School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Interested in how people think, act and interact? Discover how thoughts, feelings and motivations shape our behaviour. Learn about social, developmental, clinical, cognitive and physiological psychology and specialise in the areas that interest you. Gain in-demand skills for a range of careers, from education and health to business and the media. You’ll graduate equipped to carve out your future in anything from professional psychology to marketing and management.

As a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist. You’ll expand your horizons and experience with opportunities for international exchange and a year studying abroad. You’ll develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Antony James: 

"Some advice which I go by in everything that I do is to make sure I am happy. If you enjoy your work, then it’s not really work at all. I apply this golden rule to all areas of my life, whether its work, studies, or training."

Read more from Antony in his case study.

Key features

  • Take your first step to becoming a professional in your field – as a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.
  • Expand your horizons and experience with opportunities for international exchange and a year studying abroad.
  • Develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.
  • 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.
  • Shape your own study path with an exciting range of topics available through lectures, optional courses and project supervision.
    Gain invaluable experience and cultivate professional contacts by taking an optional placement year.
  • Benefit from studying on a course that Research Assessment Exercise rates as excellent for research and Quality Assurance Agency praises for being well structured, with a focus on active and independent learning, with quality placements and a responsive and reflective academic team.
  • Immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum that’s 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.
  • Receive outstanding student support with our award-winning Psychology eBooks scheme – we’ll give you free eBooks when you start, saving you over £1,500 in printed copies. Our Psychology eBooks scheme won the award for Teaching Excellence in The Guardian University Awards (2013).
  • 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.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll lay the foundations for your studies in psychology, getting to grips with the core theories and developing important intellectual and practical skills. Whether it’s social, developmental, clinical, cognitive or physiological psychology, your work will stretch across the psychology spectrum. You’ll develop your skills in the methods of psychological research, information technology, communication and critical thinking.
    Core modules
    • PSYC101 Psychology: An Introduction

      This module is an introduction to Psychology as a science. It includes elements which expose students to the full scope and richness of psychology as a discipline, including pure and applied content, methodology, and practical work

    • PSYC104 Contemporary Topics in Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module develops students¿ understanding of theories and methods of enquiry in social and developmental psychology, using topics selected to demonstrate how psychological theory can help professional and research psychologists understand human development as well as relationships with other people and the environment.

    • PSYC105 The Psychology of Everyday Experience

      This module introduces students to psychological research into various aspects of everyday experience. Students gain an appreciation of how everyday phenomena are related to psychological knowledge and research. For example, the role of human factors in accidents and disasters, the way children think, and the decisions that we make everyday are all informed by psychology

    • PSYC102 Learning, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      PSYC102 introduces students to theories and applications of conditioning, core disorders of clinical psychology and their treatment, as well as major theoretical perspectives and studies in social and developmental psychology.

    • PSYC107PP Communicating Effectively

      This module covers work-skills, including written and oral presentation, group working, interviewing and communicating effectively with others. Lecture material will cover relevant psychological research, which will be followed up by group-work and peer-review activities

    • PSYC103 Cognitive and Biological Psychology

      This module is an introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology and Neuropsychology. The Cognitive Psychology lectures introduce the basic methodologies, key findings and concepts of cognitive psychology. The Neuropsychology and Biopsychology lectures describe the basic structure of the brain, how it controls everyday experience, and how its breakdown can give rise to psychological disorders. Lectures will be supported by practicals/workshops and tutorials.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll build on your growing knowledge of psychology, developing your understanding of how it is applied in practical, real life settings, as well as in research settings. As part of your second year, you'll also develop your critical understanding of psychology and put more sophisticated research methods into practice.
    Core modules
    • PSYC202 Individual Differences, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module examines four areas of psychology: individual differences in abilities and personality and their influence on behaviour, clinical approaches to psychological disorders and their treatment, contemporary approaches to social cognition, social interaction, and group behaviour, and the development of cognitive and social abilities in infants and children.

    • PSYC204 Applied Topics in Health and Cognition

      This module explores applications of basic research and psychological theory in two areas: health psychology and cognitive psychology

    • PSYC201 Conducting Psychological Research A

      This module extends the treatment of research methods and statistics to more advanced topics and introduces the student to the principal concepts in the history and philosophy of psychology.

    • PSYC203 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

      This module covers several core areas of psychology: psychobiology (basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain function); neuropsychology (the functional architecture of the brain); perception (visual and auditory processing) and language (language comprehension and production).

    • PSYC205 Workplace Learning and Skills Development

      This module aims to allow students to learn about specific areas of psychological practice. Students will gain an understanding of how psychology is applied to specific problems, and will learn about the relevant theory and practice, developing relevant skills where appropriate. Learning about psychology in practice will encourage the student to explore their own vocational self-concept

    • CPIE200 Preparation for Work Placement

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake a placement year to enhance both programme specific and personal, employment-related skills during Stage 3 of their degree programme.

    • PSYC206 Conducting Psychological Research B

      This module extends training in research methods and gives students practice in translating research questions into feasible studies and their design, execution, analysis and interpretation. Other elements develop students¿ understanding of statistical methods and give practice in relating psychological theory to applied problems

  • Year 3
  • If you choose, you can take an optional work placement after your second year, applying your knowledge in psychology in a variety of real world contexts across the UK. Spend a year of study honing your skills on a psychological professional/work placement, in areas from adult mental health to children, community, consultation, neuropsychology, forensic, research or education. Gain invaluable experience, make professional contacts and receive a Certificate of Professional/Industrial Placement. Please note some placements may require Occupation Health and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

    Core modules
    • CPIE301 Placement: Psychology

      Sorry no description available at present.

  • Final year
  • In your final 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.

    • 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).

    • 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).

    • 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

    • PSYC405 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

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 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.

Entry requirements

International Baccalaureate: 28 points. All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM.

12 Unit BTEC National Certificate/QCF Diploma: DM plus a B grade from one A level or DM plus an A grade from one A level.                                                                                                           
Access courses: pass an Access to HE course in a relevant subject (science, humanities, combined, social sciences) with at least 33 credits units at merit.

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

English language requirements.

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

Fees, costs and funding

New students 2016-17

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £7,500 £10,300 £9,000
2 year fast-track (Business only) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
PGCE £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc £3,996 tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £750 £1,045 £750
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £625 £860 £625
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
PGCE £750 £1,025 £750


*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2016-17 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route


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.



School of Psychology - ask a student!

Want to know more about living in Plymouth and studying with us in the School of Psychology?

Ask a current student a question

Psychology at Plymouth - find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe - there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

Find out about the Psychology course

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

Dr Phil Gee - Psychology Programme Lead says:

BSc Psychology at Plymouth is an excellent foundation for a career in psychology and many other fields. Our visits programme, research apprenticeship scheme and placements allow students to work with professional psychologists throughout their studies.

Dr Phil Gee's teaching and research interests

Free e-Books

To give you a great start, if you are studying psychology as your only or major subject, we'll give you a free set of 12 eBooks when you start your first year. That's your main recommended reading for your core psychology lectures covered!

Free eBooks from the School of Psychology

Study abroad year

Expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience by choosing to spend year two of your degree studying at a university abroad

"I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!"

A challenge year in​ the USA by Simge Engelkiran

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

One of the experiments I was helping with got published in the scientific journal and... my name got mentioned!

Every year around 60-70 first and second year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'

School of Psychology Research Apprentice Scheme

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Team GB Olympic Swimmer Antony James to achieve his sporting and academic goals

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Welsh rugby player Molly Humphreys to achieve her sporting and academic goals

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