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Psychology & Sociology

UG Psychology and Sociology Student Profile
My placement year helped me to use the knowledge I'd gained in real life practice"

Anwen, BSc Psychology, Assistant Psychologist, EdPsychs

Entry requirements

A Level: BBB

IB: 32 points

This course is for you if you wish to combine two complementary subjects in a course that's accredited by the BPS and achieves very high student satisfaction ratings.

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Accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS)
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100% Overall satisfaction (BSc Psychology & Sociology, 2016 NSS)
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Top 10 for Research Quality (Psychology, 2017 Complete University Guide)
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Placement Year

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placement year 

UCAS CodeCL83

Please note:

  • All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on all previous and predicted qualifications, experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • GCSE requirements: At least five GCSEs at grade C or above including two sciences or double award science at grade C, English at grade C and Maths at grade B (Maths can be considered at grade C when also taking Psychology or Maths at A Level).

  • All applicants receiving offers will be invited to an Applicant Visit Day to discover more about the course and Aston University.

  • Find out more about our admissions policy.

Typical Offers:
BBB. Science subject/subjects welcomed, but not essential. General Studies not accepted. We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer.

32 points

  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D plus two A Levels 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.

We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who have met our other requirements.

We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A-levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to resit your A-levels (see our resit policy).

Access to Science or Social Science are considered from mature applicants only (aged 21+) on an individual basis.We typically require 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 30 at Distinction and the rest at Merit or higher.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our courses. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages.

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year)
  • International students: £14,630

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

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.

You will take 120 credits of modules per year, 60 in each semester. Each 10 credit module listed below comprises 100 learning hours and has up to three contact hours per week, in the form of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and practical classes. You will also spend time engaged in independent study.

This is an indicative list of modules:

Year 1

  • Social Psychology: Consider how other people can change our behaviour and about attitudes and persuasion
  • Becoming a Social Scientist: Introduces students to the disciplines of Sociology and Social and Public Policy and to begin to equip them with the knowledge and skills they will need to become social science researchers. The module will cover approaches to and philosophies of social science, and applications of social science in the workplace and society more broadly.
  • Social Theory 1: An introduction to major classic sociological thinkers. Organised in seminars around an analysis of inequalities.

Year 2

During your second year you will take these core modules:

  • Language & Communication

  • Psychological Research Methods

  • Individual Differences

  • Thinking and Reasoning

  • Social Theory 2

  • Advanced Statistics
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Personality Practical
  • Contemporary Social Theory
You will also choose from a selection of topics such as:
  • Global Society    
  • Race and Racisms     
  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     

  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory      

  • Media and Society 
  • Welfare States and Welfare Change
  • The Social Life of Stuff
  • Health Matters
  • Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context
  • Congested Cities and Neighbourhood change    

Placement year

Set your studies in context and enhance your employment prospects by selecting from a wide range of UK or overseas placement opportunities. Discover more below.

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: This module covers theoretical concepts in cognitive and social development, together with a critical review of experimental research methodology with children

And a selection from:
  • Risk, Environment and Society

  • Work, Organisations and Society

  • Racism, class and gender
  • Health Policy
  • Ageing, Society and Policy
  • Pregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy
  • Religion and Society
  • Learning to Labour: Education and Society
  • Contemporary Social Movements

(Please note that not all optional modules are available every year.)

You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Group work

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at school or college. 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.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Class tests / end of year examinations (unseen essay, short answer or multiple choice questions)
  • Essays
  • Research reports (group or individual)
  • Presentations
  • Statistics assignments
  • Oral presentations

The placement year offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set your studies in the context of a working environment, alongside professionals. 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. By obtaining relevant work experience you will also boost your future employment prospects. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Your placement year may be in the UK or abroad. Placements are generally paid, with the average salary being around £16,000. 

Recent examples of placements include:

  • 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 in Life & Health Sciences.

It 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.

Recent roles of graduates from all Aston psychology courses include:

  • 1:1 Support Worker, Leicestershire Council 
  • Account Executive, PCC - Perowne Charles Communications 
  • Assistant Director, Explore Learning 
  • Assistant Insight Manager, Müller UK & Ireland Group 
  • Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Herefordshire Foundation Trust/2gether Foundation Trust 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Assistant Psychologist, NHS 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Oakleaf Care 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Priory  Group 
  • Behavioural and Mental Health Support Officer, Wolverhampton City Council 
  • Behavioural Mental Health Support Worker, Northampton Borough Council 
  • ChildLine Supervisor, NSPCC ChildLine 
  • Educational Psychology Intern, Birmingham City Council 
  • English Teacher, Shireland Collegiate Academy 
  • Family Support Worker and Project Facilitator, Malachi Specialist Family Support Services CIC 
  • Forensic Mental Health Support Worker, Inmind Healthcare Group 
  • Graduate Trainee, Thames Water 
  • Health Informatics Graduate Scheme, NHS 
  • Independent Mental Health Advocate, Advent Advocacy 
  • Marketing Internship, Red Cross 
  • Mental Health Support Worker, Prospects 
  • Mentor, Archery Academy 
  • MSc Health psychology, Aston University 
  • Paediatric Research Assistant, Leicester Royal Infirmary 
  • Project Worker, Addaction 
  • Psychology Assistant, HMP Full Sutton 
  • Psychotherapist, NHS 
  • Recruitment Consultant, Albany Beck 
  • Science Teacher, Teachfirst 
  • Senior Psychologist, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Special Educational Needs Caseworker, Salford City Council 
  • Special Needs Assistant, Harestock Primary School 
  • Speech and Language Learning Support Assistant, Eldon Junior School  
  • Support Worker, UK Young Autism Project 
  • Teacher, City of London Academy 
  • Youth Crime Prevention Worker, Hampshire County Council
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. Aston Business School teaching rooms and facilities have also been recently refurbished. You will benefit from:

  • An observation suite (with covert audiovisual recording) 
  • Tools for psychophysiological measurement 
  • A driving simulator 
  • Eye tracking technology 
  • Motion-capture technology 
  • Cubicles for computer-based cognitive experiments  
  • Larger labs for focus groups and audience based experiments
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment
  • A large computer laboratory
  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.

 See some of the facilities for yourself

Psychology
Focus group room in the student psychology labs. This room can be used for focus groups and also contains a one-way mirror with recording equipment behind it.
Psychology
Lounge area in the student psychology labs.
Psychology
One of Life and Health Sciences computer labs. These labs can be used either for teaching or private study at any time. They are often used for statistics teaching.
Nathan Ridout
Nathan Ridout
Dr Nathan Ridout, Admissions Tutor 

Dr Nathan Ridout is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society (BPS). He is an experimental psychologist and his primary research interest is cognitive processes underpinning psychological disorders (especially depression and eating disorders). He convene the undergraduate modules “Abnormal Psychology” and “Cognitive Neuroscience of Affective Disorders”.

Anton Popov
Dr Anton Popov, Deputy Programme Director (Sociology)

Dr Anton Popov is a lecturer and seminar tutor on the ‘Understanding Social Divisions’ (TP1) and ‘Social Theory 1’ (TP2) undergraduate modules. He is the deputy programme director based in sociology. His research interests are in political anthropology (with a particular focus on postsocialist societies); identity and transnationalism; violence, ethnicity and (non-Western forms of) civil society; youth culture; qualitative research methods (ethnography, life story and family history); history and social memory.

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