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Psychology

BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: C800

Start dates: September 2023

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

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

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

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Psychological Research

The module introduces students to how research is conducted in Psychology. Students will learn to apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues, recognising that psychology involves a range of research methods, theories, evidence and applications. The module has a strong practical emphasis with students conducting and taking part in simple psychological studies, surveys and experiments and these will be written up in the form of psychology research reports. 

Introduction to Key areas of Psychology

This course introduces a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of psychology across the recognised core topic areas of psychology. Through studying this course, students will develop their understanding of how the different approaches can be used to address specific topics within psychology. After a brief introduction to the history of psychology and its various sub-disciplines, a series of five key approaches will be used to explore specific topics across the discipline. Social Psychology (example topics: group processes, intergroup relations, social cognition), Developmental Psychology (example topics: cognitive development, ageing, typical and atypical development) , Individual Differences (example topics: intelligence, diversity, physical and mental health), Cognitive Psychology (example topics: attention, perception, decision making), Biological Psychology (example topic: biological bases of human behaviour, neuroscience).

Psychology & Human Factors

This module introduces students to the interdisciplinary area of psychology known as Human Factors. Human factors professionals work to apply principles of psychology to designing products and creating work environments that boost productivity while minimizing safety issues. Human factors is devoted to understanding how people interact with their environments and the products and objects in those environments.  A range of topics will be studied including ergonomics, workplace safety, human error, product design, human capability and human-computer interaction. 
 

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

This module introduces students to the contribution psychology can make to our understanding of and approach to contemporary issues.  The topics covered will 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) and critical evaluation of issues current in the media.
The current issues selected will allow the students to address the consequences of media-promoted lay theories of behaviour. It will bring together recent reporting of topics in the media and the psychological research and theory that relates to them.  It will develop students’ ability to take a critical and evidence-based approach to ideas that have general currency but may not be well understood by non-psychologists. 

Academic Skills for Psychology

This module offers psychology students the opportunity to learn about and develop the core academic skills needed over the course of their undergraduate degree. For example, students will be taught about academic writing, referencing, plagiarism, critical thinking skills, employability, revision, and effective exam preparation. This module will be taught in conjunction with Introduction to Key Areas in Psychology and use the core topic areas as a framework for the development of the academic skills covered.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Psychological Research Methods and Statistics

This module builds on the year 1 module “Introduction to Psychological Research” and will consolidate and extend knowledge of research methods. It will introduce advanced analysis, the use of statistics for analysis of research data and how to discuss research findings effectively. Practical classes will give a hands-on experience of experimental design, analysis of qualitative data and statistical analysis. Students will also conduct and take part in psychological studies, surveys and experiments and these will be written up in the form of psychology research reports.

Memory & Language

This module covers two areas of cognition: memory and language.  The module covers the major theories of memory and (spoken and written) language, including both historical and 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.  The module will focus on typical adult systems. However, lectures on development in childhood and the challenges faced in old age will be covered together with what happens when memory and language go in wrong (e.g., in cases of amnesia and aphasia). Applied research in memory and language will also be included.

 

Perception & Action

This module will equip students with knowledge regarding the cognitive, biological and developmental basis of perception in naturalistic environments and the interplay between this and how movement / action unfolds in humans. 

Health Behaviour across the Lifespan

This module will address psychological aspects of health behaviours across the lifespan drawing on key areas within developmental, cognitive, biological, social psychology, and individual differences. Students will learn about and evaluate behavioural influences on health and wellbeing from childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older age.  For example, students will 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. Health behaviours under scrutiny will include alcohol and other drugs, smoking, healthy eating, physical activity and sleep. 

Personality & Psychometrics

This module develops knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches to the understanding of different aspects of individual differences, including personality and intelligence. This will include, for example, the approaches of psychoanalytic theorists, behaviourists, trait theorists, biological theories of personality, as well as the phenomenological, social-cognitive and existential approaches to the study of personality. The module will compare and critique conceptual paradigms and also explore individual differences in intelligence, creativity, happiness and subjective well-being. Students will also learn about the nature of psychometric tests and their application to the measurement of individual differences.

 

Applying Social Psychology to Global Challenges

Human civilisation risks large-scale challenge 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. This module applies social psychology theories, research, and methods to global challenges outlined by the United Nations (UN) and by the United Kingdom (UK) Government. We 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’ (see the UK Strategy for Global Challenges Research).

Optional modules

Attachment & Human Development: A life span approach

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. 

Clinical Neuropsychology

This module equips students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to understand the nature of cognitive impairments that can follow from a brain injury or illness. They will learn how to assess these changes and understand remedial measures to improve/manage those cognitive impairments. Students will learn how to take case histories, how to assess cognitive impairments using neuropsychological tests, interpret test findings, and make outline suggestions for interventions. 

Work Experience Preparation

This non-credit bearing module aims to support students intending to spend a year on work experience.  It will support their search for a suitable organisation and the development of skills relevant to their search and their 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. 

You can also choose from a limited selection of modules from other subject areas, subject to availability.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Psychology Project

The module develops student research skills by means of an original empirical investigation or meta-analysis.  The student is expected to plan, design, analyse and interpret the study with appropriate support and to do so taking into account ethical guidelines for research.  While some students may work with others to collect data, their research proposal, research ethical review and write up will be carried out individually. 

Conceptual Issues & Critical Debates in Psychology

The module examines some of the main philosophical and scientific ideas that underpin contemporary psychology. This includes a consideration of conceptual and methodological positions underlying different paradigms and research programmes. All of these issues are examined through an examination of some of the dominant questions/debates that are at the centre of psychology.  

Work & Organisational Psychology

The aims of this module are for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the role of psychology in the workplace. The module will look at the contribution psychology can make to achieving ‘best fit’ between people and their jobs, thereby to enhance productivity, satisfaction and well-being at work. Students will examine the theoretical background of topics such as Selection and Assessment, Leadership, Team Building, Stress at Work and Motivation, whilst gaining essential practical skills across these topics. The module also provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the role of psychology in the workplace. 

 

Optional modules

The Psychology of Mental Health Conditions

The module examines approaches to the psychological understanding of mental health conditions. Lecture topics will include how we define and classify mental health conditions, research and ethical issues in the field as well as examining a selection of mental health conditions (including theories of the processes that may play a causal or maintaining role and the approaches to treatment and management).

Disorders of Development

This module equips students with knowledge of diagnostic frameworks and theories of developmental disorders and to apply their skills to evaluate practical approaches to assessment and intervention. The course will focus on developmental disorders that are defined behaviourally, such as Dyslexia, Developmental Language Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sessions will typically involve a lecture component followed by a more interactive session, involving critical evaluation of a research paper or assessment tool in small groups.

Specialised Research Methods in Psychology

This module builds upon and advances research knowledge and skills acquired in the year 1 and year 2 research methods training in Psychology.  The aims are: (i)  to provide advanced methodological knowledge and skills to examine the complexity of human experience and the  nature of meaning making processes; (2) to develop practical skills to address this complexity in the process of research planning and design, data collection, data analysis and report writing.

Prevention Science

Prevention Science is the study of the causes, consequences, and prevention of poor physical and mental health. An overarching focus is the promotion healthy behaviours with a view to preventing or mitigating lifestyle risks to physical and mental health and wellbeing. This area spans the harms associated with substance misuse (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs), lifestyle behaviours (e.g. poor diet, lack of exercise), and poor mental health. Within this module, students will gain an appreciation and critical understanding of one of the ways in which psychological theory and evidence have been used to inform and evaluate preventive, therapeutic or behaviour change interventions. 

 

Wellbeing & Resilience in the Face of Conflict & Disaster

This module invites students to explore and critique the key assumptions underlying differing psychological approaches to wellbeing and resilience. Students will consider how extreme contextual factors influence people’s access to and take up of a variety of resources and opportunities and the problems related to these. Students will also explore the significance of different difficulties and strategies to manage these at individual, group and organisational levels. The content of the module and student engagement will provide a basis from which students can critically evaluate the different challenges and experiences in applying psychology to well-being and resilience in the face of conflict and disaster

Motor Skill Learning, Control & Rehabilitation

This module equips students with a knowledge of motor learning and skill acquisition from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The module will describe movement from a biological, cognitive, developmental and social view point and will include aspects of skill acquisition across the lifespan. There will be a specific focus on how we can optimise skill learning and on rehabilitation when this is necessary. 

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. This module will 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.

Psychology of Language

Psycholinguistics is the study of how language is represented and processed in the brain.  This module provides an overview of the key theoretical issues in psycholinguistics and the different ways in which these can be investigated.  It will explore how children acquire their first language, how bilingual children and adult second language learners process language, how language is acquired and processed in special populations for example, deaf children and the pragmatic and social aspects of language use in today’s world.

The Self: Autobiographical & Dialogical approaches

This module will explore in detail our sense of self from an autobiographical and a dialogical approach. The autobiographical approach will explore the relationship between memory and our sense of self. This includes examining questions such as: How much does who we are depend on what we remember? Is the self associated with “special” cognitive processes in memory? It will also look at how processes of self and memory change in ageing and clinical disorders, and explore research suggesting that the self has an impact on how we imagine the future, as well as remember the past.

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. 

 

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 that 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
£14,600

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

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

International full time
£15,200

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

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

International full time
£14,600

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

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

International full time
£15,200

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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. 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 students at the maximum permitted level.

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.

Note:

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements