Start a new search?

BA Hons Psychology

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Psychology
UCAS Code: C802 Duration/Length: 3 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Psychology Director of Studies: Dr ML Allen
Total Credit Points: 360 Credit Points Year 2: 120
Credit Points Year 3: 120

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Psychology is an empirical science that aims to understand how and why humans and non-human animals act in the ways they do. The discipline spans studies of basic neural mechanisms to analyses of complex human relationships. Psychology's methods of enquiry have developed from philosophy, biology and other natural, social and mathematical sciences. Psychology is a broad subject area that attempts to analyse and explain behaviour in a systematic, reproducible way. There is a strong emphasis on the relationship between theory and empirical data, with results that have applications in education, health, industry and commerce and other situations.



    Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills


    In sum, the degree aims to:


    Offer students a thorough grounding in key areas of contemporary psychology.


    Provide students with the opportunity to study in depth important areas of psychology that are taught by staff who are research active in those areas.


    Offer students a range of different learning environments and forms of assessment.


    Enable students to formulate, investigate, analyse and evaluate psychological questions.


    Give students the opportunity to acquire the intellectual and practical skills required for postgraduate study in psychology.



    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills


    Develop numeracy and analytic skills that can contribute to success in a range of future careers.


    Develop students' skills when communicating in different formats, such as written reports and reviews, essays, posters, press releases, and oral presentations, and to communicate more effectively in general.


    Enhance students' ability to work as part of a group on different kinds of problems.


    Improve students' organisation of their time and their ability to work and learn independently.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills


    Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills


    Graduates will be able to:


    Demonstrate knowledge of key theories, findings and methods in core areas of psychology including cognitive psychology, physiological psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, and appropriate contemporary forms of data analysis.


    Describe and evaluate diverse psychological methods, theories, and evidence.


    Generate, explore, and develop hypotheses and research questions.


    Carry out empirical studies drawing on a variety of psychological methods


    Use quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse data from psychological investigations.


    Present and evaluate research findings.


    Plan, conduct and report a substantial piece of independent empirical research including: defining a research problem, formulating testable predictions, choosing appropriate methods, planning and conducting data gathering, demonstrating an awareness of the ethical issues and codes of ethics, evaluating data, and producing a professional report.


    Employ evidence-based reasoning when presenting, interpreting and evaluating psychological research.


    Use some psychological tools such as experimental software and psychometric instruments.


    Discuss primary research literatures in currently active areas of psychological research.


    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills


    Graduates will be able to:


    Communicate effectively orally, graphically, and in writing.


    Interpret and use both quantitative and qualitative data effectively.


    Critically interrogate data, ideas, and the relationships between them.


    Use standard computer packages including at least one statistical package.


    Demonstrate the ability to plan their work, meet deadlines and manage their time effectively.


    Problem-solve including identifying and posing problems, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes.


    Learn independently including the ability to seek out, retrieve, analyse and synthesise information.


    Engage in effective teamwork showing sensitivity to contextual and interpersonal factors.

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • The general structure of the standard Psychology degree is one that goes from an emphasis on breadth of knowledge and understanding to an emphasis on depth with an accompanying increase in emphasis on critical evaluation. In years 1 and 2 of the degree, students are introduced to those areas of psychology that are identified by the department and by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as key areas of modern psychology. By the end of second year, students have covered all these key areas and have a good grounding in modern psychology. In third year, students have some choice over which areas they will pursue further, as well as the opportunity to study areas of psychology that are more specialised. In addition, in third year students complete an individual research project supervised by an academic member of staff. Employability skills are embedded in the degree and explored with students.


    Students are taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practicals. For most modules, lectures form the backbone of the teaching and are supported by small group (<15 students) seminar teaching providing students with opportunities to test their understanding, evaluate psychological theories and investigations, and develop their communication skills. In both the first and second year there is also a structured programme of practicals that allows students hands-on experience of conducting psychological research but also provides opportunities for students to work in small groups and to practice their skills in data analysis and data presentation.There is an increasing emphasis on independent learning as students progress through their degree. This is reflected in the contact hours which, in line with university guidelines, decrease across years 1 to 3 with the expectation that students engage in more independent study. This shift places more emphasis on students taking responsibility for their time management, though academic teaching staff continue to provide guidance on study activities outside contact hours. For example, n year 1, investigations in practicals are typically stipulated by the teaching staff, in year 2 there is opportunity to develop their own studies in areas identified by the academic staff, in year 3 students will complete a research project supervised by a member of staff.


Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Students are summatively assessed using a combination of coursework and exams on most modules. Students encounter a wide variety of assessment methods including multiple choice questions (via paper or web), short answer questions, critical reviews, standard essays, posters, practical reports, oral presentations and a project report. Web-based assessments are used in first year and link to seminars and practicals. They serve not only to continuously assess students but to give them ongoing feedback on their performance on the course and to help them consolidate their learning. Such assessments are also used on the second year statistics module.

    In line with the structure of the degree, assessments move from an emphasis on breadth of knowledge and understanding to a greater emphasis on depth of knowledge, understanding and critical analysis. For example, first year exams are a mix of multiple choice questions and essays, second year exams typically consist of short answer questions and essays while final year exams are usually essay based.



Contact Information

If you encounter any difficulties accessing Online Courses Handbook information please contact the Student Registry:

If you require further details in relation to academic content please contact the appropriate academic department directly.

Related Pages