3 years full-time
Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.
Durham’s Psychology Department is a department with excellence in both research and teaching. This research strength extends across the wide variety of academic interests of the Department’s staff, from child health and development, perception, cognitive and behavioural neuroscience to the evolutionary basis of behaviour. The wide range and quality of the research interests of the staff in the Department allows us to offer a broad range of final-year option courses. Our breadth of research strength means that you are guaranteed to be taught by some of the leading figures in their field of research. Furthermore, as an expanding department, we expect that the range of opportunities for students will grow over the coming years.
Our BSc (Hons) course in Psychology follows the British Psychological Society(BPS) guidelines with an extensive range of options in the final year, drawing both from work in fundamental scientific research and in applied psychology. These final year modules include topics in social psychology, developmental psychology, cognition and behavioural neuroscience, as well as neurorehabilitation, education, and health.
Excellent research facilities are available, including a virtual reality suite, developmental testing facilities, and EEG labs. You are encouraged to get involved in experiments being carried out by your lecturers, thus gaining a deeper and more hands-on understanding of the issues you are learning about in your degree, and adding to your contextual experience.
Psychology is essentially concerned with understanding the mind and behaviour in humans and non-human animals, and it is closely related to a wide range of other disciplines, including biology, anthropology, philosophy, and education. You will get the chance to study people in terms of their internal mental processes, the biological mechanisms that underlie their behaviour, and the social and developmental context in which they act. The degree provides the opportunity for the development of extensive subject-specific and transferable skills.
You will take modules to the value of 120 credits each year.
In the first year, you will take three core modules in Psychology:
- Introduction to Psychology 1: Cognitive and Biological Psychology (20 credits)
- Introduction to Psychology 2: Developmental and Social Psychology (20 credits)
- Introduction to Psychological Research (40 credits).
In addition, you will take the following compulsory tutorial-based module:
- Classic Papers: A Tutorial Introduction to Psychological Science (20 credits).
The above compulsory Psychology modules count for 100 of your 120 credits (three single modules, plus the double module), so in addition, you may choose:
- A module to the value of 20 credits (including modules from other departments and the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study).
For modules taken from another University department you must meet their entry requirements and must be able to timetable your additional subjects to fit in with your compulsory modules.
In the second year, you will build upon your first year and complete 120 credits of compulsory Psychology modules:
- Modules in the core areas of Psychology: Abnormal Psychology, Biological, Cognitive, Developmental, Individual Differences, and, Social Psychology totalling 60 credits
- A tutorial-based module on Contemporary Issues in Psychology (20 credits)
- Research Methods in Psychology (20 credits)
- Statistics for Psychology (20 credits).
In your final year, you may choose to take modules to the value of up to 80 credits in Psychology. Alternatively, you may choose 60 credits in Psychology and modules up to the value of 20 credits from another department (including Modern Foreign Languages). In Psychology, we offer a range of 10 and 20 credit modules. The final-year Psychology modules are on specialist topics and include lectures, workshops, practical work and continuous assessment. In addition to your chosen modules to the value of 80 credits, you will carry out and write up your own Research Project (Psychology Dissertation), supervised by a member of staff. The range of possible topics is very wide and research can take place in settings such as schools or hospitals, as well as in research laboratories in the Department of Psychology. The Dissertation is a core double module (40 credits).
The list of final-year Psychology option modules may vary from year to year, but has included in the past:
- Learning and Animal Cognition (20 credits)
- Social Perception (20 credits)
- Clinical Cognitive Neuropsychology (20 credits)
- Psychology in the Workplace (20 credits)
- Psychopathy (10 credits)
- Forensic Psychology (10 credits)
- Psychological Practice (10 credits)
- Psychology and Health Promotion (10 credits)
- The Psychology of Illness (10 credits)
- Sport and Exercise Psychology (10 credits)
- Reward and Addiction (10 credits)
- Mind, Brain and Consciousness (10 credits)
- Vision and Visual Neuroscience (10 credits)
- Neuropsychology of Amnesia (10 credits)
- Cognitive Neuropsychology (10 credits)
- Child Health in a Social Context (10 credits)
- Fetal Development (10 credits)
- The Multisensory Body (10 credits)
- Human Evolutionary Psychology (10 credits)
- Atypical Development (10 credits)
- Cognitive Development (10 credits).
PlacementYou may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
The degree is delivered predominantly by leading research academics using a variety of methods including lectures, small group tutorials, workshops, and practical classes, as well as additional individual feedback and support opportunities from staff and student peers. Psychology and Behavioural Science modules up to the value of 120 credits are taken in each of the three years of study, with each module having clearly defined aims and learning outcomes encompassing subject-specific knowledge, subject-specific skills, and generic transferable key skills.
In general, lectures highlight the main areas of concern within a module topic, covering historical and current empirical findings and methodological issues together with their concomitant theoretical interpretations. Small group tutorials guide your learning of lecture-based material and that gleaned through independent study by promoting discussions and critical appraisal, developing your ability to organise and present information both orally and in a variety of written formats. Workshops and practical sessions enable you to gain first-hand experience of key research skills in Psychology and Behavioural Science, and to learn and apply associated statistical and IT packages.
The number of weekly timetabled contact hours does not vary radically across the three years of the degree. However, there is a qualitative difference in the nature of the activities provided and in staff expectations: you are supported in becoming progressively more independent as thinkers and learners in preparation for further work or study on completion of your degree.
In the first and second years, you will typically attend six hours of research-driven psychology lectures every week; additionally, timetabled tutorials, practical classes, workshops, feedback and support sessions are held regularly throughout the year. These constitute an additional two to three hours contact time per week. Outside timetabled hours, you are expected to undertake independent study to prepare for classes, complete assignments, and broaden your subject knowledge. The emphasis in Year 1 is to provide you with fundamental knowledge and skills as a foundation for those who have had no previous experience of psychology and providing the bases underpinning second and third-year modules. In Year 2, your knowledge and skills are further developed and fostered; moreover, all the subject areas essential for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and providing eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) are covered (note that the BSc (Hons) in Behavioural Science is a new degree and accreditation is currently pending).
In the third year, you will select from a variety of specialist topic modules. As these are primarily provided by lecturers eminent in their field, you will have the unique opportunity to engage with and discuss the most recent theoretical and empirical issues. Year 3 modules are delivered through weekly two-hour lectures, seminars and workshops typically totalling eight hours per week. Additionally, building on research skills developed in their first and second years, and under the supervision of a member of staff, each third-year student completes an independent empirical study. Depending on the nature of the investigation, you might expect to meet with your supervisor on average once a fortnight throughout the year.
Throughout your three undergraduate years, you will have access to all your lecturers informally on a ‘drop-in basis’, by email appointment, or through advertised weekly office hours. All staff are willing to engage in discussions, provide support, feedback and guidance where relevant. There are also Module Leaders who are members of staff designated to deal with issues relating to modules as a whole and Year Tutors who are available to help when necessary with any problems that may generally affect your studies in Psychology.
The Department has a thriving research community: Seminars are held at least once a week during term-time to which undergraduate students are warmly invited. Additionally, research groupings within the Department and the student-run Psychology Society hold talks and meetings.
Further non-timetabled opportunities for support and debate are provided by the Research Assistant Scheme, and by online discussion boards facilitated by the Psychology Department.
Grade 5 (or grade B) or above in Mathematics at GCSE (or equivalent) is required.
A level offer – AAA.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD.
IB Diploma score – 37 with 666 in higher level subjects.
No specific subjects are required, and a combination of arts and science subjects is acceptable.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from individuals with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
- If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
- If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
- We accept applications for deferred entry.
Science A levels
Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.
International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.
Fees and funding
Full Time Fees
|Home students||£9,250 per year|
|EU students||£28,500 per year|
|Island students||£9,250 per year|
|International students||£28,500 per year|
The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
Of those students who graduated in 2018:
- 84% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes
Of those in employment:
- 69% are in a professional or managerial job
- Average salary of £21,000.
(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)
Psychology aims to understand and improve how people perceive, think, act, react and interact. In a Psychology degree at Durham, you will examine all aspects ofbehaviour by investigating the processes underpinning the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind our actions.
To find out more see our department pages.
- We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN silver award,underlining our commitment to equality and diversity.
- World Top 150 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
Staff and students benefit from access to a wide range of cutting edge facilities and laboratories which allow us to understand the mind and behaviour through both high precision experimental methods, and ecologically valid controlled environments.
More information on our facilities and equipment.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!