Psychology BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

The University supported me throughout my placement – from helping build my CV and practicing interview skills to visiting me at the unit to check everything was going well.

What you'll study

A Psychology degree at Surrey gives you an unbeatable combination of personal, professional and academic opportunities in the setting of a top-ten department. It provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology.

Our programme lays particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, based on our research in areas such as health, clinical and forensic psychology, social interaction, work and organisational psychology, the environment, education and child development, cognition and neuroscience.

Programme overview

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 constrains and influences what we do.

It addresses issues such as how children learn, why we forget, what causes mental disorders, how brain and behaviour interact and how we perceive the world.

Psychology is a rewarding and valuable degree, both for the subject areas it covers and the skills you learn while studying these subjects. For instance, advances in science, international conflicts and our enjoyment of the arts are all shaped by factors such as our biology, the capacity of human thought, patterns of communication and social interaction, and the operation of our perceptual systems.

Psychology seeks to explore these factors. Qualified psychologists have a commitment both to research and to the practical application of knowledge. They work and conduct research in laboratories, schools, offices, industry, clinics, hospitals, prisons and many other settings in which people live and work.

In the first two years of the programme, you will learn about the core areas of psychology, studying social, developmental and cognitive psychology, biological bases of psychology, individual differences and the use of research methods and statistics in psychology.

In your final year, you are able to select from a range of modules and undertake a six-month independent research project on a topic of your choosing.

As well as the specific subjects that you study, students of psychology also develop key transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include critical thinking, argument synthesis, scientific methods and practice, data analysis, report writing, presentation skills and teamwork.

Our School of Psychology is friendly, approachable and supportive, and provides a vibrant and enthusiastic environment for teaching and learning. It is no surprise that our graduates readily find interesting and rewarding employment in business, industry, the public sector and research when they graduate.

Read about the experience of Psychology student Hannah Craig.

Surrey Merit Scholarship

This programme is eligible for our merit-based scholarship, which provides a £2,000 cash award – and membership of Surrey Sports Park for the first year of study – for eligible undergraduate students. More information can be found on our Undergraduate Bursaries and Scholarships page.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 focuses on helping you develop foundation knowledge of psychology. Individual modules cover the core areas of psychology and introduce their related research methods in subject tutorials. Statistical and analytical techniques will be taught to prepare you to conduct your own research.

Our academic tutorials help you develop the skills required for success throughout the programme.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2, most of the areas addressed in Year 1 are covered in greater depth. Study of these core areas provides the basis for accreditation of the degree by the British Psychological Society. You will also be introduced to applied psychology and professional skills in preparation for your Professional Training placement year and your future professional career.

Subject tutorials in support of research activity and critical thinking will continue throughout the year as a core part of the curriculum.

Core modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

Our degree programme includes an optional Professional Training placement. This will give you the opportunity to spend part of your degree programme with an outside organisation, gaining invaluable work experience and enhancing employability.

Institutions and companies that have participated in the scheme include, amongst others:

  • The Serious and Organised Crime Agency in the Home Office
  • Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit at the Institute of Child Health
  • The Institute of Psychiatry
  • Metropolitan Police
  • HMP Holloway
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • Broadmoor Hospital
  • Action on Addiction
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for Surrey
  • Southern Addictions Advisory Service
  • Social Communication Disorders Clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • North Carolina State University
  • The Science Museum
  • University of Berlin

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 3 will give you the opportunity to extend your studies further into those areas of psychology that most interest you.

Core modules:

Optional modules:

The skills you gain are highly valued in both academic and workplace settings. As a Psychology graduate from Surrey, you will be skilled in applying your knowledge, and in your ability to learn quickly, work in teams, plan, analyse and present your work. This will be an advantage in your future career or study choices.

Professional recognition

Students graduating from our degree programmes are eligible for Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership – the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Students graduating from other degree programmes which are not accredited by the BPS are required to undertake further courses before being eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. Individuals seeking a career as a professional psychologist are therefore advised to take an accredited programme.

Professional Training placements

The extensive professional and research activities of our staff enable you to choose from a range of different Professional Training placement settings to reflect your individual interests and needs.

Opportunities exist throughout the UK and include hospitals and clinics, schools, social survey companies, personnel and occupational guidance services, industry and commerce.

Institutions and companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • Home Office
  • Institute of Psychiatry
  • BMG Records
  • IBM
  • Metropolitan Police
  • HMP Holloway
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • More House School
  • National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy
  • Action on Addiction
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for Surrey
  • Southern Addictions Advisory Service
  • North Carolina State University
  • The Science Museum
  • University of Kent


A range of teaching methods is employed on our programmes as appropriate for the individual modules. These methods range from lectures, seminars and workshops, through small group practicals and tutorials, to one-to-one dissertation supervision.

In addition to lectures, tutorials are generally used to introduce you to the core areas of psychology

In the first year of the degree, you will receive tutorials in groups of about ten students, which gives you the opportunity to develop your skills such as searching for and analysing research, writing essays and laboratory reports, and preparing for exams.

Tutorials in your first and second years will introduce you to the main research methods and techniques used within psychology, and workshops will provide you with statistical key methods for analysing research data.

Teaching is delivered by staff who are experts in their particular field of psychology and takes place in a friendly and professional environment. Teaching, laboratory and IT facilities are up-to-date, well maintained and have wireless high-speed internet access.


In all years, methods of assessment include coursework and exams. You will be required to pass all of the components in each year in order to proceed to the next one. Because the first year does not count towards the final degree classification, this gives you the opportunity to learn how to study at university.

Your final degree classification will be based upon your performance in Years 2 and 3. In determining the final degree grade, the marks from Year 3 assessments are double-weighted relative to those from Year 2.


The School of Psychology provides its students with their own computing laboratories with a large number of Windows-based workstations and PCs. In addition, students have 24-hour access to the University’s computing facilities and the University Library.

The School also has a range of dedicated laboratories for conducting a wide variety of psychological research, including infant observation facilities, laboratories for perception and psychophysiological research, a suite of small project rooms, an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests, the use of an MRI brain scanner, EEG recorders and TMS equipment.

Global opportunities

You will have the opportunity of a work placement abroad at one of our partner universities located all over the world, currently including:

  • University of Salzburg
  • Humboldt University
  • Aarhus University
  • University of Turin
  • University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Groningen University

The European universities offer the possibility of doing a laboratory–based training year in one of their laboratories with Erasmus+ funding. Opportunities to work also exist in other parts of Europe, the USA and Australia.

In addition to the exciting opportunity that an overseas experience represents you will also broaden the horizons of your studies and your professional career.

Career opportunities

Our Psychology degrees provide you with the basic requirement for eligibility for admission to psychology postgraduate training courses in specialist areas of the discipline, such as clinical, counselling, health, forensic, environmental, social, research methods or occupational psychology, all of which are offered as postgraduate degrees 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.

Many organisations employ psychology graduates for their specific psychological training and skills in areas such as personnel, research and development, survey and market research, and career guidance.

In addition, many employers are anxious to recruit psychology graduates because the broad curriculum produces a well-rounded individual who communicates well and has analytical skills.

Recent graduates have also embarked on careers in law, accountancy, teaching, computer programming and general management. Virtually all graduates of the programme find satisfactory employment within six months of graduation.

Graduate prospects

Graduates over the last few years entered employment with organisations such as:

  • Institute of Psychiatry, Project Coordinator
  • St George's NHS trust, Assistant Clinical Psychologist
  • Broadmoor Hospital, Primary Well-Being Practitioner
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Clinical Trust, Trial Coordinator
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital, Assistant Psychologist
  • Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Rehabilitation Assistant
  • Metropolitan Police Service, Technical Author
  • Queen Mary, University of London, Research Assistant
  • Surrey County Council, Assistant Primary Mental Health Worker
  • Royal Ballet Company, Healthcare Team Assistant
  • LifePsychol, Assistant Psychologist
  • Arbour Vale School, Specialist Teaching Assistant

Many of our students also go on to postgraduate study, including clinical, forensic and organisational psychology.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Applicants taking either Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Psychology, a pass in the Science Practical Certificate is desirable.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

76 per cent

International Baccalaureate

36 points

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language at grade B/5 or above and GCSE Mathematics at grade B/5 or above (or equivalent).

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2016 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years C801 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years C800 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

Fees for UK/EU students

Tuition fees are currently set at £9,000 per year for UK/EU undergraduates starting in 2017.

Fees for overseas students

Fees for 2017/2018 entry for students classed as overseas (for fees purposes) are being reviewed and will be available shortly.

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.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Major/minor Courses

What does it mean to study a course as a major or minor?

A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.

The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.

What are the pros and cons of studying a Major/Minor course?

A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.

There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.

What would studying a Major/Minor course mean for my job prospects?

Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.

Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.

How will my time be split on a Major/Minor programme?

As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.

Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.

See all Major/Minor courses

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Professional Training Placement

Psychology Professional Training placements in North Carolina, USA

Gina Morrish, BSc Psychology student, talks about her Professional Training placement at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina, USA

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