BSc (Hons) Psychology
Further details of this course including the course overview, career prospects, facilities and features, entry requirements and application details can be found on the main University website
At each level of this degree you will complete 120 credits of units, made up of 20-credit or 40-credit units. The unit description abstracts are listed below:
Key Ideas in Human and Animal Behaviour
The unit explores the history of psychology and its relationship with broader philosophical, scientific and cultural developments. The unit will examine how the theories and methods used in psychology have developed from other disciplines and seek to identify key assumptions that are shared by different explanations of both human and animal behaviour. You will study topics such as the evolution of human behaviour, sexual selection and social behaviour and have the opportunity to undertake field work as part of the unit.
The Psychology of Everyday Life
This unit will examine a range of everyday phenomena that occur in most human societies and use these as a foundation for exploring broader psychological concepts and processes. You will explore established and new theories, and examine recent psychological research illustrating what people consider to be normal or abnormal processes within society. Examples of the phenomena that may be examined include the study of family life, mutuality in relationships and society, the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis, and the treatment of mental disorders.
What makes someone attractive? Why do some people make false confessions? How do children develop social awareness? This unit provides you with the opportunity to explore in-depth a specific question within the psychological literature that is of interest to you. You will learn how to find and understand research that has been done by other psychologists as well as how to appraise theories and findings that define what we currently know about your selected topic. The unit is supported by an integrated tutorial system where you will get to meet regularly with your tutor and with small-groups of other students to present and discuss ideas, and gain feedback on your work. You will also attend workshops that are designed to help you develop a number of high-level graduate skills including information literacy, communication skills and critical thinking that will support your work on this and other units.
Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis for Psychologists
This unit introduces students to the different research methods, data analysis techniques and report writing skills used in psychological research. You will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques that psychologists use to study behaviour including experimentation, survey, interview and observational research. You will explore real world examples of their use in psychology and learn how psychologists evaluate the numerical, verbal and textual data they collect to address specific research questions.
Applying Psychological Research Methods 1 & 2
These two related units provide you with the opportunity to put into practice the psychological research skills and analysis techniques taught in the Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis for Psychologists unit. You will learn how to design your own research as well as taking part in real psychological studies. Working in small groups with other students, you will gain experience of being a psychological researcher by planning research questions, collecting data from participants, analysing their responses and presenting the findings of your studies.
Biological and Cognitive Psychology
This unit examines the biological foundations of psychological processes exploring how the functioning of our nervous system, brain and other aspects of our physiology can be used to explain the way we behave. In this unit, you will also learn about human mental processes, examining current theory and research on the topics of perception, learning, language, memory and emotions.
Social and Developmental Psychology
This unit examines people’s behaviour in social contexts, exploring topics such as social influence; social identity and group processes. In this unit, you will also learn about the development of psychological processes from birth including neonatal abilities; early communication and language development; and the development of awareness. The idea of social relations and engagement as central to how we develop will be explored through consideration of psychological research and current controversial topics.
Individual Differences and Psychometrics
This unit explores the psychological characteristics and behavioural patterns that make us unique and allow us to compare and contrast people at an individual level. You will learn about the major theoretical approaches psychologists adopt in the study of personality including psychodynamic, biological, trait, and humanistic approaches. How personality theories can be used to explain individual differences between people with respect to issues such as intelligence and criminality are then explored. As part of this unit, you will also be introduced to and gain experience of the use of psychological tests for measuring and assessing differences between individuals.
Employability Skills for Psychologists
This unit provides students with relevant psychological careers theory and information required to aid the transition to future work or study following university. You will learn more about the employment-relevant personal skills gathered during your degree and the requirements of different psychology-based and related occupations you might enter as graduate. The unit also provides you with the opportunity to gain work-related or research experience by working closely with a member of staff or external organisation as part of your studies; it also provides an opportunity for in-depth exploration of specific professional routes within psychology. The unit is supported by an integrated tutorial system where you will get to meet regularly with your tutor and with small-groups of other students to present and discuss ideas, and consider areas of specialism within psychology that are of interest to you.
Research Methods and Analysis 1 & 2
These two related units provide you with the opportunity to undertake practical work and further develop the research skills introduced during the first year of the degree. You will receive training in the design, conduct and reporting of more advanced psychological research studies; learn how to analyse and interpret psychological data using professional software; and work with other students to conduct research studies that address psychological research questions of your own choosing. These units also prepare you in the design of proposals for research, and planning of larger independent research projects.
Psychology Research Project
The psychology project gives you the opportunity to undertake an individual, original and in-depth research study which focuses on a specific psychological issue. The issue explored and the empirical approach taken to address this can be decided by each student, drawing on the research methods training received during the first two years of the degree. You will also receive individual support through regular meetings with your project supervisor who will guide you through the process of designing your study, considering its ethical implications and understanding its findings. The rationale for your study, the adopted research methodology and findings are then presented as an extended dissertation.
Introduction to Forensic Psychology
This unit provides an introduction to theory, research and practice in the application of psychology to forensic contexts. A number of key concepts in this area of psychology are explored including the development of criminality, fear of crime, detecting deception, memory and witness testimony, hindsight bias and jury decision-making.
Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
This unit examines the comparative and evolutionary approaches to the study of psychology in humans and other animals. Students learn about how specific aspects of behaviour can be studied from both perspectives, exploring topics such as mate choice, social cognition, emotion, communication and the evolution of culture.
Professional Practice in Sports Psychology
This unit integrates scientific knowledge and professional practice in examining the application of psychology when working with athletes and coaches in applied sports settings. You will explore methods of psychologically assessing sports performance and performers, as well as learning how to evaluate strategies that are used to enhance athlete, team and coaching performance. Examples of some of the topics covered in the unit include psychological skills training applied to sport, confidence, stress management, concentration and mental toughness.
Language and Communication
This unit explores theories and methods in the study of communication and their main fields of application. The unit examines evolutionary and neural theories of language development, communicative practices in relation to culture, verbal and non-verbal communication strategies, the study of narrative, and some disabilities associated with language.
Cognitivist and Constructionist Approaches to Disability
This unit examines two broad and contrasting theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of disability: Social Constructionist and Cognitive approaches. In this unit, you will examine the values, assumptions and common practices found within each approach when considering issues such as research, diagnosis and empowerment. Autistic Spectrum Disorders will be used as a special focus to illustrate how both theoretical perspectives approach the study of disability.
Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
This unit examines two major applied areas of psychology: clinical psychology and health psychology. You will explore existing beliefs, research and practice in the study of mental health, psychological distress and physical well-being. Examples of topics covered in the unit include the relationship between psychological and physical health, counselling and psychological therapies, issues in diagnosis, health-related and addictive behaviours, stress reactions and stress management, health promotion.
Self and Subjectivity
This unit examines the psychological study of selfhood and subjective experience. You will explore issues such as self-awareness, consciousness, self-regulation and behaviour change, and the construction and presentation of self and identity. Theory and research from several areas of psychology including social, developmental, ecological, cultural and clinical psychology are considered in the unit and the tensions between these explored with respect to the explanations they provide that inform our understanding of selfhood.
The unit is designed to further develop students’ conceptual understanding of different analytical techniques that can be applied to numerical psychological data. The use and meaning of different statistical tests is considered and some more advanced analytical techniques that are commonly used within psychology are explored. You do not have to be a an exceptional mathematician to do this unit.
Psychology Work Placement
This unit is designed to provide you with the opportunity to undertake a work placement relevant to the study of psychology as part of your degree. Placements may involve work practice in professional vocational areas relevant to psychology or involve the application of psychological knowledge or methods to a work situation. Students are supported by a personal tutor during the work placement who liaises with them and the organisation regarding the activities undertaken.