Psychological and Behavioural Science
Explore the full picture – from the internal mental processes to the behavioural outcomes. Harness insights gained from psychological science.
3 years full-time
The BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science degree combines a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited education in psychology with a specialisation in cutting-edge behavioural science. Behavioural science is a relatively new discipline that focuses on the application of psychological principles to challenges faced by organisations in the public, private and third sector.
While psychology puts an emphasis on the mental processes that underlie behaviour, behavioural science emphasises behavioural outcomes, and the design and evaluation of interventions to encourage behaviour change.
You will be taught state-of-the-art research methods, along with classic and innovative theory and research in psychology, following the BPS guidelines. You will learn to apply this knowledge to provide transformative insights for business, management and public policy. You can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.
The emphasis in Year 1 is to provide you with fundamental knowledge and skills.
In Year 2, your knowledge and skills are further developed and fostered; moreover, all the subject areas essential for accreditation by the BPS and providing eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) are covered.
In the third year, you will carry out your own dissertation project. You will also select from a variety of specialist topic modules which 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.
Introduction to Psychology 1: Cognitive and Biological Psychology introduces a broad foundation of knowledge of the core areas of cognitive psychology and biological psychology.
Introduction to Psychology 2: Developmental and Social Psychology allows you to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge in core areas of psychology including developmental psychology, social psychology and individual differences.
Introduction to Psychological Research introduces key research methods and statistical techniques used in psychology.
Academic Skill Development for Psychology introduces students to the fundamental skills required for studying Psychology at degree level in a tutorial-based manner. The skills covered will include aspects of written and oral communication in line with psychological literacy skills, e.g. summarizing articles, critical evaluation, presentations.
Cognitive and Biological Psychology develops an understanding of theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in cognitive and biological psychology, with particular emphasis on memory, decision making, learning, and perception
Social and Developmental Psychology provides a broad knowledge and understanding of research and theory in some of the key areas of developmental psychology and examines the contribution that social psychology has made to an understanding of the relations between people and social structures involving people.
Differential and Clinical Psychology develops knowledge and understanding of theory and research in differential psychology, the study of psychological differences and similarities between people and understanding of theory and research in atypical and clinical psychology.
Contemporary and Conceptual Issues in Psychology develops skills in researching and communicating a range of contemporary and conceptual issues in psychology. It provides an opportunity to discuss psychological research in a tutorial context.
Advanced Research Methods and Statistics provides experience of the practical application of a wide range of methods in psychological research and develops presentation skills necessary for communicating research aims and findings. You will also be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the more advanced statistical methods used in psychological research, together with the practical ability to apply such methods to a variety of data sets.
In your final year, you will design and carry out your own Dissertation on an area of behavioural science chosen in consultation with an academic advisor. The range of possible topics is extensive, and research can take place in settings such as schools or private sector organisations, as well as in research laboratories in the Department of Psychology.
Students on the Psychology and Behaviour BSc can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year. Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.
The degree is delivered by leading academics and guest practitioners via lectures, small group tutorials, workshops and practical classes. You will get additional individual feedback and support opportunities from staff and student peers.
Generally, lectures highlight the main areas within a topic, covering historical and current empirical findings together with their associated theoretical interpretations. Small group tutorials guide your learning of lecture-based material and that obtained through independent study by promoting discussions and critical appraisal, developing your ability to organise and present information. Workshops and practical sessions enable you to gain first-hand experience of key research skills in Psychological and Behavioural Science, and to learn and apply associated statistical and IT packages.
Assessment typically includes examinations, essays, reports and presentations.
The degree will allow you to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of psychology, but you will also develop additional insights into the application of psychology in behavioural science.
In your final year, you will submit a dissertation that details your own original work. This is a great way to explore a topic that you are passionate about, and to showcase the many skills that you have gained during your degree.
Grade 5 (or grade B) or above in Mathematics at GCSE (or equivalent) is required.
A level offer – AAA.
Contextual offer – BBB.
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:
International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.
The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.
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.
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
Your degree will equip you with the academic knowledge, analytical and problem-solving skills that are in demand across a wide range of professions.
We are committed to developing your skills and offer a range of support activities to help you find a career that’s right for you. From Year 1 you will have an academic advisor, and you will be invited to graduate careers fairs where you can talk to recruiters. You can also attend the Psychology Employability Retreat.
Our undergraduate degrees are recognised by the British Psychological Society – the first step towards a career as a psychologist.
Our graduates also progress to postgraduate courses and have qualified in areas such as teaching, law, and speech and language therapy.
(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)
How do we develop empathy? How does culture affect our behaviour? Where does prejudice come from? Learn from leading researchers in their fields as you explore some of the most challenging questions in psychology today.
Psychology is concerned with understanding the mind and human behaviour. You will investigate the processes that underpin the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind our actions. Learning from academics with real enthusiasm for their subject, you will explore topics such as social behaviour, childhood development and cognitive neuroscience.
Our psychology degrees offer a genuinely research-led education. While learning the core principles of psychology, you will have the opportunity to work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will have access to cutting-edge technologies, including the Department’s clinical and experimental facilities which include motion capture, eye tracking and biophysical recording laboratories.
Our innovative approach to learning takes us beyond the traditional student-lecturer dynamic. Through a combination of practical teaching sessions, an optional placement module, and even an employability retreat we actively prepare you for working life. The third year includes a research project, and you can gain additional lab-based experience with our popular Research Assistant Scheme. You can also apply for a placement year or year abroad.
Students who graduate with a 2.1 or higher are accredited by the BPS as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership – the first step towards a career as a psychologist.
To find out more see our department pages.
Guided by experts in the field, you will have access to a range of world-leading clinical and experimental facilities. This hands-on experience brings theory to life and helps you gain a deeper understanding of the mind and behaviour. Facilities in the Department of Psychology include body scanners with integrated eye tracking, molecular psychology suites, VR suites with motion capture and mock environments for ecologically valid research.
You will be ideally located in a dedicated psychology learning space, adjacent to many university departments and services, and within walking distance of Durham’s historic centre.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!