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Psychology courses

How do children acquire language? Why do we forget things? What makes a good leader? If these sorts of questions interest you, psychology could appeal. You will study theories of behaviour, how the brain and mind work and develop skills to design experiments and collect data. Psychology is useful for a wide range of careers including social work, media and business, as well as being a first step to qualifying as a psychologist.

Studying psychology at university

Example course modules

  • Cell biology
  • Mind and behaviour
  • Exploring effective learning
  • Experimental methods and statistical analysis
  • Individual and social processes
  • Developmental psychology
  • Brain and cognition
  • Social psychology
  • Humans in biological perspective
  • Evolution and behaviour

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 82%
    Male : 18%
  • Mature : 34%
    School leaver : 66%
  • Full-time : 72%
    Part-time : 28%

What students say about psychology

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
More advice on A-level requirements

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition
More advice on applying to uni

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Personal statement tips and advice

Career prospects

One of the UK's fastest-growing subject at degree level, and the fourth most popular subject overall, one in 24 of all graduates last year had psychology degrees. As you'd expect with figures like that, jobs in psychology itself are incredibly competitive, so to stand a chance of securing one, you need to get a postgraduate qualification (probably a doctorate in most fields) and some relevant work experience. But even though there are so many psychology graduates – far more than there are jobs in psychology – this degree has a lower unemployment rate than average because its grads are so flexible and well-regarded by business. With a mix of good people skills and with excellent number and data handling skills, a psychology degree ticks most employers' boxes – but we'd suggest you don't drop your maths modules.
Professional and accrediting bodies:
Sources: HECSU & KIS

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Welfare professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Psychologist ( eg clinical, educational, occupational)
  • Youth and community worker
  • Counsellor

Other real-life job examples

  • PR officer
  • HR officer
  • Social Researcher

What employers like about this subject

One of the country's most popular degrees, psychology enables students to gain subject-specific skills such as developing an understanding of current theory and practice in fields of psychology and how to generate and interpret research data. General skills that employers appreciate in psychology graduates include communication, project management, numeracy and negotiation skills. Some roles in psychology itself, such as clinical psychology, may need a postgraduate qualification to enter. Psychology graduates work for a wide range of employers including hospitals and health trusts, schools and colleges, social care organisations and management consultants.