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Psychology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Psychology forms a flexible basis for a wide number of careers. You can choose to spend a third, half, or two thirds of your study time on psychology.

Psychology helps you understand human behaviour and motivation; it also provides good training in scientific thinking, critical analysis and problem-solving.

Core modules include 'Genes to Mind', 'Mind to World', 'Cradle to Grave' and ‘Twenty-four, Seven: Everyday Motivations and Biases'. You can also choose further modules such as 'Environmental Psychology’ and ‘Mental Health and Illness’.

A popular combination is psychology with sociology. This allows you to study both the individual (through psychology) and society (through sociology). Another popular combination is with criminology as this helps you understand the criminal mind and gives insights into ways to prevent criminal behaviour. You could also combine psychology with childhood studies or any of the other subjects in the Combined Subjects course.

If you choose psychology as a major route you will be able to gain the graduate basis for chartered membership of the British Psychological Society.

The University is a very supportive learning environment, according to the Guardian University Guide 2015, 94% of Psychology students are satisfied with the teaching at Sunderland.

Meet Georgia Fuller, a University of Sunderland tomorrow-maker studying Psychology with Sport:

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying Combined Subjects at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core module for all routes

  • Genes to Mind (20 Credits)
  • Mind to World (20 Credits)

Core module for major route

  • Foundation of Psychological Research (40 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core modules for all routes

  • Cradle to Grave (20 Credits)
  • Twenty-four, Seven: Everyday Motivations and Biases (20 Credits)

Core module for major route

  • Psychological Research (40 Credits)

Optional module

  • Attraction and Sexuality (20 Credits)
  • Psychology of Religion (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core modules for major route

  • Empirical Project (40 Credits)
  • From Lab to Life: Big Issues in Psychology (10 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Clinical Neuropsychology (20 Credits)
  • Occupational Psychology (20 Credits)
  • Mental Health and Illness (20 Credits)
  • Environmental Psychology (20 Credits)
  • Health Psychology and Behaviour Change (20 Credits)
  • Cyberpsychology (10 credits)
  • Psychology of Art (10 credits)
  • Memory and Life (10 credits)
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods (10 credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups. Teaching takes advantage of the University’s specialist psychological and computer laboratories.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Psychology Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

The University has specialist psychological and computer laboratories, plus dedicated space (the ‘sandbox’) for psychology students to develop ideas collaboratively. It’s all based at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, less than a mile from the seaside.

Our specialist facilities include:

  • Cognitive Laboratory
  • Visual Psychophysics Laboratory
  • Linguistics Laboratory
  • Eye-tracking Laboratory
  • Computing Laboratory
  • Multimedia and Games Research Room

University Library Services

The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

Learning environment

Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


The Reg Vardy Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 6DD

Entry requirements


Our typical offer is 120 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.


Our typical offer is 300 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 300 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees 

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £8,750 if you are from the UK/EU
  • £10,500 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Many employers will be interested in the transferable skills that you gain through studying psychology. Most of our graduates apply their skills in other fields, particularly those involving working with people and/or problem solving and communication. 

Possible career destinations include personnel, management, social work, public services, counselling and advertising. Alternatively you could pursue further training in specific fields of psychological practice such as clinical or forensic psychology or counselling.

If you choose psychology as a major route, and achieve at least a second class honours, you will have the graduate basis for Chartered Membership with the Society. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. The British Psychological Society provides more information. 

While you are at Sunderland, our psychology careers tutors offer support with finding work experience. We also provide advice, resources and guidance for enhancing your employability so that you begin your future career in exactly the right way.

Study Abroad

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying.

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme:

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"What I thought was really good about the university was the emphasis on future career paths."

Russell Hounslow - Graduate

Assistant Educational Psychologist at Sunderland City Council Children's Services

"It was a really good course and there were lots of opportunities to learn a wide range of topics in psychology, ranging from biology to topics such as how we process information and interact with others.

"What I thought was really good about the university was the emphasis on future career paths. I was encouraged to starting thinking about the future during my studies and made the effort to secure voluntary work and get work experience in schools.

"The relationship with lecturers was brilliant too. I found they all offered just the right amount of support while leaving you free to develop your own interests. The facilities were also first class. The campus at St Peter’s is absolutely amazing. It's a really great place to study.

"During my undergraduate degree, I had decided to pursue a career in educational psychology. I knew I needed more experience and knowledge to go forward and stayed on to do a masters degree.

"I'm now working as an Assistant Educational Psychologist for Sunderland City Council Children's Services which involves working with children, their families and the schools to understand their issues. It's pretty diverse."

"Combined Subjects means I don't have to compromise; I can do two subjects which I love."

Rachel Sheldon - Combined Subjects, Psychology and TESOL Case Study

Rachel Sheldon


"All the lecturers are so approachable; I know I can go to them for help if I need any advice or support. Combined Subjects means I don’t have to compromise; I can do two subjects which I love. You get to know so many more people and friends than just one subject. It’s just brilliant being able to combine two subjects in different ways like looking at learning styles from a psychological point of view, or how extroversion could affect learning styles."

"The quality of the teaching within the department is very good."

Grace Essang

Grace Essang


"The quality of the teaching within the department is very good and I particularly enjoy the lectures from practicing psychology professionals who give talks on current issues in the field.

"The course offers a broad range of subject options to choose from giving a good understanding of different aspects of psychology.

"Furthermore there is the opportunity for students to assist in real research projects. This is very rewarding and a great experience."

"I was given opportunities to practical work experience and volunteer work which complimented my degree massively."

Danielle Yare - Combined Subjects, Psychology and Criminology

Danielle Yare

Graduate, Psychology and Criminology

"My combined degree has given me the opportunity to widen my prospects and opened many doors for my future career. The University of Sunderland has offered fantastic support throughout my time here and I would recommend studying here to anyone. I was given opportunities to practical work experience and volunteer work which complimented my degree massively."

"The quality of the lectures and workshops are excellent."

Darren McGee - Student

Darren McGee


"The Psychology course that I am studying is thoroughly enjoyable and extremely well taught. The quality of the lectures and workshops are excellent and supported by really well thought out course notes. The main thing, which has amplified my enjoyment, has been the lecturing staff, all friendly, fully approachable and always willing to offer support."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Psychology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 September 2016
UK/EU Fee £8,750
Intl Fee £10,500

Entry requirements

2016 entry: 300 points

2017 entry: 120 points

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