Skip to main content
  • UCAS Code:
  • Institution:
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

You’ll develop a knowledge and understanding of the mind and human behaviour by examining a wide range of subjects. There are various opportunities to conduct mini experiments throughout your course, and in your final year you'll work closely with a member of the academic team to carry out your own experiment, developing vital research skills along the way. Later, you'll be encouraged to specialise in a field of psychology that particularly interests you, such as education, forensic, clinical or environmental psychology, thus bringing the degree in line with your future career aspirations.

96% of our final year students think our staff are good at explaining things. Come along and meet us to find out for yourself what makes this course so good!

Our course covers the core British Psychological Society syllabus. Practical classes will equip you with the skills necessary to conduct your own empirical investigations of psychological phenomena. It is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership, provided the minimum standard of a Second Class Honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

You can choose to complete your degree in 3 years, or opt to take a work placement during your third year before returning for your final year's study.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


3 years, or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement


British Psychological Society

Relevant subjects:

Psychology, Sociology or Biology

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 112 tariff points including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (including a minimum of 6.0 in writing with minimum 5.5 in each of the 3 other components) or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Year 1

  • Developmental & Applied Psychology: Exploring developmental change across the lifespan and the ways in which psychological knowledge and theory is applied in real world contexts.
  • Controversies, Issues and Psychological Skills: Developing your awareness of contemporary and mainstream issues in psychology and the history of psychology, in order to contextual contemporary issues in the discipline.

  • Biological & Cognitive Psychology: Examines the relationship between the biology of the brain and how we process information, think and make decisions.

  • Social Psychology & Individual Differences: Discover the ways in which human behaviour is affected by the social context in which it occurs and how behaviour differs between individuals.

  • Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 1a: Planning, designing and conducting experiments as well as the analysis and effective communication of experimental findings.

  • Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 1b: Second semester continuation from Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 1a, continuing to develop and carry out experiments and analysis.

Year 2

Core units

  • Biological Psychology: The study of the neural correlates of various core brain functions and impairment associated with brain damages. This unit will develop your analytical thinking, synthetic thinking and your ability to search for, recognise and critically evaluate information. 
  • Personality, Intelligence & Social Psychology: Explores the measurement of differences in personality and intelligence, identity and self-perception, attitudes, social cognition, and group processes.

  • Developmental & Clinical Psychology: Provides further in-depth analysis of human development as well as introducing topics such as autism, prosopagnosia (face blindness), dyslexia and dementia.

  • Cognition & Language: Examines the psychology of attention, memory, and problem-solving. Also explores the effects of brain damage (e.g. aphasia, spatial neglect).

  • Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 2a: Further developing experimental skills, statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting of experimental findings.

  • Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 2b: Continuing from Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis 2a, this is the final Experimental Methods & Statistical Analysis unit before the final year project.

Year 3: optional placement

You may choose to complete an optional a 30-week minimum work placement which can be carried out anywhere in the world. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Year 3/4 (Final year)

Core units

  • Project: You'll carry out your own piece of research, working one-to-one with a member of academic staff. You will be expected to design your experiment, gather data, analyse it, and write it up as if it was a scientific paper.

Option units

  • Educational Psychology & Special Educational Needs (SEN): An introduction to educational psychology, SEN, labelling and inclusive education. You will discuss how psychological theories and research have influenced our understanding of child learning and teaching, and consider the effects on schools and teachers.

  • Memory & Decision-Making: This unit builds a comprehensive understanding of key contemporary issues in memory research and decision-making research.

  • Mind, Brain & Evolution: Through comparative psychology study the course will consider the differences between humans and animals, explore how the mind can be unmade after a stroke and examine consequences of mental disorders.

  • Eye Tracking & Cognition: Using state of the art laboratory equipment, you'll design, program and analyse your own eye tracking experiment.

  • Forensic Psychology: This examines current research at the forefront of knowledge exploring the application of psychology in forensic contexts.

  • Occupational & Consumer Psychology: You'll investigate employee wellbeing, assessment and training, and consumer behaviour.

  • Cyber Psychology: Examines the psychology of the internet on individuals, groups, organisations and society, plus tackles topics such as cyber-bullying, website trust and e-health.

  • Face Recognition and Its Disorders: Examines the psychological processing involved in face recognition and explains why some individuals fail to recognise even those close to them.

  • Health Psychology: This unit will provide you with an understanding of the role of psychology in promoting health and well-being, and the impact of this as we grow older.

  • Applied Clinical Psychology: Using current research and clinical experience, the emphasis will be on exploring therapeutic practice, investigating NHS, local authority and third-sector service provision, and understanding the role of service users and carers in recovery from mental illness.  

  • Eating, Weight and Behaviour Change: For those who are interested in a career in health or clinical psychology. You will gain an understanding of bio-psycho-social factors that impact on both healthy eating and eating disorder behaviours as well as methods and models to support behaviour change and treatment in these areas. You will also explore individual differences (e.g. personality, gender, age etc.) in eating and weight behaviours.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

As this course is accredited by the BPS they require a certain element of independent study work and therefore although there will be scheduled learning and teaching factored into the course such as lectures, tutorials and seminars, you will also be expected to develop your independent study skills. This will involve extensive reading around your subject and working in groups to develop projects and presentations.

Year 1 – 17% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 198 hours
  • Independent learning: 1002 hours

Year 2 – 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 195 hours
  • Independent learning: 1005 hours

Year 3 - 15% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 186 hours
  • Independent learning: 1014 hours

59% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1 60%
  • Year 2 60%
  • Final year 57%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specifications

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Psychology.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course. A placement year is a vital part in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates. What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. We have many links to outside agencies and organisations to best support you along your professional development. Our dedicated team of placement officers are there to guide and support you through the placement process and experience.

How long is my placement?

Should you choose to undertake a work placement, you will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30-weeks.

Your application

Background and experience

For Psychology, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a mature attitude
  • Are self-aware
  • Are open to new ideas
  • Have an academic interest in the subject, as demonstrated by recent readings

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications – you may also be invited to attend an interview. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry

The entry requirements for this course are 112 tariff points including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Science, Maths and English or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2.If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: We welcome Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.   

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-Levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 73% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate. This course requires 30 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (including a minimum of 6.0 in writing with minimum 5.5 in each of the 3 other components) or equivalent. or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


This course provides a suitable basis for entry to, or professional development within, psychology and research and strategic work for campaigning groups. 88% of our graduates are working or taking further study 6 months after graduating*. 

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. We offer a unique portfolio of Psychology Master's degrees in differing disciplines.

As a Psychology graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as:

  • Assistant psychologist
  • HR assistant
  • Support worker
  • Teaching assistant
  • Mental health support worker.

Industries worked in 

  • Psychology
  • Education.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.


At BU we offer a Research Apprenticeship Scheme to our second-year Psychology undergraduates.

The scheme gives students the opportunity to work with members of the faculty on their research projects and could be on one of the many areas of expertise found amongst the staff including autism, prosopagnosia and also how not to get lost!

Your role would be to undertake literature searches, prepare stimuli and experiments using appropriate software and recruit and test participants. The scheme gives you the chance to earn invaluable experience that looks great on your CV.

Linking in with the employability strand on our degree you will be invited to submit an application with a CV (that you will have created in your first year as part of the employability skills training) to one of these positions. Selected candidates will go on to interview for the positions (we offer about 25+ positions per year).

You would normally be required to work 4 hours a week on a voluntary basis during the first and second terms and the project leaders are always flexible around assignment deadlines.

Next steps

If you’re not ready to apply just yet, there are plenty of things you can do to find out more about our courses, and what it’s like to be a student at BU.

No hidden extras

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services. You will find out more about these if you are offered a place on the course.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates any changes to the course content.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

New final year option unit:

Educational Psychology & Special Educational Needs

Course details content

Meet our staff

When you study psychology with us, you'll be learning from world-leading researchers in fields such as face blindness, neuropsychology and clinical psychology and you will have the opportunity to get involved in various research projects.

Dr Sarah Bate is a Principal Academic in Psychology and Director of the Centre for Face Processing Disorders. Dr Jan Wiener, based in the Department of Psychology, is a co-leader of Bournemouth University's Dementia Institute. Read Sarah's story; find out more about the areas of expertise of other staff within the Department of Psychology and your course leader, Dr Kevin Thomas.

Many of our staff and students are involved in community or charitable trusts in addition to their academic practice or study, and we have close ties with the British Psychological Society. We are committed to developing our field through our research, practice and educating future psychologists.

What our students say

Ben Hunt

Being a research assistant is a great privilege as experience is key. Acting as an honorary research assistant so early in your career really makes you stand out.

Hear from our staff

Dr Samuel Nyman

I take a practical, applied approach, and bring this to my teaching so students apply their knowledge to life. In terms of research, this entails applying theory to everyday issues.

What our students say

Alexandra Brown

We get to write and run our own experiments; the facilities are state of the art.

Facilities & opportunities

Psychology brain research

Psychology Research Group

Research is fundamental to what we do and you'll get the opportunity to work alongside academics in your second year, becoming part of the research team as a research apprentice.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

Discover what makes Open Days so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.