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Five reasons to study psychology

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Psychology is a scientific study of the conscious and unconscious mind. As a psychology student you’ll explore a whole range of phenomena such as human behaviour, communication, memory, and emotions. So why should you study psychology at the University of Sunderland?  

Dr Helen Driscoll, Principal Lecturer and Team Leader for our undergraduate Psychology courses shares with us her top reasons why you should study with us at Sunderland.  

Helen Driscoll, Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Team Leader for the undergraduate Psychology courses

1. Specialist routes

We offer a number of different undergraduate routes in Psychology, all of which are accredited by the British Psychological Society. This allows you to specialise in an area of psychology that interests you the most. You can choose from BSc (Hons) PsychologyBSc (Hons) Psychology with CounsellingBSc (Hons) Clinical Psychology and BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology 

All of our courses are taught by experts in the field who regularly carry out research and keep up to date with all the latest psychological developments. We also host a variety of guest lecturers, allowing you hear and learn from a range of practicing academics.  

Psychology students in classroom

 2. Optional modules

At Sunderland, we offer an extensive and exciting range of optional modules for you to choose from at Years 2 and 3. Our courses have a high degree of bespoke content which means you can essentially build and shape your own degree to fit around your areas of interest.  

Our psychology team are working on research in many interesting areas at the cutting edge of psychology, and this feeds into our optional modules. Just some of the options available include Dark Personalities; The Psychology of Serious and Violent Offending; Anomalistic Psychology; Clinical Neuropsychology; Mental Health and Illness; Development and Neurodiversity; Male Psychology; Occupational Psychology; Meet the Relatives: Evolutionary Psychology and Animal Behaviour; Psychology of Addiction; and Health Psychology. 

3. Inclusive

The School of Psychology is a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment. One of our core values is inclusivity. Fundamentally, what this means for you as a student is that we want you to feel part of the community that is the School of Psychology, and that you can be yourself, whoever you are. We care about our students and our friendly staff provide a very supportive environment for you to study. In recognition of this we were awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2021.

The University was also named the University of the Year 2021 for Social Inclusion.  

All of our courses are also offered with an Integrated Foundation Year, allowing those who may have missed out on grades or those returning to learning a little later in life, the opportunity to study at degree level. It’s important to us that our courses are as accessible as possible.  

4. Student feedback

Our students are at the heart of everything we do and we take their feedback seriously. We want to make sure our courses serve our students and help them to get the most out of their studies. We also use our student feedback to help shape our delivery methods. For example, our students told us that they wanted to learn in a more integrated and applied way, this is how psychology operates in the real world. We now have exciting, integrated core modules such as Cradle to Grave, which draws on different areas of psychology to tell the story of human development across the lifespan, from conception to death. 

We also do very well on the National Student Survey, an independent survey of final year students. BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology achieved 100% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2021, indicating that our students rate the course very highly. 

5. Career focused

Our psychology courses are unique, in a good way. Many undergraduate psychology courses teach the core areas of psychology in separate modules, such as biological psychology and social psychology. We redesigned our courses a few years ago, guided by changes to British Psychological Society requirements and a report on the future of psychology. We want our courses to be reflective of the real world to give students the best possible chance of securing employment once they graduate.

The British Psychological Society Logo

Not only are our courses accredited by The British Psychological Society, but we also have a golden thread of employability embedded in all courses, from year 1 through to year 3, some modules even have placement opportunities within the workplace.  

Take a look at some of our students and alumni stories to find out what they have gone on to do since graduating.  


If you would like to find out more about our psychology courses, come along to one of our open days where you’ll have the opportunity to speak to our staff and ask any questions you may have.  

Published: 9 June 2021