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Psychology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time C800 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes

Why choose this course?

This course provides a practical and theoretical approach to scientific psychology. You can tailor your learning to a variety of specialisms, including health, counselling, social, developmental, forensic and neuropsychology. Accredited by the British Psychology Society, this degree is the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist. You can choose to study Psychology as a single or joint honours degree.

  • You will be taught by a young, friendly and dynamic group of active researchers, all experienced in teaching their specialist areas.
  • Close link between research and teaching means that you will be taught by experts with exciting opportunities to contribute to cutting-edge research (using equipment such as EEG, eye tracking, driving simulator, Qualtrics survey software, TMS). Diverse research areas include cyberbullying, Autism & Williams Syndrome, premature children development, PTSD, Schizophrenia, neuropsychology, decision making and risk taking, face perception, prejudice.
  • Close links with an extensive network of schools, hospitals and clinics designed to enhance employability.

You can also choose to study this course as a joint honours degree alongside another subject. See the course combinations section for more information.

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

What you will study

Year 1 introduces concepts, methods and major theories in psychology, and outlines how psychologists approach theoretical and practical problems. You will study the historical and philosophical development of psychological thought, how people interact in groups, and how we learn and develop as human beings. You will be assigned a personal tutor and have fortnightly tutorials in very small groups and individually to help you develop key academic and career skills.

In Year 2, core modules cover research methods, individual differences, social psychology, child development, biopsychology and cognitive psychology. The choice of option modules enables you to specialise in a particular area, such as mental health, and gain work experience (eg within the department, in local schools or clinical settings).

In Year 3, you will choose a dissertation topic that is related to, and supported by, an additional module, comprising a 'capstone' project. Further option modules allow you to tailor your course to future career aspirations and interests. You will also participate in the annual School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology themed week – a series of workshops, presentations, discussion and reading groups on a contemporary social issue, all led by expert speakers and practitioners. 2014's 'Gender Week' and 2015's 'War and Peace Week' were great successes. 2016 will have a 'Race and Ethnicity Week'.

Every week, you will be able to meet lecturers informally in our 'social space' to discuss exciting contemporary psychological issues.

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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This module introduces students to some of the major theoretical and analytical perspectives surrounding contemporary approaches to self and identity, drawing on sociological, psychological and psychosocial perspectives. It explores the inseparable interweaving of the social and the psyche, the individual self and social structures, the psychological and the socio-political. More specifically, the module looks at the complex interrelation between the social, psychic and affective dimensions that constitute human subjects and how they operate to articulate and negotiate relationality, intimacy, material and embodied practices, emotions, belonging and identities. The first part of the module will address and discuss a number of key concepts related to the formation and negotiation of self and identity and how they have been understood and theorised in sociology, psychology and psychoanalysis. The second part of the module will identify a number of key issues which will be analysed with reference to the key concepts and theoretical perspectives discussed in part one.


Year 2 (Level 5)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Applied Psychology: Theory and Practice is a level 5 option module that provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of what is involved in becoming a professional psychologist within the UK. This will include the practice and methods of the main areas of psychology such as forensic, counselling, health, educational, clinical, sports and occupational psychology.  The module will give students the experience of taking either a careers in psychology pathway including a small research project, or a work based learning in psychology pathway, including a work placement.

  • The module will cover human and animal learning and behaviour. It will explore the comparative approach to learning and behaviour, stressing the principles of associative learning and conditioning. The content of the module places the understanding of learning and behaviour in a historical context and charts the changes in explanations of animal (and human) behaviour across the twentieth century and to the present day. The topics will also cover the move away from the behaviourist approach to more complex explanations which include, among others, the animal cognition framework. The module will also examine how principles of learning and behaviour are used to explain abnormal behaviour.

  • This module will examine the nature and treatment of abnormal behaviour, thought and feeling.   Psychological disorders such as phobias, personality disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, obsessions and compulsions, social anxiety, panic disorders and mood disorders will be evaluated. The module will introduce the main characteristics of these disorders, current approaches to understanding and the main treatment options. The module will also explore how cognitive functions can be localised within the brain. Cognitive impairments that can arise in some psychological disorders illnesses will be examined. Finally, examples of how neurobiological data can help inform an understanding of psychological disorder will be evaluated.


Year 3 (Level 6)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This module will give a broad overview of the intersection between psychology and the criminal justice system. Forensic psychology is concerned with the psychological aspects of the legal process including police investigation and court procedures. Students will learn to apply psychological theory to criminal investigation, understand the psychological problems and developmental processes associated with criminal behaviour and victimisation. There will be an introduction to the assessment and treatment of those who have committed offences. The module will also give an insight into the training and career pathways for forensic psychologists.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost 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.

Key information set

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).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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