Psychology and Sociology BSc

Explore some of the biggest topics in the world today, from gender, race, and sexuality, to how we behave as a society, with our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Psychology and Sociology BSc at Aston University, Birmingham.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

CL83

Start date

Overview
Explore Psychology and Sociology BSc at Aston

Second Year student James discusses his experience studying Psychology at Aston University

Final year student Nilima discusses her experience studying Sociology at Aston University

Psychology Sociology Testimonial

"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 in understanding the delivery of lecturers and encouraged me to book appointments with them."

Cristina Eddo

Graduate role: Mental Health Support Worker and Behavioral Mentor, Lime Staffing and EduStaff Agency

Psychology Sociology Testimonial

"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 in understanding the delivery of lecturers and encouraged me to book appointments with them."

Cristina Eddo

Graduate role: Mental Health Support Worker and Behavioral Mentor, Lime Staffing and EduStaff Agency

Course outline and modules

Why do we feel the way we do about issues like gender, race, sexuality, and class?

How does this translate into how society operates?

How does human behaviour underpin government policy and law?

How can we better understand these complex issues in a volatile, fast-changing world?

If you’re curious about how society operates and why, studying psychology and sociology at Aston University is for you.

Whilst psychology focuses on understanding behaviour at an individual level; sociology focuses on the collective. This means that jointly, both disciplines interpret the full range of influences on the behaviour and structure of society. Society (and the people within it) influences all areas of life, social issues and public policy.

What is studying Psychology and Sociology at Aston really like?

On our BSc Psychology and Sociology programme 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 will 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.

At Aston, 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.

You’ll investigate and analyse how the human mind works, in terms of how it responds to various stimuli, and how our views on relationships and the wider world 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.

Through our comprehensive curriculum, you will develop a full 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 and societal behaviour.

Placement year

Studying psychology and sociology at Aston gives you the opportunity to complete a professional placement year, in the UK, or even overseas.
Taking a placement year gives you valuable life experience in the context of working alongside professionals in a working environment. You will gain genuine practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues such as office politics, which cannot be replicated in the lecture room. Such an experience is both personally enriching and valued by future employers.
Recent examples of placements from our suite of psychology courses include:

  • NHS trusts
  • Civil Service
  • University research teams in the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore
  • Home Office
  • HM Prison Service

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

What accreditations does Psychology and Sociology at Aston have?

Our Psychology and Sociology BSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers eligibility for the Graduate Membership (CPsychol) of the BPS, which is vital for students who wish to ultimately train as a professional psychologist (clinical, educational, forensic, occupational etc). It is also the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

This means that, not only will you have the right preparation and knowledge, but the right accreditations for a successful career as a psychologist should you choose this path.


International students and post-study work visa

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

The new post-study work visa enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work.  Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Key Skills in Psychology I
  • Key Skills in Psychology II
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Applied Psychology and Professional Skills
  • Individual Differences and Personality
  • Cognition and Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Advanced Social Theory

You will also choose from a selection of optional modules such as:

  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory 
  • Welfare States and Welfare Change
  • The Social Life of Stuff
  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     
  • Media and Society 
  • Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context
  • Racisms  
  • Contested Cities
Placement Year

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

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.

Core modules:

  • Final Year Project (Psychology)
  • Critical Social Psychology
  • Child and Development

In addition to, a selection of optional modules from:

  • Health Policy Bodies
  • Power and Resistance Work
  • Organisations and Society
  • Education and Digital Society
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Pregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy
  • Religion and Society
  • Corporate Power in a Globalised World 
  • Migration, Borders and Belonging
  • The Challenges of Climate Change

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

 

 

 

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

  • A Level: ABB - BBC (depending on EPQ, Core Maths or Contextual offer)
  • BTEC: Please see below for further details
  • International baccalaureate diploma: 32 Overall (HL 6, 5, 5)
  • GCSEs: Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Maths and English Language. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.
A Level
  • 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.

BTEC

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 Diploma

Distinction, 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 Diploma

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects

International Baccalaureate Diploma

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

Access to Higher Education

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. Subjects Accepted: Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, Health and Social Care, Applied Science, Biology combined with Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Biosciences, Combined Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Sciences Professions, Life Sciences, and Sciences.

Foundation Programmes

Foundation Programme in Science: Health 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 the Foundation Programme in Science: Health Science.

External Foundation Programmes from another University

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

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

 

 

International students

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University)

For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme in Science. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

International qualifications

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

Degree

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.

Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry 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 on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. 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.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

More advice on applying to Aston and full details of our admissions policy can be found here.

View our Admissions Policy.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Our close employer links and focus on practical experiences to transfer to the workplace means you’ll get a blend of learning and teaching experiences that will equip you for your career.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn from experts in both psychology and sociology; meaning you’ll get a true blend of both subjects, allowing you to apply the theories and practices from one discipline to the other.

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.

Assessment

You will be assessed throughout the course using a wide range of methods linked to learning outcomes, 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.

Staff

The School of Psychology is home to nearly 50 teaching and research members of staff. This broad range of research interests informs our teaching, providing a wide range of modules for undergraduate students. Staff are based in a number of research groups and centres across the University, with interests in neuroscience and neurodevelopment, ageing, cognitive and affective neuroscience, neuroimaging – including neuroimaging of clinical populations, health and lifespan development and sensory and perceptual systems. In addition, you will also work with staff from the sociology department.


Programme Director (Psychology): Dr Kate Nicholls
Deputy Programme Director (Sociology): Dr Tom Mills
Admissions Tutor: Dr Nathan Ridout

 

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £15,600*

During placement year: £2,500

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.

You can explore the costs involved in studying at university and the financial support that may be available to you here.

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

Career prospects

By having unique insight into how people behave and how this impacts societal structures, psychology and sociology graduates have unique insight into how to answer some of our biggest questions. This makes them valuable assets to any organisation.


In particular, psychology and sociology graduates have insight into 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:

  • Civil Service
  • Deloitte
  • 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

 

Frequently asked questions

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 your studies and aid in your 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.
Why study Psychology and Sociology at Aston?

You’ll establish strong foundations in sociological approaches to exciting topics such as gender, race, class and sexuality. Alongside this, your knowledge of both theoretical and applied psychology will be enhanced as you investigate a range of topics including critical social psychology and cognitive neuropsychology.

You’ll undertake your own research study into an area of your choosing. You can also opt to take a placement year with a diverse range of well-known organisations in the UK and internationally, to help put your learning into practice.

Why should I choose a joint honours course?

Joint honours is a true mix of two subjects, working with experts and academics from both sides to gain a deeper understanding of each. It also provides you with the opportunity to apply the theory of each in practice, meaning that you get a very broad, but also in-depth insight into both subjects. Being able to apply this theory to real-world issues is something that you’ll need to do in your future career; so, this course gives you a unique insight into how this works in practice.

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 careers 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. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

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