International exchange year in psychology

As a psychology student, you'll discover that studying abroad has many advantages for your personal development as well as your employability. Your future employer will note that you show initiative and cope with new and potentially challenging circumstances. Living abroad will widen your horizons and enhance your interpersonal skills and confidence – you will make lots of new friends, and you may even learn a new language.

Psychology students in their first year can apply to undertake their second year at an overseas university. 

At present the School of Psychology offers three routes for this: Direct Exchange, the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP:, and the ERASMUS programme. 

University of Plymouth is one of the few British institutions participating in ISEP organised by the US Government. 

In addition to ISEP, University of Plymouth has negotiated Direct Exchange relationships with a small number of universities abroad, including some in Canada and the USA. Institutions at which past students have spent a year include Nebraska Wesleyan University, the University of Montana, the University of Manitoba and the University of Tennessee. 

Finally we also have agreements with a number of European universities under the ERASMUS programme. The European exchanges normally require prior knowledge of the relevant European language. Reduced tuition fees are normally applied to exchanges.

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

Only students who are performing well and are expected to pass their end of stage assessments will be permitted to pursue this scheme. Successful progression from stage 1 is a condition for participating in any exchange. The number of students who can participate in the scheme is limited and a selection process will be operated. The school exchange coordinator will discuss with students, in advance, which modules at the exchange institution they must take in order to ensure that their final degree is eligible for the BPS Graduate Basis for Registration. Specifically, the modules abroad need to cover six topics

1) Individual differences/personality (mandatory because this is not covered in the final year at Plymouth)

2) Research methods

3) Cognitive psychology

4) Social psychology

5) Developmental psychology

6) Biological psychology

When you are selecting your modules bear in mind that institutions abroad sometimes offer specific courses such as ‘ageing’ or ‘intergroup relations’. These are fine to select and would count towards developmental psychology and social psychology, respectively. You may be able to study a limited number of additional non-psychology courses but you have to make sure you cover the above six topics and that at least 80 per cent of your courses on exchange are within psychology.

Eska Gatland spent her second year abroad

I wouldn’t change my decision to study abroad for anything, and I highly recommend that if you have the option to study abroad too that you go for it!

All psychology students can choose to study abroad in their second year

Find out about Eska's year in Montana