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.
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.
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.
In the final year, under the guidance of your supervisor, you will undertake a substantial piece of independent research work. You also choose options from a list of advanced modules on contemporary psychology including topics such as forensic and clinical psychology, social cognition, psychology and culture, and cognitive neuroscience.
Download our latest Undergraduate brochure (PDF 708KB).
Why study this course
Situated at the heart of the Edgbaston campus, we are one of the strongest Psychology departments in the country, with over 120 research and teaching staff and around 800 undergraduates. We are a broad school with expertise in clinical, forensic, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and behavioural and social neuroscience. We have recently opened a new £2 million brain imaging centre. We are ranked among the top three Psychology departments in the country for research and have been rated as ‘excellent’ in government reviews of our teaching.
Read the transcript
Our 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.
The modules described here are the ones that we currently offer and will give you a good idea of the range of subjects that we teach. However as our undergraduate teaching is research-led and we constantly review our teaching to ensure that the modules that we offer are up to date, there may be changes to module titles and content.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAA–AAB
Required subjects and grades: Our typical A level offer is AAB for applicants taking at least one of the following subjects: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics/Statistics, Physics or Psychology. The typical offer for students who are not taking any of these subjects is AAA. Grade C in each of GCSE English and Maths
General Studies: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society and World Development.
BTEC: BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Science with Distinctions in all units plus a relevant A Level at grade A.
Access to HE courses: Access to Science (not Social Science) courses are considered on an individual basis. Access students should contact us prior to making an application.
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.
We require qualifications equivalent to AAA-AAB at A-Level. We receive applications from all over the world from students with a very wide range of qualifications. We use standardised conversion tables to work out an appropriate offer / requirement in each case.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: Our typical offer is a minimum of 32 points with 6,6,5 at Higher Level for applicants taking at least one Science subject at Higher Level (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology). The typical offer for students who are not taking a Science subject at Higher Level is a minimum of 32 points with 6,6,6 at Higher Level. 5 points in each of SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
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