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BSc (Hons) Psychology in Education

Apply psychological theory and research to educational contexts, working with children and adolescents

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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Linking the study of psychology and education will provide you with a unique set of skills spanning two dynamic disciplines.

You'll study cognitive, social, developmental, and biological aspects of psychology, while building your understanding of educational contexts. This will give you an integrated understanding of how psychological theory and research intersects with education in a wide range of settings.

Alongside rigorous academic study, you'll gain valuable skills and experience with a range of opportunities for placements and volunteering. Your studies will inform and guide you, giving you practice applying educational and psychological theory to real-world situations.


This course provides Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

GBC is a prerequisite for many BPS-accredited postgraduate and doctoral programmes which lead to full Chartered Psychologist status.

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Anna talks about her experiences studying BSc Psychology in Education.

Work placements

Our pioneering programme gives you work experience in a variety of educational settings

A world top 100 department

We're ranked among the world's top 100 Education departments (THE World University Rankings, 2018)

We look at who should be educated, what they should be educated about, the history and philosophy of education and much more. It will challenge everything you think you know about the modern day classroom.
Rachel, BSc Psychology in Education

Read more on Rachel's blog.

Course content

You'll study a range of core and optional modules which cover topics in psychology and education. You'll gain key knowledge and understanding, which you'll build on throughout the course.

You'll also develop your academic skills, including critical analysis, communicating complex ideas, and planning, carrying out and evaluating research.

Study abroad

There are a number of Study Abroad options at York. Here are some of the many opportunities you'll find:

Year 1

In Year 1 you'll study four core modules which introduce key concepts, theories and skills. You'll learn how to approach education from an academic perspective, and consider how your personal experiences inform your views.

In the Summer Term you'll spend five weeks working with community partners on a range of educational projects. Recent projects include developing an educational guidebook for Yorkshire Museum and creating learning resources for young refugees alongside Refugee Action York.

Core modules

Introduction to Disciplines in Education will acquaint you with various approaches to investigating the meaning and purpose of education. You'll consider philosophical, sociological, psychological, historical, political, and economic perspectives, each of which offers unique insights into the concept of education. (30 credits)

Introduction to Contexts of Education will challenge your prior assumptions about the meaning of education and what it means to be 'educated'. You'll contrast your own experiences with different national and cultural contexts, and consider alternatives to conventional schooling. (30 credits)

Introduction to Psychology in Education introduces fundamental psychological theories and concepts as they apply to education. You'll focus on five areas: biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and individual differences. (30 credits)

Skills for Studying Psychology in Education covers specific academic skills as well as more general skills, including communication, IT literacy and teamwork. You'll develop techniques for effective learning, and improve your ability to understand and carry out research. (30 credits)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In your second year you'll study four core modules, which will introduce you to advanced concepts in psychology and education. You'll study a range of major psychological theories and learn to evaluate research.

Core modules

Research Methods for Psychology in Education I will prepare you to read reports of educational and psychological research with critical analysis, understanding and insight. You'll learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of research, and consider the ethical implications of conducting psychological research in educational contexts. (30 credits)

Understanding Learning Behaviour I explores the ways in which biological bases of behaviour and cognitive processes (especially memory, perception, language, thinking, and knowledge representation) are applied to learning. You'll study various theoretical perspectives, for example evolutionary biology or cognitive neuroscience. (30 credits)

Educational Diversity considers individual variations in learning needs, including the needs of students with learning difficulties. You'll develop your understanding of the major theoretical perspectives on individual differences, and their implications for educational inclusion. (30 credits)

Learner Development & Socialisation I covers the main theories underpinning childhood, adolescent, and life-span development. You'll consider the development of social relations, cognition and language within a range of social and cultural contexts. (30 credits)

Year 3

The main focus of your final year will be your Dissertation - an extended essay based on your own research. This is supported by a core module on advanced research techniques. You'll also take one core module which builds on your studies in Year 2, and choose two optional modules from a wide range of topics. These include alternative options which give you chance to follow your own interests on a placement study or an independent investigation into an educational topic of your choice.

Core modules

Advanced Research Methods & Applications will develop your ability to understand and use advanced techniques of quantitative and qualitative analysis. You'll learn to carry out empirical studies using a variety of methodological approaches. (20 credits)

Understanding Learning & Behaviour II builds on your Year 2 studies to explore the ways in which biological, cognitive, and social processes influence classroom behaviours and learning. You'll examine different forms of evidence, reviewing their reliability, validity and significance to the field of psychology in education. (20 credits)

Your Dissertation is a chance for you to engage with a specific topic in detail. You'll use the research skills you've developed to identify a research question and design and carry out an empirical study. You'll analyse your data and write up your findings in a 9,000-word extended essay, to explain and contextualise your work. You'll have frequent meetings with a dissertation supervisor, who'll have expertise in your area of research. You'll also benefit from a series of workshops and other activities designed to support and enhance your research skills. (40 credits)

Optional modules

Choose one of the following modules:

and one of the following modules:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

Additional costs

You will need to cover the cost of travel to placements. This will vary depending on the location of your placement; the majority are in York.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We use a variety of teaching methods, including:

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

Weekly lectures and seminars are a chance for you to debate and discuss topics with fellow students and your tutors. You will be encouraged to think for yourself, to engage in academic debate and to develop and present your arguments with confidence and skill.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars228 hours204 hours84 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Education on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Derwent College, with additional contact hours elsewhere on Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a number of different ways, depending on the modules you choose. Forms of assessment include:

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

You'll receive written feedback on all assessed work, helping you to understand your strengths and identify areas for improvement. You can also discuss your work with your tutors and your personal supervisor to help guide your development.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams28%25%17%
Practical exams6%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Many lectures include a lot of group discussion and give a chance for you to voice your own opinion. This also allows you to hear what others have to say.
Emma, BSc Psychology in Education

Careers and skills

This course covers a wide range of topics which will introduce you to areas of work which you may not have previously considered. You'll also have opportunities to discuss potential careers with psychology and education practitioners. Volunteering opportunities allow you to explore new career paths and gain valuable experience.

Career opportunities

  • Teaching
  • Educational psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Counselling
  • Research

Transferable skills

  • Evaluation of ideas and evidence
  • Written and oral presentation skills
  • Understanding numerical data
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
I chose the course at York because I want to work with children but not necessarily in schools. The degree has given me the opportunity to work with young people in different contexts and has been really fun and interesting.
Anna, BSc Psychology in Education

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels


You must have at least one A level in a science subject (which may include Psychology)

GCSEs Mathematics 4 (C)
If you intend to train as a teacher you should be aware that GCSE or equivalent passes in Mathematics and English Language and, for primary teaching, a science, are required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma: DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75%
International Baccalaureate 34
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Highers: AAABB
Highers + Advanced Highers: AABBB + AB
Other qualifications

Entry requirements from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • Pearson: 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

We warmly welcome applications from students taking BTEC, GNVQ or Access courses, as well as mature students.

We expect you to be familiar with key, current debates in psychology and education, and to be able to reflect on and engage critically with these.

Next steps

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