Psychology with Integrated Foundation Year BSc (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of our popular BSc (Hons) Psychology course, with an integrated foundation year. Learn how we interact with each other and about the decisions we make. Study the brain and a wide range of phenomena. Graduate and apply what you've learnt in many contexts.

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Overview

This Psychology course allows you to consider 'big issues' in contemporary psychology as well as studying pioneering approaches and major thinkers.

Choose modules in your final year that suit your particular interests, including mental health and illness, addiction and clinical neuropsychology.

The British Psychological Society Logo

Why us?

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology is accredited The British Psychological Society 
  • 93% of our BSc (Hons) Psychology graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)
  • You will have graduate basis for chartered membership of the BPS if you achieve at least a second class honours degree
  • We are a University that is nationally recognised for supporting learners particularly from non-traditional backgrounds and many students come to us with no formal qualifications but with valuable work experience

Course structure

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.

Foundation year 

The Health Sciences and Wellbeing Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:

  • Foundations of Health Sciences and Wellbeing (40 credits)
  • Practical Numeracy Skills (20 credits)
  • Foundation Project (20 credits)
  • Succeeding at University and Beyond (40 credits)

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 1 (national level 4):

Core modules

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.


Optional module - choose one

Psychology in the Media (20 credits)

Address common misconceptions about psychology and the role of the media in these misconceptions. Examine how the media influences the behaviour of individuals, and the application of psychological theories to understanding why people believe false and sensational claims.

Elective (20 credits)

You will have the option to take 20 credits as electives from other subjects across the University.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Core modules

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.

Academic Mentor 2 (20 credits)

Meet with your personal tutor to set academic and career goals. Develop graduate skills and take part in workshops designed to enhance your employability.


Optional modules - choose 20 credits

Please note: not all modules will run every year.

Attraction and Sexuality (10 credits)

Learn about how mate preferences and human sexuality evolved, and how these are manifest in modern men and women. Explore the reasons why men have preferences for female beauty and particular body shapes, and why humans so often engage in infidelity, for example.

Dialogue (10 credits)

Conversation is such an everyday event that people often take it for granted, yet it requires great complexity. Learn about psycholinguistic research and gain an understanding of how people use language and are able to engage in conversation.

Psychology of Religion (10 credits)

Apply psychology to understanding different aspects of religion, such as morality and belief in life after death. Examine the relationship between science and religion and the origins of religious belief.

The Science and Psychology of Fiction and Storytelling (10 credits)

Develop a scientific and psychological understanding of an aspect of fiction that interests you. Use an Enquiry Based Learning approach and, at the end of the module, produce a ‘video essay’.

Anomalistic Psychology (10 credits)

Apply psychology to understand why people have anomalous experiences (such as psychokinesis and out-of-body experiences) and why people believe in anomalous events.

Elective (20 credits)

You will have the option to take 20 credits as electives from other subjects across the University.

Final year (national level 6):

Core modules

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.

Optional modules – choose 70 credits, at least two 20 credit options must be taken

Please note: not all of these modules will run every year.

Clinical Neuropsychology (20 credits)

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.

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.

Environmental Psychology (20 credits)

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.

Health Psychology and Behaviour Change (20 credits)

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.

Advanced Quantitative Methods (10 credits)

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.

Cyberpsychology (10 credits)

Learn about the emerging field of cyberpsychology, the psychology of how humans interact with technology and online environments. Consider how we interact with virtual worlds, virtual identity, online behaviours, privacy and self-disclosure online, for example how the internet can be utilised effectively for learning.

Dark Personalities (10 credits)

Learn about the psychological study of 'dark' personality, focusing on the ‘Dark Triad’ of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – a cluster of inter-related traits characterised by disagreeableness, deception and aggression. Explore reasons why women may often be attracted to men who possess these seemingly undesirable personality traits and examine ‘dark’ personality disorders, including theories of their development, diagnosis, treatment and ethical issues.

Psychology of Art (10 credits)

Focus on two main areas: firstly, can psychology help us to understand and explain how and why people create art. Secondly, can psychology help us to understand why (some) humans like art, how art communicates meanings and what humans gain from experiencing art.

Memory and Life (10 credits)

Explore real world issues and problems relating to memory, as well as topics drawn from current research interests of members of staff. Examples of topics include: autobiographical memory (e.g. childhood amnesia, writing about memories), mindfulness and memory, the relationship between memory and emotion, story and memory, and recovered and false memories.

Addiction (20 credits)

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.

Brain Plasticity (10 credits)

Explore the malleable and changeable quality of the human brain. Look at brain development running from childhood through to adulthood, and how age affects the plasticity of the brain.

Examine evidence of the interconnectedness of the human brain from birth, looking at individuals with born sensory defects and synaesthesia as well as the ability of the brain to reorganise after damage.

Elective (20 credits)

You will have the option to take 20 credits as electives from other subjects across the University.

Shackleton House,
City Campus,
Silksworth Row,
Sunderland,
SR1 3QR

54.906328, -1.392260

  • 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. Resources for Counselling and Psychology include:

    • PsycARTICLES - This is an American Psychological Association (APA) database containing full-text articles from over 50 peer-reviewed Psychology journals covering 1985 to the present
    • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection - This database provides nearly 575 full text publications and covers topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, counselling, and observational and experimental methods
    • Science Direct - This provides some full text access to scientific and technical peer-reviewed journals. Coverage is all aspects of science, including Psychology and Counselling
    • Web of Knowledge - Provides access to ISI Web of Science, a multidisciplinary database of journal abstracts and citations from 1981 to date
    Library Services - counselling and psychology
  • We have specialist psychological and computer laboratories for counselling and psychology, plus the ‘Sandbox’, a dedicated space for students to develop ideas collaboratively.

    Our specialist facilities include:

    • High specification research cubicles, including a soundproof cubicle
    • Visual psychophysics laboratory
    • SkillsLab, a 30-seater IT suite
    • Powerlab psychophysiological measurement equipment
    • A transcranial direct-current brain stimulation machine (tDCS)
    • Private interview booths
    • Multimedia and games research room
    • Specialist data analysis and experiment building software
    Specialist laboratories for counselling and psychology

Facilities

Our Psychology courses are based at Shackleton House, City Campus, close to the city centre and a five-minute walk from the University metro station.

You’ll find a range of specialist laboratories and excellent library resources here.

Entry requirements

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)
OR
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.

Fees and finance

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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

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.

Career options

If you decide to develop a career in psychological practice, a key benefit of our BSc (Hons) Psychology course is its accreditation by The British Psychological Society. If you 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.

  • I particularly enjoy the lectures from practicing psychology professionals.
    Grace Essang, Psychology graduate

    Grace Essang

  • I was made to feel welcome and put at ease straight away.
    Jemma Learmouth

    Jemma Learmouth

  • The relationship with the lecturers was brilliant.
    Russell Hounslow, Psychology graduate

    Russell Hounslow

Meet our academics