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Psychology & Sociology

Strong focus on key contemporary social issues and international comparisons of social structures and policies

Why choose this course?

  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society
  • The Sociology department won the ‘Excellence in Teaching Sociology Award’ from the British Sociological Association (BSA) and Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Strong focus on key contemporary social issues and international comparisons of social structures and policies
  • Sociology at Aston is currently ranked Top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2015 Complete University Guide and Guardian University Guide. 
  • Psychology at Aston is ranked Top 25 for graduate prospects in the latest Sunday Times University Guide.

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: CL83

Tuition Fee: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £13,500 for International students (2015-16).
Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

Typical offers:

  • A Level: BBB 
  • IB: 33 points
  • Access to HE: Individual basis
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D plus two A Levels including at grade AB
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science or Social Science: DD plus A level at grade A (excluding General Studies)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science or Social Science: D*DD. Eligibility dependent on modules.      

Specific subject requirements

  • A Level/AS: Science subject/subjects welcomed, but not essential. General Studies not accepted. 
  • GCSE: Two sciences or double award science at grade C. English at grade C and Maths at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: In Applied Science or Social Science 
  • BTEC Subsidiary diploma: accepted together with two A levels at grade AB
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma: accepted with one A level (excluding general studies) at grade A

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall slightly below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.

This course is designed to develop your sociological analysis and research skills and gain a thorough grounding in the principles and research methods of psychology.

You will develop an informed understanding of the major debates shaping today’s society, and cultivate a wider ‘sociological imagination’ of the contemporary world. You will establish foundations in sociological approaches to gender, ‘race’, class and sexuality. This will feed into higher level courses that deal with more complex issues including the relationship between science and ‘race’, reproductive politics, environmental justice and media power.

The distinctive flavour of studying psychology at Aston is the emphasis which is placed on applied as well as theoretical studies of psychology. The course covers a wide range of issues in, and theories of, cognitive, developmental and social psychology, psychobiology, and individual differences.

Your placement year will give you the opportunity to apply your key skills and competencies within a real work-based situation.

Download the course flyer PDF >

Subject guide & modules

Psychology & Sociology students take 120 credits of modules per year, 60 from psychology modules and 60 from sociology modules. A 10 credit module comprises approximately 100 learning hours and has up to three contact hours per week.

Year 1

Year 2

During your second year you have six core modules, and select two elective modules, including.

  • Language & Communication: explores key issues like "how are language and thought related?"

  • Psychological Research Methods: design your own research project using one of the methods covered in this module

  • Individual Differences: Explore major theories of individual differences in personality and intelligence and their application

  • Thinking and Reasoning: Learn about how people try to solve problems (and what can sometimes go wrong)

  • Social Theory 2

  • Global Society OR Race and Racisms (elective modules)

  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice OR Embodiment and Feminist Theory (elective modules)

  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory OR Media and Society (elective modules)

Placement year

At Aston the placement year is an integral part of your course, and contributes to your final grade. Find out more about the Psychology & Sociology placement year.

Final year

During your final year you have the opportunity to specialise in the areas of sociology of particular interest and relevance to your career. You will also complete core psychology modules and undertake a research project in an area of psychology of your choice.

  • Final Year Project (Psychology): Conduct a research project from start to finish in an area of interest with individual support from a member of staff
  • Critical Social Psychology: Consider questions like "how can we explore a person's own experience of their life?"

  • Cognitive Neuropsychology:study examples of cognitive impairments arising from brain damage and techniques used to assess them

  • Child Development

  • Health Matters

  • Risk, Environment and Society*

  • Work, Organisations and Society*

  • Racism, class and gender*

  • Learning to Labour: Education and Society*

  • Contemporary Social Movements*

  • Sport and Society*

* Please note that not all elective modules will be available every year.

You'll be taught through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes, group-working, case studies. Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in an online student guide. This includes full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year with the relevant deadlines.

We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations.

For further information, see the programme specification (PDF).

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and valuable professional experience. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

You can choose whether your placement has a psychology or a sociology focus, or can choose a more generic placement experience – for example, in business. Your placement may be in the UK or abroad, and at Aston the average placement year salary is around £16,000.

Recent students have completed placements in the following roles/ organisations:

  • Administration Assistant at The Children’s Society

  • HR placement at Janssen-Cilag

  • Placement with the Suffolk Youth Offending Service

  • Study placement at the University of Tampere

  • Educational assistants in schools, pupil referral units and at local Behavioural Support Centres

  • Co-ordinating volunteer work in Tanzania and with the charity/advocacy group People and Planet

  • Working in a women’s shelter

  • Working with the Birmingham Youth Offenders
    Service and West Midlands Police

  • Lloyds Bank placement

  • Teaching English at the British School of Kuala Lumpur.

You'll receive plenty of help and advice in finding your placement and specialist support and supervision from the University during your placement.

Find out more about placement years at Aston.

This course is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)  provided the minimum standard of a Second Class Honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Our Psychology and Sociology graduates go on to pursue a very wide range of career paths. Graduates enter business and commercial careers, caring and social careers, teaching and local government careers and many others. Progression rate to a first job is very high for Aston students and career prospects are good.

The growth of the service sector puts Psychology & Sociology graduates at a  premium – they have insight into motivation and behaviour and know about people, communities, relationships and group dynamics. Our graduates have excellent communication and teamwork skills, are critical and analytic and can design, conduct and analyse and evaluate research.

Graduates who have studied a Joint Honours Psychology or Sociology course, have a strong track record in finding jobs.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in organisations including the Civil Service, the Police Service, local government, the NHS,  Nestlé, Deloitte and IBM.

This course is designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. Such work develops your team working and negotiating skills.


Our placement year gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Aston University has recently invested over £400,000 to establish dedicated  psychology laboratories for our students. These include tools for psychophysiological measurement, a driving simulator, eye tracking technology, an observation suite (with covert audiovisual recording), motion-capture technology, cubicles for computer-based cognitive experiments and larger labs for focus groups and audience based experiments.

These facilities enable our final year students to conduct high quality research projects under the supervision of our Psychology staff.

Although based in the School of Life and Health Sciences, this course is taught jointly with staff from the School of Languages & Social Science.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research