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Psychology with Sociology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time C8L3 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

Psychology with sociology is a dynamic and challenging discipline that is highly relevant to the challenges facing society today.

The course covers the core areas of psychology required by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a varied curriculum in sociology. As well as emphasising current issues, it will give you the opportunity to learn about the applications of psychology and sociology throughout the course.

Upon completion, you'll be accredited with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)** and be well prepared to take further professional training to become an accredited professional psychologist, or apply for a range of related careers in the social and welfare services, public health services and the media.

** seeking accreditation

Foundation year - Social Sciences

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the Social Sciences. At Kingston these include Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Politics.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a social sciences degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

Through the psychology elements of this course, you'll study how individuals behave, think, perceive and interact with the world around them as well as how people impact on one another.

In sociology you'll learn about society, culture, and relationships on a group level.

The two disciplines are complementary, with social psychology acting as a ‘bridge' between the two.

The course is designed to develop your skills in psychology alongside those that are valued by graduate employers like teamwork, communication, time and task management skills, statistical analysis of data, problem solving and the ability to critically evaluate evidence. You can also enhance your employability skills through work experience; the department has excellent links with employers.

Throughout the course, you'll complete three psychology modules and one sociology module at every level. In the first and second year social psychology lecturers will act as personal tutors, with fortnightly tutorials designed to consolidate and integrate your understanding in both disciplines.

In the final year you'll conduct a final year project in social psychology, under the supervision of specialist lecturers.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module introduces students to theories and ideas of psychological science in core areas of research. This module allows students to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge of these core areas, as well as many specialist sub-areas of psychology (e.g., biological psychology, learning, sensory and perceptual processes, memory, thought and knowledge, language, social, developmental, neuropsychology, individual differences, clinical).

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  • This module is a core requirement for students taking psychology in level 4. The module will introduce students to key strategies which are used in psychological research, including designing an experiment, hypothesis testing, and statistical analysis. The main features of the module will involve the acquisition of practical skills in psychological research, learning how to apply and carry out statistical tests using SPSS, and how to report research findings.

    Throughout the module students will design a research project, write a report of the research project. Students will also analyse and report a psychological experiment.

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  • This module will set modern psychology in its historical and philosophical context.  Key scientific ideas and perspectives will be introduced and then applied specifically to psychology. No previous experience of history or philosophy will be assumed.

    The content of the module will include historical perspectives of prominent individuals on science and psychology (e.g., Donders, Wundt, Ebbinghaus, James, Freud, and Jung) and also broader philosophical movements (e.g., rationalism, empiricism). Having established such historical issues, contemporary issues in philosophy of psychology will be developed (e.g., reductionism and biological explanation, realism/anti-realism, modularity, free will and determinism, consciousness and the mind-body problem). Workshops will serve to consolidate the lecture material, providing opportunities for students to apply principles and ideas learned in the lectures to worked examples in psychological theory and practice. A central aim of the module is to allow students to develop their critical analysis skills.

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  • This module introduces students to some of the most influential ways of thinking about self and identity, drawing on both sociology and psychology. It deals with key dimensions of identity in contemporary life such as gender; work; sexuality; race; ethnicity; understandings of mental health; connections with places such as nations, cities and the globalised world; spirituality and religion. It explores the inseparable interweaving of society and the psyche; the psychological and the socio-political; collective forces and universal human drives. It places the ongoing process of constructing the self in the foreground in attempts to understand people's behaviour and development more generally. The very notion of the ‘self' is treated as an interactive, social phenomenon. The first part of the Module considers the questions such as ‘what is the self?' and ‘how does the self arise?' The second part goes on to focus on a number of social dimensions which pattern selfhood. Students' employability is enhanced through the development of presentation skills as well as the ongoing development of analytical and critical skills through discussion and written work.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This module will cover major topics within the field of cognitive psychology, and will examine the relationship between brain function and our understanding of cognition and behaviour. The module will introduce key theoretical explanations proposed to account for human cognition and introduce students to some real-life applications of cognitive psychology. The module will also introduce students to the structure and function of the nervous system before examining the contribution of specialised brain structures to cognitive functions such as perception, attention, language, memory and decision making, and behaviours such as motivation, eating, emotion and sleep. Finally the module will examine the effect of hormones, drugs and neurological dysfunction on cognition and behaviour.

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  • The module will cover a broad range of key theories and empirical research in social, individual and developmental psychology. This module will allow students to explore current theory and practice in psychology across range of topics that focuses on the person in psychology. In consideration of the social, individual (human abilities and personality attributes) and developmental areas of enquiry, the scientific approach and the notion of measurement is fundamental. 

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  • This module builds on the introduction to research methods and inferential statistics offered in PS4001 Research Methods 1. It will cover more advanced research designs — involving multiple independent variables — and more advanced inferential statistics such as analysis of variance, regression analysis and factor analysis. It will also introduce students to qualitative research methods and data analysis. Students will learn to develop and implement multifactorial experimental designs through practical research exercises and a project. Students' scientific writing skills will be further developed on the basis of a series of lab reports.

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  • Building on SO4001 ‘Contemporary Issues in Sociology' and SO4003 ‘Social Selves', this module will develop the concept of ‘the sociological imagination', first outlined by the US theorist C. Wright Mills to indicate "the vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society" (1959). Although Mills was writing in the post-war era, the concept can be traced back to the development of the discipline as it emerged in response to the challenges of social life in industrial cities of the 19th century. Hence this module will use a range of classic and contemporary thinkers to address the double role that sociology has inherited from its origins: not just to understand the world, but to try to change it. This problem will be explored within the context of the city as a strategic unit of analysis in order to understand wider processes of modernisation, industrialisation and the subsequent onset of postmodernity and post-industrialism.

    By studying original texts and placing them within their social and historical contexts, students will deepen their understanding of the discipline's critical engagement with different aspects of social life. There will be a strong focus on London with opportunities for fieldwork.

    The module will be team-taught and will address the underlying questions: what role can sociologists play in tackling different forms of social injustice and inequality?   

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module will provide the opportunity to study and employ different methodologies in psychology by evaluating the strengths and limitations of different research designs. Students will execute an empirical research project on a topic agreed in consultation with a Psychology staff supervisor. Supervisory sessions with an academic supervisor will guide students to conduct a literature review, formulate a research question, design a research study, and consider research ethics relating to their study, culminating in data collection and writing up of a research report which satisfies APA guidelines.

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    • This is an optional module for Level 6 students who wish to expand their knowledge about child development. The module will cover a broad range of issues in developmental psychology including both examples of typical and atypical development, such as reading development and dyslexia, children's relationships and bullying, language in typical and atypical populations, sensory impairment, children's understanding of number and dyscalculia, children with Williams Syndrome, among other themes. The module will involve a combination of keynote lectures, interactive lectures and guided independent study during which current theories, methodologies and research will be discussed and critically evaluated. In addition, transferable skills will be fostered through student led interactive discussions and tasks.

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    • There are two main streams in this module: Part I - Neuropsychology. The module will place a particular emphasis on understanding the effects of brain activity on cognitive and social aspects of human behaviour (and vice-versa). In addition, the module will address the effects of brain injury and neurological impairments with a view to understand models of normal cognitive and social functioning. Video material will be used to illustrate clinical cases when available. Part II – Neuro-rehabilitation. The module will introduce students to modern techniques for the diagnosis of neurological disorders and their neuropsychiatric implications. Interventions for the treatment and management of neurological disorders will be evaluated. Students' effort and engagement will be essential for a successful and rewarding experience. This will include active participation in lectures and the reading of the indicated material.

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    • This module explores the nature and origins of social knowledge and critically evaluates the basis for claims to ‘absolute reality'. The module will be of interest to students who wish to examine contemporary beliefs and assumptions about the world on a range of political, philosophical, psychological and moral issues. In the second semester, earlier theoretical knowledge is applied to the study of collective memory (the memory of people across generations) – a foundational form of social knowledge involved in the construction of identity. The study of social/collective memory raises some political issues.  For example, in the aftermath of conflict, competing versions of the past are often a barrier to reconciliation. Understanding the nature and content of collective memory therefore becomes important. Students should have an interest in the history and politics of conflict including human rights although detailed historical knowledge is not a pre-requisite. Course material comprises film and television documentary, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge of 20th century events.

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    • The module will engage students with the main themes of contemporary health psychology and positive psychology with a particular focus on theory, research, intervention, and application. The students will gain an understanding of the importance of psychological processes in the experience of health and illness, and explore the role of behaviour and emotion in current trends of mortality and morbidity. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the role of positive emotions, optimism, spirituality, flourishing relationships, and community engagement in promoting health, well-being, and happiness. They will also become aware of the crucial roles health psychology and positive psychology have to play in the development and evaluation of physical and psychological health promotion interventions.

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    • "Creating new circuits in art means creating them in the brain too".

      Gilles Deleuze

       The aesthetic experience relates not only to natural beauty but also to works of art which can be seen as cultural manifestations of the human mind. For centuries artists have used a varied number of media—from pigments to pixels—to evoke a multitude of perceptions and sensory effects able to trigger powerful rational and emotional responses. Psychology of Art and Film is a young field of study and encompasses a multitude of branches of Psychology. The module will broadly focus on the question: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is it about the human experience that enables us to appreciate it? The focus will be on art in the form of paintings, films, photography and ‘installations'.

      The module will be divided in three core areas: I. The ‘self‘: cognitive aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; II. The ‘environment': social and cultural aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; and III. Workshops: include talks by invited artists/lecturers and independent visits to Museums, Galleries and Cinemas.

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    • This module will introduce students to major areas of investigation within forensic psychology with special emphasis on how these link to core areas of the discipline (social, biological and developmental psychology and approaches to personality/individual differences). Students will also be introduced to related topics in law, court procedures and forensic science. The module will also provide some insight into the training and career pathways for forensic psychologists.

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    • This module examines how psychology is applied in psychotherapeutic work in mental health contexts. It is relevant to students who are interested in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and/or in mental health service provision more generally.The module begins with a consideration of how common forms of psychological distress and disorder are conceptualised within mainstream classification systems. After psychotherapeutic approaches are placed in historical context, the module considers the theory and practice of various psychotherapeutic approaches. Attention is given to how specific mental health issues can be addressed in therapy, how therapy can respond creatively and ethically to diversity issues, and how therapeutic impact or effectiveness might best be evaluated. By completing this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of psychotherapeutic practice and of some key aspects of its complexity and challenges. The module will consider the principles and challenges of psychotherapeutic practice but students will not engage in any form of psychotherapeutic practice during the module, nor will it qualify them to do so afterwards. However it will help inform students' decision-making about careers in the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

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    • This module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women's and men's lives.

      From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

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    • This is a level 6 optional module that draws upon both criminological and sociological debates and knowledges. Students will learn by observing and undertaking work-based practice.

      The principle underlying this module is that worksites are important contexts for students to test, validate, expand upon, supplement and enrich their academic learning. The module requires students to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork in an organisational setting. The form that the fieldwork will take will depend upon the type of placement secured, but, typically it may involve interning, shadowing or volunteering in subject relevant placements (for example across social justice, criminal justice/crime prevention, welfare and support fields).

      Whilst in their placements students are encouraged to think about the social aspects of organisations and working life, including their structural forms, interpersonal relationships and their practices. Students will be supported in securing their placement at level 5 in preparation for the commencement of the module at level 6.

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    • Global migration has intensified rapidly since 1960, with the UNPD estimating an increase from 80 to 210 million by 2009. It has become a contentious political topic with far-reaching consequences for contemporary societies, and arguably for established sociological paradigms (e.g. methodological nationalism).

      The module will equip students to understand and investigate in depth the social dynamics of migration and its consequences, and enable them to offer informed and critical comment on contemporary debates (e.g. media coverage of migration, on the economics of migration, and on migration's consequences for social solidarity).

      It offers students the opportunity to build on interests and skills developed at Level 5 (e.g. in International Perspectives and Sociological Approaches), and broadens the department's offering at Level 6 to a new area of contemporary social relevance.

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    • The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy's 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic' as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity' involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

      The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering' of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

      Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

      The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

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    • This module takes a critical look at the concepts of crime, power and class in the contemporary world, and the impact of ‘crimes of the powerful' on the struggle for human rights and social justice.

      The gaze of many political scientists and criminologists tends to be focused firmly ‘downwards', towards analysing the misdemeanours of the poor, the dispossessed, the underclass

      This module, in contrast, will focus ‘upwards', in an attempt to understand and explain deviant actions by states, corporations, and the ruling class more broadly. Through the use of case studies, presented by the teaching team but also generated by students, we will examine issues such as war crimes, torture, corruption, global supply chains, police abuses, and state terrorism. 

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

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The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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