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Psychology (BSc): 4-year, part-time

Psychology is an exciting and dynamic field that is concerned with the scientific study of how people think, feel and behave. Our BSc Psychology degree is British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited and introduces you to the various scientific theories, methods and models that help psychologists observe, interpret and explain human behaviour across the lifespan. We explore the theory and practice behind everything from behavioural experiments to brain imaging to clinical assessments, in both healthy and patient populations.

This psychology degree provides you with a deep understanding of the foundational subject areas and specialisms within psychology, including biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology, through which you will learn to think, speak and write critically and learn to develop and conduct hands-on research. A key feature of this course is its pathways, which enable you to specialise in your final year, 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 novel and impactful research in a globally recognised department. We are renowned for our research in neuroscience, cognition, development and lived experience - and the links between them.

Your Birkbeck BSc Psychology degree will provide you with the first steps towards professional chartership in psychology (e.g. clinical, counselling, educational, health, occupational, forensic, sports). Our degree also provides you with valuable transferable employability skills that are sought across a wide range of industries including: marketing, advertising, research, postgraduate study, teaching, human resources and IT, among others.

The BSc Psychology is also available for full-time evening study over three years.


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 Levels 4, 5 and 6.

In your first year, you take either Route 1 or Route 1A, depending on your educational background and experience. Route 1A is specially tailored for students who have non-traditional entry qualifications, or who have been out of education for some time, or who lack confidence and need extra support. Route 1A will give those students the understanding, skills and confidence they need to successfully complete an undergraduate degree in psychology. Route 1A students are taught in small, supportive groups in their first year, before joining the rest of their cohort in their second year.

A key feature of this course is its pathways, which enable you to specialise in your final year. 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 and Year 4, choosing from a wide range of specialist option modules to tailor your course to your interests and career 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. The BA is not accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3, all pathways

Route 1 students take five compulsory modules and Route 1A students take six compulsory modules, to a total of 90 credits.

In Year 2, all students take the same six compulsory modules and choose one option module, to a total of 90 credits, with the exception of BA Psychology and BA Psychology in Practice students, who take five compulsory modules and choose one 15-credit option module.

In Year 3, all students take the same four compulsory modules to a total of 60 credits and two option modules to a total of 30 credits, with the exception of BA Psychology and BA Psychology in Practice students, who take three compulsory modules to a total of 45 credits and one Level 5 and two Level 6 option modules to a total of 45 credits.

Year 4 BSc Psychology pathway

You select specialist option modules to a total of 60 credits and complete a project worth 30 credits.

Year 4 BA Psychology pathway

You may choose from the same list of options as BSc Psychology students, to a total of 60 credits, and complete an extended essay worth 30 credits.

Year 4 BSc Psychology with Neuroscience pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 45 credits and complete a 30-credit project.

Year 4 BSc Psychology with Child Development pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 45 credits and complete a 30-credit project.

Year 4 BSc Psychology in Practice pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 45 credits and complete a 30-credit project.

Year 4 BA Psychology in Practice pathway

You take one compulsory module, select pathway option modules to a total of 45 credits and complete a 30-credit extended essay.

Module groups

Year 1: Route 1

Year 1: Route 1A

Year 2 BSc compulsory modules

Year 2 BA compulsory modules

Year 2 BA option modules

Year 3 BSc compulsory modules

Year 3 BA compulsory modules

Year 3 BA option modules

BSc Psychology with Neuroscience Year 4

BSc Psychology with Child Development Year 4

BSc/BA Psychology in Practice Year 4

BSc/BA Psychology indicative option modules

BSc Psychology with Neuroscience indicative option modules

BSc Psychology with Child Development indicative option modules

BSc Psychology in Practice indicative option modules

BA Psychology in Practice indicative option modules

BSc Psychology Year 4

BA Psychology Year 4

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.

Birkbeck makes all reasonable efforts to deliver educational services, modules and programmes of study as described on our website. In the event that there are material changes to our offering (for example, due to matters beyond our control), we will update applicant and student facing information as quickly as possible and offer alternatives to applicants, offer-holders and current students.

  • 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 judgement of your academic potential.

    GCSE (or equivalent) at grade C or grade 4 or above in mathematics is required.

    If you are unsure about your eligibility then please contact us. The Admissions Tutor may decide that our alternative undergraduate psychology degree, which provides additional support and allows progression onto the second year of the degree (subject to the necessary grades), is more suitable for you.

    Alternative entry routes

    Students who complete specified introductory modules from the Certificate of Higher Education in Applied Psychology or Psychology are always considered. The CertHE Applied Psychology offers an entry route into the first year of the degree and the CertHE Psychology into the first or second year, depending on the modules completed.

    English Language 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 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum English language requirements, or see our international study skills page for more details of how we can help.

    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 UK and you do not already have residency here, 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: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

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

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

    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


    Part-time home students: £ 6935 pa
    Part-time international students: £10920 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.


    Eligible full-time and part-time students from the UK 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. The amount you receive is means-tested and depends on where you live and study and your household income.

    Funding for EU students is changing from August 2021: find out about details of these changes.

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

    Already been to university?

    You can apply for a government tuition fee loan for this part-time degree even if you already have a degree or a qualification at an equivalent or higher level (ELQ).

    Find out more about government tuition fee loans and ELQ-exempt courses

  • Teaching and assessment


    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.

    For students on our alternative first-year course, teaching will be organised in smaller classes of 20-30 students.

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

    Teaching hours

    Our evening hours are normally between 6pm and 9pm (6-7.30pm and 7.30-9pm). Some programmes also offer teaching during the day and this will be clearly signposted to you where it is available.

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Scheduled teaching sessions may include lectures, seminars, workshops or laboratory work. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and field trips. 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 (if applicable).

    Alongside your contact hours, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. The amount of time you need to allocate to study both for taught sessions (this might include online sessions and/or in-person sessions) and personal study will depend on how much you are studying during the year and whether you are studying full time or part time.

    Birkbeck’s courses are made up of modules and allocated ‘credit’. One credit is equivalent to ten hours of learning time. Modules are usually in 15, 30 or 60 credit units. A 15-credit module will mean around 150 hours of learning, including taught sessions and independent study or group work. This is spread out over the whole period of that module and includes the time you spend on any assessments, including in examinations, preparing and writing assessments or engaged in practical work as well as any study support sessions to help you in your learning.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students is encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies.


    Discover the provisional teaching timetable for compulsory modules on this course.

    Full 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 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 48 0 52
    2 77 0 23
    3 58 0 42
    4 40 0 60
  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue career paths in psychology, human relations, education or marketing. Possible professions include:

    • clinical psychologist
    • further education lecturer
    • human resources officer
    • market researcher.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers Service - Birkbeck Futures - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in September.

    You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

    When to apply

    You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure there are still places on your chosen course and to give you enough time to complete the admissions process, to arrange funding and to enrol.

    You don't need to complete your current programme of study before you apply - Birkbeck can offer you a place that is conditional on your results.

    You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

    Help and advice with your application

    Get all the information you need about the application, admission and enrolment process at Birkbeck.

    Our online personal statement tool will guide you through every step of writing the personal statement part of your application.