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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
This course allows you to consider 'big issues' in contemporary psychology as well as studying pioneering approaches and major thinkers. The specialist counselling modules allow you an added perspective and teaches you how to apply basic skills from the counselling room in real-world settings.
Choose modules in your second and final year that suit your particular interests, including mental health and illness, addiction and clinical neuropsychology.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Study the extraordinary phenomena of behaviour and experience, including those labelled as paranormal. Understand and explain, within the context of science, the bizarre experiences people have had and why people believe in anomalous events and the explanations surrounding them. Consider various anomalous experiences (e.g. extra-sensory perception (ESP), psychokinesis, telepathy, hallucinations, hauntings, out of body experiences and near-death experiences, along with astrology and superstition) and various explanations within psychology (e.g. probability, cognitive biases, biological explanations, environmental factors and individual differences).
Learn about theory and research in evolutionary psychology and animal behaviour and how research on human and non-human animals can be integrated and applied to understanding aspects of contemporary life. Evaluate the extent to which we can learn about human psychology by studying non-human animals, what research on other animals tells us about the idea that humans are special, and the implications of research on animal behaviour for our understanding of the abilities of other animals, and how we treat them. Topics covered on this module may include, health and happiness, mate preferences, mating strategies and parenting, evolutionary approaches to contemporary and popular culture, hormones and behaviour, social organisation and social living and intelligence and cognition.
Work in teams to study the different psychology specialisms including clinical skills, health and wellbeing, counselling and forensic psychology. Draw on your knowledge of psychology generally, and of these different specialisms to apply different perspectives to current, real-world psychological issues in a problem-based learning context. Topics will vary from year to year but may include defining normality and abnormality, the effects of the media on aspects of psychology, the role of comparative research in psychology, gender issues, schizophrenia, and the stability of personality.
Focus on three core skills of clinical psychology. Learn a range of methods used by psychologists to assess a service user such as psychometric tests, interviews and taking a history. Learn how a clinical psychologist integrates the results of assessments of various methods with different psychological models to develop hypotheses and interventions tailored to the individual service user. Learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of practice based on existing evidence through reading systematic reviews, and learn how to design your own research to evaluate the effectiveness of psychological practice.
Investigate how psychology is used in detecting and interviewing suspects, and collecting evidence for conviction, including eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, and confessions. Examine sources of bias in the collection and presentation of forensic evidence, fallibility of eye-witness memory, and how to recognise and decrease the risk of mistakes. Examine the psychology of the courtroom, focusing particularly on jury decision-making. Focus on how different aspects of psychology can be used to understand and enhance the probability of detecting and convicting offenders. Consider forensic scenarios and case studies which will facilitate the application of knowledge and understanding of theories and research from social, cognitive, biological, and developmental psychology, and individual differences.
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.
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.
Gain confidence in sustaining longer skills sessions and focus on exploration of issues by the listener. Develop your practice not only by developing discrete skills, but also through developing self-awareness and recognising the impact they have on the listening process.
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 cyber crime. This module will encourage you to look beyond your university experience and to engage with psychological aspects of current culture and society.
Learn about the development of our understanding of Neurodiversity and 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. Critically engage with topics of current relevance 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.
Look at the nature of cognitive and emotional impairments following brain damage in adults. Cover topics including the causes of brain damage in adults, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's Disease, neuropsychological assessment procedures and rehabilitation following brain injury.
Examine how psychological concepts, principles and theories can be applied to understand and alleviate problems associated with health and health-related behaviours. Cover topics which include personality, health and illness, sociocultural aspects of health and illness, and stress and health. Focus on psychological interventions aimed at changing health-related behaviours.
Apply psychology to understanding offenders and a number of common forms of serious and violent offending encountered in forensic settings. Draw on approaches from across the discipline of psychology, applying psychological theory and research to aspects of serious and violent offending, for example gang violence and crime, intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic violence, sexual violence, murder, terrorism, financial and corporate crime, cybercrime.
Study cyberpsychology, the psychology of how humans interact with technology and online environments. Look at the online world and its impact on human behaviour. Explore how humans have adapted to a world with increasing amounts of technology: becoming digital humans in the process. Study the rise of artificial technology, and its impact on human behaviours. Consider how we interact with virtual environments, explore virtual identity, online vs. offline behaviours, and how we approach privacy and self-disclosure in an increasingly digital world.
Further develop your research design and data analysis skills, building on the foundations provided at Years 1 and 2. Cover advanced quantitative research design and acquire a number of advanced data analysis techniques.
Enhance your employability by completing a placement with a professional organisation, possibly, but not necessarily, related to psychology. Past placements have included conducting research and analysing data for NHS trusts and private clinical organisations or working as psychology teaching and research assistants.
Examine male psychology supported by the Male Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. Find out about key psychological issues that affect men and boys, such as physical and mental health issues, grief, suicide, trauma, male stereotypes and archetypes, intimate partner violence, sexual assault and fatherhood. Learn about the impact of acknowledging and understanding sex differences for full understanding of the human condition, and how this may enable us to tailor support and interventions to men facing issues. Critically consider modern conceptualisations of masculinity such as toxic masculinity and positive masculinity.
Explore the dark side of the human mind by engaging in the psychological study of dark personality. Learn about the ‘Dark Tetrad’ traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. Consider why men with dark personality are often attractive to women. Learn about dark personality disorders, focusing on psychopathy. Discuss ethical issues raised by psychopathy, and consider questions such as: Are psychopaths born or made? How are the brains of psychopaths different, and how does this affect how they think and feel? Why do some psychopaths commit violent crimes? Are psychopaths natural leaders? Why are psychopaths so prevalent in popular culture?
Study real world issues and problems relating to memory, for example, recovered and false memories, post-traumatic stress disorder and memory, memory closure and expressive writing, childhood amnesia, pregnancy and memory, life stories and post-traumatic growth, mindfulness and memory, role of memory making in mental health after perinatal loss, simulation of future experiences and anxiety.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 515 3154.
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.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 if you are from the UK/Ireland/EU settled/pre-settled.
If you are a full-time UK/Irish/EU settled/EU pre-settled student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fees for the full four years. UK and EU settled students may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
Learn more about settled status, pre-settled status, special discounts, visa requirements and Common Travel Area (CTA) agreements for the Republic of Ireland applicants 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 - 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers).
Graduates from this course can move into a broad range of careers spanning management, HR, social work, public services, counselling and advertising, or alternatively, pursue postgraduate qualifications in specific fields of psychological practice such as clinical or forensic psychology.
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