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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
On this course you will learn about the different explanations for mental health problems, how they can be treated and how service users and carers can shape mental health services.
You will be introduced to key concepts in clinical psychology such as patient assessment, formulation and professional and ethical conduct. There is an emphasis on practical skills and reflective practice throughout the course in addition to studying topics such as addiction, psychosis, cognitive and emotional impairments, and depression.
You will be taught via lectures and seminars, but also student-centric models such as problem-based learning, using your own psychological knowledge to address realistic issues. You will learn how to conduct psychological research and throughout the course will carry out your own research.
Assessment methods include traditional essays, exams and case studies. Extensive feedback is provided, both formatively through one-to-one student-lecturer meetings during seminars and summatively on submitted assignments. Our feedforward system will help you to identify the key components for you to work on and how you can achieve this.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Learn the essential skills needed to study psychology at degree level including academic skills, personal development and research studies. Broaden academic and psychological literacy via a series of research projects and practicals supported by personal tutors.
Connect the twin themes of research methods/statistics and academic development and appreciate how research and statistics are designed, performed and interpreted in light of the complex theories that are created by the researcher with an emphasis on the process of becoming an ethical co-creator of knowledge alongside academic staff.
Consider the relationship between biology and the human mind. Examine how DNA ultimately gives rise to thinking, conscious and complex human beings. Explore genetics and evolution, as well as the core areas of biological psychology, cognitive psychology and individual differences across topics as diverse as addiction, altruism, and sexuality.
Learn the story of how single units of personhood (or ‘minds’) interact with one another and come together to create societies. Focus on the way in which humans communicate with each other and operate in their social world. Explore the core areas of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology across topics such as perception, language, interpersonal relationships, emotion, autism, and psychopathy.
Examine biological, cognitive, and social models of mental illness and mental health. Consider a number of mental health problems including mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety), psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia), eating disorders, and personality disorders. Analyse behaviours that pose a risk to physical and mental health, including alcohol and drug use, poor diet, and a lack of physical activity. Discuss public health approaches to mental health and wellbeing and how we can aim to improve the mental health of the general population and/or lower risk of mental illness, by considering social networks, social inequality, and happiness.
Study the core skills of clinical psychology – assessment, formulation, multi-disciplinary team-working, evidence-based practice, professional ethics, engaging with patients/service-users, and reflection. Learn about the set of competencies that a Chartered Clinical Psychologist must meet and will learn why these competencies are required including the value of a formulation-based approach to treating mental health problems. You will also be encouraged to begin developing some of these core skills through a series of workshops which will involve role-playing and input from other health care disciplines.
Work on a number of research projects across core areas of psychology. Develop more advanced skills in research methods, and gain opportunities to have input into research design as you become more skilled. Learn more advanced data analysis skills and apply these in the research projects.
Explore your own potential as a lifelong learner and leader. Develop your understanding of the importance of agency and self-advocacy in relation to life and career transitions and how lifelong learning can enhance social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also self-sustainability and employability.
Use research techniques that include psychometric measures, narrative and storytelling. Undertake volunteering opportunities to provide an additional context in which to consider your lifelong learning and leadership characteristics – and to develop a sense of your future professional self.
Meet a fictional family as you learn about the psychology of the human journey through the lifespan, from parent-offspring conflict in the womb to explanations for ageing and death. Explore topics including attachment, the 'teenage brain' and challenges in adolescence, personality development and cognitive change.
Apply social, cognitive and biological psychology to understanding everyday motivations and biases in, for example, perception and memory. Explore topics including vision and sensory perception, social group processes, aggression, eyewitness testimony and eating disorders.
Investigating Complex Issues in Psychology (20 credits)
Explore specialist psychology routes such as clinical skills, health and wellbeing, counselling and forensic psychology. Draw on your own knowledge of psychology and apply different perspectives to current, real-world psychological issues in a problem-based learning context. Work in groups with other students to learn from one another about the role of the different specialisms, and how these can be successfully integrated and applied.
Assessment, Formulation, and Evidence-based Practice (20 credits)
Focus on three core skills of clinical psychology. Examine methods used by psychologists to assess a service user including psychometric tests, interview and taking a history. Learn how a clinical psychologist integrates the results of assessments with different psychological models to develop hypotheses and interventions tailored to the individual. Evaluate the effectiveness of practice based on existing evidence, for example through reading systematic reviews, and learn how to design your own research to evaluate the effectiveness of psychological practice.
Work with a supervisor to apply what you have learned in research methods modules to your own research project. Report your findings in an extensive research report, and present your project in the form of an academic poster at our poster conference.
Explore the various psychological approaches to mental health problems and the therapies and treatments which arise from these models. Take into account the perspectives of users of mental health services. This module will be of interest to those hoping to enter clinical or therapeutic work as well as those interested in psychological perspectives on mental illness.
Learn about key current issues in Clinical Psychology and discuss whether clinical psychologists should take a more political role and whether there is a problem with a lack of diversity in clinical psychology. Learn about the key ethical and legal obligations people who work in mental health care deal with.
Develop your ability to build an empathic relationship with someone who is in contact with clinical services, and critically reflect on your experience of this process. Learn about the ways in which service-users/carers can shape mental health services and evaluate how well engaging service-users/carers in service development works.
Please note, the full list of optional modules may change from year to year.
Focus on the scope of occupational psychology and its application to work, employees and organisations. Cover topics aligned with the British Psychology Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology such as psychological assessment at work; learning, training, and development; leadership, engagement, and motivation; wellbeing and work.
Engage with, and evaluate, some of the ‘big issues’ at the cutting edge of psychology, including free will, the nature of consciousness, the interface between psychology and politics, and cybercrime. This module will encourage you to look beyond your university experience and to engage with psychological aspects of current culture and society.
Explore the development of our understanding of neurodiversity. Address the historical progression of how we have characterised neurodiverse populations, including autism spectrum conditions and Williams syndrome, from early diagnostic formulation to current day. Examine biological aspects of neurodiversity such as brain differences, as well as their relevance to cognition and behaviour. Study relevant topics in neurodiversity, including relationships, healthcare and education.
Gain specialist knowledge of Environmental Psychology, an applied sub-discipline of Psychology which bridges a range of core areas and related disciplines such as architecture, planning, and geography. Cover topics which include the role of the environment in social development and relationships, the relationships between environments, health and wellbeing, place attachment, place identity and the importance of home.
Take an introductory look at the psychology of both substance and non-substance-related addictive behaviours. Examine a variety of addictive behaviours such as alcoholism, addiction to psychoactive drugs, gambling, and sex addiction, as well as theories relating to the development, persistence, control and treatment of addictive behaviours. Link these behaviours to various areas of psychology such as the biological effects of drug use, how cognition plays a role in addictive behaviours and the social implications of addiction.
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about our Integrated Foundation Year courses please see our Help and Advice articles.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 but you will receive £3,000 cashback in Year 1 of the full undergraduate course.
In addition, you may receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region and a University of Sunderland StudyPLUS Card loaded with additional offers up to the value of £200, plus a bundle of study skills books worth £80.
If you are a full-time UK student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Graduates can go on to become Assistant Psychologists who can earn between £19,400 and £28,700 in the NHS. Graduates who complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology can work as Clinical Psychologists, with salaries in the NHS ranging from £31,700-£67,200.
Clinical Psychologists can be employed in hospitals, health centres, community mental health teams, and in social services. The role often involves completing clinical assessments to investigate the problems a person is experiencing (eg anxiety, depression, addiction, or learning difficulties) and delivering therapy that aims to address those problems.
Clinical Psychologists are usually employed in hospitals, health centres and community health care teams. However, many of our graduates go on to follow non-psychology career routes in social work, public services, HR and teaching due to the highly transferable skills you will gain.
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