Bachelor of Science (BSc)
3 years full-time or 4 years full-time (with intercalated year)
27 September 2021
Department of Study
Department of Psychology
Location of Study
University of Warwick
Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental life – why people think, feel and act the way they do. A Psychology (BSc) degree provides a scientific understanding of all aspects of human behaviour and of the research methods that underlie this understanding.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Our Psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, with an emphasis on practical work. You’ll cover a broad range of topics that reflect our research strengths but allow you the choice to draw in relevant optional modules from across the University, for example in business, biology, economics, sociology, philosophy or a language.
We’re widely recognised as one of the UK’s top research departments, and work closely with the NHS, the police and international bodies such as the United Nations. You’ll be taught by acclaimed academics whose enthusiasm for the subject is infectious and you'll also have the opportunity to conduct a research project on an area of particular interest each year. Looking ahead, you’ll have access to a departmental careers consultant, who helps to organise events and practical sessions, and who can provide one-to-one guidance to help you decide what you want to do after graduation.
We give you the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at a partner institution. If selected, you would typically go overseas between your second and final year at Warwick.
Many modules in year one and two are core, in line with our BPS accreditation. Annual research projects give you freedom to explore particular areas of Psychology that interest you, and in your third year you can choose from a range of optional modules, as well as a more weighty research project focussing on your area of interest.
In Year One, you will study five core modules that build the foundations of Psychology at Warwick. In addition, you will take one optional module: This can be a Psychology option (Psychology in the Real World) or you can choose from a wide range of first year modules across science, social science and arts departments.
In Year Two you will study eight modules. You will cover the core areas of Psychology and contemporary research with the opportunity to delve deeper into the areas that interest you. There is also the option to take modules from outside the department.
In Year Three you will conduct an individual project showcasing the full range of intellectual and practical skills you have developed throughout your degree and choose six optional modules that interest you.
How will I learn?
You will have a combination of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Lectures will introduce you to a particular topic. During weekly seminars you will build on the knowledge theories and ideas from the lecture and readings, sharing your views about the topic and debating the issues. Seminars give you access to the tutor as well as the opportunity to voice your views in a smaller group.
Lecture size will naturally vary, especially for optional modules. For the first and second year core modules you will be joined by all the students in your year. For lectures this can be your whole year group - up to 200, but seminar and practical groups will be smaller - typically 30-50 students in the first year. For optional modules across all years, class sizes vary more - there may be between 10 and 100 students per Psychology module. If you opt to take an outside module, e.g., a Warwick Business School module, you can expect to share lectures with up to 500 students from across social science and science.
Typically there will be 7-8 hours lectures, 4-8 hours seminars or practical sessions. You will also have tutorials, year group meetings, guest seminars and academic support and feedback opportunities.
How will I be assessed?
We typically assess modules through a mix of exams and essays, as well as online quizzes, group presentations, and research reports. A total of 40% of your degree credit will be based on second-year modules and 60% on third-year modules. The first year must be passed to progress onto the second year. Your third-year individual project will account for 25% of your final year marks.
In an interconnected world, employers greatly value an international perspective. Studying abroad provides you with a first-hand opportunity to explore how culture influences psychological processes and develop a range of valuable skills that give you a competitive advantage in the graduate market.
Our Department is part of the University’s large global network of exchange partners, with long-standing agreements with prestigious universities around the world. A particularly popular Warwick option is with Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, acknowledged as one of the world’s top universities. Our students have previously undertaken study abroad opportunities in Brazil, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and the USA. Typically, when students choose to study abroad, they apply in their second year for a third year of study at a partner institution. Students then return to Warwick for their final year.
Placements and work experience
Psychology students at Warwick can apply for a one-year or part-year intercalated work placement in the UK or abroad. This is to be taken between their second and final years. We provide our students with support and guidance to identify and apply for placements. Our students have undertaken work placements in organisations like Virgin Media, BMW, Microsoft, and other employers.
Our students can also take up a variety of work experience opportunities alongside their studies or during holidays. These have included, for example, mental health work placements abroad, Nightline counseling posts, and involvement in the Psychology student magazine Cognoscenti.
General entry requirements
- You will also need grade B/6 in GCSE Mathematics or Statistics
- Applicants with no natural science subject at A level are normally expected to have a grade B/6 in two science subjects or double science at GCSE
- If you are taking science A level, you must also achieve a pass in the science practical if this includes a separate practical assessment
- 36 plus 5 in Higher Level Mathematics or 6 in Standard Level Mathematics
- A natural science subject at Higher Level is preferred, otherwise at least 5 in a natural science subject at Standard Level will be considered
- We welcome applications from students studying BTEC qualifications alongside two A levels. Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma on its own may also be considered.
- Overlapping subjects at BTEC and A level will not be considered (e.g. A level in PE alongside a BTEC in Sport and Exercise Science)
- You will also need to have grade B/6 in GCSE Mathematics or Statistics
- Applicants with no natural science subject at A level are normally expected to have a grade B/6 in two science subjects or double science at GCSE
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Brain and Behaviour
In this module you'll learn about the structure and function of the nervous system, how we detect and respond to stimulation and how behaviour changes with experience. After exploring memory, language, emotion and goal-directed action, you'll study contemporary and historical approaches to psychological disorders. This will give you a critical appreciation of psychology as a science.
Psychology in Context
This module introduces you to the history of psychology and core topics in social, developmental and cognitive psychology. You'll be able to discuss some of the classic studies, critically appreciate the main concepts and take a historical perspective on psychology as a science.
Statistical Methods in Psychology
This module will introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed to conduct investigations and statistical analysis of research data, covering both the principles of the techniques taught and their practical application. By the end, you will be expected to have a sound understanding of the properties and application of qualitative and quantitative data, measures of tendency, variability, probability and correlation, the principles of parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing, regression, and the use of chi-square tests. Aiming to stand you in good stead for second- and third-year projects, this course will also see you designing and implementing factorial experiments, and analysing and presenting your findings with due regard to ethical considerations.
Research Methods in Psychology
You will acquire the skills and knowledge needed to understand the nature of empirical work in psychology, and to design, implement, analyse and report on your own investigations. In addition to preparing for second- and third-year projects, you will gain a solid grounding in research methods, including the properties and application of quantitative and qualitative data, measures of tendency, variability, probability and correlation, the principles of parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing, regression, and the use of chi-square tests. You will compare observational and questionnaire methods and associated ethical considerations, and also gain valuable practical experience in using SPSS software for computing descriptive and inferential statistics.
Academic Skills for Psychologists
You will gain the basic study skills needed to succeed on a psychology degree course, covering both theoretical considerations, such as the nature of evidence, and practical applications in terms of conducting field and desk research. With an emphasis on developing a coherent skill set based on critical, logical thinking and a deeper understanding of empirical psychological science, you will also gain an appreciation of the nature of assessment in higher education, and learn to organise your study time. We will also cover the efficient use of the university’s study resources, and soft skills such as communication and engagement that are essential to academic success.
You'll examine contemporary research and theories in relation to personality, intelligence, and the methods used to study the intriguing and hotly contested area of individual differences. You'll gain insights into how this area of study has evolved, with conflicting and competing theories. By the end of the course, you'll have an appreciation of the psychodynamic, biological, cognitive, humanistic–existential–interpersonal, and social–constructionist theories of personality and individual difference, and be able to evaluate research in these areas. You'll also become familiar with the aims of techniques such as multiple regression, factorial experiments and Q-sort procedures, and able to articulate your view of the major controversies in this field, both in writing and through oral presentation.
Methods in Psychology II
You will cover both conceptual issues, such as knowing when and why to apply a particular research technique, and practical applications, such as conducting analysis using SPSS software. You will be encouraged to read academic articles with a critical eye as to the validity of their claims, and apply what you have learned in preparation for your second- and third-year projects. You will be expected to demonstrate that you can systematically test hypotheses using ANOVA, evaluate assumptions, pay due regard to ethical and methodological considerations, and present your results clearly and concisely in speech and in writing.
Second Year Project
You will develop your research skills further through the opportunity to work as part of a small team on a medium-scale project in an area of psychological enquiry of interest to you. You will apply and consolidate the research methods and analytical skills acquired in your first year to real data obtained by the study. You will demonstrate that you can plan and carry out research (including an appreciation of ethical considerations), analyse data, draw appropriate conclusions, and present a poster and formal report on your findings to a professional standard. You will also foster the essential soft skills of independent learning, communication, time management and collaboration with your peers.
The module builds on the first-year developmental module of Psychology in Context by exploring current research in infancy, childhood and adolescence, linking to examples from atypical development and education and focusing primarily on cognitive and social development in childhood. You'll develop an understanding of how different influences interact in development, and be aware of links between cognitive and social growth, and the development of reasoning and language.
You'll deepen the basic psychobiological knowledge you acquired in the first year to understand the complex functions and interactions of the nervous and endocrine systems. You'll learn to describe the functional architecture of the brain and macro- and microscopic levels, and understand the role of signal processing and the visual system in explaining complex behaviour. You'll also consider how psychobiology influences areas as complex as genetics, neurochemistry, sex differences, memory and homeostasis. We place emphasis on the complexities of contemporary psychobiological research, and its recent advances and limits, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to discuss challenging, up-to-date topics in psychobiology through group work, thereby developing your teamwork and communication skills.
How do we attach meaning to the behaviour of others? When does a child gain a sense of themselves as an entity? Why does modesty differ between cultures? Does objectifying women lead to their mistreatment? Social psychology engages with these and other questions of human behaviour scientifically by examining how we are influenced by our social context. You'll become acquainted with central concepts, theories and research in social psychology and grow your understanding of the individual, the social context of behaviour and the relationship between the two. You'll gain a good grounding in research methods and look specifically at verbal/non-verbal communication, aggression, social judgement, attribution and inference, and behaviour within and between groups.
Optional Core Modules
You may choose one or both of these core modules. If you choose to study one module you can select a module from outside the department.
Language and Cognition
In this module, you'll investigate cognitive processes that underlie language, decision making and problem solving, in the context of investigating the evolution, biological mechanisms, and cognitive processes of language and communication. You'll master key findings and methods in psycholinguistics and cognitive science, and be able to critically evaluate theories of language and cognition.
Perception, Planning and Action
If you are curious about the psychology of perceiving, planning and acting, and the role of perception in controlling and guiding movement, this module is for you. You'll deepen your understanding of perception through the study of neuropsychological deficits, and understand how the study of neuropsychological impairments has helped to develop theories for intact perception, planning and action. You'll evaluate the classic theories of selective attention, and understand how perception and action are linked. We will also examine how visual and somatosensory systems are involved in governing and planning movement, and learn how complex movements are generated by simple mechanisms in the body.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
- Health Psychology
- Perspectives in Clinical and Counselling Psychology
- Body Perception: Neurons to Experience
- Psychology and the Law
- Developmental Psychopathology
- Psychology Across Cultures
- Italian for Beginners (The Language Centre)
- Organisational Analysis (Warwick Business School)
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
We believe there should be no barrier to talent. That's why we are committed to offering a scholarship that makes it easier for gifted, ambitious international learners to pursue their academic interests at one of the UK's most prestigious universities. This new scheme will offer international fee-paying students 250 tuition fee discounts ranging from full fees to awards of £13,000 to £2,000 for the full duration of your Undergraduate degree course.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including:
- Cancer Research UK
- Hewett Recruitment
- John Lewis and Partners
- Kuehne + Nagel
- The Forward Trust
- Teach First
They have pursued roles such as:
- Clinical psychologists
- Educational psychologists
- Health psychologists
- Business, research and administrative professionals
- Financial and accounting technicians
- Marketing professionals
- Management consultants
- Business analysts
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Psychology Finalists – next steps
- Careers with Children and Young People
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Meet the Psychologist
For further information, visit the Careers and Skills Services website.
“I feel very fortunate to have been taught by such an inspiring department of lecturers.
The teaching quality is outstanding and the staff are really keen to engage students in their fields of research.
The range of modules on offer enable students to study a wide variety of topics in Psychology, and the opportunity to conduct a research project each year provides the chance to explore individual interests.
The support available to students within the Psychology department is extremely good. Teaching staff are always willing to meet with students who need extra help with a particular topic and genuinely want you to have a positive learning experience."
BSc Psychology graduate
About the information on this page
This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.