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Psychology

BSc (Hons) - single

* This course is subject to validation by the University.

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Accredited by the British Psychological Society

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and experience. This course gives students the opportunity to explore wide-ranging topics in psychology, from the highly practical to the deeply philosophical, using methods from high-tech and hands-on to theoretical and introspective. By studying both everyday and clinically diagnosable behaviours, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the complex interactions between brain, behaviour and experience. You will become equipped with interpersonal, practical, and analytical skills indispensable for any career, within or outside of psychology. For more information on the course, read our brochure or browse the sections below.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code

C800

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We teach a wide variety of topics in innovative and engaging ways.
  • Your transition from A-level to university is supported by a comprehensive small group tutorial system in the first year.
  • In depth understanding is facilitated by one-to-one tutorials in the third year.
  • We provide extensive feedback that allows our students to continually improve and achieve their full potential.
  • Our student satisfaction score is 95%, placing us in the top 11% of UK psychology undergraduate degree courses (National Student Survey 2018).
  • You can read our students’ testimonies about why they love their course.
  • Our teaching is inspired by our staff’s excellent research - 95% of our research is of internationally recognised standard (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Our students go on to have great careers, earning on average more than psychology graduates from other universities (Department for Education report 2018).
  • The Psychology Research Experience Scheme allows students to directly contribute to cutting-edge professional research by helping staff in their own research projects.
  • The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Seven basic modules are available in Year 1. These introduce you to current theories, methods and findings in experimental psychology, the study of social and personal influences on individual and small-group behaviour, children's social and emotional development, biological psychology, the history of psychology, key skills for psychologists, and basic psychological investigative procedures and data interpretation.

Modules taken in Year 2 give further grounding in data collection and analysis, and in empirical techniques. Optional modules allow you to study many different aspects of psychology such as social, developmental, and biological psychology, personality and individual differences or cross-cultural perspectives.

In Year 3 you will apply the knowledge gained in the first two years, in modules offering opportunities to design and undertake your own research project, to design intervention studies for improving health behaviour, and to consider the theoretical and philosophical implications of your psychology knowledge. You can also gain specialised in-depth knowledge, with module options from cognitive, developmental and social psychology as well as abnormal psychology and atypical development.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1

  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychological Research
  • Foundations of Developmental Psychology
  • Foundations of Biological Psychology
  • Psychology and Contemporary Issues
  • Influential Papers in Psychology.

Students may also choose instead to study up to two modules taken from other Brookes courses. We recommend the following in particular:

  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Introduction to Social Anthropology
  • Social Differences and Divisions
  • Foundations of Social Theory
  • Constructions of Childhood
  • Introduction to Philosophy

Years 2 and 3

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Mental Health Conditions (Honours)
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Personality and Individual Differences
  • Biological Psychology
  • Advanced Statistics and Experimental Methods for Psychology
  • Qualitative Methods for Psychology (Honours)
  • Questionnaire Design for Psychology
  • Topics in Cognition (Honours)
  • Topics in Developmental Psychology (Honours)
  • Topics in Social Psychology (Honours)
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Psychology
  • Explanatory Concepts in Psychology (Honours)
  • Empirical Project (Honours) (double module)
  • Neuroscience (Honours) (double module)
  • Understanding Developmental Disorders (Honours)
  • Psychological Interventions (Honours)
  • Independent Study.

Our 'Topics in...' modules are based on a wide range of specialist topics in which staff have particular expertise from their own research. Students choose a topic they wish to pursue in depth with the member of staff.

Students may also choose instead to study up to four of the following acceptable modules taken from other Brookes courses:

  • Anthropology of Ritual
  • Crime and Society (Honours)
  • Approaches to Challenging Behaviour in Health and Social Care
  • Theraputic use of Touch in Health Care Settings
  • Culture and Care (Honours)
  • Poverty and Welfare
  • Psycholinguistics (Honours)
  • The Social World of Childhood
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Mind (Honours)
  • The Philosophy of Religion
  • Design for Online Communication
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Sports Psychology.

Modules may be subject to change in the future.

Study abroad

Oxford Brookes students are actively encouraged to study for part of their degree at other universities abroad. Psychology students have taken advantage of opportunities to study in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding may be available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional Costs

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.

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.

Teaching and learning

Our undergraduate modules employ a range of teaching and learning formats including lectures, seminars, discussion sessions, small group tutorial sessions, and independent work with one-on-one tutorial supervision. Progressive practical classes in statistical analyses and empirical methods, using a variety of approaches and tools including e-learning, culminate for most students in the honours project module where an independent empirical enquiry is undertaken and written up. The small group tutorial system is particularly active in the first year, supporting the transition to university level study, and in the third year, supporting the honours project.

You will be taught by staff who are actively engaged in research projects spanning the spectrum from social to biological aspects of behaviour, which means that your learning will be informed by the very latest academic thinking. The department has a stimulating and friendly atmosphere, and there is a lively student psychology society which organises regular events including speakers, films and social events.

We make a concerted effort to ensure that you acquire useful abilities that will help you in your future career. These include interviewing and other interpersonal skills, working in groups, measurement and evaluation of behaviour, use of statistics, computers and word-processing systems in psychology, and use of psychological knowledge to solve problems and design experiments. These skills are taught entirely within the course and do not require special prior experience.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 23%77%0%
2 18%82%0%
3 12%88%0%

Approach to assessment

The teaching, learning and assessment strategy for the Psychology programme takes a holistic view of the undergraduate course. Assessment is by coursework and examination. Coursework includes essays, portfolios, individual and group presentations, IT exercises and in-class tests. Some modules are assessed only by examination, while others are assessed solely on the basis of coursework undertaken during the semester. In devising this strategy we seek to achieve the following aims and objectives:

  • Use a range of assessment methods evenly spread across modules to assess the entire programme learning outcomes.
  • Use formative and summative assessment methods to introduce variety and manage student workloads.
  • Achieve consistency of workloads between modules.
  • Provide students with transparent and detailed marking criteria, and ensure that assessment is seen as an integral part of their learning experience.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 80%0%20%
2 54%0%46%
3 31%0%69%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120

A-Level: BBB or equivalent

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

IB Diploma: 32 points

BTEC: DDM

Other typical offers include:

  • AB at A-level and BB at AS-level
  • vocational A-levels at equivalent grades.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Other academic qualifications that fulfil the entry requirements include:

  • a recognised foundation or access course
  • European Baccalaureate.

Further EU qualifications are also accepted; for more details please contact the admissions office.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C) to include English Language and Mathematics at Grade 5 (B)

  • Applicants with a GCSE Mathematics grade C will also be considered if they have, or are predicted to achieve, a grade A or B in A-level Psychology.
  • If you are over 21 years old and you do not have these qualifications, you should contact the admissions office to discuss your application.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we will need proof of your English language ability - IELTS (6.5 or above). 

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Located in the heart of England, Oxford is a thriving and exciting city where modern restaurants, bars, music venues and shopping arcades mingle with buildings and institutions that date back to the middle ages. This mix, that lies below the famous ‘dreaming spires’, means that Oxford is a very special place to study for three years.

With a student population (at the two Universities) of over 40,000, Oxford has a very young and vibrant atmosphere. Term times offer up a host of opportunities ranging from clubs and societies to fill your spare time to conferences, seminars and forums that involve science, education, politics, the arts.

The Psychology Department at Brookes has excellent links with the wider city and many of our students benefit from work placements, volunteering opportunities and other learning opportunities with local industries and charities. Our students find these activities to be hugely rewarding, great for developing new skills and, of course, great material for the future CV.

Oxford is also very well connected in terms of transport. There are regular buses to the heart of London (up to one every 10 minutes) and these stop directly outside of the main Brookes campus. There are also fast and convenient connections to three international airports for that easy ‘getaway’ to celebrate the end of exams.

Support for students studying Psychology

As a Psychology undergraduate, the support you receive at Oxford Brookes is first class. When you arrive at Oxford Brookes you will be assigned an academic adviser who will provide you with academic support and supervision, helping you to achieve your full potential throughout your degree. Through a series of scheduled sessions your advisor will support you as you plan module choices and develop your plans for employment or further study after graduation.

The psychology team includes knowledgeable and award-winning demonstrators, who are available for one-to-one meetings to support understanding of research methods such as statistical analysis. The university’s unique, free Upgrade study service is available to anyone wanting to develop their academic skill set, offering workshops or one-to-one tutorials on topics such as oral presentations, effective revision and essay writing.

In addition, our dedicated student support co-ordinators are on hand from the day you start to the day you leave. They can help with any academic or personal issues you may experience during your time here. We also run a Psychology Peer Mentoring Scheme, giving the opportunity for additional peer support across your degree, and a Careers Service to support you in your future plans.

Specialist facilities

Psychology at Brookes is a highly research active Department and we bring our research into the teaching wherever possible. Reflecting this, the Department has a host of specialist facilities that are used in our research:

  • state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, with babylab, eye trackers, a movement lab with motion tracking, high density EEG and ERP facilities to measure brain activity, and a TMS brain stimulation system.
  • a computer suite.
  • teaching rooms and a video-recording facility with an observation room.
  • a dedicated psychological test library.

Psychology students have access to a wealth of online resources - journals, videos and articles - that are available through our departmental portal. Computers within the Department are linked to the Brookes ‘print anywhere’ network to allow hassle free printing of documents to locations, and at times, most convenient to you.

The main Oxford Brookes Library (situated just a few minutes’ walk from the Department) provides a rich array of the resources you need for your study of psychology. We have a dedicated psychology librarian who is on hand to answer your enquiries, teach you information skills and guide you around the electronic resources on offer. The library offers regular training sessions on accessing and making the best use of key resources in the area of psychology. The library is also home to ‘Upgrade’, a University run service that exists to help out students improve their work in a host of areas such as referencing or grammar.

Once you reach the stage of embarking on your third year research project / dissertation you will also have access to the world-famous Bodleian Library that is located in the city centre.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

If you have vocational ambitions in psychology you can follow courses of study in both single and combined honours courses which are accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), provided you major in Psychology and achieve a minimum of lower second class honours and a psychology project pass. This is the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist.

Please note, BPS accreditation of this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Career prospects

Many of our students take up careers in educational, occupational or clinical psychology, or in academic research after further training. However, as approximately 75% of psychology graduates choose to work in other related sectors, it’s important that a psychology degree prepares students for the wider world of work. The nature of our psychology degree is such that our graduates develop crucial skills, both academic and practical, that equips them for a variety of careers involving human/social areas. These include areas such as advertising, teaching, sales, consumer market research, public relations, media planning, human resources and recruitment, business development, health care and counselling to name just a few.

Careers talks take place in the department and throughout the University and our students are successful at finding gainful employment - five years after graduation Oxford Brookes graduates earn on average £1,416 more than other British psychology graduates (Department for Education report 2018).

The British Psychological Society has details of the many and varied careers that a degree in psychology can open up for you. There you will also find details on the route to becoming a chartered psychologist.

As a psychology student at Oxford Brookes you will gain expertise in your field, and also develop a set of skills to help you stand out from the crowd, including the ability to:

  • be an independent worker and researcher
  • use critical analysis and creative thinking
  • keep in step with the latest developments
  • use problem solving and numeracy skills
  • become confident in presentation and public speaking - students who conduct the best projects regularly present their work at national and regional British Psychological Society conferences
  • contribute to teamwork
  • develop networking opportunities
  • refine your writing abilities.

Further study

Many of our graduates choose to continue their studies at either master's or PhD level. Many students choose to stay in the department to continue their studies as we offer the opportunity to do so at both master's and doctoral levels.