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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAA
International Baccalaureate 37

Course details

Our BSc in Psychology is designed to give you an understanding of the mind and behaviour. As such it shares features with other disciplines, including biology, anthropology, philosophy and education. You will study people's internal mental processes, the biological mechanisms that underlie their behaviour, and the social and developmental context in which they act.

This degree follows the British Psychological Society (BPS) guidelines and offers an extensive range of options in the final year, drawing both from fundamental scientific research and applied psychology. These modules include topics in social psychology, developmental psychology, cognition and behavioural neuroscience, as well as neurorehabilitation, education and health. 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. This will provide 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 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 primarily provided by lecturers eminent in their field.

Course structure

Year 1

Core modules:

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.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Careers in Psychology.

Year 2

Core modules:

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.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement or year abroad)

In your final year, you will design and carry out your own 7,000-word Dissertation. You will formulate the research question, employing appropriate methods of investigation and analysis, and interpret the results in light of relevant empirical work and psychological theory.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Learning and Animal Cognition  
  • Emotion and Social Perception  
  • Clinical Neuropsychology  
  • Neuropsychology of Amnesia
  • Fetal Development  
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • The Ever Adapting Brain – Sensory Neuroplasticity 
  • Face Recognition. 

Additional pathways

Students on the Psychology 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.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Your teaching will be delivered predominantly by leading research academics via lectures, small group tutorials, workshops and practical classes, as well through self-directed learning, such as research, reading and writing. You will get additional individual feedback and support opportunities from staff and student peers.

Most of the Psychology course is delivered through face-to-face teaching. Having face-to-face interaction is key to tutorials and many practical classes and can be important in lectures as it allows students to meet and talk with others. Some teaching also works best using a hybrid approach consisting of both face-to-face and online asynchronous (taking place at different times) components.  As such, some modules are delivered using a hybrid approach consisting of asynchronous online lectures and face-to-face tutorials or practical classes.

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 Psychology, and to learn and apply associated statistical and IT packages.


Throughout the course, various assessment methods are used, including essays, reports and examinations.

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 throughout the course.

Entry requirements

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:

  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.
  • 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 Programmes 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.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

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.

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

Career opportunities


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.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

  • 84% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 81% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £24,750

(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

Department information


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.


  • World Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

For a current list of staff, please see the Psychology 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.


Find out more:

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