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 joint top in the UK for course satisfaction in the 2016 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

Typical offers:

  • A Level: BBB 
  • IB: 32 points
  • Access to HE: Access to Science or Social Science are considered from mature applicants only (aged 21+) on an individual basis.
  • 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 also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.   

  • 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 programme by completing a Foundation Year although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.

Specific subject requirements

  • A Level/AS: Science subject/subjects welcomed, but not essential. General Studies not accepted. 
  • GCSE: 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.
  • 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 below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.


  • We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who achieved five or more GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grade C or above.You would also need to meet the A-Level requirement listed above.
  • We do not encourage 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 below).

Resit Students

  • 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.

Please note, your full educational background is taken into account and all qualifications are considered when we make a decision on your application.

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

Tuition Fee

£9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students.

£13,800 for International students (2016-17).

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

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 >

Sample module options: The modules below are indicative only. When an offer is made, students will receive a detailed programme specification which forms part of our terms and conditions.

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

  • Social Theory I  An introduction to major classic sociological thinkers. Organised in seminars around an analysis of inequalities

  • Becoming a social scientistIntroduces students to the disciplines of Sociology and Social and Public Policy and to begin to equipthem 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.

Year 2

During your second year you have these core modules:

  • 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: An introduction to key thinkers and debates in contemporary social theory, helping students to build a theoretical 'toolbox' and an understanding of how theory can be both applied and created.

You will also have a selection from

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.

And a selection from:

* 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.

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.

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.
Lounge area in the student psychology labs.
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.
Pete reddy
Mr Peter Reddy, Admissions Tutor 

Mr Peter Reddy is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a National Teaching Fellow. He has research interests in improving student learning, including e-learning; undergraduate development; transition to university; educational relationships and graduate employability.  He convenes introduction to psychology modules. 
Anton Popov
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
Although based in the School of Life and Health Sciences, this course is taught jointly with staff from the School of Languages & Social Science.
the british psychological society accredited



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