FdSc Psychological Studies

Welcome to Petroc, one of the largest colleges in Devon, awarded 'Silver' from the Teaching Excellence Framework (July 2017) and rated 'Good with Outstanding Features' by Ofsted (November 2015). Petroc is the South West Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, recognised by the award of a Skills for Health Quality Mark, and plays a key part in the economic, cultural and social development of the county’s rural communities. We offer around 40 degree-level courses from foundation to BA (Hons) level across our three campus sites, making a 'degree on your doorstep' a possibility for hundreds of successful graduates to date.

We have strong links with local employers - so you can gain invaluable, hands-on experience during your degree-level studies. Based at our North Devon, Mid Devon, or at our dedicated University Centre at the Brannams campus, our award-winning courses offer small group sizes, workable and flexible study options, and represent outstanding value. And, when you’re ready to move on, you have a degree from the University of Plymouth – one of the top three modern universities in the UK, as ranked by the Sunday Times University Guide 2017

Visit our Petroc website to find out more, watch our course videos, read case studies of our successful alumni or apply directly for a guaranteed interview.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • NORD1053 Social, Developmental and Behaviourist Psychology

      This module introduces some of the basic theories and research findings in developmental psychology, Behaviourist Psychology and social psychology. Alongside this it will investigate the historical and conceptual basis for our current understandings within these areas of psychology.

    • NORD1054 Cognitive and Biological Psychology

      This module aims to allow students to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge of the core areas of cognitive psychology and biological psychology. It will investigate specific areas and allow students to interpret findings from studies to enhance understanding of the brain and nervous system and how it works.

    • NORD1082 Research Methods

      This module introduces the rationale for scientific research in psychology. It also introduces a range of approaches and research methodologies, together with their benefits and drawbacks. Basic aspects of experimental design are covered, together with statistical analysis and the use of computers for basic data manipulation and analysis. The module also provides training in the writing of research reports.

    • PETR1082 Developing Graduate Skills

      This module is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and employment requiring the exercise of responsibility and decision making, including the ability to relate their professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • NORD2052 Social Development of Children

      This module will explore the social development of children and adolescents. It will build upon previous broad knowledge of both developmental and social psychology in order to explore topics in more depth. These topics will be taken from different aspects of child development with the aim to explore and challenge commonly held beliefs with the use of relevant psychological research.

    • NORD2089 Research Methods II

      This module extends training in experimental research methods as well as covering the design, running, analysing and reporting of qualitative research. The ethical implications of psychological research are considered. It aims to consolidate and exend competence in statistical analysis, and covers a range of psychometric principles, inferential statistical techniques and the use of statistical software

    Optional modules
    • NORD1057 Key Studies in Sociology

      This module aims to examine in depth some classic studies in sociology which have been influential within the discipline. These studies have all been highly influential within the discipline, and a good number have had a wider social and political impact.

    • NORD1058 Applying Sociology

      This module is concerned with challenging common sense assumptions about the social world through the application of contemporary social theory. The module will outline a number of different sociological approaches to real world problems and how this understanding may have an impact on how these issues are viewed.

    • PETR1148 Applying Psychology

    • PETR1149 Psychology and Crime

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • NORD2054 Individual Differences

      This module examines research into individual differences. Theories of personality and intelligence are critically considered. Personality and IQ tests construction and use are considered. Students will construct their own scale and use this within a research study.

    • NORD2055 Psychopathology

      This module covers the main approaches to psychology (biological, cognitive, behavioural and psychodynamic) by addressing the question of abnormality, how it is defined and diagnosed, its aetiology and how it is treated according to these approaches.

    Optional modules
    • NORD2058 Inequalities and The Modern Individual

      This module aims to examine the relationship between the individual and society and the emergence of 'modern' social relations and 'modern' individuals. It will then look at inequalities faced by individuals and groups within the modern world.

    • NORD2059 World Sociology

      This module looks at the changes that have taken place in Western societies in the twentieth century. The module starts by placing the debate in historical context, then examines the idea that these changes have led to a completely new era ¿ economically, socially and culturally. The course concludes by stressing the need to place the West in the context both of its own history and of its relationship with the rest of the world.

    • PETR2144 Counselling Studies

    • PETR2145 Psychology of Health and Illness

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.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with PETROC

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Studying with Petroc

With main campuses in Barnstaple, Tiverton and Brannams, if you decide to study at the combined college, you’ll be able to take advantage of increased resources and the plethora of learning opportunities associated with them.

Find out more about studying at Petroc