Psychology BSc (Hons)

A psychology degree provides students with core knowledge of the scientific foundations of the discipline, insight into cutting-edge research in psychological science, and a range of transferable skills relevant to applied psychological practice and Postgraduate research. This psychology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as an approved Undergraduate sequence of study in Psychology in the UK.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2019
Accredited by
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Psychological & Social Sciences

Psychology BSc (Hons) Course Overview

The Bachelor of Science (Honours) Psychology degree provides a research-informed approach to understanding human behaviour and thought across the lifespan.

In Year One students develop a broad understanding of core psychological topics, which are expanded upon in greater depth in Year Two. The final year of the programme allows students to focus on their individual areas of interest in psychology through elective modules and an independent piece of original research conducted under academic supervision.

Throughout our Psychology course, students participate in practical laboratory work, adhering to the BPS Code of Ethics. To develop the scientific competence which underpins the discipline and profession, students receive training in the research methods and data analytic techniques used by psychologists.

Students work within a School equipped with excellent research facilities, including specialised laboratory suites, eye-tracking and virtual reality equipment, a psychometric test library, and an electroencephalogram (EEG) laboratory. The programme equips graduates with the scientific grounding and theoretical understanding required for advanced level studies.

For students joining in 2018, Richard Gross, author of numerous psychology textbooks including 'Psychology: The Science of Mind & Behaviour', will be delivering lectures and seminars throughout their first year. This will provide our Psychology students with a unique overview of the discipline of psychology from one of the most trusted names in the field. 


of Graduates from our Psychology course are in employment or further study.

DLHE 2017

overall satisfaction from final year students in the School of Psychological and Social Sciences.

National Student Survey (NSS) 2018


Psychology BSc (Hons) Course structure

This Undergraduate psychology degree is designed to provide a systematic knowledge of psychological science and how it applies to many aspects of the human condition.

The course content spans the full breadth of the discipline of Psychology, from the biology of the brain to the study of communities and societies. A varied module diet covering biological, cognitive, developmental/educational, forensic, clinical, social and discursive psychology, provides a springboard to Postgraduate study or professional training.

This Undergraduate psychology programme is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society, provided the minimum standard of qualification of second-class honours is achieved.

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)

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.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements for our Psychology BSc (Hons) Course


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

120 UCAS Tariff points

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

Level 2 equivalent maths qualifications (e.g. Adult Numeracy, Key Skills Application of Number) are not acceptable in lieu of GCSE Maths

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge in the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study, reading relevant textbooks and/or completing people-based work experience that involves social skills e.g. healthcare assistant. Please note, you need to demonstrate more than just personal experiences

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Completing volunteer work e.g. through Duke of Edinburgh Awards
  • Engaging in activities which involve group participation
  • Engaging with the British Psychological Society - this could be via Facebook or Twitter
  • Subscribing/reading relevant journals/magazines
  • Attending relevant conferences/workshops outside of your school/college
  • Doing further relevant study
  • Discussion of future career plans
  • Evidencing transferrable skills e.g. team work, independence, initiative
  • Showing an awareness that postgraduate study will be necessary to become a practicing psychologist

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.

Visit York St John.

Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Study abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

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