Psychology and Sociology BSc

Study Psychology and Sociology BSc at Aston University, Birmingham, and experience our unique mix of expert teaching, specialist facilities, and real-world placement opportunities. This BSc will help you to 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 (Hons)

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years with placement

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?

Why do people behave differently when they are in a group?

How does our thinking develop as we grow from children to adults?

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 why people behave in the way that they do, and 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.

By choosing to study at Aston you will gain a degree accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and be taught by leading experts from a range of specialist psychological and sociological fields.

This course is part of the School of Psychology which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

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.

You will attend informative large-scale interactive lectures and 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 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.
 

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.

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 behaviour and society.

Placement year

The BSc Psychology and Sociology includes an integrated 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 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 students from our suite of psychology courses at Aston have completed a range of fascinating placements, both in the UK and abroad. For example, students have worked within:

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

You will 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 Basis for Chartered 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.

*Note that students must gain at least a lower second-class honours degree classification to be eligible for GBC.

International students and post-study work visa

Aston University is a diverse, community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. With its base in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study; 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.

For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS.

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
  • Social Theory for a Changing World

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

  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory 
  • Welfare 
  • Material Worlds: Culture, Objects and Practices
  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     
  • Media and Society 
  • Racisms  
  • Community Engagement
  • Health and Society
  • Global Society
     
Placement Year

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

The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

 

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 Development

In addition to, you will also choose from a selection of optional* modules such as:

  • Health Policy 
  • Bodies, Power and Resistance
  • Work, Organisations and Society
  • Education in the 21st Century 
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Pregnancy and Politics
  • Religion and Society
  • Corporate Power 
  • Migration, Borders and Belonging
  • The Challenges of Climate Change

Please note the availability of optional modules will vary each year, and will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

 

GCSEs

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.

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.

Contextual Offers are not applicable for the below.

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

T Level

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

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.*

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.

International students

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.

International foundation 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

For further information regarding the transfers policy and Student Transfer Arrangements please see here.

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 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
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.

View our Admissions Policy under the 'Respect' tab on our Principles and Policies page.

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, initial offers will not be lower than stated above). We would also consider applicants with achieved grades of BCC and above which are below the listed requirements on a case by case scenario if the application is of a high standard, strong academic reference and any gaps in study are explained.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

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.

Learning, teaching and assessment

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

Learning and teaching

You will learn from experts in both Psychology and Sociology, meaning you will get a 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
     

At university, there is a much stronger emphasis on private reading and independent study than at school or college. However, we are here to support you in making this transition and to help you manage your learning. For example, we set out your work each term in our online virtual learning environment, giving full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists, and guidance on all coursework assignments 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 and portfolios
  • research reports (group or individual)
  • presentations (group or individual)
  • statistics assignments

Staff

The School of Psychology is home to nearly 50 teaching and research members of staff. Their 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. Sociology staff are keenly interested in exploring social inequalities and research in a range of areas such as health, religion, social class, corporate power, gender, education, racism, elites, and media. 


Programme Director (Psychology): Dr Sarah Carrington

Programme Director (Sociology): Dr Tom Mills

Programme Director (Sociology): Dr Sarah-Jane Page

 

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students/EU students* (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £20,100*

During placement year: £2,550

*The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as Home students.

Further information 

*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. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/student-finance

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. Find out more about our scholarships here. https://www2.aston.ac.uk/scholarships

Career prospects

By studying how people behave and how this impacts societal structures, Psychology and Sociology graduates develop a unique insight into some of the biggest questions, making them valuable assets to any organisation.

Psychology and Sociology graduates develop a deep understanding 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:
 

  • 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

 

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?

Our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Psychology course provides you with highly transferable skills set to help you stand out from the graduate crowd. You will benefit from a broad curriculum that emphasises human behaviour 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.
 

Why should I choose a joint honours course?

Joint honours degrees are a true mix of two subjects. Working with experts from both subject areas, you will 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 will 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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