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BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Our BPS-accredited BSc Psychology degree is a flexible course consisting of compulsory and optional units both within and outside of psychology, preparing you to work in a wide range of professions and sectors.

You will study four diverse themes that represent the modern discipline of psychology: mind and brain, evolution and development, adaptability and wellbeing, and psychology in society.

You can gain valuable experience through our work placement schemes, with opportunities to undertake a 30-hour placement in Year 2 or a year-long placement in Year 3. Read a  blog post from one of our placement year students  to find out more.

We also offer opportunities to study abroad at one of our partner institutions, depending on academic performance.

Our graduates are highly employable and can take their understanding of human behaviour into any workplace.

Special features

BSc Psychology - Corah Lewis

"Having the opportunity to observe cognitive behavioural therapy sessions at the hospital has been very interesting.

"To get named as a contributing author on the latest paper to be sent for publishing is something I am very proud of!"

Corah Lewis / BSc Psychology placement year student at the Great Ormond Institute of Child Health

Work placement options

There are opportunities to gain practical work-based experience through either 30-hour integrated placements in Year 2 or a full-time, year-long placement in Year 3, subject to meeting our progression criteria.

Placements take place at carefully chosen partners including the NHS, local schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and businesses. We have substantial experience in setting up these placements, and you will be able to add relevant work experience to your CV and try out life in your chosen career.

Read a  blog post from one of our placement year students  to find out more.

Study abroad option

There are opportunities to experience life in another country through our study abroad scheme, where you can spend a year overseas at one of our partner institutions if you meet our progression criteria. These institutions have previously included Queens University (Canada), University of Sydney (Australia), University of California (USA) and Complutense University of Madrid (Spain).

Dedicated careers units

Designed with the aid of the careers service and in collaboration with our current students, employability-focused units in Years 1 and 2 will ensure that you have the skills and knowledge you need to realise your career goals.

Building on basic skills in the first year, Year 2 students can choose between two units (with or without work placement), both designed to enhance student employability by equipping you with skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership, and supporting you in developing a graduate-level CV, portfolio and interview skills.

See the Careers tab for more information about how we help students to prepare for the workplace.

Teaching and learning

Lectures, interactive and practicals

You will hear about the latest developments in psychological theory, research and practice from leading psychological scientists and clinicians in your lectures.

Lectures are supported by smaller group teaching sessions, enabling you to actively engage with the course materials and the concepts introduced in lectures.

You will gain hands-on experience of statistical analyses through practical classes in Years 1 and 2.

Learning through research

In addition to training in quantitative and qualitative research methods and statistics, you will attend empirical work classes, embedded into core units throughout Years 1 and 2.

You will learn how to accumulate knowledge via research while developing critical evaluation skills and designing, conducting and evaluating research studies.

From your first semester, you will learn how to collect, organise, describe and analyse data and present your findings in a variety of formats to different audiences.

In the final year, you will draw on this research training to undertake your own independent research project, supervised by an academic with expertise in that field of psychology.

Personalised learning support

You will be allocated an Academic Advisor every year. You will regularly meet your advisor to reflect on your academic and personal development, discuss future goals and agree action plans.

Additional learning support

We offer drop-in clinics to support students with academic writing and additional sessions led by teaching staff and peer mentors to support your learning. There are also further sources of learning support across the University.

Coursework and assessment

Assessments range from examinations to essays, laboratory reports and the final year project report.

Our assessment strategy is to give roughly equal weight to written examinations and to other forms of coursework, with examination marks contributing 50% of total marks in Years 1 and 2, and just over 50% in Year 3.

Course unit details

The psychology units you will take throughout your degree each fall under one of the following themes.

Adaptability and wellbeing

What are the risk factors for developing psychological disorders? How can we influence choices made by the population, to help promote healthy behaviours?

You will learn from practicing clinicians, health psychologists and field-leading researchers to explore mental health, the influence of individual differences (including personality), ways we can influence choices important to wellbeing, and criminal behaviour.  

Psychology in society

What influence does social media have on political attitudes? How can police procedures be optimised to achieve the accurate identification of perpetrators?

This theme examines society through a psychological lens, covering a range of topics in social psychology, as well as the application of psychology to politics, the workplace and forensic settings. Having been introduced to key theories, you will evaluate the research evidence cited to support those theories and consider their application in a range of real-world contexts.  

Mind and brain

How do we perceive and make sense of the world around us? How can we use sensory information to control our actions?

Our units on cognition will help you understand the brain mechanisms and processes underlying learning and memory, what attention is and how it changes throughout our lives, and how emotion can influence our decisions.

You will learn from experimental studies in healthy people, neuropsychological studies in people with neurological disorders, and insights provided by the latest neuroimaging techniques.

Evolution and development

How do infants come to understand the world around them? What factors influence our cognitive abilities as we move into mid- and late-adult life?

In this set of units, you will learn about how people change throughout the lifespan, from learning to crawl to coping with retirement.

Our units on evolution will also ask how human development differs from that of other animals - what, if anything, sets us apart?

Course content for year 1

Compulsory units from the four course themes will be supplemented with training in research methods and statistics and a unit designed to support skill and career development.

You will have the opportunity to replace the Group Dynamics unit for a 10 credit unit from the University Language Centre .

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Methods & Statistics PSYC10100 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Developmental Psychology PSYC10211 10 Mandatory
Lifespan & Ageing PSYC10311 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Cognition PSYC10421 10 Mandatory
Professional Development PSYC10460 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Social Psychology PSYC10711 10 Mandatory
Brain & Behaviour PSYC11212 10 Mandatory
Sensation & Perception PSYC11312 10 Mandatory
Group Dynamics PSYC11402 10 Mandatory
Foundations in Mental Health & Distress PSYC11412 10 Mandatory
Foundations of Health Psychology PSYC11512 10 Mandatory
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Course units from the four course themes will integrate training in research methods and will be supplemented with training in statistics and other course units focused on the application of psychology (eg forensic psychology), as well as those designed to support skill and career development.

You will have the opportunity to replace up to two Psychology units with a diverse range offered by the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning or the University Language Centre , enabling you to broaden your educational horizons. (N.B. there are some restrictions on which unit combinations can be replaced in order to satisfy British Psychological Society Accreditation requirements).

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a short (30-hour) work placement.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Perception and Action PSYC21012 10 Mandatory
Topics and Issues in Developmental Psychology PSYC21021 10 Mandatory
Cognitive Neuroscience PSYC21022 10 Mandatory
Evolution of Behaviour and Cognition PSYC21031 10 Mandatory
Interventions to Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing PSYC21032 10 Mandatory
Personality and Individual Differences PSYC21042 10 Mandatory
Statistics and Data Analysis PSYC21061 10 Mandatory
Forensic Psychology PSYC21072 10 Mandatory
Cognition PSYC21081 10 Mandatory
Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology PSYC21151 10 Mandatory
Topics and Issues in Social Psychology PSYC21701 10 Mandatory
Leadership of Learning - with Teaching Placement UCIL20001 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20031 10 Optional
Current Topics in Biology UCIL20882 10 Optional
Leadership of Learning - with Teaching Placement UCIL21002 10 Optional
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21301 10 Optional
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21302 10 Optional
Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-Taker UCIL24002 10 Optional
British Sign Language 1 ULBS20011 10 Optional
British Sign Language 1 ULBS20012 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Units offered in your final year reflect the research interests of our staff. You are free to select four of these advanced units (taking two in each semester), meaning that you can tailor your degree to match personal interests and future ambitions.

Students wanting to broaden their degree can also opt to swap one advanced psychology unit for up to two non-psychology  units from choices offered by University College , Business and Management for all Programmes or the University Language Centre .

You will also undertake a year-long research project, choosing from a wide choice of topics, supervised by a member of staff.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Organisational Psychology PSYC30242 20 Optional
Language and Communicative Development in Educational Settings PSYC31121 20 Optional
Sociality & Communication: Evolutionary Perspectives PSYC31131 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods in Applied Contexts PSYC31151 20 Optional
Cases in Clinical Neuropsychology PSYC31161 20 Optional
Lifestyle Behaviour Change PSYC31212 20 Optional
Clinical Psychology PSYC31222 20 Optional
Communication in Healthcare PSYC31232 20 Optional
Understanding Dementia: Brain and Behaviour PSYC31242 20 Optional
Psychology of Politics, Identity and Society PSYC32242 20 Optional
Landmark Studies in Perception PSYC32321 20 Optional
Emotion PSYC37111 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 3

Scholarships and bursaries

A small number of scholarships may be available to overseas applicants. Details will be made available once confirmed.

What our students say

Marcus Quek - BSc Psychology

"My lecturers often challenge me to think more critically about research and how it can contribute to wider existing literature.

"The diverse and multicultural community here has allowed me to expand my horizons and develop greater insight into the perspectives of others."

Marcus Quek / BSc Psychology Year 3 student
Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk