Psychology BSc

Study Psychology BSc at Aston University, Birmingham, and experience our unique mix of expert teaching, specialist facilities and real-world placement opportunities, which will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of human behaviour.


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)


3 years (no placement) / 4 years (placement)

UCAS code(s)

C800 (3 year - no placement) / C801 (4 year - placement)

Start date

Explore Psychology BSc at Aston

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


"The quality of teaching at Aston allowed me to develop as a person and an academic. It encouraged me to spark my interests, and gain extra-curricular experience by attending seminars, events and take part in research."

Yasmin Webb

Graduate role: Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Coventry and Warwickshire MIND



"The quality of teaching at Aston allowed me to develop as a person and an academic. It encouraged me to spark my interests, and gain extra-curricular experience by attending seminars, events and take part in research."

Yasmin Webb

Graduate role: Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Coventry and Warwickshire MIND


Course outline and modules

Psychology is a fascinating subject that aims to understand why people behave in the way that they do, by considering the complex interplay between biological, psychological, environmental, cultural, and social influences on behaviour. This academic discipline encompasses a wide range of topics including: how changes in the brain influence behaviour, why false memories occur, why people behave differently when they are in a group, how language influences thinking, how we learn to understand other’s intentions, how psychological distress can be alleviated, why we identify with some people and not others, how subconscious processes influence our behaviour, and how our thinking develops as we grow from children to adults.

Studying psychology at Aston University will provide you with the basis for understanding why people act in certain ways, and insight into methods of changing their behaviour.

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

What is studying Psychology at Aston really like?

On the BSc Psychology at Aston, 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.

In addition to subject-specific knowledge and skills, our Psychology course at Aston actively embeds employability into every aspect of your study, so that you are job ready upon graduation.

Our graduates leave with a wide range of marketable skills, such as excellent communication skills, problem-solving, 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.

Featuring a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, with access to some fascinating practical learning, we provide a supportive environment for people who love to ask big and sometimes difficult questions and don’t always accept things at face value.

There is a huge range of possibilities for how you could explore psychology at Aston University, thanks to our leading facilities, expert course leaders, and mutually supportive student community. Furthermore, the range of optional modules each year gives you the opportunity to customise your degree according to your specific interests.

For example, at Aston you could:

  • Measure brain waves – to see how our brain responds to a stimulus of which we might not even be consciously aware.
  • Undertake focus groups. 
  • Use our observation suite (with a two-way mirror) to covertly examine human behaviour.
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment such as eye trackers, face readers and virtual reality simulations to assess human emotions and decision-making.

Research is embedded in every aspect of your course. You will become a part of an active and supportive research community; initially, you will benefit from participating in research conducted by your fellow students and our academics. In your final year, you then get to work on a one-to-one basis with one of our expert staff who will support you to design a research study on a topic of mutual interest.

What accreditations does the Psychology course at Aston have?

Our Psychology BSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) 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.


Studying psychology at Aston provides the opportunity to take a psychology or a related professional placement year in the UK or overseas.

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. For example:

  • Study exchange in South Australia
  • Research assistant in neuropsychology in Brazil
  • Special constable in the police force
  • Offering mental health support and counselling for a social support charity
  • Resettlement team volunteer for a Refugee and Migrant Centre
  • Shadowing clinical psychologists in an NHS trust
  • Project support officer for an environmental consultant company

All students will receive specialist support and supervision for their specific placement. There is an overall placement tutor for the year group, and students are also allocated an individual placement tutor.

Students who enter placements in the NHS may be required to pay for DBS checks and occupational health checks.


Year 1

Studying the key topics that will form the basis of your psychology education, you’ll learn how to articulate your gained knowledge of core theories and concepts, and discover more about the possible graduate career pathways open to you.

Core modules

  • Key Skills in Psychology I
  • Key Skills in Psychology II
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Contemporary Psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology

Optional modules

In addition, you will be required to complete two of the following three optional modules:

  • Psychological Interventions
  • Myth-busting in Psychology
  • Social Responsibility in Psychology
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 lifespan development and cognitive neuropsychology. You’ll gain communication and critical thinking skills, along with developing your ability to use a wide range of statistical and qualitative research methods.

Core modules

  • Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Applied Psychology and Professional Skills
  • Social Psychology
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Lifespan Development
  • Individual Differences and Personality
  • Cognition and Cognitive Neuropsychology

Optional module

In addition, you will be required to complete one out of the following optional modules:

  • Psychology and Wellbeing
  • Neuroscience in the Real World
Placement Year

Placement year: This is your opportunity to gain valuable career boosting experience by setting your studies in a 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 

Select from a range of specialist topic modules that fit your interests, and conduct a research project in a specialist area with support from our expert psychology staff.

Select six from a variety of optional modules, which might include:

  • The Developing Brain
  • Addiction and Impulsivity
  • Families and Wellbeing
  • Living with long-term health conditions
  • Tricks of the mind
  • Clinical psychology of intellectual disability
  • Psychotic and affective disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Eating behaviour
  • Language learning and loss: Educational and clinical contexts
  • Perceiving people

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.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different 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.

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

Post-study work visa

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. Find out more about post-study visas.

Entry requirements



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 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.


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)


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.



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 CCC 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

Learning and teaching

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.


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


The School of Psychology is home to nearly 50 teaching and research members of staff. Their broad range of research interests informs our teaching and provides a unique blend of modules for our undergraduate students, which is especially beneficial to final year students when conducting their research projects.

Psychology 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.

Programme Director: Dr Charlotte Pennington


In addition to university-wide facilities, you will also 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.


Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: 20,700

During placement year: £2,500

*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


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.

Career prospects

There is a huge demand across a range of industries for graduates with a specialism in psychology, as it provides a wide range of transferable skills such as the ability to problem solve, to answer complex but important questions, to communicate effectively, critical analysis, writing, and research.

Graduates from across our suite of psychology courses go onto a variety of different careers. Some choose to use their British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation to continue their studies post-graduation, working towards a career in occupational, educational or clinical psychology.

It’s not just careers directly related to psychology that would be open to you either. Many graduates also go into careers such as human resources, organisational development, marketing, business, or the creative industries.

Recent graduates from Aston have gone on to the following broad range of careers:

  • Assistant Psychologist for an NHS trust
  • Educational Psychology Intern for a city council
  • HR Graduate Trainee at a leading luxury UK automotive business
  • Marketing Intern at a humanitarian organisation
  • Police Constable for a UK police force
  • Project Worker for a leading drug, alcohol and mental health charity.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Psychology 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’ll benefit from a broad curriculum that emphasises human behaviour and real-life applications of psychology and get the exciting opportunity to put your skills into practice through a placement year in the UK or abroad.

Will studying this course help me to become a psychologist?

Yes! With a BPS accreditation, you’ll have the qualifications you need to go into clinical, educational, or occupational psychology. With the additional experience and exposure to the workplace you’ll get at Aston, you’ll be an outstanding work-ready candidate. Beyond these careers, being a psychology graduate can also open up lots of opportunities in human resources, business, marketing, the creative industries, and many other career paths.

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.


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