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Psychology

Why choose Psychology at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Most of our programmes are accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS).
  • We offer opportunities for students to work on research projects as volunteer research assistants.
  • In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 45 per cent of our research in Psychology was rated 3*, internationally excellent, with a further 15 percent rated 4*, world-leading, placing the University in the top 10 for psychology in the UK.

Overview

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour in humans and animals. It looks at behaviour and experience and tries to understand and explain how these change throughout our lives.

Psychologists are interested in the way biological and social factors influence the way we behave and how our interests and abilities differ from person to person.

Psychology is an experimental and observational science and so the programme has a strong emphasis on developing research skills. You will explore how we perceive our environment, how we communicate and how we think, learn and remember.

Applying for MA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)

The MA (Hons) Psychology and the BSc (Hons) Psychology programmes only differ in the pre-honours courses taken alongside Psychology in Years 1 and 2. The Psychology content of the two programmes is identical.

In Scotland, MA and BSc both specify a four-year programme. On the Psychology BSc programme, students are required to take some biological sciences pre-honours courses with a strong chemistry content and their access to such courses is guaranteed.

On the Psychology MA, students may choose from the whole range of pre-honours courses, but with no guaranteed access to particular courses.

Applicants to the Psychology BSc who do not have a strong chemistry background may be asked to transfer their application to the Psychology MA (Hons).

Both Psychology degrees are British Psychology Society accredited.

Career opportunities

Our graduates develop research, statistical, IT and report-writing skills, which are valued by employers in various sectors.

Many Psychology graduates have gone on to work in healthcare and social services, human resources, management, business and finance, and media and advertising.

Some students continue their studies to enter a research or teaching career, or to train as a professional psychologist in a specific field.

Why choose Psychology at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Most of our programmes are accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS).
  • We offer opportunities for students to work on research projects as volunteer research assistants.
  • In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 45 per cent of our research in Psychology was rated 3*, internationally excellent, with a further 15 percent rated 4*, world-leading, placing the University in the top 10 for psychology in the UK.

Overview

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour in humans and animals. It looks at behaviour and experience and tries to understand and explain how these change throughout our lives.

Psychologists are interested in the way biological and social factors influence the way we behave and how our interests and abilities differ from person to person.

Psychology is an experimental and observational science and so the programme has a strong emphasis on developing research skills. You will explore how we perceive our environment, how we communicate and how we think, learn and remember.

Applying for MA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)

The MA (Hons) Psychology and the BSc (Hons) Psychology programmes only differ in the pre-honours courses taken alongside Psychology in Years 1 and 2. The Psychology content of the two programmes is identical.

In Scotland, MA and BSc both specify a four-year programme. On the Psychology BSc programme, students are required to take some biological sciences pre-honours courses with a strong chemistry content and their access to such courses is guaranteed.

On the Psychology MA, students may choose from the whole range of pre-honours courses, but with no guaranteed access to particular courses.

Applicants to the Psychology BSc who do not have a strong chemistry background may be asked to transfer their application to the Psychology MA (Hons).

Both Psychology degrees are British Psychology Society accredited.

Career opportunities

Our graduates develop research, statistical, IT and report-writing skills, which are valued by employers in various sectors.

Many Psychology graduates have gone on to work in healthcare and social services, human resources, management, business and finance, and media and advertising.

Some students continue their studies to enter a research or teaching career, or to train as a professional psychologist in a specific field.

What you will study

Year 1

You will receive a general introduction to psychology in your first year, covering biological, social and developmental psychology, the psychology of memory and perception, individual differences and language and thinking. You will also learn about research methods and statistics, and you will have the opportunity to practice some ‘real world’ psychology .

Year 2

You will continue to study the core areas of psychology, along with neuropsychology, abnormal, and historical psychology, and you will develop your research skills by practising statistics further, running practical experiments and learning to write scientific psychology reports.

Year 3

You will take an advanced tutorial course to help you critically analyse psychology research papers. You will choose advanced courses in the core areas required for British Psychology Society accreditation (social, developmental, biological, cognitive and differential psychology) and carry out a literature review and a group research project in one of these core areas.

Year 4

Most students can choose from a range of specialised, research-led options. These include Clinical Neuropsychology; Human Cognitive Abilities; Memory, Ageing and the Brain; Causes and Consequences of Personality; and Children with Language Impairments and many others.

How will I be taught?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical classes, project work, peer-supported group work, and computer-based exercises.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by various types of coursework and exams and in your fourth year you will complete a research project.

Where will I be taught?

Our facilities

Teaching will take place at the Psychology building at George Square, and at other locations within the University's Central Area. You will have use of the specialised laboratories and the University's library and computer facilities.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study in Europe through Erasmus or further afield through the University's International Exchange Programme.

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