Psychology BSc (Hons) – 2020 entry
Why choose this course
Our research-led BSc Psychology course will provide you with a combination of personal, professional and academic opportunities.
Taught by research-active lecturers, our graduates are well-placed to train as practising psychologists and therapists and are also highly valued in any sector that requires transferable skills like critical thinking, analysis and communication.
As one of the few universities to offer work experience as part of the course, we’ve established links with many outstanding professional training partners. This course is also accredited by the British Psychological Society.
You’ll also be able to benefit from our brand new £5m teaching facilities that opened in spring 2019.
What you will study
Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour, mental health and neuropsychological functioning. It seeks to understand what makes us who we are, how our minds work, and what influences our behaviour and social relationships.
Using a range of cutting-edge equipment, you will learn about core areas of psychology, research methods and statistics. You will also be able to tailor your degree by choosing your final-year modules and dissertation research topic. You can also pursue an optional Professional Training placement in a field relevant to your career aspirations.
Our course is informed by leading research conducted by ourmultidisciplinary research groups, including developmental psychology; environmental psychology; social emotions and equality in relations; health psychology; clinical interventions and practice; and the Surrey BabyLab.
Professional Training placements
A Professional Training placement provides you with the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and many of our students are offered employment on graduation by their placement provider.
The Professional Training placement year gives our students an insight into their subject and career potential, and early access to professional experience. It can be invaluable in developing work-based skills and helping them secure a graduate career.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Most of our students choose to do a Professional Training placement year. These normally begin at the end of the second academic year and finish in time for you to begin your third year of study (the fourth year of your course).
Professional Training placements offer students an invaluable opportunity to gain work experience and get insight into a degree-relevant job. You’ll also refine a host of skills that employers look for, giving you an employable edge as a psychology graduate which can lead to rewarding graduate jobs.
The extensive professional networks and research activities of our staff will enable you to choose from a range of Professional Training placement settings to reflect your individual interests and needs.
Opportunities are available throughout the UK and beyond in any sector that employs psychology graduates, including placements in hospitals and clinics, schools, social survey companies, personnel and occupational guidance services, industry and commerce.
Our psychology students have taken placements at organisations such as:
- Home Office
- National Crime Agency
- Metropolitan Police
- Hays Specialist Recruitment
- National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for Surrey
- Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
- Social Communication Disorders Clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital
You will be supported by the University throughout the placement year, including a dedicated Visiting Tutor who will visit you on placement and maintained access to all University resources and services.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via our online placement opportunities platform called Surrey Pathfinder, within which students can select and apply for placement vacancies. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to the vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
BSc (Hons) - British Psychological Society (BPS)
Accredited against the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Many organisations employ psychology graduates for their specific psychological training and skills in areas such as mental health support, youth or social work, civil service, personnel, research and development, survey and market research, and career guidance.
Our Psychology students also study a broad curriculum that develops a range of transferable skills, producing a well-rounded graduate who communicates well and has the analytical skills that many employers are keen to recruit.
Recent graduates have also embarked on careers in law, accountancy, teaching, computer programming and general management. Virtually all graduates of the course find satisfactory employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduation.
Graduates over the last few years have been employed in roles such as:
- Assistant Clinical Psychologist, St George's NHS Trust
- Primary Wellbeing Practitioner, Broadmoor Hospital
- Trial Coordinator, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Clinical Trust
- Assistant Psychologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Rehabilitation Assistant, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
- Account Manager, Genesis Medical
- Recruitment Researcher, Walker Hamill
- Marketing Analyst, Masterclassing
- Junior Market Research Project Manager, Kantar Health
- Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, ThinkAction
- Graduate Leadership Scheme, Waitrose
- Assistant Crime Analyst, National Crime Agency.
Graduates of our BSc Psychology course are also eligible for chartered membership of the British Psychological Society. This membership is essential for admission to postgraduate training in order to become a chartered psychologist, so many of our students go on to pursue specialist postgraduate study. Popular specialisms include clinical, counselling, health or occupational psychology, as well as other specialisms that do not require chartership such as social, environmental psychology or research methods. All of these are offered as postgraduate courses at Surrey.
Some graduates continue their interest in psychology by registering for a research degree (PhD, MPhil) in a specialist area of interest, leading to a career as an academic research psychologist.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
You will have the opportunity to take a Professional Training placement abroad at one of our partner universities, currently including:
- University of Salzburg
- Humboldt University, Berlin
- Oldenburg University
- University of Turin
- University of Milano-Bicocca.
These European universities offer the possibility of doing a research-based placement year in one of their laboratories with possible Erasmus+ funding. There are also Professional Training placement opportunities in other parts of Europe, the US and Australia.
In the School of Psychology, we’re investing in a major refurbishment of teaching and research facilities for launch in 2019. This includes a brand new psychology computer lab with a large number of workstations for use in classes, group work and individual study, plus a suite of small break-out project rooms.
The School also has a range of dedicated laboratories for conducting a wide variety of psychological research, including brand new spaces and cutting-edge research equipment. Our labs include observation suites for infant and social interactions; labs for eye-tracking, perception and psychophysiological experiments; and high-tech neuroscientific equipment such as an electroencephalogram (EEG), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and the use of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. We also have an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests.
Throughout your course, you’ll use a range of this equipment and lab space as part of taught workshops and group projects, and can also choose to participate in our Volunteer Research Apprentice scheme in your second year to gain more experience. In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with a supervisor for your dissertation and make use of the facilities that suit your chosen research topic.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
In your first year, you will study core areas of psychology and research methods to develop the foundations of psychological literacy. This will be supported by small-group skills tutorials. In Year 2, you’ll study more advanced level modules that deal with contemporary issues in each area of psychology. You’ll also take a unique module that supports your professional skills development, which will cover placement or job preparation and career options available in the psychology field.
In Year 3, you will take an advanced critical thinking module and four specialist optional modules as well as complete a research dissertation under the supervision of a staff member. Each year we offer a selection from the full range of optional modules listed in the course catalogue. This selection will include clinical, health, occupational and environmental psychology, as well as a range of specialist modules from across the breadth of psychology led by staff in their own active areas of research. The specific list will vary each year due to staff availability.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Two Level 6 modules are CORE to the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme: PSY3065 (Dissertation) and PSY3095 (General Psychology).
In addition, students select 4 optional modules (2 in each semester). Each year a range of optional modules from across the breadth of psychology, selected from the full catalogue listed in the programme diet, will be available. Please note that whereas some modules will run every year, other specialist modules from the catalogue will be rotated so that every year each area or 'stream' of psychology is represented, but the specific option within these areas may vary. The list of optional modules to be offered in a given year will be determined and available to students during the spring/early summer of the previous academic year. Please contact the programme leader if you require more details.
Note: Students who take temporary suspension should be aware that one or more of their chosen optional modules may not be available on their return in the following year. Students who take temporary suspension partway through the semester will have the choice to take a replacement module, or, if they have already completed an assessment for the original module, to attend classes from a new optional module within the same stream (area of psychology) and complete an alternative assessment based on this content that meets the learning outcomes of the original module.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
A range of teaching methods are employed on our courses as appropriate for the individual modules, ranging from lectures, seminars and workshops, to small group practicals and tutorials, to one-to-one dissertation supervision.
In addition to lectures, tutorials will support your learning in the core areas of psychology. In Year 1, you'll have additional tutorials designed to support your transition to university and develop important academic skills such as searching for and critically evaluating research, writing essays and research reports, and preparing for exams. These tutorials take place in small groups of about 12 students and are led by the same tutor throughout the year.
Tutorials in your first and second years will introduce you to core research methods and techniques, and workshops will provide you with key statistical and qualitative methods for analysing research data.
You’ll also have access to our new multimillion-pound psychology teaching facility, featuring state of the art labs well-equipped with cutting-edge technology and specialist equipment to give you hands-on training.
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the School of Psychology.
HEPPER E Dr (Psychology)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a variety of methods that are carefully designed to develop and support a range of both academic and transferable skills, including written essays, research reports, posters, presentations, reflective work and examinations.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
UK and EU To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
Professional training To be confirmed
Overseas students: please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.