BSc (Hons) Psychology - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)


UCAS codeC800

Full Time3yrs

Part Time6yr

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It is concerned with understanding the thoughts, feelings and motivations that underpin behaviour.

Our high quality research reputation, cutting edge laboratory and computing facilities, and our research active academics, makes us the ideal place to study psychology.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Integrate your learning with the current research activities of staff
  • Monitor the behaviour of infants and toddlers in our labs housing purpose built ‘double video’ equipment
  • Put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Lab

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) which provides eligibility for graduate membership of the BPS and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership – the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist.

However, studying psychology fosters the development of a diversity of skills that prepares you to also enter a range of other employment areas.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • teaching
  • health associated professions
  • social welfare
  • police work
  • research
  • marketing


Amelia Woodard, BSc (Hons) Psychology student 2013

I like that the lecturers are not afraid to introduce to you controversial debates and ideas which deepen your knowledge and understanding of key ideas.

Amelia Woodard, BSc (Hons) Psychology student 2013



Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The practical work that backs up the theoretical study
  • The ability to take part in cutting-edge research
  • Friendly lecturers who have worked in the field

Browse all courses in Psychology

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

In the first year you take a broad-based approach to core aspects of psychological theory and research.

Core units in this year include:

  • Key Ideas in Human and Animal Behaviour
  • The Psychology of Everyday Life
  • Exploring Psychology
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis for Psychologists
  • Applying Psychological Research Methods 1 and 2

Year two

You will continue to build on your knowledge, including a greater in-depth approach to the different psychological disciplines.

Core units in this year include:

  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Individual Differences and Psychometrics
  • Professional Development and Employability
  • Research Methods and Analysis 1 and 2

Year three*

In the final year you can begin to develop more specialist areas of knowledge and undertake a large scale research project of your choosing.

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Professional Practice in Sports Psychology
  • Language and Communication
  • Disability: Theory, Research and Practice
  • Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
  • Self and Subjectivity
  • Exploring Data
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Educational Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • Cultural Psychology
  • Work Psychology
  • Psychology Work Placement

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work or study placement).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


You will be taught by academics at the cutting edge of their subject. We strive to keep a close link between research and teaching, and aim to keep your learning experience stimulating through a blend of lectures, small focused seminars, one-to-one tutorials, alongside practical research and experiments.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 78% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 77% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 16% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 84% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We operate a range of assessment techniques and publish the assessment criteria so you know how your work will be evaluated. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written examinations
  • practical reports and essays
  • poster presentations
  • oral presentations
  • self-led research project

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 42% by written exams, 22% by practical exams and 36% by coursework
  • Year two students: 38% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 54% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 54% by coursework

Tutor's view


Professor Vasudevi Reddy

The course deals with current theoretical issues and recent empirical findings with relevance for everyday life. You will be taught by staff who are actively engaged in research in these areas.

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Facilities & Features


You will benefit from our range of modern, high quality facilities. Monitor behaviour using our eye-tracking equipment or test minority influencing scenarios in our Observation Suite. Other labs include:

  • Toddler and Infant Laboratory
  • Psychophysiology Laboratory
  • Digital Analysis and Video Editing Suite
  • Psychology of Applied Cognition Laboratory

Forensic Interviewing Suite

Train in the art of forensic interviewing. Use the suite’s state-of-the-art audio and video-recording facilities to uncover your subjects bluff. Or detect deception using our thermal imaging cameras, specifically looking for the blush reflex around the eyes, cheeks and neck.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

Placements are an optional course component and you will be required to pay for additional costs for you work placement abroad. These will vary depending in the location and length of stay. These costs range from £50 - £2000 to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

If you want to become an accredited psychologist, you will need to enrol on a postgraduate course to continue your studies. However, by this point you will have a better idea of which area of psychology you wish to specialise in such as development, occupational, counselling, educational, forensic, health, or sport and exercise.

This course serves as an excellent starting point for many other graduate career paths. You will become excellent at teamwork, communication, problem solving, self-motivation and time management, which are skills highly desirable to employers in a vast range of sectors.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • clinical psychologist
  • forensic psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • counsellor
  • health planning analyst

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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