Psychology BSc (Hons)
About the course
This three year (full time) BSc Honours Psychology degree at the University of Hertfordshire has a reputation for academic excellence, practical value and intellectual rigour. The degree provides a grounding in all major areas of psychology and our graduates are widely recognised as being thoroughly prepared for employment or for entry into postgraduate research and professional training courses. Success is reflected by relatively high levels of employment for our graduates reported through monitoring of first destination statistics.
We offer exceptionally well equipped laboratories with excellent computing facilities. There is a friendly and supportive atmosphere along with a lively and stimulating intellectual approach to the subject. Our staff are actively engaged in significant research which is reflected by our excellent rating in the Higher Education Funding Council's recent Research Assessment Exercise. Our undergraduate students benefit from the active research environment. We also obtained a rating of excellent in a recent subject review. We have many students studying for Masters degrees in Business and Industry Psychology and Research Methods in Psychology. There is also a clinical doctorate within the Department.
All of these factors contribute to an active, friendly and forward looking Department of Psychology committed to both teaching and research and promoting both the subject of psychology and the development of our students.
Why choose this course?
- One of the largest psychology departments in the country
- Our Psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society
- Our staff are actively engaged in significant research which is reflected by our excellent, Grade 4 rating in the Higher Education Funding Council's last Research Assessment Exercise. See a list of our Psychology staff here.
- Well equipped laboratories with excellent computing facilities
- We were awarded a Teaching Quality rating of excellent (23 out of 24) in our subject review.
- Work experience module in second year so students can understand various ways to apply their learning
- Careers Symposiums that facilitate access to professionals in different domains and alumni who have been successful in a range of industries.
- A vibrant research seminar series- contributed to by leading academics from across the country
- Optional Study Abroad year in places such as USA, Canada and Australia
- Read Trainee Clinical Psychologist Devina Patel's graduate story
- Read Forensic Psychologist Helen Hood's graduate story
- Read Crime Analyst Ian Norris' graduate story
- Read Cambridge PhD student Jane Garrison's graduate story
- Read NHS High Intensity Therapist Trainee Faheem Parkar's graduate story
- Read Regional Intelligence Analyst Natalie Conway's graduate story
280 points, to include a minimum of 180 points from 2 GCE A levels or a BTEC National (NQF/QCF) at DDM in either Applied Science, Social Sciences, or Sport and Exercise Sciences (plus GCSE Maths and English Language at grade C).
Successful completion of Access to Higher Education (or approved equivalent) with 60 credits comprising 45 at level 3 with merit profile and 15 at level 2.
A minimum IELTS score of 6.0, TOEFL 550 (CBT) or equivalent is required for those whom English is not their first language.
- Our offer for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing the UCAS score by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points
If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English and foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
For country specific international qualifications please check here.
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Part Time, 6 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Postgraduate study can lead to professional careers in a range of areas including:
- Forensic Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Educational Psychology
If you choose not to pursue a career as a professional psychologist then the knowledge and skills you acquire throughout your studies will be applicable in a number of other employment settings.
Psychology graduates are highly sought after by a wide range of employers, such as marketing, personnel, local government and retail, most of whom look for graduates with an extensive set of transferable skills. A degree in psychology opens up a wide range of career opportunities, not restricted to psychology, and graduates are highly employable.
Typical jobs include Managment, Team Leader, Support Worker, Project Coordinator, Victim Contact Officer, Research Assistant, Probation Services Officer, Therapist Autistic Children
Employers: BUPA, Probation Service, Work with Families, Excel, Victim Support Team, North Herts Partnership, Sony, Autism West Midlands
Formal lectures tend to form the core of most modules. Lecture notes for modules will be available on StudyNet, often alongside links to other web based learning resources. A fundamental part of psychology learning is the acquisition of practical laboratory skills. Students attend laboratory sessions each week in smaller groups, where they learn to plan, carry out and report on practical investigations of psychological processes. Courses in statistics, which needed to analyse the data from investigations, are supported by practical paper based and computer exercises. Each student has their own personal tutor with whom they meet in small groups on a regular basis.
If you are studying part-time you will typically take 5-6 years to complete your course. You will complete up to 75 credits per year. Your first two years of study are likely to mostly consist of mandatory modules but optional modules will be available later in the course. Your timetable will depend on the modules you are studying in any one year.
Students have the opportunity to undertake a four-week work placement during the second year of their studies between the second and final years of the degree programme. A reflective report of the work placement can contribute to the final year assessment. This is a good opportunity for students to obtain experience in their chosen setting and sometimes leads to future job opportunities.
If you choose, you can apply to study an optional, additional year between your second and third year at one of our partner universities. The opportunity to study abroad is through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities
This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Society with the Graduate Basis for Registration, provided the minimum standard of qualification of second class honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
The Academic Mind
This module helps students to make the transition to undergraduate level study by providing direction and a chance to practise the skills that are essential to psychology graduates as well as transferable skills that will equip them for more general employment.
Research Methods for Psychologists 1
The course aims to develop students' skills in formulating, executing, analysing and reporting the results of well-designed investigations of psychological phenomena. Investigations will be based on basic psychological theory, will employ a range of well-established and broadly applicable research methods, will require the skilled execution of practical techniques and will be analysed by means of appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical procedures. Students will be expected to master the theory of basic experimental design and the application of data analysis. Ethical considerations relevant to the conduct of investigations with human participants will be emphasised.
Introductory Developmental and Language Psychology
The greatest changes in cognitive and social development arguably occur in childhood. This is therefore a period of particular interest in psychology. This module introduces students to topics in child development including language. Consideration will be given to research methods applicable to to working with children. In addition, an applied area of interest (e.g. the classroom, interventions, health care, parenting, advertising) will be presented and discussed with a view to students learning how theory and research can be drawn on to explain and understand contemporary questions.
Foundations of Social and Cognitive Psychology
This module introduces students to: a. theory and research that seeks to understand the way how and why the attitudes and behaviours of individuals may be influenced by other people b. theory and research that seeks to explain the way in which individuals perceive, store and use information to make sense of everyday experiences
Statistics for Psychologists 1
The course aims to develop students' skills in analysing and reporting the results of investigations of psychological phenomena. Students will learn how to organise and analyse data by means of appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical procedures in order to address a psychological research question.
Psychology in Action
This module is designed to help students prepare for a potential career in psychology. Lectures will provide an overview of a range of possible career options (such as those in clinical, forensic, health and occupational psychology) and other opportunities available after a BSc degree in psychology (such as research posts or postgraduate courses). This module will also help students prepare CVs and applications for the mandatory work/experience placement module as well as encourage impression management and oral presentation skills.
Brain & Behaviour
This course will introduce the beginner to the terms and ideas necessary to understand biological psychology. The course will give an appreciation of how neurons and brains work, and, to some extent, why and how we and other animals behave as we do, including mechanisms of learning by conditioning. In addition, the course will consider what psychologists may learn from the effects of brain damage, for example following a stroke or in neurological/mental health disorders. Core concepts in abnormal psychology will be considered as well as examples of specific psychological disorders.
The module will have two components. It will further develop the conceptual and practical skills necessary for identifying, summarising and evaluating key debates and arguments in psychology in both oral and written form. Students will participate in small group tutorial discussions and will be given individual feedback on their essay writing by their tutor. In addition, small groups of students working under the supervision their tutor will design, prepare and execute an empirical investigation, the results of which will be displayed and defended in a poster presentation.
Statistics for Psychologists 2
The course will develop the conceptual and practical skills needed to analyse data from empirical investigations in psychology. Students will learn the relationship between underlying investigative designs and the selection of appropriate methods for testing research hypotheses. A range of advanced statistical methods is taught to enable students to select and undertake appropriate descriptive and inferential analyses of data.
Research Methods for Psychologists 2
The course will further develop students' conceptual and practical skills needed to perform empirical investigations in psychology, using both quantitative and qualitative methodology and analysis. Students will learn the theory underlying different investigative designs and paradigms as well as conduct, analyse and report both qualitative and quantitative investigations.
This course will further develop students' understanding of methods of enquiry and current knowledge in biological psychology, paying particular attention to brain function, including the influence of genetic variables and chemical agents.
Students will be introduced to age-related development in specific cognitive and social areas in both normal and exceptional populations and to the theories offered to explain such change. This course will also provide students with knowledge of research methods appropriate for investigating age-related change. Where appropriate, the application of research findings to applied settings will be explored.
This course will examine theories, evidence and applications relating to selected areas of cognitive psychology. Topics such as long-term memory, problem solving, judgement and decision making, intelligence, language, perception and action will be addressed.
Contemporary Social Psychology
The course will extend students' knowledge and understanding of Social Psychology and introduce them to a variety of recent theoretical developments in Social Psychology as well as how these may be relevant in various applied settings. Topic areas to be studied will typically include stereotype suppression effects, terror management theory, evolutionary approaches in social psychology, cultural psychology, tyranny, crowd behaviour and intergroup contact and reconciliation with a case study of Northern Ireland.
The course will introduce students to a variety of recent theoretical developments in Cyberpsychology and how these may be relevant in various applied settings. Topic areas to be studied will typically include online behaviour (e.g. consumer behaviour, gambling, addiction), online education and health, online impression formation, social networking, online relationships, online security, cyber-ethics and general principles of human computer interaction.
Understanding Individuals: Personal Construct Psychology
This module introduces the student to Personal Construct Psychology (PCP). PCP is a particular psychology based on George Kelly's personal construct theory. PCP offers a means of understanding both the behaviour of other people and one's own behaviour. PCP has a wide range of applications in both clinical and non-clinical settings and because it is rarely considered in any detail within undergraduate degrees in Psychology, this module offers students an unusual opportunity to discover an alternative way of thinking about how to make sense of why people behave in the ways they do and how attempts at behaviour change might be undertaken. Practical methods of applying PCP will be taught in the module.
This module examines the nonverbal behaviour of individuals (including facial expression, eye gaze, posture) with a focus on hand gestures. Over the course of this module, students will gain insight into the social, cognitive and developmental aspects of gestures and understand the wider, real world implications of nonverbal behaviour. Specific topics include: the formation and interpretation of facial expressions, the communicative and cognitive functions of gestures, the role of gestures in development and the implications of nonverbal psychology in the real world. Students will be asked to review and evaluate current published research in this area.
Schools of Psychotherapy
The module begins with an overview of the main schools of psychology over the last century and a multidimensional discussion of the practical constraints within which psychotherapy takes place. Various schools of psychotherapy and their founders are discussed. Clinical methods and their weaknesses are considered, as are ways to improve the validity of clinical assessments. The design and use of the clinical interview is covered, as are psychometric measures (ability and personality). Students are made aware of legal and broader clinical issues relevant to psychotherapy practice. Evaluation of psychotherapy procedures is also addressed. The module will also focus on practical, methodological and ethical issues that are likely to affect the efficiency of psychotherapy in the different clinical workplaces.
Year Study Abroad
The content and learning/teaching methods will be determined by modules that the student chooses and that are agreed as appropriate by the relevant schools in both institutions. These will be recorded in the learning agreement document.
Personality: Past and Present Debates
This module introduces students to a critical analysis of personality theory and measurement, with particular reference to historical background and conceptual debates. Approaches typically included are: - Psychodynamic - Humanistic - Trait - Biological - Interactionism
People and Society
The course will extend students' knowledge and understanding of principles, processes and applications in social psychology, focusing on how variables of the social context affect both the cognitive processes and behaviour of individuals and social relations within and between groups. Topics to be studied are likely to include social perception (including prejudice), causal attribution, interpersonal attraction and relationships, group performance, inter-group conflict and social constructionism.
Psychology Work Experience
This module provides students with the experience of, and the opportunity to, critically evaluate the application and relevance of psychology in a 'real-world' setting. Students will gain experience of employment and have the opportunity to see how they may capitalise upon the skills and knowledge acquired as part of their degree. They will record their experience in a blog and relate relevant psychological theory to a selected aspect of their experience in a poster presentation.
The Psychology Project is a substantial piece of independent empirical research drawing on the methodology of the discipline of Psychology.
Occupational and Work Psychology
This module will provide an introduction to some of the key topics relating to people’s behaviour in the workplace. Topics will include stress; relationships in the workplace; error and accidents; leadership; and career development as well as other relevant aspects of organisational behaviour.
This course attempts to show how a variety of disorders of perception, language and memory can provide a critical source of evidence through which to understand normal cognitive function. The course will focus on current models of cognition, the relationship between cognitive function and neuropsychological systems will also be considered. The aim of the course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in understanding higher mental processes .
Topics in Psychopathology
The course addresses substantive and methodological issues relating to mental illness from a cognitive perspective.
Topics in Forensic and Criminal Psychology
Forensic Psychology concerns the application of psychological theory and principles to the understanding of crime, crime control and the legal process. This module is designed to equip students with an overview of current psychological theory as applied to forensic topics. Particular attention will be paid to the psychology of judicial proceedings, eyewitness testimony, false confessions, offender profiling, investigation of the causes of offending behaviour and methods of tackling crime and offender behaviour. In addition, students will study the role the media play in the construction of ideas about crime, fear of crime and policy in relation to crime.
Advanced Topics in Memory
This module examines contemporary research into the structures and representations of memory and the roles of memory in broader cognitive functions. Laboratory and naturalistic approaches will be compared. Specific topics may include working memory, autobiographical memory and prospective memory. Students will be asked to review and evaluate current published research.
Health psychology is the practice and application of psychological research into the promotion and maintenance of health; prevention and treatment of illness; the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation. This module introduces some of the key theories and principles of health psychology in relation to the maintenance of health, the adoption of healthy behaviours as well as the development of, recovery from and adaptation to illness. In particular the emphasis will be on health in its broadest sense, i.e. a state of social, physical and mental well-being, rather than simply the absence of illness.
This course will consider the biological mechanisms of brain disorders and how this knowledge has, or may, lead to the development of treatments. The focus will be on recent advances as revealed by current research. The challenges of translating fundamental research on the brain into treatments will be considered, including the use of animal models and clinical trials. Students will study a range of brain disorders, including researching selected topics in some depth for specific coursework tasks, considering the biological mechanisms and consequent behavioural outcomes. Topics may include, for example, Parkinson' s, Alzheimer 's and Huntington' s disease, schizophrenia and major affective disorders, stroke and drug addiction. Topics may be general themes relevant to several disorders, for example the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in brain disease.
Advanced Topics in Thinking
This module presents and examines recent research into how knowledge of things in the world may be organised and how basic mental abilities such as the evaluation of similarity and difference may affect a number of cognitive processes. Students will be asked to review and evaluate current published research in these areas.
Fees & funding
Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year
Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module
Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
Key course information
- Institution code: H36
- UCAS code: C800 BSc (Hons) Psychology
- Course code: HHPSY
- Course length:
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Part Time, 6 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years