BSc Educational Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

"As part of my course, I took part in work experience organised by my lecturers.

It made me realise the true reason as to why I choose to study this course, which is because I love children and I want to see how they develop from a being a child leading up to their adolescence years."

Juwayriah Bhana / BSc Educational Psychology Student

BSc Educational Psychology will provide you with a strong grounding in educational psychology - the application of psychological theories and principles to context of education. 

Educational psychology is a broad field that draws upon multiple perspectives to help explain and understand human functioning and behaviour. 

The course will allow you to explore core areas of psychology specifically in relation to education, including biological, cognitive, social, and developmental psychology. 

It will also encourage you to consider the importance of individual differences. 

You will study both historical and contemporary thinking in these areas and explore how they intersect with educational theories and philosophies. The course is a great option if you wish to:

  • begin a career pathway towards educational psychology (e.g., become an educational psychologist, play or behavioural therapist, or similar);
  • begin a career pathway towards other professional psychology training routes, with an educational focus (e.g., school-based counselling);
  • progress into teaching and education-based vocations, with a specialism towards pastoral responsibilities and/or special educational needs;

Special features

  • Study a course accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), making you eligible for Graduate Membership (GMBPsS).
  • During your final year, you will focus on a subject that takes your interests - and could potentially be your area of expertise after you graduate. This will form your major project.
  • Applied learning is a key focus within the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE). You will undertake practical placements across your course to ensure your learning can be put into practice.
  • Applied and varied assignments allow you to build and demonstrate a portfolio of skills to potential employers.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through methods including:  

  • lectures and seminars; 
  • small group learning; 
  • individual tutorials; 
  • self-study materials; 
  • group collaboration and team work.

Important notice 

The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) recognises the value of fieldwork. However, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our priority. The School will assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any significant changes to our students at the earliest possible opportunity.

The ability of fieldwork and travel to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork and travel might be necessary, will remain subject to factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover;
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

All fieldwork and travel will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff.

In some circumstances, it may become necessary to make changes to fieldwork or programme related travel. The University will notify you of those changes at the earliest opportunity. If any fieldwork does not go ahead as planned, then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Please note that Countries may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for fieldwork, they will be granted but we will take steps so that if a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

Coursework and assessment

The BSc Educational Psychology does not use summative exams for any of its core credit bearing assessments. You will be assessed through methods including:

  • essays;
  • team projects;
  • coursework;
  • presentations;
  • applied learning scenarios;
  • a major project.

Course content for year 1

During Year 1, you will build foundational knowledge of the core areas of psychology in relation to education.

  • Development and Childhood critically examines key theory and research in developmental psychology, and critically evaluates applications and extension of developmental psychological theory in relation to education and child development.
  • Exploring Psychology in the Classroom is the first fieldwork opportunity designed to familiarise you with the school environment and systems. You will spend time in a local school, observing classes and having the opportunity to meet and interact with key staffing roles (e.g., special educational needs coordinators).
  • Foundations of Psychology will introduce you to the study of psychology as a science by examining the social and cultural construction of psychology and its application to `real-world questions' with particular regard to education.
  • Social Psychology of Education will take an exploratory case approach by `walking through' the many experiences of an individual in relation to social-psychological processes that impact on teaching and learning.
  • Research Issues in Psychology and Education provides a comprehensive grounding in core issues surrounding research in psychology and education, helping you to develop your own understanding and ideas.
  • The Brain Goes to School will begin with the fundamentals of basic neurology (e.g., cells, neurotransmitters) and an introduction into experience and learning. It then moves to examining how brain structures and specialisation are currently understood and applied to learning. Each area will be considered from a neurobiological perspective and then applied to learners in classrooms.
Please note that the above course unit details may change.

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
Developing Academic Writing and Digital Study Skills EDUC10631 10 Mandatory
Key Issues in Education EDUC11100 20 Mandatory
Foundations of psychology EDUC13011 10 Mandatory
Development and childhood EDUC13022 20 Mandatory
The Brain goes to school EDUC13031 20 Mandatory
Exploring psychology in the classroom EDUC13042 10 Mandatory
Social psychology of Education EDUC13052 10 Mandatory
Research issues in psychology and education (1) EDUC13060 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, there will be a greater emphasis on the application of knowledge and psychological theory in specific relation to education.

You will continue to build and deepen your foundational knowledge of the core areas of psychology in relation to education and develop your ability to evaluate and apply your understanding.

Cognition and Learning: Implications for School revisits the areas covered in Year 1's `The Brain Goes to School'. It develops the ideas further by building on the concepts from neuropsychology using information processing theory. This leads to cognitive models explaining Attention; Perception; Learning; Memory; Thinking and meta-cognition; Problem solving and decision-making; and Language. The focus is on understanding how these cognitive processes are used by typical and atypical learners in educational settings.

Counselling and Educational Psychology in the Professional Context offers grounding in the `real world' applications of education and counselling psychology in the professional context, with specific reference to the intersection of research and practice.

Data Analysis in Psychology & Education will build upon foundation skills developed in Year 1, specifically in relation to the analysis and interpretation of different data strands in research. It will develop your critical thinking skills and prepare you for your dissertation project in Year 3.

Risk and Resilience Processes in Human Development will provide you with an introduction to theory and research relating the concepts of risk and resilience, and their application in the study of human development.

Students are free to select optional units to customise their bespoke course of study.  Popular choices have included the Psychology of Learning, Sociology of Education, Teaching and Learning Literacy and Understanding Mental Health.

Please note that the above course unit details may change.

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
Risk & Resilience processes in human development EDUC23011 20 Mandatory
Cognition & Learning: implications for school EDUC23022 20 Mandatory
Data Analysis in Psychology and Education EDUC23030 20 Mandatory
Counselling and educational psychology in the professional context EDUC23040 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 3

In Year 3, you will gain further independence in your learning and will be encouraged to draw links between the different components of the course in your application of learning, especially in relation to your major project and final year placement.

In the third fieldwork unit Intervention in Schools, you will draw upon your prior learning and fieldwork experiences in order to develop and conduct a bespoke intervention in a partner school.

Drawing upon the some of the key work within the department, the Prevention Science and Education unit aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of how theory and research in prevention science can be applied in educational contexts to improve children's social, emotional and behavioural outcomes.

Current Issues in Special Educational Needs (SEN) will explore the relevance of psychological theory for individual learning and assessment (drawing on developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and social psychology). It will also consider historical and social influences on how SEN is defined as well as critically explore the value and use of diagnostic labels within educational settings (e.g., dyslexia, ASD, ADHD).

With support from a dedicated supervisor, you will conduct your Major Project - a piece of independent research, focusing on your areas of interest, with a focus on what useful knowledge might be gained and applied.

Please note that the above course unit details may change.

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
Major Project (Educational Psychology) EDUC33000 40 Mandatory
Current Issues in Special Educational Needs EDUC33002 20 Mandatory
Intervention in Schools EDUC33050 20 Mandatory
Prevention science and education EDUC33051 20 Mandatory

What our students say

I choose a placement in a primary school to see how elements of my course are portrayed in the school environment.

As my course focuses on children and their psychological development, it was very beneficial to be in a classroom setting filled with children and try to understand the life of a child.

Juwayriah Bhana / BSc Educational Psychology student

Read more about Juwayriah's experience in her student profile.


This course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), which has an incredibly strong heritage - education has been a field of study at The University of Manchester since 1890. 

You will benefit from studying within an environment that has a national and international reputation for quality in teaching, scholarship, and research in this field.  

We pride ourselves on close staff-student relationships and guided, one-to-one supervision. 

The Institute promotes equality and diversity, and you will study in an environment that embraces values of cultural diversity and is fundamentally committed to equality of opportunity, regardless of race, disability, religious or other beliefs, sexual orientation, or age.

MIE provides opportunities for progression to taught and research master's degrees, as well as our Ofsted 'Outstanding' Primary PGCE.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email .