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BSc (Hons) Psychology
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.
This course includes the sandwich year options of:
*No fees are charged for this year
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 third year so students can understand various ways to apply their learning
- A range of career focussed optional modules, including educational, counselling, forensic, and clinical psychology.
- 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 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
What's the course about?
With a reputation for academic excellence, practical value and intellectual rigour, our BPS-accredited psychology degree is one of the most respected courses of its kind in the UK. This fascinating degree gives you a grounding in all major areas of psychology and our graduates are thoroughly prepared for employment, postgraduate research and professional training. Our Psychology department is one of the largest of any British university, offering a stimulating environment with high-profile, research-active staff and exceptionally well-equipped labs and computer facilities. In addition to covering core psychology topics, there are a number of specialist modules including individual differences, cyberpsychology, non-verbal behaviour, and forensic and clinical psychology.
What will I study?
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 are 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 6 years to complete your course. You will normally complete 60 credits per year. Your first two years of study are likely to 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.
Ameisha - Week at a glance
My week at a glance
A typical week for me has changed drastically, to say the least. With the lockdown measures in place, I have had to be inspired to pursue new hobbies and activities to pursue whilst respecting the social distancing measures and keeping safe. With that being said, it has allowed me to change my perspective into not only exploring new things but discovering varying ways to study and complete assignments.
With many of my lectures being posted online, it has become a responsibility to keep on track with these lectures. To ensure this, I read the lectures on the day it is posted on. I record my notes underneath each lecture slide, alongside highlight any key points mentioned for revision purposes. Any extra reading that is attached to the lecture, I distribute across the week so that I don`t have too much of a heavy workload for one day. For the modules that I have exams for, I use Quizlet to create exam questions for myself to test myself on; so that I can determine my strengths and weaknesses.
Regarding any assignments set, this is something that I also breakdown into sections daily so that I am not too stressed with the amount. One assignment consisted of a group project in which we had to not only analyse various interview techniques, but we had to create a poster together and rehearse for an online presentation with our module leader. We were able to conduct this through a series of facetime calls which we scheduled ahead of time, so we knew exactly when to discuss our ideas. The workload was also split between us all, in which we created deadlines for ourselves to keep on track. For my individual assignments like essays, I gave myself a maximum of one week to finish each one so that I gave myself enough time to complete any other work I had left. The first couple of days would be dedicated to reading and planning, in which I would then complete a paragraph per day until I was finished.
After reviewing my lecture notes or completing my daily work, I would try to incorporate some form of activity whether it was completing a 45minute home workout video or taking my little sisters to the park to play any sports or go jogging. Exercise has been something I recently incorporated into my routine since lockdown, as this was not a regular activity for me prior. In addition, because I am now at home; I take advantage of the open space in the park as this is found directly behind my house. As part of my downtime, I will play games on my laptop or may watch any interesting tv series I discover.
However, now that I have completed all my assignments and classwork; I am now on the lookout for any work experience that will be relatable to my aspiration. As a psychology student, finding a placement is essential for not just my course, but for myself as I will be able to enhance my experience and skills within this field.
Ameisha - Things you should know
Things you need to know before studying Psychology at Herts
Before choosing psychology as a course, you should remain aware of the course content and what the different modules are made up of. Knowing this would allow you to be prepared for what you’ll be learning throughout your time at university.
So, the first thing to do is to look at the mandatory modules. However, you must keep in mind that some of these modules may also change over time. When doing my research into this, I realised that statistics for psychologist and Methods for psychologists (Lab work) is an essential aspect of the course, which is studied alongside traditional psychology modules. Once you have established that this is the course you want to study, and have done research into the modules involved- you should also consider these aspects:
For most modules, additionally reading is a key requirement! The lecture slides usually consist of the basic information, which is needed to know on that topic, however, to exceed the bare minimum- you must also do the extra reading that is needed from you! The lecturers always expect you to do extra reading to enhance and enrichen the content they provide, so never forget to do this!
Some courses are 100% exam or 100% assignments, however, psychology has a combination of both exams and assignments as a form of assessment. A lot of the assignments consists of completing essays, usually of around 1500 words. However, for Methods for psychologists- these are made up of lab reports, which is usually based on the experiment you have been working on in the lab. For some modules, you are tested through an exam which usually requires you to complete an essay under timed conditions or a series of multiple-choice questions.
Keeping on track with the extra reading and gaining an understanding of the module content, is the most important aspect in obtaining a good grade for this course. Revision is still key to ensure all of this, but if you educate yourself on all that is recommended- then you’ll be all set to study Psychology at university.
Ameisha - Why I chose Herts
Why I chose Herts
The University of Hertfordshire was originally in my top two universities to choose from, as I was unsure about which of the two, I would go to. However, upon receiving my unconditional offer alongside touring the university, I had made this my top choice.
Herts is located relatively close to me, only being a 45-minute drive away or a couple of hours on the train. This location was ideal for me as it was far enough for me to gain my old independence but also close for me to return home. Because of this distance, I can return home around every fortnight when I want to see my family members.
In addition, the layout of the campus was ideal for me. The campus was intact, which meant that the distances between each location on campus were not too far apart. The furthest time I would walk for would be 15-minutes, which proved handy in getting from A to B. The accommodation had its own section of the campus, which was surrounded by sports courts and had the oval in the middle of it, allowing us to get our mail and help at a close distance. Also, there is the Forum on campus which host multiple events. This is very convenient to have a club on campus, as it provides an easier opportunity for a night out whilst remaining close. The campus also consists of a free shuttle bus transportation to the other campus in case there are lectures there too!
Finally, I chose this university because it offered me the chance to do a study abroad year with various different countries to choose from. My course allows this is a choice which is something that I had been looking for. The course I had chosen was psychology and I wanted to learn a variety of different modules that came with psychology, to see which approach I would like to take in the future. The course offered here had varying modules which I was interested in. The content included were interesting to me, which further persuaded me to choose Herts.
Meet Adrienne Kirk who has had a long and successful career since graduating in 1994. Adrienne currently works a Psychotherapist.
|Current job role||Psychotherapist|
|Year of graduation||2010|
|Course of study||BSc (Hons) Psychology|
Exploring a new path
Initially Adrienne spent twenty-one years teaching Clinical Communication skills in medical schools. Her role encompassed teaching students in the essential methods of communicating as a medical professional, giving them tangible and applicable knowledge of these professions in practice.
Topics included how to take a medical history and how to deliver information and break bad news to patients. Adrienne also designed and ran the clinical practical exams. She found supporting struggling students the most rewarding element of the job which led her to making this her focus. She later retrained as a Psychotherapist.
Skills for success
Adrienne says her Psychology degree helped develop her critical and analytical skills as well as how to evaluate risk in relation to health. She says, 'I learned how to use statistics to understand data. The Social Psychology modules taught me that we are not always logical addressing social conventions and we are unaware we are applying them to our decision making.'
Adrienne was a mature student when she began her degree having worked for six years before her studies. She says, 'It was wonderful to get back into studying. I had inspiring lecturers who challenged me to think deeply and critically. There were quite a number of mature students, so I never felt that I was not part of the cohort. And I met my best friend, who I still see every week!'
Adrienne encourages new and prospective students to make the most of all the opportunities available through their programme. 'This is a time for exploration, for seriously investigating your ideas and beliefs, for meeting new people and having new experiences. I attended every lecture and there was always something interesting to think about from every one of them.'
'A psychology degree is a launchpad to so many opportunities. I went on and did a Master's in Health Psychology at UCL and from there developed an interest in doctor-patient communication. Working with medical students was so rewarding, but I decided to retrain to help others. I think it is important to have an open mind about where you might be in the future, but a psychology degree has given me an understanding of theories and a means of reading and evaluating research.'
Aspirations for the future
Adrienne is now setting up a private practice as a psychotherapist. She wants to develop a programme to help people with lifestyle changes, and to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
- Current role: Senior Crime Analyst
- Year of graduation: 2005
- Degree course: BSc Psychology
We asked Hayley...
What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?
I am a Senior Crime Analyst in Hertfordshire Constabulary. I started out as a Special Constable whilst completing my BSc Psychology degree. This led onto a MSc degree in Forensic Psychology. Upon completion I was successful in joining the Constabulary as an Assistant Crime Analyst. I then progressed to a full Crime Analyst position. This was followed by periods of acting up as the Senior Analyst in times of absence, giving me the experience to apply for a permanent Senior analyst post.
How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?
It enabled me to continue on to complete a Masters degree in my field of interest.
What made you decide to study at this University?
It did the course I wanted and it was local to me.
What was the best or most useful thing about your course?
Aiding me in making my decision about which field I was interested in specialising in.
What is your stand out memory from your time at the University?
The breadth of understanding that I developed from my course that enabled me to make decisions about my next steps and career path.
Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?
What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?
To build up more real life employment evidence by orientating any part-time employment around the career/field I was seeking to pursue, even if that meant volunteering or utilising work placements in addition to paid employment.
Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?
Consider all employment gateways into the Constabulary to enable opportunities for internal career development and progression and the ability to then apply for posts that are only advertised and recruited for internally.
What are your future career plans/ ambitions?
To continue identifying methods to safeguard the vulnerable and prevent serious crime.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.