Psychology (BSc): 3-year, full-time

Psychology is an exciting, dynamic field that is broadly concerned with the scientific study of mental life and human behaviour: how people think, feel and behave as individuals and how they interact in groups. This degree introduces you to the various scientific models and methods that help psychologists observe, interpret and explain human behaviour, from monitoring infants as they grow to brain scanning and studying social networks. It will give you a deep understanding of the key subject areas and specialisms within psychology, including biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology.

This degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society and will thoroughly prepare you for a career as a professional psychologist, working, for instance, as a clinical, educational, organisational, forensic or sports psychologist. A key feature of this course is its specialist pathways, which enable you to focus in your final year on a specialism within psychology, choosing from psychology, psychology with neuroscience, psychology with child development, or psychology in practice. 

You will be taught by world-leading academics who are undertaking cutting-edge research in a globally recognised department - psychology at Birkbeck is ranked fifth in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). We are renowned for our research in neuroscience, cognition, developmental science - and the links between them. Our research informs real-world policy and practice and is at the forefront of breakthroughs in our understanding of conditions such as autism and ADHD. We also offer excellent research laboratories and facilities, for both general and specialist use.

This programme will teach you how to engage critically with psychological literature, identify problems and formulate research questions and hypotheses, find appropriate methods for collecting and analysing data, and draw conclusions and integrate findings. You will learn essential research skills and undertake a research project on a topic that interests you, under the guidance of one of our academic experts. You will also gain a range of transferable skills that are highly sought after across a wide range of careers. If you are interested in continuing your studies, then this programme will give you the foundational knowledge and research skills you need to successfully pursue postgraduate training or research. 

Highlights

Course structure

You complete compulsory, core and option modules to a total of 360 credits, including a 30-credit Project (BSc students) or Extended Essay (BA students) in your final year. Modules are taught at Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6.

A key feature of this programme is its specialist pathways, which enable you to focus in your final year on a specialism within psychology. All students take the same modules in Year 1 and Year 2, giving you a solid foundation in generic and subject-specific knowledge and skills. You then select a pathway in Year 3, choosing from a wide range of specialist option modules to tailor your programme to your interests and careers ambitions. You can follow pathways in Psychology, Psychology with Neuroscience, Psychology with Child Development, or Psychology in Practice.

Another distinctive feature of this course is that students who choose the Psychology or the Psychology in Practice pathway can choose to graduate with either a BSc or a BA.

Year 1 and Year 2, all pathways

In Year 1, all students take the same seven compulsory modules, to a total of 120 credits.

In Year 2, all students take the same eight compulsory modules, to a total of 120 credits, with the exception of BA Psychology and BA Psychology in Practice students, who have the option of completing a 15-credit Work-based Learning Project module in place of the final research methods course (Research Methods 2).

Year 3 BSc Psychology pathway

You select pathway option modules to a total of 90 credits and complete a 30-credit Project.

Year 3 BA Psychology pathway

You select pathway option modules to a total of 90 credits and complete a 30-credit Extended Essay.

Year 3 BSc Psychology with Neuroscience pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 75 credits and complete a 30-credit Project.

Year 3 BSc Psychology with Child Development pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 75 credits and complete a 30-credit Project.

Year 3 BSc Psychology in Practice pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 75 credits and complete a 30-credit Project.

Year 3 BA Psychology in Practice pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 75 credits and complete a 30-credit Extended Essay.

Module groups

Year 1

Year 2

BSc Psychology with Neuroscience Year 3

BSc Psychology with Child Development Year 3

BSc/BA Psychology in Practice Year 3

BSc/BA Psychology indicative option modules

BSc Psychology with Neuroscience indicative option modules

BSc Psychology with Child Development indicative option modules

BSc/BA Psychology in Practice indicative option modules

Please note that students who complete the BA Psychology and the BA Psychology in Practice will not be qualified to work as applied psychologists, while students who complete the BSc Psychology in Practice will not be qualified to work as applied psychologists until they undergo BPS-accredited postgraduate training.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on our judgement of your academic potential.

    UCAS tariff points

    A typical offer is 120 UCAS tariff points, which is equivalent to BBB at A-level. (Please note that an A-level in General Studies is not accepted.) 

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence. UCAS provides a tariff calculator for you to work out what your qualification is worth within the UCAS tariff.

    GCSE (or equivalent) at grade C or above in mathematics is also required.

    If you are unsure about your eligibility then please contact us. The Admissions Tutor may decide that our four-year, part-time, evening study BSc Psychology is more suitable for you.

    Foundation Year

    Birkbeck's BSc Psychology with Foundation Year offers an entry route on to this course. Students who achieve grades of 50% and above in all modules on the Foundation Year may progress to Year 2 rather than Year 1 of this course (at the discretion of the Examinations Sub-Board). This makes it possible for you to complete the BSc or BA in three rather than four years.

    Certificate of Higher Education

    Students who complete specified introductory modules from the Certificate of Higher Education in Psychology are always considered for entry on to this course.

    Alternative entry routes

    Access to Higher Education Diploma with a pass in a relevant subject.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 9250 pa
    Full-time international students: £ 13350 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Tuition fee and maintenance loans

    Eligible full-time and part-time students from the UK and the EU don’t have to pay any tuition fees upfront, as government loans are available to cover them.

    Maintenance loans are also available for eligible full-time and part-time UK students, to assist with covering living costs, such as accommodation, food, travel, books and study materials. From 2018, maintenance loans are available to part-time students for the first time. The amount you receive is means-tested and depends on where you live and study and your household income.

    Find out more about tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time and part-time students at Birkbeck.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Most modules are primarily taught via lectures. Practical laboratory sessions and small-group teaching are important components of some modules.

    Outside of the classroom, we advise that, as a minimum, you allocate at least one to two hours of home study for every hour of lectures.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    The following information gives an indication of how many contact hours you can expect for each year of this course:

    Year Contact hours
    1 216
    2 204
    3 204

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Currently some modules are assessed by written examinations taken during the day in mid-May to mid-June. Some modules include coursework assessments. Coursework submission deadlines are throughout the year and vary from module to module.

    Breakdown of assessment on this course

    The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework will often depend on the option modules you choose. The approximate percentages for this course are as follows:

    Year % Exams % Practical % Coursework
    1 81 0 19
    2 74 0 26
    3 60 0 40
  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in psychology, human relations, education or marketing. This degree may also be useful in becoming a clinical psychologist, further education lecturer, human resources officer or market researcher.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £26000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 35%
    Doing further study: 20%
    Studying and working: 10%
    Unemployed: 10%
    Other: 20%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    If you are applying for a full-time undergraduate course at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you are applying after 30 June 2018, you have to apply through UCAS Clearing.

    Avoid the rush and get a place through Clearing at Birkbeck today by following these steps:

    • Contact the Student Advice Service on 020 3907 0700 and tell them which course you are interested in.
    • The Student Advice Service will put you in touch with the relevant department, who will discuss your application with you.
    • If you are then offered a place, enter Birkbeck and your course details into Track on the UCAS website. We will then be able to confirm your acceptance to UCAS.

    If you are waiting for A-level results, a Clearing hotline will be available at Birkbeck on Thursday 16 August 2018 from 8.00am and Friday 17 August 2018 from 9.00am.

    Find out more about Clearing, including key dates and how it all works.

    UCAS Code

    C800

    Application deadlines and interviews

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

    Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.