of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them
Why should I choose this course?
- PROFESSIONAL BODY STANDARDS – This course has been written to the standards set by the professional body for psychology and accreditation will be applied for before the course starts in September 2024
- INDUSTRY-FOCUSED MODULES – You will be exposed to modules shaped to develop the skills valued by employers, with applied practice to give you real understanding of using psychology in industry environments. You will get to conduct research you are passionate about, develop your interpersonal skills through client interaction and benefit from authentic assessments
- WORK-BASED LEARNING – In your third year of study, you will be able to put your sound understanding of psychological theory into practice by taking on practical work-based learning. You will use this to reflect on your own goals and transferable skills to help you progress in your journey
- EXPERT TUITION – You will be taught and led by BPS Chartered and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered psychologists so you emerge as a graduate with a strong skill base for working in industry, preparing you for progression on to a MSc
- ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION – As part of your first-year Mental Health and Wellbeing module, you will undertake mental health first aid training and on successful completion, will receive a certificate to use in your work-based learning or future work opportunities
You will have access to our new state-of-the-art psychology lab to develop your research skills and put your theoretical learning to the test, measuring psychophysiological responses to stimulus with our range of specialist equipment. You will also make use of our specialist software packages and equipment to help make sense of complex societal problems, and be able to access simulation and immersive suites which create environments that represent those you may face in the real world.
Our psychology undergraduates have access to our cutting-edge sports facilities and Human Performance Laboratory at Moss House, where they get to explore sport and exercise psychology with expert lecturers
Our psychology undergraduates have access to our cutting-edge sports facilities and Human Performance Laboratory at Moss House, where they get to explore sport and exercise psychology with expert lecturers
Psychology students get to embrace interactive teaching methods and the use of technology and data to gain hands-on experience of connecting classroom knowledge to real-world experience.
Students develop their knowledge at one of our lecture theatres at our Moss House campus building
- Year 1
- Year 2
- Year 3
Psychology within Diverse Communities
By studying this module, you will learn about the role of psychology across diverse cultural, ethnic, and social communities. Here, you will explore contemporary topics within social psychology such as cultural influences on mental health, the impact of marginalisation, the dynamics of intergroup relations, societal attitudes and bias, and social influence. Within this, you will be able to focus on the application of human behaviour, cognition and emotion and how these may differ across populations and the unique challenges presented by these. These topics play a big part in how society operates, where you will be able to equip yourself with the knowledge and awareness of working across diverse communities and populations with genuine empathy.
This module allows the application of your developing psychological knowledge, both to yourself and to others. You will gain opportunities to apply psychology to your own thinking and behaviour, enhancing your reflective skills, which are key to working in the wider psychological workforce and can also assist in your own wellbeing. To help you apply psychology to others, you will learn about a range of career options in psychology and the approach to understanding and supporting others that each discipline takes, hearing directly from those who are working in a diverse range of psychological roles, with varied client caseloads. Skills and knowledge developed over your psychology degree will be highly transferable to a wide range of career options and this module will give you the opportunity to reflect on your current goals and develop your plans.
Individual Differences and Personality
This module explores the diverse ways in which individuals vary in their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Celebrating the uniqueness of people will be central to your work in this module, as you explore the intricacies of human nature and how and why individual’s psychological traits differ. One exciting aspect of this module is the constant self-discovery the learning offers, where, as you explore different personality theories and approaches, you will gain valuable insights into your own traits, tendencies and quirks that make you unique. This will enhance your awareness of the diversity of humans, with topics around gender, intelligence and attitudes sparking life into the content, and encouraging you to delve into the differences in peoples’ cognitive make-up and the role of areas such as emotion, motivation and mood. Once you have grasped the fundamental theory, this module will continue to apply it to the world around us and you will explore the use of psychometrics to see what some of the challenges may be around this, both practically and morally, across a range of contexts. You will apply your knowledge to real-life situations, where you will develop skills such as communication, empathy and conflict resolution by engaging in meaningful debates and discussions with your fellow peers to appreciate the beauty of human diversity.
Introduction to Psychological Research Methods
Research is a core component across psychology, with this module essential to strengthening your understanding of the importance of scientific research across all related topics. Here, you will learn about the importance of evidence-based practice and how research contributes to advancing our understanding of psychological theories and approaches. One core element of the module will be the discussion-based activities you will engage in around important topics such as ethical dilemmas, research case studies, and identifying and evaluating patterns in behaviour and psychological functioning. Here, your ability to problem solve and engage in discussion with your peers will be crucial. The collaborative nature of the research methods module will create a sense of community amongst you and your peers, where you will work together to scrutinise research studies and share ideas to drive learning, which can be incredibly rewarding. Other key aspects of the module include exploring research design, where you will explore cause-and-effect relationships, data analysis and the statistical techniques used to analyse and interpret data. Furthermore, you will develop skills and knowledge around how to design, conduct, summarise, evaluate and present psychological research, which will provide the foundations for the research-based modules later in your degree. This includes the independent and exciting research project you will carry out in third year, where you will have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience of designing and conducting a psychological study.
Psychology in the Modern World
This introductory module considers contemporary psychology in the modern world and looks at the evolvement of the discipline. During your learning, you will be introduced to the historical origins and explore the contextual influences in psychology to explore how thinking and viewpoints have changed and to ask yourself the question, did psychologists always get things right? As time has progressed, so has our thinking about human mind and behaviour and we have learnt that there may be a need to do things differently. Through exploring historical issues in psychology, we can celebrate the successes, but also consider weaknesses in experiments and highlight any cultural assumptions made that we would not want applied in the modern world. Studying this module provides a fascinating journey across history and into the modern day, where you will explore contemporary topics like the impact of technology on mental health and the role of social media in relationships to understand the joys and challenges of how psychology operates in today’s dynamic society. The module embraces interactive teaching methods and the use of technology and data intelligence, which will give you hands-on experience of connecting classroom knowledge to real-world experience.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
*Mental health first aider training and certificate is embedded within this module This module provides you with an overview of key topics in mental health and wellbeing, which connects key ideas from a range of socio-cultural, biological, and clinical perspectives. Here, you will cover a range of factors that contribute to mental health and wellbeing and the techniques and interventions used to manage and treat these. The module’s holistic approach to exploring wellbeing investigates the emotional, psychological and social aspects, with these impacting individuals across the lifespan. Furthermore, this module offers a refreshing and engaging perspective on areas such as personal growth and self-discovery, where you will be encouraged to delve into your own thoughts and emotions, fostering a deeper understanding of your own mental health and wellbeing. This will enable you to learn how to manage areas such as stress, anxiety and confidence more effectively, which you can then apply to your engagement with others. The embedded mental health first aid certificate will provide you with a valuable qualification that is utilised in the workplace by employers and demonstrates expertise and commitment to the area.
Psychology across the Lifespan
This module introduces you to key developmental psychology approaches to understanding people from birth through to older adults, with a wide range of developmental stages inbetween. Much of the traditional developmental literature focuses on babies and children, yet this module will use those approaches to bring our understanding right up to date and apply contemporary research to development at all stages of the lifespan. You will learn about typical development and what that may look like, but psychologists are often concerned more with atypical development as a better understanding of how this can help inform how we work with and support people whose development may have caused problems for them and others. This module will bring in key learning and core psychology covered in other modules you have completed so far, and you will explore attachments that we form to others' emotional development and theory of mind.
Qualitative Research Methods
This module focuses on one of the two main approaches to undertaking psychological research and you will learn through a variety of lectures, workshops, practical tasks, and computer-based sessions. Here, you will develop a richer understanding of research questions that may be best answered by taking a qualitative approach, and from there, grasp the different methodological options to answering such questions. Qualitative research is becoming increasingly appreciated in psychology as it really helps us answer the why? questions. It allows us to gather a wealth of data in diverse ways, which rather than numbers, is usually words. It may even be images or rigorous interpretation of multimedia sources. Different approaches to understanding research from a qualitative perspective will be introduced to you and you will get the opportunity in class for practical-based work, where you not only devise project ideas, but will collect qualitative data using a choice of methods. Here you can try out your skills of interviewing and conducting focus groups and use the data you collect to make sense of a complex problem. You will get the chance to analyse data using a specialist software package in our computer lab and interpret it in line with your chosen approach.
While studying this module, you will be exposed to a wide range of exciting topics, which will allow you to gain an insight into the inner workings of the human mind. This branch of psychology will focus on the scientific concept of metacognition and the act of thinking about thinking. Here, you will study topics such as memory, attention, problem-solving, language and decision-making, where you will delve into why we act the way we do and how we may be able to control our mind under pressure, across different environments, and with different people. You will learn about the function and structure of the brain and explore some of the mysteries that influence the way we think, feel and behave. One key area you will study will be perception, where you will explore how we interpret and make sense of incoming visual, auditory and tactile information to construct how we see the world. You will not only learn about these topics in the classroom, but will have access to the labs to bring the theory to life and develop your practical learning opportunities, using specialist psychological equipment and software.
This module will focus on the biological basis of human behaviour, and you will explore the role of genetics and the environment and how the two operate to affect behaviour. Have you ever wondered why we sometimes get a physical response to psychological problems? Well, neuroscience may hold some answers for you and this module will help you understand, through the scientific study of the nervous system. The relationship between the brain and our behaviour is complex and you will look at testing some of these links by undertaking practical sessions in our psychology lab with specialist equipment. These small group sessions will help you contextualise your theoretical learning from lectures, and you will be able to develop your understanding of how much ‘nature’ has to do with how we think, feel and behave.
Quantitative Research Methods
This module explores the other main approach to undertaking psychological research, which takes a numerical approach to working with data. You will have a fundamental understanding of quantitative research from your first-year research module, and this will help you further explore the importance of identifying and evaluating patterns in behaviour, psychological functioning and experience. You will generate and explore hypotheses and research questions drawing on relevant theory and research. To consolidate your theoretical understanding, you will spend time in the psychology labs and conduct empirical studies involving a variety of data collection methods, including experiments, observation and questionnaires. You will get some hands-on experience using specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments, so that you can apply psychological knowledge ethically and safely to real-world problems.
Psychology as a discipline has often been seen to focus on the negatives and problems that exist, with a view to offering solutions and support to overcome them. Positive psychology takes an alternative approach in that it explores how character strengths and behaviours can help us live optimum lives and how we can flourish. It even looks at how we can grow positively following trauma (post traumatic growth). In this module, you will explore some of the concepts associated with positive psychology, such as hope, gratitude, humour and resilience, and analyse the research around their contribution to thriving and living a full meaningful life. You will then apply this theoretical understanding to a range of contexts where positive psychology is applied and consider effectiveness of interventions which utilise this approach. This could be across health care, educational or forensic services where the use of positive psychology interventions may be beneficial for the individual and for wider communities.
Psychology Dissertation (40 credits)
This double credit module allows you to showcase your research knowledge and skills developed over the course so far. Here, you will select a topic of interest which is worthy of further study, and you will design a research project to help you answer a specific question. Through applying your skills in literature searching, synthesis of findings and appreciation of selecting the best methodology, you will devise your research plan and then carry out this research. You will then report on the findings, making sense of them through analysing and making logical recommendations for future work. This dissertation is something we will support you to be ready for over your course, and you will be allocated an academic supervisor who will be there to support. This research project can be related to any area of psychology you choose so it allows for you changing interests over the course. After all, we will be opening your minds to question different approaches and to inform you about areas of psychological work you never knew existed. Over your previous modules of study, you will have been exploring ethical guidelines, frameworks and practice and across your research, you will be demonstrating your application of these by making ethical decisions about the route you take and ensuring participant safety. You will also have studied modules in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and so the choice is yours as to which approach you take. You may even combine the two and take a mixed methods approach to answering your question. This project will help you bring together your skills of problem solving, critical thinking, analysis and communication, ready for the next stage in your studies or career journey.
Psychology in the Real World (Work-based Learning)
This innovative module gives you the opportunity to go into a relevant workplace and gain practical experience, applying psychological theories to real-world contexts. You will have the opportunity to match your workplace to an area that links well to your future goals and that helps you further develop your transferable skills to help you on your way to your dream job. This module will have a mix of classroom-based learning and built-in hours, which you have flexibility in accruing to help you complete your work-based learning. During this time, you will develop your reflective skills and assess your personal development goals, gaining feedback from both academic staff and leaders in the workplace. By the end of this module, you will have built up evidence for your CV and future interviews, but more importantly, you will have had chance to assess what you found valuable and what not so about a different work-based experience/environment/client group.
Therapeutic Approaches in Practice
Throughout your course so far, you will have learnt about a range of mental health conditions and been introduced to some different psychological treatment approaches. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most widely available and practised, due to robust empirical evidence, yet there are many alternative therapeutic approaches which are increasingly being recommended. This module will focus on the NHS-recommended talking therapies, including different approaches to CBT dependent upon the client/group and condition, for example trauma-focused CBT. You will get to explore therapies such as eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EDMR), interpersonal therapy, mindfulness approaches to therapy and a range of counselling approaches. Through your exploration, you will evaluate the appropriateness of each and work with real world examples to complete case formulation and direct interventions, using an evidence-based approach.
Psychological Assessment in Practice
Psychological assessment can be implemented in many different forms across diverse contexts. This module will give you a broad overview of some examples of assessment and how they may be utilised, giving you the opportunity to consider how you may select the right assessment and implement it to help inform recommendations for an individual, organisation or client group. You will be able to use your psychological knowledge which has been developed over the course to explore the use of psychometric tools in assessing concepts and develop this to explore broader clinical approaches to assessment. A range of practitioners will explore the application of different assessments with you across their areas of expertise and in addition to practically applying some tools to yourself, you will be able to use your enhanced appreciation of the complex process to devise your own assessment plans to help with real-world problems.
Optional module (choose one from the following)
Applied Forensic Psychology
Here, you will apply your wealth of psychological knowledge gained from over the course to working in forensic practice. The focus will initially be on working with offenders and how psychology can help us understand more about an offender's route into committing crimes. The application of psychology to assessing risk of future behaviour will be considered, as well as considering appropriate interventions that can target a range of offender needs. The module will shift its focus to the application of psychology to understanding the victim experience and the treatment needs that may arise following victimisation. This module will have you completing offender assessments and treatment plans and give you a strong understanding of a range of jobs which you may progress in to with an interest in this applied field, working within prisons, probation, police or victim’s services.
Health psychology is an area which applies psychological theory to behaviours which are relevant to illness and health. This module will provide you with an overview of the scope of this growing field and how psychology can help us understand and develop approaches to healthcare, working with people of all ages, health conditions and psychological needs. This module will have input from health psychologists working in practice and you will be able to work on simulated real-world cases, while understanding the importance of multidisciplinary teamwork with other health care professionals. Health psychologists often work to address public health issues and use their psychological knowledge to better understand problems and support individual or groups through delivering and evaluating interventions. This module will give you a strong understanding of a range of jobs which you may progress in to with an interest in this applied field, working within hospital, community healthcare providers or educational settings.
Applied Educational Psychology
Here, you will apply your wealth of psychological knowledge gained from over the course to educational psychology and understand the breadth of work in this area and how psychology can help inform specific assessments and practice with young people. Considering the application of developmental psychology and social psychology in particular, you will explore the classroom environment in terms of both the groups and the individuals, considering how psychological theory can be applied to help us understand special education needs and evidence-based interventions to support learning. This module will give you a strong understanding of a range of jobs which you may progress into with an interest in this applied field, working within schools, pupil referral units or community-based youth services.
The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
- A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC
- T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component of grade C
- BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications
- Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted at University College Birmingham for entry. A minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points will be required
- Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction
- English and maths GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
If you have any questions about applying to University College Birmingham for this course, please complete our enquiry form here.
For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.
Teaching and assessment
Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.
You will experience a diverse mix of teaching methods and settings, including traditional lectures, workshops, tutorials, seminars and lab work. Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provides you with a range of electronic resources, which will help facilitate face-to-face learning. In addition, you will also be supported with weekly Graduate Advantage sessions, which form part of your timetabled learning.
Your course will include a wide range of innovative authentic assessment methods, as where possible, the knowledge and skills which you will be assessed against will be mapped onto the real-world skills required in the relevant job market. The type of assessments you will be completing will include a combination of written coursework, reports, presentations, reflective pieces, work-based learning and practical assessments. These authentic assessments will reflect workplace scenarios, including psychological assessments and prospective interventions, while developing your skills as a reflective practitioner. There will also be a dissertation module, where you will carry out an empirical research project of your choosing.
Example of a typical teaching week (up to 15 contact hours):
- Large group teaching – 6 hours
- Smaller group teaching – 6 hours
- Tutorials – 2 hours
You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.
Estimated breakdown of assessment for this course:
- Coursework – 60%
- Practical assessment – 40%
- Written examinations – 0%
Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.
Additional qualifications and training
Mental Health First Aid training is incorporated into this course - at no additional cost to students
If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard-length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. There will be no change to this tuition fee for the forthcoming two academic years (2023/24 and 2024/25).
View undergraduate fees
If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £13,500 per year. The course fee for academic year 2024/2025 is £14,000 per year.
If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year or £250 for a half-year placement.
As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.
Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.
Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course
Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.
As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.
- There is a practical, work-based learning module embedded into the third year of study. This means hours which need to be completed are already built into your study time for the module and there is no additional time requirement from you.
- This module enables you to work in an area which is new to you and develop your transferable skills while applying psychological theory to the real world. You have a diverse number of relevant types of experience open to you, using our own network or your own contacts and independent efforts to source opportunities.
- You have the opportunity to choose to work in diverse community settings such as healthcare, charities, education, business, sports and offence-focused work as the application of psychology is possible within virtually any sector.
"As a practitioner psychologist, I find it fascinating trying to understand why we think, feel and behave the way we do. Studying psychology is amazing as it exposes you to a range of disciplines where you learn to understand how the mind develops as you age, across different environments and with different people. If you love working with people and helping drive behaviour change, improving wellbeing or enhancing performance, our BSc degree will help you achieve this."
The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.
Average Salary: £49,000
Average Salary: £31,000
Average Salary: £51,000
Further education teacher
Average Salary: £33,000
Average Salary: £48,000
Average Salary: £46,000
We are here to support your career goals every step of the way.
Studying psychology was one of the best decisions Professor Gill Brown ever made, opening doors in ways she never expected - now she's passing her knowledge on to our students.