried out in earlier stages by exploring a particular research problem. Students are required to conduct a complete piece of research, from establishing a research area, formulating a research question, conducting a literature search, designing and conducting the study, analysing the data, through to writing up a report of the project.

    • PSYC402 Psychobiology and Cognition

      This module provides advanced coverage in the core areas of psychobiology and cognition. In psychobiology, the module deals with evolutionary and comparative approaches to understanding human perception, emotion and self-awareness, goal-directed behaviour and social engagement. In cognition, the module deals with three key topics in higher cognition: language, memory, and thinking and reasoning

    • PSYC410 Personal and Professional Development

      This zero-credit module is home to timetabled tutorials and careers talks. Tutorials include group and reflective work which tutors provide feedback for.

    Optional modules
    • PSYC403 Current Topics in Psychology A

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the school's staff).

    • SOC3544 Food and Foodways

      This module aims to provide a critical understanding of sociological issues relating to food and foodways, (the beliefs and behaviours surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food both on an individual and collective level). The module encourages critical reflection and practical experience of research in the area of food and foodways through a mini project.

    • PSYC404 Current Topics in Psychology B

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • SOC3540 Gender and Society: A Social Science Critique

      This module explores how and why gender matters in shaping key areas of social life. It focuses on a range of substantive issues, such as childhood, family, sexuality, health, bodies, media, sport, work, development, education, politics, to develop an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender and other social signifiers of difference/diversity.

    • SOC3543 Health, Healing and Healthcare

      This module will consider a range of issues concerning health, healing and healthcare in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop students¿ critical understanding of the impact of `medicalisation¿ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health and the body with an opportunity for students to focus upon areas of particular interest to them.

    • SOC3545 Social Theory and Political Action

      This module considers the relationship between theoretical activity and practical political activity (the question of praxis) in terms of contemporary political issues and disciplinary debates. Students are asked to reflect critically upon the political and ethical dimensions of social science and the impact social researchers have upon the wider society.

    • SOC3547 Media, State and Society

      The media occupy key arenas whereby various social groups compete with one another to set public, political, commercial and cultural agendas. This module examines the relationship between media, state and society. It covers a number of substantive topic areas such as environmental issues, terrorism, war reporting, hate speech and violence.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

Specifically for students who have successfully achieved a Foundation Degree/HND from a psychology-related subject/course. Applicants with other qualifications at the appropriate level and experience may also be considered.

A Foundation Degree (FSc) that has been approved by the School of Psychology and has been validated by Plymouth University.

Applications from those with FSc degrees or HE diplomas (or equivalent) from other HE institutions will be considered where at least 160 credits of the programme are core topics in Psychology.

Please note that this final year course would not allow you eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.


For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
For more information please see www.plymouth.ac.uk/money

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



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Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

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Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

Facilities in the School of Psychology

Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’re a well equipped department ready to support your research.

Read more about our facilities

Psychology staff - qualified to teach

80 per cent of staff in the School of Psychology have teaching qualifications, and many are Higher Education Academy Fellows. All new staff are required to qualify for a fellowship of the HEA.

Nationally only 38 per cent of university academics are qualified to teach - you deserve better than that.

Find out what qualifications our staff have