Psychology and Sociology

BSc (Hons)

Gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of human behaviour, and explore some of the biggest topics in the world today, from gender, race, and sexuality, to how we behave as a society.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

CL83

Start date

Course overview

Our Psychology and Sociology BSc (Hons) degree is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of psychological and sociological principles in both theory and practice and merge your understanding of these two fields to gain a greater insight into human behaviour and society.

By choosing to study at Aston you will gain a degree accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and have the opportunity to complete a career-enhancing placement in the UK or internationally and be taught by leading experts in the field of psychology and sociology.

Psychology and Sociology BSc student Cristina Eddo smiling

"In my final year, I managed to pick modules that I liked and I developed a bond with most lecturers which increased my sense of belonging. Having a professional rapport with my lecturers helped me understand the delivery of lecturers and encouraged me to book appointments with them."

Cristina Eddo
Psychology and Sociology BSc
NHS Senior Mental Health Practitioner and EMHP Supervisor

Why Psychology and Sociology at Aston University?

TEF Gold 2023 logo
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Triple Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Accreditation BPS
Professional accreditation
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
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Excellent prospects
Top 5 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in Psychology (Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Future career
Our graduates go on to secure work in top organisations such as the BBC, HSBC, Jaguar Land Rover, private care companies, and the NHS.
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)

Course description

Psychology and Sociology BSc

Our Psychology and Sociology BSc degree explores why people behave the way they do, how society operates and why. Whilst psychology focuses on understanding behaviour at an individual level, sociology focuses on the collective. Jointly, both disciplines interpret the full range of influences on the behaviour and structure of society. Society, and the people within it, influence all areas of life, social issues and public policy.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you, fantastic facilities that will bring your course to life through hands-on, practical experience; years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. 

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understand that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, you must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
Our Psychology and Sociology BSc graduates leave with a wide range of marketable skills, such as excellent communication and problem-solving skills, data processing and analysis, information acquisition and synthesis - it’s our aim to make sure you’re well-prepared for an enriching career in a variety of occupational settings.

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Placement year
Taking a placement year gives you valuable life experience in the context of working alongside professionals in a working environment and helps you to develop new skills and abilities. Placements are both personally enriching and highly valued by future employers. Recent students at Aston have completed a range of fascinating placements, both in the UK and internationally such as: NHS trusts and the Civil Service, University research teams in the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore, The Home Office, and HM Prison Service.

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Career prospects
Psychology and Sociology graduates develop a unique insight into some of the biggest questions, making them valuable assets to any organisation. Recent graduates from our suite of psychology courses have gone on to work in organisations including The Civil Service, Deloitte, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HSBC, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, KPMG, and NHS trusts.

How you will learn

You will experience a wide range of high-quality learning experiences, from informative large-scale interactive lectures to smaller group sessions such as tutorials, where you will discuss the course material with your tutors and peers.

You’ll also complete lab sessions, where you will learn key practical skills for psychological research; plus there will be opportunities to work with our expert staff on a one-to-one basis and be involved in real-world research.

At Aston University you will learn from leaders in the fields of both Psychology and Sociology, in specialist facilities, and in an environment where developing your employability is hard-wired into everything you do.

What you will learn

You will investigate and analyse why people behave the way they do, and how our views are shaped by societal structures, culture, and our collective experiences. In addition, you will have the opportunity to research why these societal structures exist in the first place; giving you a rounded view of human behaviour and the impact we have on each other as fellow citizens.

Year 1

In your first year of the Psychology and Sociology BSc programme, you will establish a strong foundation in the key principles and concepts that underpin both psychology and sociology. This year is designed to introduce you to fundamental knowledge and skills essential for your academic journey and future career. 

Year 2

You will build on the core grounding you gained in your first year, and be introduced to exciting new subject areas such as Applied Psychology and Professional Skills and Social Theory for a Changing World. You will also choose from a range of optional modules.

Placement year

This is your opportunity to gain valuable career-boosting experience by setting your studies in the real-world context of a working environment alongside professionals. This course is available as a 3-year option without placement or a 4-year option with placement. Both options are available to UK, EU, and international students.

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.

Facilities

Psychology and Sociology students have access to a range of specialist facilities that reflect the hands-on learning within the field. In these settings, you gain practical experience alongside like-minded students, with workshops and lectures guided by industry professionals and expert technicians.

Specialist facilities

  • An observation suite (with covert audio-visual recording).
  • Equipment and tools for psychophysiological measurement, eye tracking and motion-capture.
  • Experiment rooms for cognitive experiments.
  • Larger labs for focus groups and audience-based experiments.

 

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with the opportunities to realise your academic potential through a range of learning experiences.
  2. Encourages you, through a practical approach, to have a passion for Psychology and Sociology and an enthusiasm for learning.
  3. To deliver a programme of a standard which satisfies the accreditation requirements of the British Psychological Society and confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS.
  4. To provide students with an intellectually rigorous and contemporary education in and understanding of the theory, practice, and methods of psychology and sociology, which will help them to identify and achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals and aspirations in both fields.
  5. To produce highly employable graduates who can bring qualities of critical analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and personal interpretation to their chosen occupation, and who are capable of applying and disseminating knowledge.
  6. To produce graduates with skills and abilities in research and enquiry, information literacy, personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding in order to tackle effectively the contemporary issues facing people, organisations, and society.
  7. To provide a learning environment that responds to the needs of a wide range of entrants from a variety of routes, that allows students to pursue individual interests, and one in which staff’s research activity and involvement inspires and informs students’ learning.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Key Skills in Psychology I - Gain a solid foundation in key skills vital for today's psychologists. Delve into critical thinking, research methodologies, data analysis, and ethical considerations. This module provides essential tools for understanding human behaviour, fostering effective communication, and applying psychological theories in practical settings. 15
Key Skills in Psychology II - Obtain practical experience in various research scenarios by using innovative software to make online questionnaires and experiments, analyse quantitative data, and write compelling research reports.    15
Developmental and Social Psychology - Developmental and Social Psychology - An introduction to the main theories of cognitive and perceptual development and attachment, as well as the theories, findings, and methods in cognitive-experimental social psychology.    
 
15

Biological and Cognitive Psychology - Learn about core topics in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, including how the brain develops and functions in health and disease.

15
Becoming a Social Scientist
 
30
Introduction to Social Theory
 
30
Total120

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Communicate appropriate understanding of the scope, nature, and applications of psychology and sociology as academic disciplines, including conceptual, ethical, and historical issues, and the contributions of different perspectives.
  • Communicate appropriate understanding of the scientific method, a range of research designs and qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and a selection of basic descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Articulate knowledge of a range of theories and concepts in core areas of psychology (as defined in the British Psychological Society’s GBC curriculum) and sociology.
  • Competently use information technology for word processing, data handling, communication, and information gathering.
  • Be able to communicate accurately, effectively, and appropriately, presenting structured and coherent arguments in a range of formats and demonstrating awareness of professional norms.
  • Evidence a range of transferable academic skills, including an ability to reflect on own learning and development, to engage effectively with feedback, and to work effectively and collaboratively with peers.
  • Describe a range of possible career pathways that graduates of the programme might pursue, and able to articulate the employability skills and attributes required in these careers.

Year 2 modules

In your second year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods and Data Analysis - Learn how to conduct and analyse quantitative research in psychology. Gain hands-on experience of designing questionnaires and experiments and learn a range of advanced data analysis methods.    15
Applied Psychology and Professional Skills - Develop an understanding of your transferable professional skills and knowledge by exploring how they have been, and are, applied towards the improvement of practice within and across applied professions. Prepare for your post-graduate future by improving your employability through an authentic assessment on the application process.    15
Individual Differences and Personality - Learn about how intelligence and personality measures can be used to understand real-world behaviours. We will also cover theories and the history of these concepts.        15
Cognition and Cognitive Neuropsychology - Learn about different types of reasoning, decision making and problem-solving. Develop a basic understanding of cognitive impairments arising from brain damage.     15
Social Theory for a Changing World15
Total75

In addition, you will study three of the following 15 credit optional modules:

Module TitleCredits
Global Society15
Embodiment and Feminist Theory15
Welfare15
Material Worlds15
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice15
Kith and Kin: Family in a
Social Contex
15
Racism15
Contested Cities15
Health and Society15
Total45

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 2 outcomes

On successful completion of the year 2, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a variety of research designs and methodologies.
  • Use a wide range of basic and advanced descriptive and inferential statistics for analysing data.
  • Communicate appropriate critical thinking and to question received wisdom.
  • Articulate advanced knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary theories and concepts, in core areas of psychology (as defined in the British Psychological Society’s GBC curriculum) and sociology, and of how these link to practice in both fields.
  • Identify and discuss the most appropriate research evidence and methods for addressing research questions.
  • Convey a strong understanding and application of formal academic communication styles in their own work.
  • Synthesise, explain, and critically evaluate different paradigms, concepts, theories, and evidence to form compelling arguments.
  • Articulate, explain, and reflect critically upon their own employability skills and attributes, and be able to map these against possible graduate career pathways.

Placement year modules

In your placement year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Placement year - This module aims to provide a framework for students on placement (including working or studying abroad, working or volunteering in the UK in a variety of contexts) to demonstrate the learning they have achieved through their placement experiences and relate these to future employment opportunities.    120
Total120


Placement year outcomes 

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate increasing personal and professional development through a placement.
  • Articulate key personal, cultural, professional, and disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the placement experience, and reflect on performance.
  • Clearly communicate the ways in which placement-related skills can be transferred to support ongoing personal, professional, and academic development.

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Final Year Project - Final Year Project - Working closely with an experienced academic, you will showcase and build on research skills taught earlier in the course by designing and conducting a study that adds new knowledge to psychological and sociological literature.
 
30
Critical Social Psychology - Explore different topics in social psychology, for example, stereotypes, norms, prejudice, relationships and identity. You will be encouraged to approach social psychology from a critical perspective, for example, considering how social psychology is culturally and socially situated, and to engage with qualitative methods of data collection. 15
Child Development - Develop your critical understanding of research into development across the lifespan including research into antenatal development, parenting, language and literacy, and cognitive development and theory of mind.15
Total60

and four of the following 15 credit optional modules:

Module TitleCredits
Health Policy 15
Addiction and Impulsivity - Take a theoretical and critical approach to understanding addiction and impulsivity. We examine several health-related and psychiatric conditions in which impulsivity and/or addiction have been implicated.15
Work, Organisations and Society15
Bodies, Power and Resistance15
Education and Digital Society15
Contemporary Social Movements15
Pregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy15
Religion and Society15
Corporate Power in a Globalised World15
Migration, Borders and Belonging15
The Challenges of Climate Change15
Total60

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final year outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Identify a research question and hypothesis, and thereupon design, execute, and report a sustained and independent empirical research project, with clear consideration of ethical practice.
  • Create and present sustained arguments backed up with evidence that reflects contemporary understanding of the field.
  • Communicate a detailed, integrated, and critical understanding of issues in – and theories of – psychology and sociology.
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate concepts, theories, and research evidence.
  • Sse different qualitative approaches for analysing data appropriately.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    - ABB in any three A Levels.
    - BBB in any three A Levels plus grade B in either Core Maths or Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
    - BBC in any three A Levels for contextual offer students.*

The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies. We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

We accept the following BTEC subjects and in some cases you may be required to take additional A Levels as listed in the grid below.

Subjects accepted: Applied Science, Animal Care and Veterinary Science, Art, Design and Media, Business, Administration and Law, Child Development and well-being, Computer Science and ICT, Design and Technology, Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, Economics, Education and Training, Engineering, English, Finance and Accounting, Geography, Government and Politics, Health and Social Care, History, Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Medicine and Dentistry , Music, Religious Studies, Science, Social Sciences.

BTEC Qualification Name    BTEC grades required    A-Level Requirements
 
Extended Diploma (QCF/National)   
 
Distinction,
Distinction,
Distinction
(DDD)
Not applicable
 
Diploma (QCF)National DiplomaDistinction, Distinction (DD)    

With this BTEC you must also achieve a grade B one A Level subject

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
National Extended Certificate
Distinction (D)    With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects
90 Credit Diploma (QCF)    Distinction, Distinction (DD)    With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects
National Foundation DiplomaDistinction (D)    
With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Standard offer: 32 points overall and must include grades 6, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.

Contextual offer: 29 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 5 5 4. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language for contextual offer students.*

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.

We accept grade Distinction in any of the below subjects:

•    Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction
•    Digital Production, Design and Development
•    Education and Childcare
•    Building Services Engineering for Construction
•    Onsite Construction
•    Digital Business Services
•    Digital Support Services
•    Health
•    Healthcare Science
•    Science

Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Maths and English Language or English Literature. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Other

Degree

Year 1:

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications, and this must include an academic reference.

Year 2:

We are not taking applications for second year transfers.

Year 3/final year:

We do not accept any transfers into year 3 or final year of this programme

View our Transfers Policy

Age of qualifications

Applicants must normally have achieved their eligible academic qualifications for entry onto this course within the last three years. Applicants presenting qualifications older than three years will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Admissions Lead.

External Foundation Programmes

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English CCC at A-Level

Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

 

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

Our Psychology and Sociology BSc curriculum utilises a range of different assessment types and the assessment strategy reflects the national educational requirements in the FHEQ.

You will be 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
  • individual research reports
  • presentations (group or individual)
  • statistics assignments

Career prospects

Our Psychology and sociology programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

By studying how people behave and how this impacts societal structures, you will develop a unique insight into some of the biggest questions, making you valuable to any organisation. Psychology and Sociology graduates develop a deep understanding of motivation and behaviour, communities, relationships and group dynamics. This makes them excellent communicators, team workers, and critical researchers, all attributes that the UK’s major employers value very highly.

Recent graduates from our suite of psychology courses have gone on to work in organisations including:

  • The Civil Service
  • Deloitte
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • HSBC
  •  IBM
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • KPMG
  • Local government
  • Marks & Spencer
  • NHS trusts
  • Private care companies
  • PwC
  • Tesco
  • The Co-operative Bank
Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study psychology and sociology at Aston

Our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Psychology course provides you with highly transferable skills to help you stand out from the graduate crowd. You will benefit from a broad curriculum that emphasises human behaviour and cognition, and real-life applications of psychology You will also establish strong foundations in sociological approaches to topics such as gender, race, class and sexuality. 

You will undertake your own research study in an area of your own choosing. You will also complete a placement year, with the opportunity to work with a diverse range of well-known organisations in the UK and internationally, to help put your learning into practice.
 

What psychology facilities can I expect to use?

In addition to university-wide facilities, all of our Psychology students will have access to a wide range of specialist facilities designed to enrich their studies and aid in their development.

These include:

  • An observation suite (with covert audio-visual recording).
  • Equipment and tools for psychophysiological measurement, eye tracking and motion capture.
  • Experiment rooms for cognitive experiments.
  • Larger labs for focus groups and audience-based experiments.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Register your interest

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