Psychology

BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: C800

Start dates: September 2023 / September 2024

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

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Overview

Understanding human behaviour gives you huge potential to change lives. You could improve health, advance education, or evaluate working conditions. Study Psychology at Oxford Brookes and we’ll help you discover the wide range of applications of psychology and how you can find a rewarding career with your new skills.

The course reflects the latest developments in psychology, so you benefit from our expertise in those areas. We’ve included new ways to help you develop your employability skills and how to apply what you’ve learned to the world of work. As well as learning the latest theories.

You’ll work in our modern labs to gather evidence and test ideas. We’ll teach you how to design studies, analyse data, and interview people to gain a deep psychological understanding of their experiences. These skills will prepare you for your future career.

Our teaching staff are active researchers. Their work will inform your lessons, and you can get involved in their projects. They are committed to your success – they will share their wide knowledge of psychology with you on a 1-1 basis.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • More than theory

    you won’t just learn about psychology. We want to make sure you learn what it takes to become a psychologist.

  • Friendly atmosphere

    our relatively small size means you’ll get to know your classmates and tutors. We’re known for being a supportive, close-knit community.

  • Labs and field equipment

    observe babies play in our baby lab, analyse movement in our movement lab, monitor brain activity with EEG, and more.

  • Beyond the classroom

    we offer extra-curricular activities, opportunities for fieldwork, and work experience with healthcare, charity, and corporate organisations.

  • Open up opportunities

    we’ll help you explore your career options and work towards your goals. Employability is embedded throughout the course.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Accredited by the British Psychological Society

    • The British Psychological Society

Course details

Course structure

You’ll study the complex and diverse issues that modern psychology tackles. Modules like Clinical Neuropsychology and Applying Social Psychology to Global Challenges will help you understand some of the ways you can make a difference as a psychologist.

You can choose to take an optional work experience year. You’ll be able to see how psychology can be used in a real setting, while gaining experience for your CV. We have great links to employers in the region, like hospitals, NGOs, science parks, and businesses.

By your final year, you’ll have a good understanding of psychology and can specialise with optional modules. Many of these are about practical problem solving so you can see how psychology can be used to affect change.

You’ll conduct your own research project in your final year of the course. Gather evidence in our well-equipped labs or out in the field. Then put your knowledge to use tackling a real-world challenge. Some students even present their work at conferences across the UK.

Student taking a test on a computer

Learning and teaching

The very latest academic thinking will inspire your learning. The integration of research and teaching is an essential part of the programme, with tutors teaching topics which they research.

Our undergraduate modules include a range of teaching and learning formats. These include: 

  • lectures
  • seminars 
  • discussion sessions
  • small group tutorial sessions
  • independent work 
  • one-to-one tutorial supervision.

You will also have the opportunity to:

  • take part in staff research from Year 1
  • carry out your own research-based “Psychology Project” in the final year.

Our small group tutorial system supports your transition to university level study. Seminar and tutorial groups also support your optional modules and project during your final year.

Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and examination. Coursework includes: 

  • essays
  • portfolios
  • individual and group presentations
  • IT exercises
  • in-class tests.

Some modules are assessed only by exams, while others are assessed only by coursework. We do this to: 

  • use a range of assessment methods spread evenly across modules to assess the entire course learning outcomes
  • use formative (developmental) and summative (focussed on overall outcome) assessment methods to introduce variety and lighten student workloads
  • achieve balance of workloads between modules.

Transparent and detailed marking criteria are provided as assessment is an important part of your learning experience.

Study modules

* modules required for British Psychological Society recognition.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Key areas of Psychology

    You’ll study theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of psychology across the recognised core topic areas of psychology. After you have had a brief introduction to the history of psychology and its various sub-disciplines. You’ll then look at a series of five key approaches that can be used to explore specific topics across the discipline. By the end of the module you’ll have developed your understanding of how different approaches can be used to address specific topics within psychology.

  • Academic Skills for Psychology*

    This module is your opportunity to learn about and develop your core academic skills that you’ll need to complete your Psychology degree. You’ll learn about

    • academic writing
    • referencing
    • plagiarism
    • critical thinking skills
    • employability
    • revision
    • and effective exam preparation. 

    You’ll study this module at the same time you'll be studying Introduction to Key Areas in Psychology. You’ll use the core topic areas in Introduction to Key Areas in Psychology as a framework to help you develop the academic skills you’ll need for your studies.
     

  • Introduction to Psychological Research*

    Learn how research is conducted in Psychology. You’ll develop skills so you’ll be able to apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues, recognising that psychology involves a range of 

    • research methods 
    • theories
    • evidence 
    • and applications.   

    You will also take your first steps in conducting and taking part in simple psychological studies, surveys and experiments. Then you will use your gained knowledge and skills to write up psychology research reports based on the findings. 
     

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology

    This is your introduction to the contribution psychology can make to our understanding of contemporary issues. You’ll cover topics that include:

    • misperceptions of psychology as a discipline 
    • the use and misuse of evidence in the wider world (e.g. fake data and fake news, why it ‘works’ and how to identify and counter it) 
    • critical evaluation of issues current in the media. 

    You will address the consequences of media-promoted lay theories of behaviour.  You’ll examine recent reporting of topics in the media and the psychological research and theory that relates to them.  

    Finally you will develop your ability to take a critical and evidence-based approach to ideas that may not be well understood by non-psychologists. You’ll focus on topics covered in the current media and that cover global concerns, these will also align with staff interests and expertise.   
     

  • Human Factors and Psychology

    This is your introduction to the area of psychology known as Human Factors. 

    Human Factors is devoted to understanding how people interact with their environments and the products and objects in those environments. You will study the methods of the application of Human Factors principles to areas such as:

    • workplace safety
    • human error
    • product design 
    • user satisfaction
    • human capabilities and limitations
    • human computer interaction
    • human automation interaction.

    Also you’ll look at how Human Factors engineering has been applied in real world settings – looking at two examples - Human Factors in Aviation and in Health Care. By the end of the module you’ll be able to take findings from the academic discipline of psychology and apply them to real world settings.
     

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Psychological Research Methods and Statistics 1*

    Human behaviour and the study of research methods to gain insight into it is the focus of this module. You’ll be engaging in statistical training designed to broaden your understanding of qualitative and quantitative research, and the analysis of it. You’ll participate in hands-on practical classes covering experimental design and advanced analysis of data research.

    You’ll be trained on how to discuss your research findings effectively and will be given the opportunity to write up a psychology research report. Whether your interests lie in cognitive or developmental psychology, or want to focus on social or clinical aspects, you’ll conduct and participate in multi-part psychological study.

    Alongside your training you, you will utilise surveys, data research, and various experimental methodologies. This module builds on the year 1 module “Introduction to Psychological Research” (PSYC4012) and will consolidate and extend knowledge of research methods.

  • Psychological Research Methods and Statistics 2*

    In this module you will further explore research methods in aspects of psychology. Drawing on your previous knowledge you will consolidate and extend your understanding of experimental research methods. This module builds on the content covered in “Psychological research methods and statistics 1”. You’ll be introduced to more advanced forms of qualitative and/or quantitative analysis, and you’ll be given some choice as to which methods to focus on.

    You’ll be given practical classes which will give you hands-on experience of experimental design, analysis of qualitative data and statistical analysis. Alongside this, you’ll also conduct a psychological study using a method of your choice.
     

  • Applying Social Psychology to Global Challenges*

    Human civilisation risks large-scale collapse without psychologically informed interventions. People’s habitual behaviours, attitudes, identities and power-relations need to change in order for humanity, and the planet, to thrive. In this module you’ll apply social psychology theories, research, and methods to global challenges outlined by the United Nations (UN) and by the United Kingdom (UK) Government.

    You’ll participate in discussion that will address the distinct contributions that social psychologists can make to what have been described as ‘multidimensional challenges’, assess the key obstacles to be overcome, and evaluate the likely success of achieving a ‘positive transformational impact’ (as outlined in the UK Strategy for Global Challenges Research).

  • Memory & Language*

    In this module, you’ll explore two areas of cognition: memory and language. You’ll investigate these areas across various functionalities. The major theories of memory and (spoken and written) language will be covered, including both historical and contemporary current perspectives, the brain systems involved in memory and language and the different types of research methods that can be used to study memory and language.

    You’ll explore development in childhood and how the ageing population can encounter challenges with memory and language in cases such as amnesia and aphasia. 

  • Health Behaviour across the Lifespan*

    Our behaviour is crucial to how we treat ourselves and can influence our health and well-being. Decline in wellbeing can be attributed to age, however, other factors at play, such as how we behave and the lifestyle choices we make across our lifespan, can have an effect on our life expectancies. In this module, you'll explore the psychological aspects of health behaviours across the lifespan drawing on key areas within developmental, cognitive, biological, social psychology, and individual differences.

    You’ll learn about and evaluate behavioural influences on health and wellbeing from childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older age.  You’ll examine personality and health, individual choice/agency versus external influences (such as peers, families, and corporations) on health behaviours, and explore health inequalities and disparities. There will be a special focus on the impact of alcohol and other drugs, smoking, healthy eating, physical activity and sleep on health behaviours.

  • Personality & Psychometrics

    How do we all differ in terms of personality, intelligence and ability? You’ll be investigating this question and more in this module, designed to develop your knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches and psychometric tests.

    You’ll be trained in utilising experimental techniques to better understand different aspects of individual differences, including personality, creativity and intelligence. Alongside learning all about psychometric research methods, you’ll also discover how to critically compare, contrast and evaluate concepts including trait theory, social-cognitive style and existential approaches to the study of personality and contemporary theories of intelligence.

  • Perception & Action

    How do we act and understand the actions of others? It’s an interesting question which you’ll explore in this module. Our performance is influenced by our ability to interpret stimuli (perception), as well as our ability to problem-solve and execute processes (action).

    In this module you’ll delve into theories and studies on cognitive, biological and developmental basis of perception in natural environments and the human interplay between how movement / action unfolds in the real world. By the end of this module you’ll have a deeper understanding of the experimental research techniques in the field of perception and action, and how to apply these to clinical settings. 

Optional modules

Clinical Neuropsychology

In this module you’ll be exploring one of the most rapidly growing areas within the field of Psychology. Clinical neuropsychology represents a psychometric approach to the evaluation of brain-behaviour relationships. In this module, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills for understanding the nature of cognitive impairments that can follow from a brain injury or illness.

You’ll learn how to assess these changes and understand remedial measures to improve/manage those cognitive impairments.  You’ll also be trained to take case histories, how to assess cognitive impairments using neuropsychological tests, interpret test findings, and make outline suggestions for interventions.  

Attachment & Human Development

The module will present students with an opportunity to examine the concept of attachment security and its application in research and intervention in depth.  Academic and therapeutic perspectives will be addressed with students engaging in workshops on methods involving coding existing observations and interviews. Material will be drawn from research utilising the concept across the lifespan. 

Work Experience Preparation

If you are intending on spending a year on work experience, this non-credit bearing module aims to support your transition through it. This module will support your search for a suitable organisation and the development of skills relevant to your search and your ability to engage successfully in the workplace. 

 

Independent Study

This module allows students to choose a topic to study in more detail. This can be a topic that is not formally offered as part of the taught course. The topic will normally extend the learning achieved during the previous year. A learning contract is agreed between the student and a supervising member of staff in the semester prior to the study being undertaken. 

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Psychology Project*

    This is your chance to demonstrate your abilities to practice as a professional psychologist. You’ll develop research skills on this module, which will enable you to make informed conclusions about the body of research that you are conducting. You will get the opportunity to plan, design, analyse and interpret your findings, while implementing ethical guidelines, and with support from your tutor lead. You may work with other students to collaboratively collect data, and you will then go on to produce your research proposal, ethical review, and write-up individually. 

  • Conceptual Issues & Critical Debates in Psychology*

    In this module, you’ll be examining some of the main philosophical and scientific ideas that underpin contemporary psychology. You’ll consider conceptual and methodological elements underlying research programmes, and will have the opportunity to participate in debates that are at the centre of the world of psychology. As part of your philosophical discovery into psychological research, you’ll consider topics surrounding what shapes human behaviour, how humans make choices and decisions, and how we should be studying humans. 

  • Work & Organisational Psychology*

    What psychology tools can we use in the workplace that improve working lives?

    In this module, you’ll be looking at developing your knowledge and understanding of the role of psychology in the workplace. You’ll explore the contribution that psychology can make achieving ‘best fit’ between people and their jobs, and how small changes can effectively enhance productivity, satisfaction and well-being at work. You’ll consider a wide variety of topics such as Selection and Assessment, Leadership, Team Building, Stress and Work and Motivation, while gaining essential practical skills across these areas. By the end of this module, you’ll have a clear understanding of which psychological theories and principles are applied in the workplace and how to effectively manage organisational change, and motivate teams. 
     

     

Optional modules

The Psychology of Mental Health Conditions

It could be argued that mental health has never been so prominent, particularly after the advent of COVID. Our awareness of mental health conditions has heightened globally, and what was once a taboo subject, appears to be unfolding in a way that nurtures growing consideration and a genuine desire to understand one another more. 

In this module, you’ll explore how we define and classify mental health conditions, and how to conduct research and consider ethical issues in the field. You’ll also learn about the theories and processes behind a selection of mental health conditions, and approaches to the treatment and management of these conditions.

By the end of this module, you’ll have a clearer understanding of key mental health conditions, and how to apply your knowledge to the challenges concerning the development of interventions. 
 

The Self and Autobiographical Memory

Our experiences of our life, stored in our memories, make us who we are. Yet, sometimes these memories can become distorted, leading to a reconstructed memory of ourselves in the current reality.

In this module, you’ll explore in detail the idea of the self, the process of autobiographical memory, and the relationship between these two constructs. You’ll cover topics such as how memories can enhance or sabotage the self, and how processes of self and memory change in ageing and clinical disorders. You’ll explore research suggesting that the self has an impact on how we imagine the future, as well as remember the past, and will examine questions such as, ‘How much does who we are depend on what we remember?’, and ‘Is the self-associated with ‘special’ cognitive processes in memory?'
 

Health: Behaviour Change and Prevention

In this module, you’ll explore how psychological approaches to behaviour change are important for helping people switch to healthier behaviours, for example, stopping smoking, reducing drinking, better eating and more exercise. You’ll also get an insight into how psychology can help us to understand how to prevent people from adopting risky health behaviours, especially in children and younger people. There will be an opportunity for you to co-design interventions that investigate the effectiveness of behaviour change and prevention. By the end of this module, you shall gain an appreciation and critical understanding of the ways in which psychological theory and evidence have been used to inform behaviour change and prevention interventions. 

Psychology and Language

In this module, you’ll have an excellent introduction to Psycholinguistics, which is the study of how language is represented and processed in the brain. You’ll take a multidisciplinary approach to investigating key theoretical issues in psycholinguistics and the different ways in which these can be explored. You’ll learn how children acquire their first language, how bilingual children and adult second language learners process language, how language is acquired and processed in specific populations, for example, deaf children, and the pragmatic and social aspects of language use in today’s world. 

The Psychology of Motor Skill and Play

In this module, you’ll learn that children acquire self-confidence and self-esteem through achieving successful motor skill and coordination experiences. Play is an important aspect of a child’s life. Movement and practice with motor skills can help children feel more confident about their abilities, which can have an impact in later life. You’ll be exploring the role that Physical Education and play have in motor skill learning during childhood. Material covered will consider motor learning and skill acquisition from both a theoretical and practical perspective and will describe movement from a biological, cognitive, developmental and social viewpoint.

Specialised Research Methods in Psychology

In this module you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your research knowledge and skills beyond what you have learnt in the first two years of the degree. You’ll broaden your practical skills associated with the process of research planning and design, data collection, data analysis and report writing. By the end of this module you can expect to have gained a range of transferrable skills that will enhance your employability in the psychology research arena.

The Psychology of Developmental Disorders

In this module you’ll nurture an understanding of the diagnostic frameworks and theories of developmental disorders. You’ll explore how you can apply your skills to assessment and intervention. In particular, you’ll focus on developmental disorders such as Dyslexia, Developmental Language Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on with interactive sessions and attend informative lectures, all of which will act as a pre-cursor to critical evaluation of a research paper or discussions in small groups.

Deviance, Crime and Criminal Behaviour

According to Government figures, there were just over 6.3 million crime offences recorded by the police in in England and Wales in 2021/22. Deviance, violence and criminality seem to be ever present in daily life. However, understanding why people stray outside accepted social norms is a highly complex issue. In this module you’ll focus on psychological theories that can be used to understand deviance, violence and criminal behaviour. This will include examining both the individual and social levels. You’ll also focus on some of the broader and more methodological issues such as how we decide what constitutes deviance, violence or crime, how we measure it (such as reliable crime statistics), the impact of violence and crime on individuals, communities and societies, and the management of offenders.

Healthy & Unhealthy Romantic Relationships

Healthy romantic relationships contribute to the purpose and meaning of people’s lives. When romantic relationships become unhealthy they significantly undermine people’s mental health and life satisfaction. In this module you’ll examine contemporary research on romantic relationships from a wide range of perspectives. These perspectives will include social, biological, developmental, cross-cultural, clinical and counselling domains of psychology. 

Independent Study

You’ll be given the opportunity to choose a topic for independent study, relevant to your programme. You’ll build on the knowledge you achieved in Stage 2 and if you are a full-time student, this module will typically be undertaken during your final year of study. You’ll agree your chosen topic of study with your tutor lead in the semester prior to the one in which study is to be undertaken. After the learning contract has been approved by the Subject Examination Committee, the study module you have chosen will then be registered on your programme of study.

 

Work experience

Optional modules

Work experience

This is a great addition to your CV and helps you to stand out from the crowd when looking for a graduate job.

You can sign up for work experience in your first year and you’ll complete the work experience preparation module in Year 2. You'll be supported with your search for work experience and develop techniques and skills useful at interviews and assessment centres. Additional support is also available from dedicated work experience staff members. During your work experience you will receive regular support from your own Work Experience Tutor.

Your work experience must be full time and be for a minimum number of weeks. The salary must be commensurate with the role and not less than the minimum wage for the country in which the placement is taking place.

We have a number of links with local and regional employers including the NHS and local NGOs/Charities that can support you in your search for relevant work experience. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Careers

Many students choose to join our course to work towards being a clinical psychologist. But that’s just one of your options.

With British Psychological Society accreditation, your degree is the ideal first step before further training. You might explore an area like clinical, educational, occupational or sports psychology. Or you might use your skills in a different role such as:

  • advertising
  • teaching
  • sales
  • consumer market research
  • public relations
  • media planning
  • human resources and recruitment
  • business development
  • health care and counselling.

Past graduates are working in areas as diverse as research, product management, wellbeing, or recruitment. Five years after graduation, our graduates earn on average £1,416 more than other British psychology graduates (Department for Education report 2018).

We’ll help you explore your options and build your CV through opportunities like the placement year. And with our close-knit community, we’ll get to know you and help you achieve your potential and ambitions.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez

My research focuses on understanding the roots of language acquisition, by exploring speech perception in infancy. I’m interested on infants’ capacity to learn phonological properties that occur in their native language, the mechanisms by which these native properties are acquired, and how prior knowledge about these properties supports later lexical acquisition, such as word segmentation and early word learning.

Read more about Nayeli

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,950

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£16,750

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,950

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£16,750

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Many modules included a recommended textbook. All recommended textbooks can be found in the library, however many students find it easier to buy their own copy. Textbook costs will vary dependent on which modules you take, as well as whether you buy the books new or second-hand.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.