School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Interested in how people think, act and interact? Discover how thoughts, feelings and motivations shape our behaviour. A hands-on approach to learning across social, developmental, clinical, cognitive psychology and neuroscience will provide you the skills relevant across a range of careers, from education and health to business and the media. Shape the psychology graduate you want to be, and carve out your future in anything from professional psychology to marketing and management.

Careers with this subject

Our Psychology students have tremendous opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a variety of work settings, from professional psychology, management and teaching, to social services, health services, probation and marketing. Our hands on approach to experiential learning embedded in the course will provide you with the topical skills and experience that you can apply to the wide range of career options open to psychology graduates.

Understanding where your degree subject could take you is an important first step in career planning. Due to the transferrable nature of the skills you gain from your studies, you may discover that there is a much wider range of opportunities open to you within this profession that you may first appreciate. Find out more about where your degree could take you.

Key features

  • Hands-on learning in our psychology experiential learning lab. We embedded practical activities throughout the course, so you can put new knowledge into practice and build practical skills for future careers. 
  • Shape the psychologist you want to be. Course choices and our option-based final year give the freedom to explore the areas of psychology that interest and benefit you the most.
  • As a successful graduate, you are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society.
  • Gain valuable real-world experience by putting your skills and knowledge into practice with an optional placement year, or take part in an international exchange year by studying abroad.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your first-year modules provide a foundation of knowledge and skills across the breadth of psychology. Immersive modules integrate theory and practical workshops to provide a deeper exploration and of the psychology of learning and relationships. Other modules provide an understanding of a scientific approach to the study of psychology and the current debates within the discipline. You will also learn how psychology connects with and informs other disciplines, from politics to animal welfare.

    Core modules

    • Learning (PSYC411)

      This module explores how we gather information, with an emphasis on the scientific method. The module will introduce students to different perspectives on learning, including how to learn effectively, the biological and cognitive basis of learning, and social learning.

    • Psychological Science (PSYC412)

      This module will provide an introduction into a broad range of fundamental topics in psychology. Across eight independent topics, from across the entire breadth of psychology, students will learn key theories. Students will also learn how those theories have been applied to real-world situations and will be asked to explore these theories in practice in Labplus activities.

    • Debates in Psychology (PSYC413)

      This module covers both current and historical debates in topics drawn from across the breadth of psychology, involving discussion of theoretical issues and application and practice. The module will involve independent study sessions exploring some of the empirical differences seen in the literature and practice, and tutorial sessions will support extended writing development.

    • Relationships (PSYC414)

      This immersive module focuses on the Psychology of Social Relationships across the lifespan. This topic is introduced and analysed from different disciplines in Psychology, including Developmental, Social, Biological, Clinical and Individual Differences perspectives. Lectures introduce methodologies, key findings and concepts for understanding Social Relationships. Lectures will be supported by workshops and tutorials.

    • Topics in Psychology (PSYC415)

      This module will provide an in-depth exploration of four topics from core areas of psychology. Each of the topics will run for four weeks with interspersed group-based linked Labplus activities. These will allow students to get involved in a continued project, within the scope of a particular topic, which might involve data collection and subsequent statistical analysis of that data.

    • Connecting Psychology (PSYC416)

      This module will link psychology to other disciplines by exploring how the study of human and animal behaviour is investigated in collaboration with scientists and practitioners in a variety of other fields. A series of topics will be interspersed with independent study activities that allow students to get involved in a continued project, involving data collection and analysis.

  • Year 2

  • With a focus on developing research and practical skills, you will get additional hands-on experience in designing and testing your own experiments to explore a range of topics. You also continue to build upon your knowledge of the core areas of psychology, getting to grips with key concepts from across cognitive, developmental, social and clinical psychology.

    Core modules

    • Career and Placement Planning (CPIE202)

    • Cognition and Biological Psychology (PSYC513)

      This module covers four core areas of psychology each with 2 sub-topics: Perception & Attention; Learning & Memory; Cognition & Language; Neuroscience & Comparative Psychology. The biology of cognition will be covered within each of the four core areas, integrating them. Each core area will be covered in 12 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour integration within/between topics.

    • Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology (PSYC514)

      This module covers three core areas of psychology - individual differences, social cognition, and human development. Each core area will be covered in 16 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour will focus on integration within/between topics.

    • Health and Wellbeing (PSYC515)

      The module explores the multiple factors that determine health-related behaviours, introducing professional areas of health, clinical and forensic psychology.

    • Applied Psychology (PSYC516)

      This module explores the contribution of psychology to success in education and work. It considers different approaches to educational assessment, risk communication, and behaviour change.

    • Research Skills in Practice 1 (PSYC519)

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on the association of factors and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report. Methods workshops are also provided.

    • Research Skills in Practice 2 (PSYC520)

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on group differences and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report means. Methods workshops are also provided.

  • Year 3

  • You can explore the areas of psychology that interest and benefit you the most, with complete freedom of choice across a wide range of current psychology topics, allowing you to shape the psychologist you want to become. You will also work on a research question of your own choosing in a supervised research project.

    Core modules

    • Placement: Psychology (CPIE501)

      During this 36 week placement, students will begin to apply their psychological knowledge in the workplace and develop the range of skills required to work within the specific placement setting. This zero-credit module is also home to timetabled careers talks and information for Stage 3 students who are away on placement.

  • Final year

  • Shape the psychologist that you want to become with freedom of choice across a wide range of current psychology topics. With the study of morals, psychopharmacology, music and emotion, deception, and animal behaviour to name just a few of the topics, you are free to explore the areas of psychology that interest and benefit you the most. These studies are also augmented by a supervised research project, where you will work alongside one of our world-class research academics on a question of your own choosing.

    Core modules

    • Careers Planning (PSYC600)

      This zero-credit module is home to careers talks.

    • Current Topics in Psychology 1 (PSYC601)

      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).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 2 (PSYC602)

      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).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 3 (PSYC603)

      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).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 4 (PSYC604)

      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).

    • Research Project (PSYC605)

      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.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Psychology Programme Specification updated for 2020 21 0191

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 120

A Level: 112-120 points from a minimum of three A levels from any subjects (excluding General Studies). Must include Biology if applying for Psychology with Human Biology.

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications considered; please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

International Baccalaureate: 26-30 points overall.

BTEC: DMM-DDM in any subject.

Access courses: Pass an Access to HE course in science, humanities or combined social sciences with at least 33 credits at merit.

GCSE
5 GCSE subjects at a pass are preferred and this does not necessarily need to be Mathematics and English subjects.

Extended entry requirements
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
Part time (Home) £770 £770
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.

If you are interested in applying for an intercalated degree with the University of Plymouth, please contact our Admissions Team in the first instance applications@plymouth.ac.uk.

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

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.


Find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/upic or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

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

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.

Staff insight – Professor 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 Professor Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

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

Our labs

Academic Staff