Psychology is about people, how they think, act, react and interact. Counselling is about listening to people, giving them time and space to explore the issues which are important to them. Explore two complementary and exciting disciplines with this integrated course.
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 ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.
The Health Sciences and Wellbeing Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Genes to Mind (20 credits)
- 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
Mind to World (20 credits)
- 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
Foundations of Psychological Research (40 credits)
- Take an introductory look at the scientific basis of psychology and its historical context
- Learn about a variety of research methods in psychology, and use this knowledge in practical work on a number of research projects in areas such as dark personalities and cognitive development
- Acquire knowledge of how the data from psychological research is analysed
Academic Mentor 1 (20 credits)
- Meet with personal tutors who will act as academic mentors for both group and individual sessions
- Develop academic skills (such as essay writing and referencing) and get an introduction to the career landscape for when you graduate
Introduction to Theories and Concepts in Counselling (20 credits)
- Gain a broad introduction to counselling
- Cover two key elements, the first centring on understanding the central concepts in contemporary practice across the main theoretical approaches, and the second focusing on understanding the three main counselling schools (psychodynamic, humanistic and CBT approaches)
Twenty-Four, Seven: Everyday Motivations and Biases (20 credits)
- 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
Cradle to Grave (20 Credits)
- 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
Psychological Research (40 credits)
- 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
Personal and Professional Development (10 credits)
- Reflect on your personal and professional development in the context of employability
- Take advantage of the opportunity to engage in personal development through self-reflection, classroom exercises and related reading, and meet with your personal tutor to set academic, personal and career goals
Foundations of Counselling and Listening (30 credits)
- Develop basic counselling and listening skills
- Practice different skills, watch video demonstrations, see tutor demonstrations and engage in discussions based on experience of practising skills or study of case scenarios
Empirical Project (40 credits)
- 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
From Lab to Life: Big Issues in Psychology (10 credits)
- Engage with some of the ‘big issues’ at the cutting edge of psychology, for example, the place of psychology within the wider field of science, free will, consciousness and the implications of personality disorders for criminal responsibility
Mental Health and Illness (20 credits)
- Explore a number of psychological approaches to mental health problems and the therapies and treatments associated with them
- Cover a number of common mental health conditions, as well as the perspectives of users of mental health services
- The module will be of interest to you if you are hoping to enter clinical or therapeutic work
Contemporary Counselling in Context (20 credits)
- Critically examine the debates surrounding the provision of counselling in the twenty-first century
- Approach a number of contemporary real-world issues from a counselling perspective, including homelessness, eating disorders, alcoholism and domestic violence, for example
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.
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 Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.
The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.
In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.
Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.
If you are a full-time UK student you will 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.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Sunderland has a good reputation with employers - 100% of our BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students).
Graduates from this course can move into a broad range of careers spanning management, personnel, social work, public services, counselling and advertising, or alternatively, pursue postgraduate qualifications in specific fields of psychological practice such as clinical or forensic psychology.
Counselling careers include educational counselling (where you help deal with difficulties in learning and social adjustment), forensic counselling (where you become an expert in psychological issues associated with criminal behaviours), and clinical counselling (where you deal with mental and physical health problems).