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
    • PSYC600 Careers Planning

      This zero-credit module is home to careers talks.

    • PSYC601 Current Topics in Psychology 1

      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).

    • PSYC603 Current Topics in Psychology 3

      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).

    • PSYC605 Research Project

      Students, supported by academic supervisors and specialist workshops, 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 a study that meets appropriate ethical standards, analysing the data and communicating the research verbally and in writing.

    Optional modules
    • CCJ610 Green Criminology

      This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

    • PSYC602 Current Topics in Psychology 2

      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).

    • PSYC604 Current Topics in Psychology 4

      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).

    • SOC3538 Philosophy of Social Science

      A critical introduction to the philosophical foundations of social scientific research, with an emphasis on the development of analytic skills through which students explore the philosophical and methodological possibilities and limits of knowing the social world. Critical reflexivity toward future research practice is sought.

    • 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.

    • 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.


We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,800 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Funding opportunities

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

School of Psychology: undergraduate scholarships for international students 

International students who have met the conditions of their University of Plymouth offer of study will be eligible to receive the School of Psychology Gold Scholarship to help towards the cost of tuition fees.  You may also be eligible to apply for the University's Undergraduate International Academic Excellence scholarship. 

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

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.

Why choose Plymouth?

We've redesigned the way we teach psychology. We have listened to feedback from our students and created a curriculum where the focus is on active learning instead of attending lectures. As well as this hands-on approach there are many aspects to the course that we are immensely proud of. 

Specialist Facilities
We have 22 specialist laboratories which can be booked by students and staff. Labs range from single participant rooms through to labs with a range of networked or standalone computers and social interaction or group participation rooms.

Placement Year
All of our psychology students can opt to take a voluntary placement year, so you do not have to apply for a particular course. You will gain invaluable experience and cultivate professional contacts. The process starts in your second year, with information sessions to help you decide if a placement year is right for you.

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

Every year around 60-70 first and second-year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'. With this informally run scheme, you'll get first-hand experience of carrying out research – everything from literature searching through experimental design and data collection to analysis and even publishing papers.

Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)
Learning alongside other students on your course can give you a greater opportunity to discuss ideas, broaden your knowledge, gain confidence and make friends. You will benefit from regular, coordinated Peer-Led Study Sessions planned and delivered by student PALS leaders from the academic year above. Your group will be small enough to work together, discussing ideas, completing tasks and checking understanding in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Discover psychology at Plymouth and explore our open days

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Research in the School of Psychology

Plymouth is a centre of excellence in psychological research. In the last Research Excellence Framework assessment over 80% of our research outputs were rated as either international (3*) or world-leading (4*) quality. This puts us in the top 20 nationally on this measure, and above institutions such as Bristol, UCL, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth.

We have a thriving PhD community, with around 80 doctoral students, purpose-built research facilities.

Learn more about the research in the School of Psychology

Staff insight – Dr Caroline Floccia

...I was in my twenties, and I went to a party and I met somebody who told me for the first time about the existence of a field called cognitive psychology… a field in which people study how the brain and mind work… it was a revelation…

Find out why Dr Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

Read more about Dr Caroline Floccia’s teaching and research interests

Academic Staff