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BSc Psychology with Year Abroad

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home - 2024-25)
£27,180 Fee Band 3a (International Students - 2024-25)
More detail

This BPS-accredited Psychology BSc degree covers the full breadth of the field of psychology in combination with the unique experience of studying one year abroad.

In the first two years of your degree we will immerse you in a set of core modules, covering fundamental elements of psychology as well as psychological research methods and subject-related skills, including coding, public engagement, digital skills and entrepreneurship. You will discover the psychological and brain mechanisms supporting many of the key elements of what it is to be human, including the ability to learn, understand speech and perceive the world around us. You will also develop your skills as a researcher and collaborator by conducting psychological research projects in groups.

Between your second and final year in Birmingham, you will take a year abroad to expand your horizons and develop your skills and experiences in a global environment. You select your own placement at any non-UK university approved by the International Relations Office. Recent destinations include the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

In your final year, you will choose high-level specialist subject modules, allowing you to concentrate on the themes and topics that interest you most. You will also complete an independent Research Project. Under the guidance of a supervisor, you will design a study in your chosen research area, analyse and interpret the data, and prepare a presentation and written report. This is a substantial piece of work that allows you to develop in-depth knowledge of a specific sub-field of psychology.

The Psychology BSc with Year Abroad will provide you with a broad knowledge of contemporary psychology and with the opportunity to specialise in the topics that interest you most.

Academically, conducting and completing my independent clinical research project will always be the highlight of my time at Keio University. But nothing will beat the friends I made, places I visited, and cultural events I took part in during my time in Japan.

Alfred Vaughan, BSc Psychology with Year Abroad

Why study this course?

There are plenty of reasons to study the Psychology with a year abroad at Birmingham:

  • Accreditation: Our BSc and MSci Psychology programmes are 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 qualification of second class honours is achieved.
  • Research-led teaching: Over half of our research activity was recognised as being ‘world-leading’ in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014). This world-leading research feeds directly into our programmes, meaning you will learn from academics who are experts in their field.
  • Facilities: Access to purpose-built facilities specifically equipped for work in human brain sciences, psychophysiology, cognition and speech production, visual and auditory perception, neuropsychology, attention, food and nutritional psychology, psychopharmacology, social psychology, clinical and forensic psychology, and child development.
  • Year Abroad options:  A year abroad will expand your horizons and develop your skills and experiences in a global environment.


Year 1

Core modules cover topics including:

Year 2

Core modules cover topics including:

Year 3 - Year Abroad

Final Year

Compulsory module:

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 2024. 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 student fees 2024-25

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, 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 2024-25

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 3a (Laboratory) £27,180

Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:

A*AA including one of the following subjects: Chemistry, Biology/Human Biology, Physics, Psychology, Mathematics/Further Mathematics or Statistics.

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 Level 3 National Extended Diploma D*D*D in Applied Psychology, Applied Human Biology or Applied Science, plus a grade A at A Level.

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D* in Applied Psychology, Applied Human Biology or Applied Science, plus a grade A at A Level.

BTEC National Extended Certificate D* in Applied Psychology, Applied Human Biology or Applied Science, plus a grade AA at A Level.

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.


Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma 2023 entry: 7, 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.

Our Psychology degree with a year abroad is structured so that you will follow a common programme in all of the areas that make up the ‘core’ of contemporary psychology.

How you will learn

Formal tuition is designed to provide a balance between theoretical issues and practical experience. However, the timetable of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and practical classes accounts for only a portion of the week, and you will have the opportunity to structure your own work within these formal attendance requirements. As part of this work you will write course-related essays and in some cases prepare posters and reports of practical work which, together with written exams at the end of each session, contribute to the mark for each year and to the final degree classification.

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.

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.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - 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.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers 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.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.


  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

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.

Seminars and workshops

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, and this course is taught through a timetable of lectures, seminars, workshops, 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. 

Lecturers and world leading researchers

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.

Resources and facilities

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.

Contact Hours

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.

Assessment Methods

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 your 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.

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.

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

Careers Network

Careers Network, 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 CVs 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

Professional Accreditation

BPS accredited logo

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 and the empirical project has been passed.