BSc Psychology in Education

UCAS code Typical offer Length
CX83 ABB (See full entry requirements) 3 years full-time
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BPS accredited

Apply psychological theory and research to real-life settings

Perfect for careers in psychology or education

This programme provides the unique opportunity to study the related disciplines of psychology and education.

Students will learn to conduct psychological research and apply psychological theory to the understanding of education and education environments.

Course overview



The BSc Psychology in Education is a new programme (first intake 2013) appealing to students who have a keen interest in combining the study of psychology and education. You will benefit from the longstanding tradition of research and teaching of the psychology of education in the Department.

Linking the study of psychology and education allows you to apply psychological theory and research to real-life settings, especially involving children, adolescents and educational contexts, and will provide you with a unique set of skills spanning two dynamic disciplines. This programme will interest you if you're considering a career in teaching, educational psychology, child psychology, clinical psychology, counselling, or research.

You will develop a wide range of transferable skills that will provide a variety of career options in psychology and education.

There are two themes running through the degree. The first is a strong psychology theme covering a range of topics including cognitive, social, developmental, and biological aspects of psychology. The second theme involves building an understanding of education and educational contexts, leading to an integrated understanding of how psychological theory and research intersects with education in a wide range of settings.

BPS accredited programme

The new BSc Psychology in Education has now received accreditation from the British Psychological Society.

Why study Psychology in Education at York?

Reasons to study Education at York:

  • Top ten in the 2016 Guardian and Complete University guides for Education
  • Top ten in the REF2014 for proportion of 4* world-leading research activity for Education
  • Flexible courses with wide range of optional modules
  • A pioneering employability programme
  • A strong learning community with excellent student representation
  • A dynamic, student-led Education Society
  • A high staff:student ratio
  • An international department with a range of perspectives, experiences and opportunities

During your time at York you can expect to:

  • Study a rigorous programme that covers key aspects of psychology and education as areas of enquiry
  • Identify how psychological theory and education contexts are related, and make links between theory and practice
  • View education through a psychological lens, and view psychology through the lens of real world educational questions and issues
  • Understand the relationships between theory and practice, linking teaching, learning and development with the various facets of psychological research and theory
  • Consider how child and adolescent development, and biological, social and cognitive psychology influence the practice of education
  • Find support for you to build a personal employability portfolio that broadens your expertise and makes you attractive to employers
  • Have access to expert tutors who research and publish in the areas they teach

At York you will also have the opportunity to spend a term studying abroad, undertake a placement study and conduct your own report on an education service or volunteer with York Students in Schools to gain invaluable classroom experience.‌

Course content

What you'll study

The degree programme falls into three stages designed to offer supported progression in both knowledge and skills.

Stage one

The first year provides an introduction to key domains within psychology and education, with modules focused on education contexts and disciplines as well as research skills along with an introduction to the core areas of psychology.

The stage one modules:

  • Introduction to disciplines of education
  • Introduction to contexts of education
  • Skills for studying psychology in education
  • Introduction to psychology in education

Stage two

The second year provides in-depth study of a range of topics crucial to a well-developed understanding of psychological research, issues, and practice in educational settings. Modules cover the core disciplines of psychology and offer continued attention to the applying psychology to diverse facets of education.

  • Research methods for psychology in education I
  • Understanding learning and behaviour I
    • Biological psychology
    • Cognitive psychology
  • Learner development and socialisation I
    • Developmental psychology
    • Social psychology
  • Educational diversity
    • Individual differences
    • Abnormal psychology

Stage three

In the third year students continue with specialised modules and complete a research dissertation that examines a topic relevant to the application of psychology to education.

Stage three modules:

Core modules

  • Psychology in Education disseration module
  • Advanced research methods and applications
  • Understanding learning and behaviour II

Option modules
(one module per term - NB these may be subject to change)


  • Supporting pupils' psychological development in schools
  • Psychology of social pedagogy
  • Language and psychology
  • Philosophy, education and childhood
  • Science, education and society
  • Education and development
  • Education and social change
  • Transcultural communication
  • Models of writing
  • Drama and education


  • Disorders of language and cognition
  • Genetics and education
  • Education and citizenship
  • Learning gender
  • Assessment in education
  • Perspectives on literacy in education
  • Landmarks in British poetry

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.


How you'll be assessed

Assessment can be in a variety of forms depending on the module including:

The teaching has been really engaging, I would go as far as saying inspiring! Everyone I have spoken to has been supportive. The introductory programme has been an excellent way to get me into essay writing.

  • Open examinations
  • Presentations
  • Reviews
  • Posters
  • Policy briefs
  • Essays

The Department and the University Library run courses on how to write academic essays to help students who may not already be familiar with how to reference or layout an essay.

Feedback is given on all assessed work to provide comment on what the student has done well and how they might improve their performance. Any students who have further questions about their feedback are welcome to speak to the module tutor who marked their work, as well as their pastoral supervisor.

Other learning opportunities during your degree

York Students in Schools

York Students in Schools is a well-established volunteering programme that allows any student to volunteer in local schools, tutoring or mentoring pupils. This is valuable experience if you are thinking of taking a PGCE after studying at York, or if you would like to see what it is like in a real classroom before deciding what career to pursue after studying Education. You can also listen to three students from our Department talk about their experiences volunteering in schools.

Employability and enrichment programme

During the summer term of your first year you will have the opportunity to spend five weeks working on an educational project in the community. This will give you a chance to put what you have learnt so far into practice. Previous projects have included working on a children's guidebook for a local museum and working with a local charity to create learning resources for young refugees.

Placement study

You can choose to undertake a placement study in the autumn term of your third year which counts as two modules. This is an opportunity for you to conduct an investigation on an education service operating in the York area, such as the youth and community education service, the provision of education in prisons or museums, or special schools. You will be required to write an academic report on your findings following the placement.

Studying abroad

If you are interested in spending some time overseas during your degree at York, we have particularly strong links with university education departments in Switzerland, Germany and Norway. In addition you can choose to study in Australia, Asia, or the United States. The typical time spent studying abroad is one term.  Applications to study abroad will be considered in line with British Psychological Society recommendations.


How you'll be taught

Our tutors use a variety of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group activities
  • Tutorials
  • Guided reading
  • Online virtual learning environment

Emphasis will be very much on interaction: you will be encouraged to think for yourself, to engage in academic debate and to develop and present your arguments with confidence and skill.

Our students are happy with the teaching and academic support we offer: the 2011 National Student Survey placed us in the top 10 in the country.

How you will learn

Our modules comprise a combination of weekly lectures and seminars. Each week, one of our expert tutors will advise you on how to prepare – perhaps by reading carefully selected material, exploring key issues through your own independent study and using new technologies to watch relevant media. In the lectures and seminars, you will debate and discuss the issues with fellow students and your tutor.

To help you progress and to support you with your own study you will be able to:

  • Access the department Virtual Learning Environment which is an online area where students can access all of the course material at any time
  • Visit the library
  • Visit a lecturer during their office hours, where lecturers welcome students to come and speak to them about the material and ask questions
  • Contact your Departmental supervisor, who is there to advise you on academic and pastoral issues at the University during the entirety of your study



Careers and employability

Completion of the BSc degree in Psychology in Education will provide a wide range of career opportunities and this coupled with the department working closely with the University's career service will give you the best possible career start. Critical skills developed during the programme are the evaluation of ideas and evidence, written and oral presentation skills, and an understanding of numerical data.

Graduates from the Psychology in Education programme will benefit from a solid foundation in two disciplines, with career opportunities or further study in psychology, education, or psychological/educational research. The course will be of interest to those considering careers in teaching, research, professional psychology or careers in counseling and mental health.

For information about where our graduates go after finishing their degrees see the Career Service’s breakdown of the destinations of Education graduates from York. You can also view our graduate student profiles to see how studying Education helped their employability and where studying Education can take you.

Employability and enrichment programme

Our Volunteering and enrichment programme is a dynamic community-based learning experience that is designed to allow students to put into practice the knowledge that they have developed through their academic studies. Our students are community partners for a five week period in the Summer term of their first year and undertake work on a range of educational projects. Previously, students have worked on a museum guidebook which involved developing activities for children based around exhibits in the Yorkshire museum. Another project involved the creation of learning resources for young refugees in collaboration with Refugee Action York.

Personal development and employability

The Department runs initiatives designed to develop your academic, personal and employability skills. Important areas such as communication, analysis of data and ideas, computer literacy, networking, time management and project management are focused on through academic modules, careers workshops, employability fairs and a unique volunteering and enrichment programme. The Department is commited to supporting graduate employability. Activities are organized to introduce our students to a range of skills, experiences and career pathways. The Department arranges for guest speakers from educational consultancies, businesses, charities, local government and schools, providing students with numerous opportunities to seek advice, make contacts and gain inspiration. Student complete a Personal Employability Plan throughout the degree to record the employability skills they gain and which is then used to help guide them when making career choices.

Other opportunities at York

As a student at the university you could get involved in any of the following:

  • Work towards The York Award, which acknowledges candidates who have added to their employability through extra-curricular activities.
  • Get involved in the incredible array of student societies at York; from our award-winning student media to Fusion, a music, dance and fashion show which raises money for local charities.
  • Compete on a friendly, college or university level in one of the university sports clubs. Each year York and Lancaster take turns to host Roses, Europe’s largest inter-university sports competition.


How to apply

We welcome applications from school leavers and mature students. We are looking for people who demonstrate a commitment to and a fascination with the study of psychology and education.  We expect applicants to be familiar with key, current debates in psychology and education, and to be able to reflect on and engage critically with these.

If you intend to continue to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course after your study here, you should be aware that GCSE or equivalent passes in Mathematics and English Language and, for primary PGCE, a science, are required for all entrants to the teaching profession.

All applications must be made through the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) using the UCAS code which can be found at the top of the page. Intending applicants should also consult the University's prospectus.

Your application form and personal statement should convince us that you have a commitment to the study of Education, the intellectual ability to study at university successfully and the organisational skills required to structure your time at university well. We are also looking for a willingness to engage creatively with tutors and fellow students in the debate about this diverse subject. Candidates who are made an offer are invited to attend a group visit. Some candidates with nonstandard backgrounds may be invited to attend an interview.

Typical offers

The standard offer for this programme is ABB at A level.

Successful applications will normally have one A level in a science subject (which may include Psychology) and GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered, however qualifications in General Studies are not typically considered.

International students

The Department of Education at York has a lot to offer for international students, including the opportunity to study at a world-class university for a degree that does not require any specific pre-entry subject knowledge.

Alongside a wide choice of course modules, there are many good opportunities for you to develop your English language skills to a high level in a supportive environment. The University of York also has a strong network of support for international students.

You may also consider staying on after gaining your BA degree to do postgraduate research for a higher degree in an area of education.

If you are uncertain about whether you would be considered for selection then do get in touch – our contact details for undergraduate applications are:

Tel: 01904 323451          Email:

Entry requirements

A levels


Successful applications will normally have one A level in a science subject (which may include Psychology). 

Qualifications in General Studies are not typically considered.


GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above.

International Baccalaureate

An overall score of 34

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Scottish Highers (without AH) - AAABB

Advanced Highers + Highers - AB + AABBB

Irish Leaving Certificate



BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM.

European Baccalaureate

An overall average of 75% or higher.

Other qualifications

  • Cambridge Pre-U: M2 M2, M2
  • Access to HE: Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 15 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 15 awarded Merit or higher

Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions

English Language Requirements


  • IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all units
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 61 overall with 51 in all parts
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):grade C
  • GCSE/O level English Language (as a first language): grade C


Further information on English language requirements can be found at

Any questions?

Please contact the Undergraduate Programme Administrator if you have any questions:


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