Psychology BSc 2021

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)

Duration

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

UCAS code(s)

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

Start date

Overview
Explore Psychology BSc at Aston

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

Yasmin

"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

 

Yasmin

"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

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.

You’ll get the opportunity to find answers to questions such as: What is ‘normal’ behaviour? How is behaviour related to the brain? Why does racism exist? Why are people susceptible to ‘fake news’ online?

Psychology is a fascinating subject that encompasses a wide range of topics, such as consumer behaviour, health and wellbeing, and cognitive neuroscience. It considers the interplay between physical, psychological, cultural and social influences in order to understand why people behave in the way that they do.

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.

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 unique rare 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 what’s in front of them.

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 give 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’ or our academics. In your final year, you get to work on a one-to-one basis with one of our expert staff who will support you to design your own 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 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 too.

Placements

Studying Psychology at Aston provides the opportunity to take a psychology or 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. They 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 abroad. For example:

  • undertaking a study exchange in South Australia
  • being a research assistant in neuropsychology in Brazil
  • being a special constable in the police force
  • offering mental health support and counselling for a social support charity
  • shadowing clinical psychologists in an NHS trust

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.

Modules

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

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

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 (integrated into the 4 year BSc): Your opportunity to gain valuable career boosting experience by setting your studies in a real-world context of a working environment alongside professionals.

Final Year 

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

Select eight from the following optional modules:

  • Auditory Perception
  • Mind and Brain
  • Psychosis
  • Psychology of Illness
  • Research Directions in Human Face Perception
  • Brain Imaging
  • Affective Disorders
  • People and Health Care
  • Basics of Joint Attention
  • Psychology Asthma and Allergy
  • Investigative Interviewing
  • Research into Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Neural Control of Appetite
  • Applying Psychology: A Collaboratively-Created Course
  • Brain and Behaviour in Adolescence
  • Psychology of Childhood Obesity
  • Clinical Psychology of Intellectual Disabilities
  • Psychology of Physical Activity and Exercise
  • Perspectives on Improving Methods in Psychological Science
  • Visual Perception and Illusions
  • Judgement and Decision-Making

Please note the 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.

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.

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

 

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 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.

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 Mathematics 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, 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

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.

Kaplan International College London - Foundation Certificate 

We now accept the Kaplan International College London – Foundation Certificate in Science and Engineering for direct entry to this course.

For entry you will be required to have achieved:

  • 60 per cent overall or above in the programme with the following required electives:
    • 60 per cent in FC309 - Mathematics
    • English 65 per cent overall, with 60 per cent or above in all components 

Having successfully met this criteria you will be eligible for entry into year 1 of the BSc Psychology programme. More details of this Foundation Certificate can be found on the Kaplan website

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.

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:

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.

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

View our Admissions Policy

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).

*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 for the year in an online student guide, 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. 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
  • 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 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 Jason Thomas

Admissions Tutor: Dr Laura Shapiro

Facilities

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 (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students/EU students* (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £15,950*

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 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

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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