Psychology plays a significant part in modern day life, from the school classroom to the courtroom, in industry, business organisations and in universities. Our BPS-accredited degree covers all aspects of the broad subject area that is psychology. At Birmingham you can look forward to being taught by world-leading academics in one of the UK's top Schools of Psychology.
The School of Psychology is ranked first in the Russell Group for graduate employability 2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey
You are able to tailor the course to your own interests, and there is the opportunity to complete an independent research project in the final year alongside academics, enhancing your own knowledge and making a significant contribution to university life.
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Psychology is often defined as the study of behaviour, brain and mind, but this simple explanation doesn't truly capture the tremendous variety of things that you will actually do as a psychologist.
The behaviour that you will study ranges from apparently simple acts like feeding, to much more complex skills like language and social interaction. In studying the brain, you may be concerned with identifying which areas deal with particular functions or with how individual nerve cells work and communicate with each other. If you are investigating the mind, you may deal with specific topics like seeing and remembering or how these processes combine to make us conscious, intelligent beings.
“The modules are so varied – we cover every area of psychology”
Katie - BSc Psychology
Because of the wide-ranging nature of psychology as a subject, we believe that you should examine all of its various approaches and interests before choosing an area in which to specialise.
Our Psychology degree is structured so that you follow a common programme in all of the areas that make up the core of contemporary psychology. In addition, in the third year you are offered a scheme of options, which allows you to concentrate on the themes which interest you most. The programme is structured on a modular basis, and two modules outside of the main discipline, in a subject other than psychology, may be taken in the first year.
First and second years
In your first two years you will study the core theories and methods of psychology, covering child development, learning, abnormal behaviour, cognitive psychology, perception, personality, social psychology, and brain and behaviour. You will also learn how to design experiments and collect and analyse data.
Year abroad option
As a current student you will have the opportunity to take a year abroad in between your second and third years, in a location such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong or Singapore. If you take this option you will receive a BSc with Year Abroad. During your year abroad, fees will be 15% of the regular annual fee. You will not pay any additional fees to your host university overseas. See our current partner universities
Year 3 is designed to allow you to develop your individual interests and abilities. You will choose four modules from a wide range of subjects. The modules on offer may vary from year to year, but examples include: Understanding Emotions, Visual Cognitive Neuroscience and Art, Why we eat what we eat, and Clinical Psychology of Severe Intellectual Disability. Class sizes in the third year encourage discussion and places are subject to availability. For each chosen module, there is usually a weekly two-hour lecture plus workshops and/or seminars.
In Year 3 you will also complete an independent Research Project. Under the guidance of a supervisor, you will design a study in your chosen research area, collect and analyse the data, and interpret the data for an oral presentation and written report. This is a substantial piece of independent work that accounts for one-third of the year’s grade, and allows you to develop in-depth knowledge of a specific sub-field of psychology.
Download our latest Undergraduate brochure (PDF 708KB).
The School of Psychology is one of the strongest and most active psychology departments in the country. We are ranked among the top five psychology departments for research and have a reputation for excellent teaching. We have expertise spanning clinical, forensic, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and behavioural and social neuroscience.
Our BSc and MSci programmes are all accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Society with the Graduate Basis for Registration, provided the minimum standard of second class honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. For more information please contact the British Psychological Society.
In designing our degree programmes, we have aimed to provide our undergraduates both with a broad knowledge of contemporary psychology and with the opportunity to specialise in the topics that interest them most. Rather than emphasising a particular approach, the first two years give equal weight to all the major areas of contemporary psychology and to the various techniques they encompass. Our students are then well-equipped to develop their knowledge in greater depth through the project work and optional courses provided in the third year.
There will also be an opportunity for some BSc students to transfer to the four year masters programmes (MSci) at the beginning of Year 3 (subject to availability of places in the MSci programmes). High academic achievements in the first two years will be one of the important selection criteria for the transfer.
Read the transcript
Option modules - Example option modules may include:
Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2017. We aim to publish any changes to compulsory modules and programme structure for 2018 entry by 1 September 2017 and recommend you refer back to this page shortly after that date for any changes. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.
Standard Home/EU student fees 2017-18
For UK students beginning their studies in September 2017, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.
Standard international student fees 2017-18
Fee Band (Undergraduate)
Band 3a (Laboratory)
Learn more about fees and funding
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- Number of A levels required:
- Typical offer:
Specified subjects excluded for entry: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, Science in Society, World Development, Communication and Culture, Citizenship Studies and Use of Maths.
BTEC Extended Diploma in science related subject only considered when offered in combination with a science A level
BTEC Diploma not accepted
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma not accepted
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements
Deferring admission and gap years - Deferring admission is usually not a problem but please inform the School or central Admissions. The university has a neutral attitude to gap years. You can still apply in advance for deferred entry and would be advised to do so.
Entry year - We will only consider first year entry onto the BSc in Psychology, and not second or third year entry.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6, 6, 6 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.
Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.
Key Information Set (KIS)
Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.
All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.
The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.
The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.
What can you expect?
Throughout your Psychology degree you can expect an average of around 11 contact hours per week with approximately 6 in lectures and the rest in other activities such as tutorials, seminars, workshops and labs. This varies somewhat with the modules that you choose and also across years of the programme.
You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. You can find out more about the members of staff in the School of Psychology where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.
Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, and this course is taught through a timetable of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. This only accounts for a portion of the week so you will have the opportunity to structure your own work outside of these formal attendance requirements.
As a Psychology student at Birmingham, you will have access to purpose-built facilities specifically equipped for work in human brain sciences (including brain imaging), psychophysiology, cognition and language, visual and auditory perception, neuropsychology, attention, food and nutritional psychology, psychopharmacology, social psychology, clinical and forensic psychology, and child development.
Most of our laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art computers for experimental control, data collection and analysis. We also have two large computer laboratories for statistical analysis, word processing and access to the University’s main network. Our degree programmes provide training in the use of these facilities.
Research project opportunities
We have extensive links with local hospitals and clinics, other universities, industry and local and national government departments. As a Psychology student here at Birmingham, these links will provide opportunities for your individual research project.
Support during your studies
You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham. We also have dedicated welfare tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.
Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.
Studying at degree level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of education at school or college. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.
Assessment varies dependent on the modules you study but you can expect to complete essays, lab reports, abstracts, grant proposals, oral presentations, short answer questions and multiple choice examinations, in addition to your third year research project (dissertation).
During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.
At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done.
The School of Psychology is ranked first in the Russell Group for graduate employability 2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey
Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.
“The course provided a wide range of research and analytical skills that I was able to apply to a range of professional jobs”
Gagandeep - BSc Psychology
Our graduates are well respected and are successful in finding careers both in professional or academic psychology and, more generally, in the professional, commercial and industrial world.
Psychology graduates are qualified to take up a wide range of careers, and many continue in psychology. Our Single Honours graduates are eligible for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society and Graduate Basis for Registration of the BPS, which is the first step towards postgraduate training and careers in clinical, forensic, educational or occupational psychology. Others work for higher degrees or join a team as research assistants. Yet others may become teachers of psychology in schools, sixth form colleges or colleges of further education.
96.4% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating 2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey
Psychology is a broad discipline and our programme offers a range of transferable analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills. As a Psychology graduate you may enter a career in which your knowledge of psychology is a useful foundation, including but not limited to: broadcasting, journalism, human resource management, marketing, social work, the Probation Service and the Civil Service. Other past graduates have also gone on to jobs in industry and commerce, computing, the police and local government
Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
Find out more about career opportunities in Psychology
This programme is accredited by the British Psychology Society as conferring eligibility for graduate membership of the Society with the Graduate Basis for Registration, provided that the minimum standard of qualification of second-class Honours is achieved.
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Clubs and societies
The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.
Shape your academic experience
Choose to study here and you will have a Student Representative, who works with the University and Students' Union on issues that directly affect students. You could even become one yourself. Not only would you be making a difference to the academic student experience, but you would also be developing transferable skills for the future.
Find out more on the Guild of Students website
Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.
The City of Birmingham
One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.
Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.