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Psychology and Global Sustainable Development (BASc) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)


UCAS Code
C8L8

Qualification
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)

Duration
3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with intercalated year spent either studying abroad or on work placement

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Department of Global Sustainable Development

Location of Study
University of Warwick


On our BASc Psychology and Global Sustainable Development (GSD) degree you'll apply your passion for Psychology to answering the Big Questions of our time by studying it in combination with GSD.


Course overview

Why do people think, behave, and understand themselves in certain ways? Why does this vary between individuals and across cultures? How might a more complete understanding of human behaviour help to achieve a more sustainable future for all? A BASc in Psychology and GSD challenges you to ask these questions across both sides of your degree programme. You'll study biological, developmental, and social aspects of human psychology with Warwick's Psychology Department. Meanwhile, you'll balance your studies with the GSD Department, by delving into the Big Questions of today, including food and water security, gender equality, and climate change. Throughout, you'll be researching the relationship between individual behaviour and the global challenges we all face.

Our students are aspiring global citizens with social consciences. They’re flexible, adaptable and broad-minded. By studying GSD, you'll take a transdisciplinary approach and confront issues from a diverse array of perspectives. You'll need to be ready to think creatively and embrace new opinions from your peers from across the world. We'll challenge you to become an active participant in your own learning and help you to develop professional skills through certificates you'll complete as part of the course. You'll also have the opportunity to spend part of your second year studying abroad at our partner institution, Monash University, home to the world-leading Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Alternatively, you may choose to apply for an intercalated year spent either studying abroad or on a work placement (subject to you meeting departmental academic requirements).

Students are automatically enrolled on the three-year course, however you have the option to change to a four-year course with an intercalated year in the third year.


Course structure

Your course will consist of a 50:50 split, with half of the teaching provided by the GSD Department and the other half by the Psychology Department.

Year One

GSD modules

You’ll undertake three core modules designed to provide you with a critical understanding of the ‘three pillars of sustainable development’ (45 CATS in total):

You’ll also take the core Global Sustainable Development Project module (15 CATS), giving you the chance to see how the principles of GSD apply to a real case affecting a local community.

Psychology modules

With Psychology, you'll choose two optional core modules from the following (60 CATS in total):

 

  • Certificates

We offer a range of unique certificates outside of the curriculum as a way of continuing your professional development. You can find out more about the certificates here.

Year Two

GSD modules

As you begin to apply the perspectives you were introduced to in Year One, you'll have the opportunity to engage with a key issue in sustainability, studying one optional core module from the following (30 CATS in total):

You’ll also choose optional modules with a GSD focus totalling 30 CATS either from within GSD or from other departments across the University.

Psychology modules

With Psychology, you'll take four optional core modules (60 CATS in total) from the range offered by the Psychology Department. Options might include:

Certificates

There is an opportunity to take the Certificate of Coaching Practice and the Certificate of Professional Communication with Work Placement.

Year Two (with Terms Two and Three abroad)

If you opt to travel abroad, you'll take 50% of the course load outlined above at Warwick during Term One, and the other 50% at Monash University where you'll continue to study modules with an approved sustainability and psychology focus.

Term One

In the first term at Warwick you'll take one of three optional core GSD modules (15 CATS in total):

You’ll also study further relevant second year modules with a GSD focus from within or outside of the School for Cross-faculty Studies, totalling 15 CATS.

For the Psychology half of the work load, you'll take two optional core modules (30 CATS in total) from the range offered by the Psychology Department. Options might include:

Terms Two and Three

Whilst abroad, you'll be required to study relevant approved modules selected from those offered by the partner institution. These modules will be pre-approved by the Warwick departments, and will be subject to the approval of your GSD-based personal tutor.

Year Three

Intercalated Year (study abroad or work placement)

You could opt to spend a year studying abroad at one of Warwick's partner institutions, or completing a work placement. This year will not contribute towards the overall grade of your degree, however, it will be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

Final year

GSD modules

There is one core module: a dissertation (30 CATS). You’ll also take further relevant modules with a GSD focus from within or outside of the School for Cross-faculty Studies, totalling 30 CATS.

Psychology modules

With Psychology, you'll have a series of optional modules offered by the Psychology Department to choose from (60 CATS in total).


How will I learn?

You'll attend lectures and take part in seminars, workshops and tutorials and work with other students in teams on controversial, topical problems that pose significant sustainable development questions. You'll undertake fieldwork, archival research, interviews with members of the local area and engage in peer discussion to propose alternative solutions. You'll review the work of other students too.

You'll be taught by a range of academics, from different disciplines, who will communicate their expertise on a specific issue and describe their methodology for addressing it. Your role is to bring together these various approaches and to develop your own informed stance on each issue.


Contact hours

Modules

Core first year GSD modules have between 20 and 25 hours of contact time. Each module is made up of lectures, workshops and, for the Global Sustainable Development Project module, group supervision sessions.

In the second year, optional core GSD modules have between 45 and 50 contact hours each for the 30 CATS versions and half this for the shorter 15 CATS versions.

In the final year, the core GSD dissertation module involves eight lectures and eight supervision sessions across three terms.

Optional GSD modules are available with between 25 and 50 hours for scheduled contact time, depending upon how the module is taught. For example, some modules have lectures, seminars, film screenings and research supervision, whereas others have lectures and workshops. Some modules may include field trips.

Module offerings in other departments may involve more or less formal teaching time per week, depending on your module choices.

Certificates

Class size

Seminar groups in GSD comprise around 20 students.


How will I be assessed?

We continually review our assessment methods in light of feedback. Therefore assessment criteria is subject to change annually.

Modules in the GSD Department

In the first year, two of the core GSD modules have an exam worth 40%. The remaining 60% of these modules and the other core GSD modules are assessed by methods other than formal examination, including essays, online quizzes, presentations, and a group research project.

In the second year, optional core GSD modules and optional modules in GSD do not have traditional examinations. Depending on your module choices, you may be assessed on case studies, research papers, essays, log books, projects, presentations, quizzes and critical policy reviews.

The final year core GSD module is a Dissertation/Long Project and so is assessed via coursework, including a research proposal and presentation or other means of dissemination.

You can find out about assessment methods for individual GSD modules on our module web pages.

Modules in the Psychology Department

Psychology modules may be assessed either by a combination of coursework (essays, tests) and examination, wholly by coursework, or wholly by examination.

In the first year, the ratio is currently either 60% assessed by examination and 40% assessed by coursework, or 80% assessed by examination and 20% assessed by coursework, depending upon your chosen Psychology modules.

In the second year, the assessment methods depend on which combination of optional core Psychology modules you choose. Currently, all optional core Psychology modules in the second year have an examined element.

In the final year, the assessment methods depend on your choice of optional Psychology modules.

Modules from across the University

The methods of assessment will vary according to the optional modules that you choose from across the University.

The overall percentage of the course that is assessed by coursework depends upon the options taken.

Weightings

The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.


Study abroad

Integrated study abroad: There is an option to spend the second and third terms of second year abroad studying at Monash University. Students may be based in Melbourne, Australia or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Students spend the first term of their second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Monash University in February for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms).

During their time abroad students study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards the final degree classification awarded by Warwick.

Intercalated study abroad: organised with the International Office, this is an opportunity to study for a year long unaccredited period at one of Warwick’s partner universities. This takes place between second and third year, with students studying a full course load but without any formal contribution towards their overall degree grade. This will however be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).


Work experience

As part of their degree programme, students have the option to take part in both short and long work placements which are formally recognised on the Higher Education Achievement Report. The work placements enable students to engage in the world of work and learn about the professional environment. Additionally, it is an opportunity for students to apply theory to practice, develop skills, learn from industry professionals as well as explore a future career path. This ultimately supports students in developing their employability skills and prepares them for future employment.

The two work placement options are:

Intercalated year-long work placement: You have the opportunity to complete a four year degree, in which the work placement takes place after you have completed your second year.

Certificate of Professional Communication: You can take this optional certificate in your first or second year. As part of this certificate, you’ll undertake a short four week work placement which takes place during the summer.

General entry requirements

A level:

  • AAB
  • You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
  • We make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances at ABB, plus grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE.

IB:

  • 36 to include Mathematics and English

BTEC:

  • We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels
  • You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

Additional requirements:

Second personal statement: If you meet (or are predicted to meet) the minimum entry requirements, we will invite you to submit a second personal statement to Warwick, addressing your reasons for applying to the course. We will contact applicants directly to request the second personal statement and provide guidance at that time.

English Language: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements. This course falls under Band C.


International Students

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

Find out more about international entry requirements.


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).

Find out more about standard offers and conditions for the IFP.


Taking a gap year

Applications for deferred entry welcomed.


Interviews

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. We will also consider your second personal statement when making offers.

Year One

Economic Principles of Global Sustainable Development (GSD)

What is economic development, what does it look like and how can it be measured? These are questions that are explored in this module. You’ll learn about the relationship between economic activity and social and environmental development, the economic theories that underpin sustainable development policy interventions, and how those theories impact upon policy design. After studying this module, you’ll be able to apply the economic principles that you’ve learned to the analysis of GSD problems. You’ll also understand how economic policies intended to address those problems are developed and be able to offer informed critiques of such policies.

Social Principles of GSD

This introductory module examines in-depth the most crucial concepts that allow you to analyse and interpret the social and political issues related to GSD. You’ll be considering complex, topical issues that allow you to understand and evaluate the most pressing social and political contexts of sustainable development at national and international levels. Upon completing this module you’ll have acquired specific knowledge and understanding that allows you to offer a well-informed evidence-based explanation of the key challenges that face our world, focusing on the social and political contexts.

You’ll also be able to explain the global social threats that are caused by economic development, consider and reflect critically on the reasons why some countries developed while others stayed poor, engage critically with various strategies that have been suggested to end extreme poverty, understand and write critically about the continuing challenges of providing “Education for all” and “Health for all”, and write critically about the notion of goal-based development.

Environmental Principles of GSD

This module is structured around an emerging global consensus that humans are compromising the global biosphere by transgressing nine Planetary Boundaries: the result of which will be fundamental and unrecoverable change that significantly compromises the operating space of human development. We focus on the natural science of these environmental issues – covering well known topics like climate change and biodiversity loss, but also lesser realised problems, such as biochemical flows. We evaluate existing governance and management efforts, and try to develop responses of our own. You’ll be taught how to write a Policy Briefing and will prepare one on your chosen subject, aimed at a specific key decision maker. Then, you’ll convert your Brief to a Policy Pitch: a two minute ‘sell’ of your research. By the end of this module, you’ll possess key knowledge of environmental principles and also skills valuable for creating meaningful change in the real world of work, governance and/or activism.

GSD Project

During this module, you'll collaborate with your peers on a task of investigating the issue of sustainable transport. You'll be immersed in a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data that you'll gather, examine, analyse and critique. As well as deepening your understanding of the economic case for sustainable transport, you'll be strengthening your academic research skills to deconstruct a major problem, formulate and test hypotheses, evaluate the evidence, and undertake field research, including interviews and focus groups.


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.

OR

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.

OR

Psychology in the Real World

This module aims to provide you with an in-depth examination of current issues in abnormal, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology. Rather than providing comprehensive coverage of classic psychological theories, this module will present you with cutting-edge research in the lecturers’ own areas of expertise, giving you insight into the most dynamic areas in this field.


Year Two

Health and Sustainable Development

Your starting point on this module is the sustainable development goals for health and well-being, gender equality and reducing inequalities, with an overarching theme of how our bodies relate to various forms of development. You can expect to articulate your knowledge of major global inequalities and apply your understanding across different cultural and social norms. You'll ask provocative questions and critically engage with the way the environment is affecting health outcomes, and critique the efficacy of policy measures that aim to address health-related global crises. You’ll also improve your research skills by generating original, well-researched arguments for policies that address health and inequalities outcomes.

OR

Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System

At least 800 million people are chronically undernourished globally, and the global population is projected to increase to a staggering 10 billion by 2050. From this challenging starting point, you’ll be working with active researchers from across various disciplines at the University of Warwick. You'll become acquainted with contrasting disciplinary approaches to the investigation of food systems, and be able to analyse scholarly concerns surrounding food security, sovereignty and sustainability. You’ll evaluate competing solutions and research, evaluate and synthesise academic and other credible research and analysis in order to respond critically to the essential topics and questions in this exciting field.

OR

Inequalities and Sustainable Development: Inclusion and Dignity for All

This new module focuses on issues of inequalities shaping our societies, economies, environments and politics. Starting with the question does inequality matter, you'll critically reflect on the UN’s decision to integrate inequalities into the Sustainable Development Agenda. You'll then explore six different dimensions of inequalities (work, politics, environmental justice, societal discrimination, automation and globalisation, opportunities and empowerment) and gain an understanding of the complexities of these problems. Finally, you'll appreciate the challenges faced by today’s policy makers who aim to reduce inequalities.


A choice of four modules from the following:

Individual Differences

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.

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.

Developmental Psychology

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.

Psychobiology

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.

Social Psychology

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.


Year Three

GSD Dissertation/Long Project

In this final-year module, you’ll bring together all of your learning and experiences on the course – the theoretical concepts and principles and your practical know-how - in order to address a specific sustainable development problem of your own choosing – one that concerns you most and which you’d like to tackle. You’ll be supported by an academic supervisor to devise a suitable project and to undertake research to explore the issue, taking a transdisciplinary approach to your investigation in order to produce an original intervention. This may be a concept paper, a practical project, a film production, a long essay, an advocacy campaign etc. – use your creativity! You’ll design a strategy for disseminating your findings (e.g. at a conference presentation, via online publication or an article in a journal or at a public meeting that you have arranged). This provides you with an opportunity to get your voice heard in a forum where it matters and could have lasting impact.

In the second and final years of the course you may choose from a range of Psychology modules to study the aspects of Psychology that interest you most.


Examples of optional modules/options for current students

GSD Department

Please see here for a full list of optional modules offered by the GSD Department.

Psychology Department

Tuition fees

Find out more about fees and funding.


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.


Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

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.

Find out more about the Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

Your career

As a GSD graduate, you have a wide range of career pathways that are available to you. This is demonstrated by the variety of work placements that our students have completed with employers from different sectors.

Our students have been successful in securing work placements with employers from the private, public, and third sectors. This includes:

  • Research Institutions
  • Governmental Bodies
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Intelligence Agencies
  • Housing
  • Environmental Consultancies

Our students have undertaken diverse roles such as:

  • Marketing Assistant
  • Sustainability Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Researchers

You'll learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:

  • Analysing and problem solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation
  • Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions
  • Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings
  • Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data
  • Organisation: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised
  • Collaboration: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude

Helping you find the right career

  • We have a dedicated Employability and Placement Manager who’ll provide you with one-to-one careers guidance. They work in collaboration with employers, so you’ll be supported in securing appropriate work placements. You’ll have access to specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, as well as on-going support during your placement.

    You’ll also have access to the University’s Student Opportunity resources (including careers counselling, employment advice, and job fairs).

    Find out more about careers support at Warwick.

     

Be the change you want to be

Hear from GSD student Luke about how he's putting into practice what he's been learning on his degree. Luke has implemented a practical solution to a problem in the local area by setting up a social enterprise to help tackle food insecurity.

"To me there are three pathways which a student can take within their lives.

The first pathway is that they can ignore the world issues, which we’re currently facing. Secondly, you can choose to acknowledge these issues but not do anything about it. And thirdly, you can recognise these issues are happening, and you can be the change you want to be.

This is what a GSD student represents. They notice these world issues and they want to make a change within our society.

One of my greatest passions is tackling food insecurity throughout the world. Millions of people are still going hungry every day and this is one of the biggest problems which our society is facing at the moment.

GSD is all about studying these problems in great detail and working to develop solutions from this, and so I’ve received a lot of support from the GSD community in starting up a social enterprise called Food Intercept.

We’re collecting edible fruit and vegetable waste from Coventry Food Market. We’re taking this fruit and vegetable waste to Mum’s Kitchen, a kitchen in Coventry which employs single minority women and provides financial and social support to them. Mum’s Kitchen are turning this edible food waste into meals, which we are now selling within the GSD common room. Using the profits which we make from the sales, we’ve been able to provide financial and social support to these single minority women within Coventry.

Therefore we have been able to make a sustainable impact within our community and use the lessons which I have learned from GSD to help solve problems in the local area.

It’s making these small changes within our society that are going to incrementally build up and make the big changes which we need in order to achieve global sustainable development.

I’m Luke, I’m a GSD student at Warwick."

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.