School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology

Interested to learn how we think and behave and how the social influences and structures of our everyday lives affect us? With this combined honours course, you’ll cover all aspects of human behaviour and our underlying thoughts, feelings and motivations. You’ll learn about the rapidly changing nature of contemporary society and graduate with a true understanding of the interaction between the individual mind and the social world in which we live.

You will immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum that’s continually shaped by the latest developments in psychological research. You’ll expand your horizons and experience with opportunities for international exchange and a year studying abroad. You’ll develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme. You will gain invaluable experience and cultivate professional contacts by taking an optional placement year.

Call our Clearing hotline – 0333 241 6929

Call our Clearing hotline on 0333 241 6929 from 7am on results day to discuss your options and secure your place on one of our courses this September.

Key features

  • Take your first step to becoming a professional in your field – as a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.
  • Expand your horizons and experience with opportunities for international exchange and a year studying abroad (in Year 2).
  • Develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.
  • Maximise your learning with a personal tutor assigned throughout your studies to provide the support and guidance you need to get the most out of your course.
  • Shape your own study path with an exciting range of topics available through lectures, optional courses and project supervision.
  • Gain invaluable experience and cultivate professional contacts by taking an optional placement year.
  • Benefit from studying on a course that the Research Assessment Exercise rates as excellent for research and the Quality Assurance Agency praises for its quality of education.
  • Immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum that’s continually shaped by the latest developments in psychological research.
  • Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’ve got 22 labs to choose from, including a virtual reality laboratory with 3D modelling software, sound-proof cubicles with a range of stimulus equipment and computer laboratories.  You'll be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research.
  • Receive outstanding student support with our award-winning Psychology eBooks scheme – we’ll give you free eBooks when you start, saving you over £1,500 in printed copies. Our Psychology eBooks scheme won the award for Teaching Excellence in The Guardian University Awards (2013).
  • To complement your formal learning we offer regular PALS sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll study the basic theories of psychology, covering learning, social, developmental, clinical, cognitive and physiological psychology. You will also develop your skills in methods of psychological research, information technology, communication and critical thinking. On the sociology side, you’ll study key concepts and theories surrounding real world issues such as poverty, social exclusion, work, community, religion, media, crime, education and more.
    Core modules
    • PSYC411 Learning

      This module explores how we gather information, with an emphasis on the scientific method. The module will introduce students to different perspectives on learning, including how to learn effectively, the biological and cognitive basis of learning, and social learning.

    • PSYC412 Psychological Science

      This module will provide an introduction into a broad range of fundamental topics in psychology. Across eight independent topics, from across the entire breadth of psychology, students will learn key theories. Students will also learn how those theories have been applied to real-world situations and will be asked to explore these theories in practice in Labplus activities.

    • PSYC414 Relationships

      This immersive module focuses on the Psychology of Social Relationships across the lifespan. This topic is introduced and analysed from different disciplines in Psychology, including Developmental, Social, Biological, Clinical and Individual Differences perspectives. Lectures introduce methodologies, key findings and concepts for understanding Social Relationships. Lectures will be supported by workshops and tutorials.

    • PSYC415 Topics in Psychology

      This module will provide an in-depth exploration of four topics from core areas of psychology. Each of the topics will run for four weeks with interspersed group-based linked Labplus activities. These will allow students to get involved in a continued project, within the scope of a particular topic, which might involve data collection and subsequent statistical analysis of that data.

    • SOC1510 Social Identities and Inequalities

      This module explores how and why social inequalities influence lived experience and social identities. It focuses on a range of substantive issues, such as poverty, housing, education, health, morality, sexuality, gender, religion, work, unemployment, `race¿, dis/ability and explores how these influence culture, identities and lived experience throughout the life-course.

    • SOC1511 Introduction to Social Theory

      This module introduces students to key features of classical and contemporary social theory. These are placed within the context of the impact of the Enlightenment, and its impact on science and social science. One important objective is to encourage students to consider the contribution theoretical approaches can make to thinking about contemporary issues.

  • Year 2
  • We have updated our course for 2018/19 entrants, and you can find details of the new course here. You will study three modules in parallel in each semester, covering the whole breadth of the British Psychological Society curriculum. All modules include practical exercises in PsychEL, which you will record in your LabBook. The coursework includes authentic reports such as case studies, executive summaries, group presentations, data visualisations, interview skills and reflective reports. These will give you the confidence to step right into work when you graduate. Sociology topics include the processes of social change and sources of social identity in the modern world. You’ll also learn about consumer culture, ethnicity, globalisation and politics and the state. Current students will take the following modules in 2018/19:
    Core modules
    • PSYC201 Conducting Psychological Research A

      This module extends the treatment of research methods and statistics to more advanced topics and introduces the student to the principal concepts in the history and philosophy of psychology.

    • PSYC202 Individual Differences, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module examines four areas of psychology: individual differences in abilities and personality and their influence on behaviour, clinical approaches to psychological disorders and their treatment, contemporary approaches to social cognition, social interaction, and group behaviour, and the development of cognitive and social abilities in infants and children.

    • PSYC203 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

      This module covers several core areas of psychology: psychobiology (basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain function); neuropsychology (the functional architecture of the brain); perception (visual and auditory processing) and language (language comprehension and production).

    • PSYC206 Conducting Psychological Research B

      This module extends training in research methods and gives students practice in translating research questions into feasible studies and their design, execution, analysis and interpretation. Other elements develop students¿ understanding of statistical methods and give practice in relating psychological theory to applied problems

    • PSYC210 Personal and Professional Development

      This zero-credit module is home to a range of personal and professional development activities that focus on development through practice and reflection. Some activities are timetabled, such as tutorials and careers talks. In addition, this module is designed to assist Stage 2 students with their search and preparation for a work placement.

    • SOC2516 Culture, Structure and Experience

      This module explores the relationship between culture, social structure and social identities. It focuses on how this relationship has been conceptualised & discussed through a range of theoretical approaches from modern & postmodern theory, cultural studies and the sociology of identity and difference. These theories are then applied to current empirical examples.

    • SOC2518 Developments in Social Theory

      This module introduces students to the breadth of disputes found in contemporary social theory while making reference to classical social theory covered in Stage 1. These debates are linked to historical events and empirical social research that these theories influenced and were influenced by. Foundational questions for the discipline are broached and students are expected to develop critical skills in aid of theoretical analysis, argument and writing.

  • Year 3
  • If you choose, you can take an optional work placement after your second year, expanding your knowledge of psychology in a real world context across the UK. Apply to spend a year honing your skills on a psychological professional/work placement. Gain invaluable experience, make professional contacts and receive a Certificate of Professional/Industrial Placement. Please note some placements may require Occupation Health and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
    Core modules
    • PSYC310 Personal and Professional Development

      During this 36 week placement, students will begin to apply their psychological knowledge in the workplace and develop the range of skills required to work within the specific placement setting. This zero-credit module is also home to timetabled careers talks and information for Stage 3 students who are away on placement.

  • Final year
  • We have updated our course for 2018/19 entrants, and you can find details of the new course here. You will have complete freedom of choice about the topics you specialise in for your final year. You'll study eight current topics from a list of over twenty options, taught by world experts in their fields. A typical year’s list includes options in forensic, developmental, health, clinical, occupational, cognitive, social, and neuropsychology. You'll also choose to work on your own research project, supervised by one of our staff. All of our staff are active researchers, and all of our staff teach, unlike other universities. As a large school, you can be confident that we can cover almost every area. Extra study options include the sociology of consumer culture, the mass media, drugs in society, tourism, health, the body, risk, sexuality, race and ethnicity, science, technology and religion. Current students will take the following modules in 2018/19 and 2019/20:
    Core modules
    • PSYC401 Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module has two elements. In the social psychology element, students will examine advanced topics in social cognition, social influence and persuasion, group behaviour, intergroup behaviour and sociological social psychology. In the developmental psychology element, students will focus on language development, theories of children's mind and the development of socialisation.

    • PSYC402 Psychobiology and Cognition

      This module provides advanced coverage in the core areas of psychobiology and cognition. In psychobiology, the module deals with evolutionary and comparative approaches to understanding human perception, emotion and self-awareness, goal-directed behaviour and social engagement. In cognition, the module deals with three key topics in higher cognition: language, memory, and thinking and reasoning

    • PSYC405 Psychology Dissertation

      This module aims to consolidate and put into practice the research training carried out in earlier stages by exploring a particular research problem. Students are required to conduct a complete piece of research, from establishing a research area, formulating a research question, conducting a literature search, designing and conducting the study, analysing the data, through to writing up a report of the project

    • PSYC410 Personal and Professional Development

      This zero-credit module is home to timetabled tutorials and careers talks. Tutorials include group and reflective work which tutors provide feedback for.

    Optional modules
    • SOC3538 Philosophy of Social Science

      A critical introduction to the philosophical foundations of social scientific research, with an emphasis on the development of analytic skills through which students explore the philosophical and methodological possibilities and limits of knowing the social world. Critical reflexivity toward future research practice is sought.

    • SOC3540 Gender and Society: A Social Science Critique

      This module explores how and why gender matters in shaping key areas of social life. It focuses on a range of substantive issues, such as childhood, family, sexuality, health, bodies, media, sport, work, development, education, politics, to develop an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender and other social signifiers of difference/diversity.

    • SOC3544 Food and Foodways

      This module aims to provide a critical understanding of sociological issues relating to food and foodways, (the beliefs and behaviours surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food both on an individual and collective level). The module encourages critical reflection and practical experience of research in the area of food and foodways through a mini project.

    • SOC3545 Social Theory and Political Action

      This module considers the relationship between theoretical activity and practical political activity (the question of praxis) in terms of contemporary political issues and disciplinary debates. Students are asked to reflect critically upon the political and ethical dimensions of social science and the impact social researchers have upon the wider society.

    • SOC3547 Media, State and Society

      The media occupy key arenas whereby various social groups compete with one another to set public, political, commercial and cultural agendas. This module examines the relationship between media, state and society. It covers a number of substantive topic areas such as environmental issues, terrorism, war reporting, hate speech and violence.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Psychology Programme Specification 0202

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120

BBB at A level excluding general studies.

International Baccalaureate: 28 points overall English accepted within - if Advanced Level = 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B) - if Standard Level = 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B) - Standard Level 4 in maths. If overseas and not studying English within IB – must have IELTS at 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM - any subject. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
                                                                                                           
Access courses: pass Access  (ie science, humanities, combined, social sciences) with at least 33 credits units at merit. 

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,000 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.
For more information please see www.plymouth.ac.uk/money

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



We've redesigned the way we teach psychology

We have listened to our students' feedback and created a new curriculum, where the focus is on active learning instead of attending lectures.

We are building a brand new learning resource for our students, the Psychology Experiential Learning Lab or PsychEL, where you will get first hand experience of psychology. In PsychEL, and in tutorials, you'll work with other students, collaborating to apply your knowledge to solve problems.

You can read more about our new first year modules here.

Find out more by watching the short video, or get more detail from our web pages.

School of Psychology – ask a student!

Want to know more about living in Plymouth and studying with us in the School of Psychology?

Ask a current student a question

Psychology at Plymouth – find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe – there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

Find out about the psychology course

Staff insight - Dr Caroline Floccia

...I was in my twenties, and I went to a party and I met somebody who told me for the first time about the existence of a field called cognitive psychology… a field in which people study how the brain and mind work… it was a revelation…

Find out why Dr Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

Read more about Dr Caroline Floccia’s teaching and research interests

Dr Phil Gee - Associate Head of School for Teaching says:

BSc Psychology at Plymouth is an excellent foundation for a career in psychology and many other fields. Our visits programme, research apprenticeship scheme and placements allow students to work with professional psychologists throughout their studies.

Dr Phil Gee's teaching and research interests

Free e-Books

To give you a great start, if you are studying psychology as your only or major subject, we'll give you a free set of eBooks when you start your first year.

The complete set of eBooks is worth over £1500 – your main recommended reading for your core psychology lectures covered at no cost to you!

Free eBooks from the School of Psychology

Study abroad year in the USA

I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!

Simge Engelkiran spent a year in Nebraska

A challenge year in​ the USA

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

One of the experiments I was helping with got published in the scientific journal and... my name got mentioned!

Every year around 60-70 first and second year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'

School of Psychology Research Apprentice Scheme

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how University of Plymouth is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Team GB Olympic Swimmer Antony James to achieve his sporting and academic goals

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Welsh rugby player Molly Humphreys to achieve her sporting and academic goals

Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

Facilities in the School of Psychology

Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’re a well equipped department ready to support your research.

Read more about our facilities

Psychology staff - qualified to teach

80 per cent of staff in the School of Psychology have teaching qualifications, and many are Higher Education Academy Fellows. All new staff are required to qualify for a fellowship of the HEA.

Nationally only 38 per cent of university academics are qualified to teach - you deserve better than that.

Find out what qualifications our staff have

Studentships and funding for psychology

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

Find out more

Psychology courses scholarship for international applicants

A £4000 fee waiver will be awarded to applicants paying international fees who meet the entry requirements, for the first year of their studies. 

There are 10 scholarships available and they will be awarded on a first come first served basis to those accepted onto one of the following courses.

People

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment

If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.

Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies