Our BPS-accredited Psychology BSc degree covers the full breadth of the field of psychology. We believe that you should examine all of the various approaches and interests before choosing an area in which to specialise.
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.
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“The modules are so varied – we cover every area of psychology.”
The Psychology BSc will provide you 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.
In Year 1, you will discover the psychological and psychobiological mechanisms of many of the key features 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 by conducting psychological research projects in groups.
Year 2 will continue to provide the foundations of other core areas of psychology, including forensic psychology, visual illusions and infant cognition, as well as advancing your practical research skills.
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.
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.
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There are plenty of reasons to study the Psychology BSc at Birmingham:
- Graduate prospects: We are ranked first in the Russell Group for graduate prospects (The Complete University Guide 2019).
- World top 100 for Psychology in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2018
- 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
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 2019. 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 2019-20
For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, 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 2019-20
Fee Band (Undergraduate)
Band 3a (Laboratory)
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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.
Our Single Honours BSc Psychology degree 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, 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.
Your personal tutor
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 academic 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.
Seminars and tutorials
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.
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.
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.
“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.
96.8% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating - 2016/17 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
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
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.