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

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.

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.

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
    • PSYC411 Learning

      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.

    • PSYC412 Psychological Science

      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.

    • PSYC413 Debates in Psychology

      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.

    • PSYC414 Relationships

      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.

    • PSYC415 Topics in Psychology

      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.

    • PSYC416 Connecting Psychology

      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
    • CPIE202 Career and Placement Planning

    • PSYC513 Cognition and Biological Psychology

      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.

    • PSYC514 Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology

      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.

    • PSYC515 Health and Wellbeing

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

    • PSYC516 Applied Psychology

      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.

    • PSYC519 Research Skills in Practice 1

      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.

    • PSYC520 Research Skills in Practice 2

      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
  • If you choose, you can take an optional work placement after your second year, applying your knowledge of psychology in a variety of real-world contexts offered through established partners across the UK or abroad.

    Core modules
    • PSYC310 Personal and Professional Development

      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
    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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).

    • 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).

    • 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

    • 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.

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 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

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 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.

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 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,400 £13,800
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed £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.

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: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences 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.

Intercalating students wishing to apply for the final year of this course should complete a direct entry form.

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. 

Psychology staff that are 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.

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.

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Research in the School of Psychology

Our excellence has been recognised through the Research Excellence Framework, in which 83 per cent of school activity was judged to be of world-leading or internationally excellent standard, placing us within the top 20 psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry schools across the country. 

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

People