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Undergraduate course

Psychology BSc (Hons)

Explore the fascinating subject of the human mind and behaviour, through research and practical laboratory work.

Student using specialist psychology equipment

Psychology is an exciting and diverse field of study dedicated to understanding, describing, predicting and controlling behaviour and thought. This programme provides a scientific approach to understanding people, their behaviour and thinking, while studying in a thriving research environment. This course offers a 75 hour placement module in the second year and the option of a placement year.

94% overall satisfaction from final year students in the School of Psychological and Social Sciences - National Student Survey (NSS) 2018

  • British Psychological Society

York campus

  • UCAS Code – C800
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – Psychological & Social Sciences

Minimum Entry Requirements

    120 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

School of Psychology


Course overview

In the first two years of study, you will develop an in-depth understanding of basic psychological processes by exploring core topics such as individual differences, biological, developmental, social and cognitive psychology. In the final year you will focus on individual areas of interest through elective modules and self-generated research. Across the programme, students gain a comprehensive education in the scientific foundations of psychology and an introduction to applied practice across multiple domains.

Throughout the programme our students participate in laboratory work and work to the British Psychological Society Code of Ethics. We invest heavily in our psychological research facilities and equipment which includes eye-tracking and virtual reality tools, a psychometric test library and physiological measurements systems such as EEG. To assist with your practical laboratory work we will provide you with training in the use of our specialist equipment and in the research methods and data analytic techniques used by psychologists. The programme will equip you with the basic scientific grounding and theoretical understanding required for advanced-level studies.

Graduates can find employment in professional areas such as business, human resources, training and development, marketing and advertising, recruitment and selection and counselling. The programme establishes the building block for further studies where you can pursue careers in the professional practice of psychology including counselling, clinical, forensic, or organisational psychology, neuropsychology, research and other specialist areas.

This degree satisfies eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society, provided the minimum standard of qualification of second class honours is achieved.

Course structure

Level 1


Compulsory modules

  • Exploring Social Psychology: This module introduces students to classic studies in Social Psychology embedded within the core theoretical concepts of the discipline. Students learn about human behaviour in social contexts, by focusing on such topics as prejudice, aggression, and social influence. (10 credits) 
  • Cognition: Students are introduced to Cognitive Psychology, its historical development, core theoretical concepts, and the research methods used to investigate human cognition. The module covers core topics within the discipline, e.g., processes underpinning perception, memory and language. (10 credits) 
  • Biological Bases of Behaviour: This module introduces students to Biological Psychology, providing an overview of key concepts in structural and functional neuroanatomy and biological systems. Students learn about the biological underpinnings of various aspects of human cognition and behaviour. (20 credits)
  • Experimental Research Methods & Statistics: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct experimental research in Psychology. The module provides an introduction to key methodological and ethical issues, as well as opportunities to undertake and participate in experiments and analyse quantitative data. (20 credits)
  • Current Psychology: Contemporary research in psychological science is introduced as members of academic staff present their current work, situated within the context of the historical development of the field. (10 credits)
  • Personality & Individual Differences: Key concepts in the Psychology of Individual Differences are presented, with a focus on the theories of personality and intelligence. Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in evaluating empirical evidence, research methods, and assessment practices. (20 credits)
  • Survey Research Methods & Statistics: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct survey research in Psychology. Key methodological and ethical issues are explored, and students are provided with opportunities to undertake and participate in survey research and analyse quantitative data. (20 credits)

In addition to these core modules, students are paired with an academic tutor to focus on their Personal, Academic & Professional Development (PAPD). Students are also supported to engage with the Psychology Research Participation Scheme (PReP), which provides the opportunity to gain further knowledge of research in psychological science through hands-on experience as a participant in student and staff research projects.

Level 2


Compulsory modules

  • Social Psychology: Students extend and expand their knowledge of core theories, concepts, and research methodologies in Social Psychology. Key contemporary approaches, including discursive and social constructionist psychology, are introduced. (20 credits)
  • Infant & Child Development: This module builds students’ understanding of Developmental Psychology, by focusing on current topics in neurobiological, cognitive, social and emotional development from birth to 12 years. (20 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct qualitative research in Psychology. Key methodological and ethical issues are explored, and students are provided with opportunities to undertake and participate in research and analyse qualitative data. (20 credits)
  • Assessment of Individual Differences: This module examines advanced topics in the Psychology of Individual Differences, with a focus on principles of measurement (psychometrics) and the study of diverse populations (e.g., cross-cultural research). (10 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Brain & Behaviour: Students’ understanding of critical concepts and contemporary research in Biological Psychology is extended through a focus on ‘hot topics’, such as biological rhythms and the neurobiological bases of psychological disorders. (10 credits)
  • Investigating Cognition: This module provides a deeper and broader exploration of Cognitive Psychology, allowing students to develop their critical evaluation skills in considering contemporary research in the field. Students apply the concepts, theories and principles learned in an original research project. (20 credits)
  • Advanced Research Methods: Students are trained in advanced research design and analytic techniques in Psychology, and engaged in contemporary debates in psychological research. The module provides opportunities to undertake and participate in research and analyse data using advanced techniques. (20 credits)
  • Psychology in Practice: Students are supported to obtain 75 hours of paid or voluntary work experience relevant to their career aspirations and to develop a current CV. Students also gain valuable insights into psychological research by serving as participants in research studies run by third-year dissertation students, postgraduate researchers and academic staff or by completing an online research skills portfolio

In addition to these core modules, students work with their academic tutor to focus on their Personal, Academic & Professional Development (PAPD). Students are also supported to engage with the Psychology Research Participation Scheme (PReP), which provides the opportunity to gain further knowledge of research in psychological science through hands-on experience as a participant in student and staff research projects.

Level 3


Compulsory modules

  • Research Paper: In this module, students undertake an empirical research project on a topic of interest under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Students conduct a literature review; design an ethically and methodologically sound research study; collect and analyse data; and disseminate their findings in the form of a research paper and poster presentation. (40 credits)

Four elective modules from:*

  • Clinical Psychology: This module addresses concepts of psychological theory, research and evidence-based practice as applied to the field of Clinical Psychology. Students are introduced to conceptual understandings of mental health and ill-health, approaches to assessment and diagnosis, and evaluation of interventions and therapies. (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Issues in Quantitative Psychology: Students critically engage with a range of contemporary issues in quantitative psychology research, and are introduced to advanced statistical modelling techniques in preparation for their dissertation and post-graduate study. (20 credits)
  • Counselling Approaches in Psychology: This module develops students’ understanding of the major paradigms that form the basis of Counselling Psychology practice, i.e., humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural. (20 credits)
  • Memory Improvement: This advanced module focuses on a specific topic within Cognitive Psychology. Students critically engage with research evidence concerning techniques to enhance memory performance. (20 credits)
  • Political Psychology: Psychological theories and research related to political phenomena are introduced, with the opportunity to draw inspiration from research in political science. Various topical issues are addressed from a psychological perspective, such as nationalism, collective memory, and political rhetoric. (20 credits)
  • Adolescent Development & Behaviour: This module develops students’ understanding in the field of Developmental Psychology by facilitating critical appraisal of psychological research relating to biological, cognitive and psychosocial development during adolescence, and its real-world applications. (20 credits)
  • Investigative Psychology: This module provides the opportunity to study how psychological principles can be applied to criminal investigations and legal processes.  A range of topics relevant to the field of Forensic Psychology are covered, which may include identifying perpetrators, interviewing witnesses, and false confessions. (20 credits)
  • Animal Behaviour & Comparative Psychology: This module applies psychological principles to the study of non-human animals, allowing students to develop their understanding of the biological and evolutionary basis of human and non-human behaviour. (20 credits) 
  • Concepts & Perspectives in Sport & Exercise Psychology: This module provides an opportunity to engage with contemporary research and theoretical perspectives in the field of Sport and Exercise Psychology. A range of current topics are presented, which focus upon individual and psychosocial factors associated with participation and performance in sport and exercise. (20 credits)
  • Critical Social Psychology: Students are encouraged to reflect on the social and political context of Social Psychology, on contemporary methodological debates with the field, and on the epistemological and ontological foundations of the discipline. A range of topical issues are discussed, which may include race and racism, feminism, and ideology in the social psychological context. (20 credits)
  • Language Development: This module offers an opportunity for students to engage with key theories and current research in language learning and development, covering both first and second language acquisition, and including implications for educational practice. (20 credits)
  • Neuropsychology: Both clinical and academic approaches to Neuropsychology are presented, providing students with an opportunity to learn about common neuropsychological disorders and their associated neuropathology and cognitive profiles. (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Offending Behaviour: A broad range of topics relating to offending behaviours are covered from a Forensic Psychology perspective, which may include murder, stalking, sexual offending, and terrorism. (20 credits)
  • Psychology in the Light of Evolution: Evolutionary theory can help us to understand and make predictions about human behaviour. This module introduces students to major findings from evolutionary approaches in all areas of Psychology, with an emphasis on human social behaviour (e.g., mate choice, altruism, parent-offspring relationships). (20 credits) 

*Optional modules are subject to change dependent on student demand and staff expertise.

Teaching & Assessment

Each module provides structured learning utilising a variety of summative and formative assessment techniques. Module-based learning activities include formal lectures, interactive seminars, practical lab-based workshops, supported open learning, independent study, and the use of virtual learning environments (i.e., Moodle). Module tutors offer weekly office hours when students can access personalised support for their learning.

Formative assessment activities are designed to enable students to receive relevant feedback in preparation for subsequent summative assessments. A range of summative assessment formats are incorporated throughout the degree, including lab reports, essays, research proposals, oral presentations, case studies, portfolios, and exams, in order to allow optimal opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and skills.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

120 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4/Level 4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Caitlin Taylor

Psychology BSc (Hons)

I discovered the course at York St John at a UCAS fair where I attended a talk by one of the lecturers here and she was so passionate about her research area. I spoke to her afterwards and she encouraged me to attend an open day, which I did, and I fell in love with the course. The lecturers have such a wide range of research areas and everyone I met was so passionate about the course, both the lecturers and the student ambassadors.”

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