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BSc (Hons) Psychology

Discover the science of mind, brain, and behaviour

2018/19 entry

UCAS code

C800

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£20,910 per year (2018/19)

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Psychology is the scientific study of mind, brain and behaviour. It is strongly interconnected to other disciplines such as biology, physics, medicine, neuroscience, politics, sociology and economics.

Psychologists use observation and experimental evidence to understand the relationship between our sensations and actions but also the intervening processes that underlie our behaviour. Social psychology studies interactions, group behaviour and culture. Cognitive neuroscience examines the mechanisms of the individual brain, right down to its cells and the connections between them. 

Here at the University of York, we teach psychology as a rigorous experimental biological science. 

We are committed to the application of this knowledge to the benefit of all sectors of society. Most organisations are interested in explaining, understanding, predicting or changing human behaviour. 

We are a research-intensive department which means you will be taught by researchers of international repute who are doing world-leading research as well as delivering lectures and supervising undergraduate projects.

Some of our students go on to work in fields such as health (clinical psychology), education (educational psychology) and criminal justice (forensic psychology) but most use the unique combination of scientific and statistical skills, critical thinking and analysis of human behaviour in other sectors such as marketing, human resources, management and the civil service. A high proportion of our graduates go on to further study.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, assuring the quality and relevance of our teaching. 

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Course content

Our BSc in Psychology teaches you:

  • a scientific and analytical approach to problem solving
  • an understanding of human behaviour
  • the ability to critically evaluate complex ideas and explain them to other people

In your first two years you'll build upon your learning of five main areas of psychology.

In your third year, you'll choose four advanced modules from an extensive list in order to specialise and steer your degree in the direction that's of most interest to you. You'll undertake both an original research project and a substantial literature survey - each under the supervision of a faculty member of your choice. 

Our courses are designed to be flexible, so you can transfer between BSc and MPsych at any time up until the middle of Year 2. 

Study abroad

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

Year 1

In the first two years you will study five main areas of psychology. They are:

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

In Year 2 you will build on the knowledge you have already gained in Year 1.

Year 3

In your third year you choose four advanced modules from a wide range of options. We currently offer a list of nearly 30, and these change from year to year, reflecting the very latest developments in psychology, neuroscience and society. Below is a list of typical modules. Each is 20 credits:

Literature Survey (10 credits)

In addition, in your final year you'll undertake a literature survey where you will research a clearly defined study area of your choice. Recent examples include:

  • The effect of child abuse on self-esteem
  • Sensation seeking and risky sport
  • The critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition
  • Do environmental factors lead to late-onset Alzheimer's disease?
  • The effect of birth order on personality development
  • The relationship between eating disorders and superficial self-harm

Research project (30 credits)

The single most important component of your degree will be your final year research project where you'll have to conduct and write up an original piece of research. Working closely under the supervision of a member of staff, you'll have access to all the sophisticated research facilities of the Department. Recent projects have investigated a wide range of topics, for example:

  • 'Boredom eating' as a possible cause of obesity
  • The neural basis of face perception
  • fMRI assessment of simulated visual loss seen in glaucoma
  • The relationship between social class and expressive language in primary school children
  • The effects of albinism on social behaviour in a captive population of wallabies
  • English and Mandarin speakers' perception of time

Each year, several of our best undergraduate projects are published in mainstream scientific journals.

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

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development and limitations, with a particular emphasis on the role of brain functions in human behaviour and experience.
  • critically analyse and evaluate theory within and beyond the field of psychology using empirical evidence to support their reasoning and arguments.
  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge of a range of research paradigms, research methods and measurement techniques, including statistical analysis, and be aware of their limitations.
  • design, conduct, analyse and interpret systematic, scientifically rigorous and ethically sound studies both individually and in groups, using appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods and statistics, and supported by state-of-the-art digital software.
  • communicate complex information effectively using appropriate written, oral, graphical and electronic means, taking into account diversity among individuals to whom the information is communicated.
  • explain the potential impact of psychological research and theory on a broad range of real world settings and situations (eg classrooms, industry, commerce, healthcare, as well as local and global communities).
  • problem-solve and reason scientifically. Specifically, graduates will be able to identify and pose research questions, consider alternative approaches to their solutions, and evaluate outcomes.
  • be sensitive to contextual and interpersonal factors. Graduates will be familiar with the complexity of the factors that shape behaviour and social interaction which, in turn, will make them more aware of the bases of problems and interpersonal conflicts.

 

 

 

I had never imagined that a university could look so green, and even village-like, while also housing some of the greatest minds known to Psychology.
Rossi, 3rd Year student, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Read Rossi's blog to learn more about studying psychology at the University of York

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £20,910

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.

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.

92% organisation and management

National Student Survey 2017

Everything under one roof

You'll study in a purpose-built psychology building which makes for an integrated department and rich student experience

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

During your first two years, you'll be taught mainly through lectures, seminars, practicals and group work under the direction of members of academic staff. As the course progresses there are ever greater opportunities for independence and, in your third year, the emphasis is on choice, specialization and independent study, all supported by supervisors, who will guide you and prepare you for the challenges of the wider world beyond university.

Lectures

Our state-of-the-art lecture theatre is equipped with multiple screens for presentations, audio amplification and lecture recording facilities. Interactive lectures, using wi-fi 'clickers' that let you instantaneously respond to questions and have your say, are a standard feature of our teaching. Lecture slides are typically available before each lecture.

Seminars

The modules you study in your first and second years include seminars where you will focus on an appropriate task in a small group, led by a member of the Department. Once you are in your third and final year, seminars are the predominant method of teaching. Seminars are a great setting to get more actively involved in learning. You'll be expected to contribute by joining in discussion, asking and answering questions and making presentations.

Practicals

Our Research Methods in Psychology module will give you a great deal of experience of carrying out psychological experiments and we have a dedicated computer laboratory. At the core of this process is the collection and analysis of quantitative data about human behaviour - a vital set of skills for many employers. All aspects of research are covered, from designing and carrying out experiments to analyzing, critically evaluating and interpreting results. This experience will equip you with valuable skills that you will apply in your literature survey and empirical project in your third year.

Projects and literature surveys

In your third year you will be asked to undertake a project and literature survey. Projects involve carrying out experiments and are personally supervised by a member of academic staff. Findings form a project report, which is a key component of your degree assessment. Our students rate this part of the course particularly highly - indeed, projects are sometimes published in peer-reviewed journals. You can also expect to be closely supervised by a member of staff for your literature survey. Here you will choose a psychological topic and critically evaluate it using the most recent empirical evidence. Again, this portion of the course is highly rated by our students and forms a particularly valuable aspect of our degree programme, demonstrating to future employers your capacity to complete a significant piece of analysis and writing.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

You will have access to all our teaching materials via our VLE, in which everything from lecture slides and recordings of lectures themselves through to practical demonstrations and external supporting materials are stored. The VLE also features forums where you and your fellow students can ask questions and discuss ideas.

Overall workload

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

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars264 hours288 hours108 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.

Facilities

Our Department is purpose-built with superb teaching facilities mainly under one roof. We are also proud of our York Neuroimaging Centre (YNiC). Equipped with two MRI scanners and an MEG scanner it allows us to look inside the brain and investigate its activity as we see, hear, feel, think and act.  

As well as YNiC, we have other first-class research facilities available to you for your final year research projects including our multimodal Action Perception Laboratory, as well as facilities for testing children and measuring eye movements and other aspects of perceptual and cognitive function. New additions to our research facilities include an EEG lab, TMS Lab and Sleep Lab and several Virtual Reality labs. 

Teaching location

The Department of Psychology is located in James College, Campus West. 

Most lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical work, staff offices and laboratories are in our purpose-built psychology building.

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

Year 1 marks do not contribute to your final degree class. However, you must pass the exams in Year 1 to progress to Year 2 and supervisors may refer to marks gained in Year 1 when writing references. Exams are usually multiple choice format. Assessed coursework, in the form of essays, practicals and related tasks, provides valuable feedback towards optimal performance in Year 2 and beyond.

Year 2 contributes 40 per cent to your final degree class, through exams (mainly multiple choice) held in the spring and summer terms, and assessed coursework in the form of essays and practical reports.

Year 3 contributes 60 per cent to your final degree class. Advanced modules are assessed through written examinations in the spring and summer terms. You will also undertake a 4,000 word Literature Survey, reviewing the available theories and relevant evidence in a research area of your choice as well as carry out and write up an original research project.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams64%49%67%
Coursework36%51%33%

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

Lecturer speaking
Two students in a lecture
I feel I'm right at the cutting edge of some psychology research, especially with our third year projects. Mine is on sleep and memory suppression in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. Basically, I want to see if you can use sleep to suppress traumatic memories. It's going to be so exciting.
Lolly, 3rd Year student, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Careers and skills

Our students are highly successful in securing competitive professional psychologist jobs. Many positions require at least one year's experience working in the field, before starting professional training. Much of this work (eg mental health support worker, teaching assistant), is counted in national statistics as 'non-graduate', and national statistics on graduate employment are collected just six months after graduation. Thus some of our best graduates will go on to become highly successful professional psychologists, while their career path may not be captured in the graduate employment statistics.

Employability

Our Departmental Employability Coordinator runs a specialised programme of events and training sessions to ensure you are well prepared for work and to support you in developing the skills and experience you need to get the job you want after graduation. We support you to find placements, volunteering roles and paid work alongside your academic work. We encourage you to reflect on your academic and extra curricular activities through regular discussion of your Personal Employability Plan with your personal supervisor.

We invite external speakers to give you a personal insight into a range of careers, support you to research your career options and provide interactive sessions to help you to prepare high quality CVs, job applications and to perform well in interviews. The Department's Employability Coordinator works closely with the University Careers Service, which also offers our students an additional range of career and recruitment events, skills sessions and one-to-one advice.

 

Career opportunities

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Human resources
  • Advertising
  • Systems analysis
  • Market research
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Media
  • Finance
  • Management consultancy
  • Statistics
  • Research

Fast track to clinical training

The University of York has a unique agreement with the University of Hull, which gives York students an additional route into clinical psychology. Every year, a group of our Psychology graduates are admitted to Hull’s clinical doctorate programme straight out of their first degree. If you are interested in clinical psychology, this fast-track opportunity is really worth bearing in mind.

Transferable skills

  • Team work
  • Effective communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Numeracy
  • IT skills
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Collection and analysis of data
  • Analysis and integration of evidence, including numerical data

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

Our typical offer is AAA (General Studies is not accepted).

Please note: One science A level is required, two are preferred. We include Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths as science A levels. For other possible science subjects please contact the admissions tutor.

GCSEs GCSE Maths grade 5 (B)
Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma (Science) with 39 credits at Distinction and 6 credits at Merit or higher. Other Access to HE Diplomas are considered but must include science/psychology module. Please contact us for further information.
BTEC DDD. A science subject is essential. Please contact the department for more information.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3. Principal Subjects: Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) including at least one science subject.
European Baccalaureate 85% overall average. At least one science subject must be taken in final year.
International Baccalaureate Total score of 36 points including one Higher Level science subject, which may include Psychology.
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H3 including at least one science subject.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAA at Higher level and AA at Advanced Higher level. At least one Advanced Higher should be in a science subject.
Other qualifications

Other qualifications are accepted by the University: please contact Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. 

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.5 in each component
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 61 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 176 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87 with no less than 23 in each component
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components

See more detailed information on the University's English language requirements.

Applying

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

Next steps

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