BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) Psychology

Our innovative and award-winning psychology course will give you the edge and the skills for your career.

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons), BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration 48 months (or 36 months following direct entry to Year 2)
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code C801 (BA), C800 (BSc)
  • Study abroad opportunities

Accreditations

British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society accreditation logo for Undergraduate Psychology

Overview

Why do we behave the way we do, and what drives our behaviour? If you’re interested in the mind, and in human (as well as animal) behaviour, then Psychology is for you.

Our award-winning Psychology course sits at the cutting edge of inter-disciplinary scientific research. We focus on important societal problems such as detection of criminals and improvement of health outcomes. After introducing Psychology to you as a biological and social science, we’ll cover topics as diverse as brain functioning, child development, and social behaviour.

You’ll get hands-on experience designing and conducting experiments, working in high-end specialist labs and in our on-site kindergarten, the only such facility in the UK. You’ll develop a deep knowledge and understanding of mind and behaviour, coupled with excellent practical skills, all of which will offer you a wide and diverse choice of careers.

The course is delivered by what the British Psychological Society (BPS) commended as a proactive, approachable and engaged programme team. The BPS also recognised our innovative, student-led teaching initiatives, which help students’ personal and professional development, and our personalised system of student support and feedback, which helps to nurture a close-knit academic community.

Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide

Professional accreditation

The Psychology single honours and combined honours degree courses are accredited with the British Psychological Society. They confer eligibility for Graduate Basis for Registration, provided the minimum standard of a second-class honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Prizes or awards

The Vicki Bruce Prize: A prize of £100 is awarded to the Psychology student with the best final year project.

The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award: This prize is awarded to the Psychology student with the highest overall grade. The prize is free membership of the BPS for one year, a copy of the Society’s Book of the Year and a certificate.

The Ivana Marjova Prize: A prize of £100 is awarded to a Psychology Final Year student for outstanding wider achievement.

The Phyllis Lee Prize: A prize of £100 is awarded to the best combined Honours Psychology Final Year student.

The Peter McEwen Prize: A prize of £100 is awarded to the best Single Honours Psychology Final Year student.

The McCall/Whittaker Prize: A prize of £100 is awarded to the Psychology student for recognition of outstanding demonstration of Psychologically Literate Citizenship.

Research Based Learning Prize for Outstanding Demonstration of Integrating Research into Learning: a prize of £200 is awarded by the Faculty.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers 

AABB – by the end of S5
AABBB – by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB - one sitting

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects
To include Psychology

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Year 2 entry
Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may be possible depending on your qualifications. For more information, contact our Admissions Team at admissions@stir.ac.uk.

Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the Foundation and International Year 2 routes available.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

We focus on important societal problems, such as detection of criminals and improvement of health outcomes, so our degree is relevant to real-life issues. We cover topics as diverse as brain functioning, development and social behaviour, ensuring you develop a deep knowledge and understanding of mind and behaviour.

Semesters 1-2 will include an introduction to Psychology as the scientific study of mind and behaviour.

In Semesters 3 and 4, the taught modules are designed to emphasise the links between different parts of the subject. A module on The Social Mind explores the psychology of human and non-human communication; a module on the Brain and Behaviour explores abnormal psychology from the perspectives of Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology. Also included in Semesters 3 and 4 is an introduction to Psychological Research Methods. In Semesters 5-8, you’ll take advanced modules in all of the core areas.

Your final year will focus on an individual research project and you’ll be doing cutting-edge research, supervised by an academic mentor. You can choose from a wide variety of topics that interest you and build your employability skills for the job market. There are also opportunities for placements with prospective employers, in our research labs, and for engaging in student-led teaching.

Psychology at Stirling is internationally renowned for our high-quality research and this feeds into our teaching. Our modules will teach you how research furthers our understanding of mind and behaviour.

The essential text for Year 1 of the course, is:

  • Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., Wegner, D. and Hood, B. (2016). Psychology. (3rd European ed.). London. Palgrave. ISBN 978-1352004830.

Recommended/non-essential reading to support written assessments (also used in 3rd and 4th semester psychology modules):

  • Beech, J. R. (2009). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in Psychology. John Wiley and Sons Australia Ltd.
  • Forshaw, M. (2012). Critical Thinking For Psychology. Jon Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2023). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

Our research-led teaching is at the core of your learning as our staff conduct world-leading research.

Our teaching makes use of both our campus-based teaching facilities and online learning environment. Everything you learn will reflect the latest thinking and developments in Psychology. Our teaching is delivered using lectures, workshops, small discussion groups and practical sessions such as laboratory work or field work.

Fieldwork

Some students have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork as part of their final year project options. For example, students studying animal behaviour may visit the Blair Drummond Safari Park or Edinburgh Zoo (travel costs may be incurred).

Assessment

Modules on the course are assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations. Assessment types include essays, individual practical reports, group practical reports, oral presentations, poster presentations and popular science articles.

Classroom hours

A typical 20 credit psychology module will involve between 30-50 hours of contact time (lectures, seminars, practicals etc). You might be expected to spend 40-50 hours working on assessments (essays, practical reports, exams), and around 100 hours studying independently. 

Work placement opportunities

In Semester 8 you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a Psychology placement. Successful applicants undertake a 50-hour placement with a host organisation. You’ll be assigned a mentor in the organisation who’ll agree the schedule for completion of the placement and discuss the precise roles, responsibilities and expectations of both the student and mentor during the placement. Support is provided by a series of workshops and through review meetings and feedback from the placement coordinator or module coordinator.

Our Careers Service can help you secure placements and offer the support and advice you need to plan your career, develop your employability or think about further study.

Study abroad

Psychology at Stirling offers a wide variety of exchange opportunities during Year 3 of the degree course. We have established links with universities in North America and Australia, allowing students to continue their studies while gaining valuable experience of different cultures and education systems. Previous student destinations have included universities and institutions in Australia, Czech Republic, Canada, Hong Kong, USA and Malta. Find out more about studying abroad.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £20,300 £21,300

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What jobs can you get with a Psychology degree?

An estimated 15-20% of Psychology graduates eventually become professional psychologists. Graduates can specialise in:

  • clinical psychology
  • forensic psychology
  • counselling
  • educational psychology
  • occupational psychology
  • mental health
  • therapy
  • sport
  • health and wellbeing
  • crime

Many other careers will see psychology as a useful degree, such as:

  • psychotherapy
  • advice worker
  • market research
  • counsellor
  • life coach
  • human resources
  • play therapy
  • any job that requires insight into human behaviour

We help and encourage students to be active learners, working with academic staff as collaborators, and developing a portfolio of skills and practical experiences that are attractive to prospective employers. The knowledge and skills you’ll get from our Psychology degree will offer you a wide and diverse choice of careers.

Employability skills

Engagement with potential employers, work-related learning and the dissertation project in your final year will develop your professional skills. Throughout the course you’re encouraged to develop personal effectiveness skills to allow you to complete work in a professional and timely manner.

In studying psychology you’ll develop key skills that are highly valued by employers, such as interpersonal and communication skills, numeracy and computer literacy, presentation skills, time management and critical thinking.

By the end of the course, you’ll have enhanced:

  • communication skills
  • confidence
  • interpersonal skills
  • network/future opportunities
  • independent, flexible working
  • problem solving/creativity
  • effective self-reflection on personal and work practice

Companies we work with

We have links with many local businesses and organisations in both the public and private sectors who have provided placement opportunities for our students in areas such as education, social care, healthcare and counselling.

Discover Uni

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What our students said

David Hamilton
Scotland
BSc (Hons) Psychology
The best thing about studying psychology here is that you can interact with the lecturers, you don't feel as though you are just another student.
Read David's story
Friederike Schubert
Friederike Schubert
Germany
BSc (Hons) Psychology
I chose Stirling because it gave me the opportunity to study exactly what I wanted, and to study English to prepare me for an international world. I would not have had this amazing chance at home.
Read Friederike's story
Monica Dudley
England
BA (Hons) Psychology
What I really like about my course is that we've got the flexibility to choose our own research. Stirling has given me the confidence and skills to get into my dream career.
Read Monica's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 170 course combinations.

Psychology can be combined with any of the following courses:
Course nameUCAS code
Biology UCAS code for this combination: CC18
Business Studies UCAS code for this combination: CN81
English Studies UCAS code for this combination: QC38
Film and Media UCAS code for this combination: CP83
Human Resource Management UCAS code for this combination: NC68
Marketing UCAS code for this combination: CN85
Mathematics UCAS code for this combination: CG81
Philosophy UCAS code for this combination: CV85
Politics UCAS code for this combination: LC28
Modern Languages UCAS code for this combination: CR89
Sociology UCAS code for this combination: CL83

For a combined honours degree where the two subjects have different entry requirements, you will usually be asked to meet the higher entry requirement.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses.