Psychology with Counselling BSc (Hons)

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Gain wide-ranging insights into how people behave and how they can be helped to tackle problems. Learn how we interact with each other, the decisions we make and the thinking behind this. Graduate with a broad skill set that can be applied to careers in social work, public services, counselling, clinical or forensic psychology or counselling.

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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.

The British Psychological Society Logo

Why us?

  • This course has 100% Overall Satisfaction according to the National Student Survey 2018
  • According to the National Student Survey 2018, our Psychology courses are ranked 5th in the UK for Overall satisfaction and Learning opportunities, 10th for The teaching on my course, and are in the top 25% for Assessment and feedback, Academic support, Learning community and Student Voice
  • Accredited by The British Psychological Society
  • You will have graduate basis for chartered membership of the BPS if you achieve at least a second class honours degree
  • 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)
  • Our Psychology courses were ranked 3rd overall in the UK in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Psychology courses were ranked 3rd in the UK for Assessment and Feedback in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey

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 on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.

Year 1 (national level 4):

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)


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

Year 2 (national level 5):

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

Final year (national level 6):

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

Shackleton House,
City Campus,
Silksworth Row,

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


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

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £10,750 if you are from outside the EU

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


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).

Career options

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).

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