Psychology and Sociology BSc (Hons)

Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    4 Years
  • Course options
    Integrated placement
  • UCAS code(s)
  • School
    School of Languages & Social Sciences, School of Life & Health Sciences

Entry requirements

  • A level (2020 entry)
    ABB - BBB from three A Level subjects
  • BTEC
    Are welcome with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details
  • International baccalaureate diploma
    32 – 31 Overall (HL 5, 5, 5)
  • GCSEs
    Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Mathematics and English Language
More information
Apply via UCAS

Key Dates

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

1st in the UK for Value Added (The Guardian University Guide, 2020)

Employed Aston Psychology graduates earn £2,100 (9%) more than the UK average, five years after graduating (LEO, 2018)

Integrated placement year designed to set your studies in a real world context (optional for international students)

Course summary

This course is for you if you wish to combine two complementary subjects in a course that's accredited by the BPS and achieves very high student satisfaction ratings.

Entry requirements for 2020

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placement year / 3 years full-time without integrated placement year option available for international students (i.e. non-UK / non-EU students).

UCAS Code: CL83


Admissions Review Process: All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades of CCC if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated below. If you have already achieved your A level grades you may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme - this means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course may be reduced. Whilst we normally look for evidence of recent study (which we define as the past 3 years), we also welcome applications from mature students who have achieved grades up to 10 years old, which will be considered on a case by case scenario. You will be required to make a full UCAS application which lists your education and work history up to the time of application along with sufficient references. Find out more about our admissions policy.

Applicant Visit Days: Once you have received an offer, you will be invited to an Applicant Visit Day to discover more about the course and Aston University.


Typical offers


Five GCSEs which must include Mathematics and English Language all at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

A Levels:

ABB - BBB from three A Level subjects.

Excluded Subjects: We welcome the following subjects as an additional A level, but not as one of the core three A levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies.

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.


We accept the following BTEC subjects and in some cases you may be required to take additional A Levels as listed in the grid below.

Applied Science, Animal Care and Veterinary Science, Art, Design and Media, Business, Administration and Law, Child Development and Well Being, Computer Science and ICT, Design and Technology, Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, Economics, Education and Training, Engineering, English, Finance and Accounting, Geography, Government and Politics, Health and Social Care, History, Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Medicine and Dentistry ,Music, Religious Studies, Science, Social Sciences.


BTEC Qualification Name

BTEC grades required A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)


Not applicable

Diploma (QCF)National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve a grade B one A Level subject

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects

90 Credit Diploma (QCF)

Distinction, Distinction (DD) With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects

National Foundation Diploma

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects


Access to Higher Education

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.

Subjects Accepted: Humanities, Social Sciences, Health and Social Care, Applied Science, Biology combined with Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Biosciences, Combined Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Sciences Professions, Life Sciences, and Sciences.

International Baccalaureate Diploma:

32 - 31 points overall and must include grades 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.

International students

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements and the entry requirements to our courses. 

International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science at Aston University, however, please note there are specific entry requirements which must be checked:  Foundation Entry Requirements.

Non-standard qualifications


Year 1 entry: We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

External Foundation Programmes from another University:

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

  • 5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • CCC at A-Level

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

Fees for 2020

For 2020 entry:

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 per year (£1,250 during placement year)
  • International students: £15,600 per year* (£2,500 during placement year)

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.


Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

Course outline

This course is designed to develop your sociological analysis and research skills and gain a thorough grounding in the principles and research methods of psychology.

You will develop an informed understanding of the major debates shaping today’s society, and cultivate a wider ‘sociological imagination’ of the contemporary world. You will establish foundations in sociological approaches to gender, ‘race’, class and sexuality. This will feed into higher level courses that deal with more complex issues including the relationship between science and ‘race’, reproductive politics, environmental justice and media power.

The distinctive flavour of studying psychology at Aston is the emphasis which is placed on applied as well as theoretical studies of psychology. The course covers a wide range of issues in, and theories of, cognitive, developmental and social psychology, psychobiology, and individual differences.

Your placement year will give you the opportunity to apply your key skills and competencies within a real work-based situation.

What you will study

2020 entry

Please note to ensure our BSc Psychology & Sociology course provides you with the most up to date and relevant education our curriculum has recently undergone a redesign. This page will be updated shortly with the full details of our new curriculum.   

This is an indicative list of modules:

Year 1

  • Research Methods And Statistics
  • Cognitive Psychology 1a
  • Social Psychology 1
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist

Year 2

During your second year you will take these core modules:

  • Research Methods and Advanced Statistics
  • Cognitive Psychology 2
  • Individual Differences, Health & Personality
  • Understanding Social Theory

You will also choose from a selection of topics such as:

  • Global Society   
  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory 
  • Welfare States and Welfare Change
  • The Social Life of Stuff
  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     
  • Media and Society 
  • Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context
  • Race and Racisms  

Placement year

Set your studies in context and enhance your employment prospects by selecting from a wide range of UK or overseas placement opportunities. Discover more below.

Final year

During your final year you have the opportunity to specialise in the areas of sociology of particular interest and relevance to your career. You will also complete core psychology modules and undertake a research project in an area of psychology of your choice.

  • Final Year Project (Psychology)
  • Critical Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Child and Adult Development

And a selection from:

  • Health Policy
  • Ageing, Society and Policy
  • Work, Organisations and Society
  • Racism, class and gender
  • Learning to Labour: Education and Society
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Pregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy
  • Religion and Society
  • Corporate Power in a Globalised World 
  • Food and Society in a Global Context
  • Popular Music and Society 
  • International Migration and Policy
  • .The Challenges of Climate Change
  • The Citizen and the State

(Please note that not all optional modules are available every year.)


Learning, teaching and assessment

You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Group work.

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at school or college. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in an online student guide. This includes full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year with the relevant deadlines.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Class tests/end of year examinations (unseen essay, short answer or multiple choice questions)
  • Essays
  • Research reports (group or individual)
  • Presentations
  • Statistics assignments
  • Oral presentations.
Placement year

The placement year offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set your studies in the context of a working environment, alongside professionals. You can choose whether your placement has a psychology or a sociology focus, or can choose a more generic placement experience – for example, in business. By obtaining relevant work experience you will also boost your future employment prospects. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Your placement year may be in the UK or abroad. Placements are generally paid, with the average salary being around £16,000. 

Recent examples of placements include:

  • Administration Assistant at The Children’s Society
  • HR placement at Janssen-Cilag
  • Placement with the Suffolk Youth Offending Service
  • Study placement at the University of Tampere
  • Educational assistants in schools, pupil referral units and at local Behavioural Support Centres
  • Co-ordinating volunteer work in Tanzania and with the charity/advocacy group People and Planet
  • Working in a women’s shelter
  • Working with the Birmingham Youth Offenders Service and West Midlands Police
  • Lloyds Bank placement
  • Teaching English at the British School of Kuala Lumpur.

You'll receive plenty of help and advice in finding your placement and specialist support and supervision from the University during your placement. 

The placement is optional for international (i.e. non-UK / non-EU) students.

Find out more about placement years in Life & Health Sciences.

Professional accreditation

It is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS), provided the minimum standard of a Second Class Honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Your future career prospects

Our Psychology and Sociology graduates go on to pursue a very wide range of career paths. Graduates enter business and commercial careers, caring and social careers, teaching and local government careers and many others. Progression rate to a first job is very high for Aston students and career prospects are good.

The growth of the service sector puts Psychology & Sociology graduates at a premium – they have insight into motivation and behaviour and know about people, communities, relationships and group dynamics. Our graduates have excellent communication and teamwork skills, are critical and analytic and can design, conduct and analyse and evaluate research.

Graduates who have studied a Joint Honours Psychology or Sociology course have a strong track record in finding jobs.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in organisations including the Civil Service, the Police Service, the local government, the NHS, Nestlé, Deloitte and IBM.

Recent roles of graduates from all Aston psychology courses include:

  • 1:1 Support Worker, Leicestershire Council 
  • Account Executive, PCC - Perowne Charles Communications 
  • Assistant Director, Explore Learning 
  • Assistant Insight Manager, Müller UK & Ireland Group 
  • Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Herefordshire Foundation Trust/2gether Foundation Trust 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Assistant Psychologist, NHS 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Oakleaf Care 
  • Assistant Psychologist, Priory  Group 
  • Behavioural and Mental Health Support Officer, Wolverhampton City Council 
  • Behavioural Mental Health Support Worker, Northampton Borough Council 
  • ChildLine Supervisor, NSPCC ChildLine 
  • Educational Psychology Intern, Birmingham City Council 
  • English Teacher, Shireland Collegiate Academy 
  • Family Support Worker and Project Facilitator, Malachi Specialist Family Support Services CIC 
  • Forensic Mental Health Support Worker, Inmind Healthcare Group 
  • Graduate Trainee, Thames Water 
  • Health Informatics Graduate Scheme, NHS 
  • Independent Mental Health Advocate, Advent Advocacy 
  • Marketing Internship, Red Cross 
  • Mental Health Support Worker, Prospects 
  • Mentor, Archery Academy 
  • MSc Health Psychology, Aston University 
  • Paediatric Research Assistant, Leicester Royal Infirmary 
  • Project Worker, Addaction 
  • Psychology Assistant, HMP Full Sutton 
  • Psychotherapist, NHS 
  • Recruitment Consultant, Albany Beck 
  • Science Teacher, Teachfirst 
  • Senior Psychologist, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Special Educational Needs Caseworker, Salford City Council 
  • Special Needs Assistant, Harestock Primary School 
  • Speech and Language Learning Support Assistant, Eldon Junior School  
  • Support Worker, UK Young Autism Project 
  • Teacher, City of London Academy 
  • Youth Crime Prevention Worker, Hampshire County Council.
Professional development

This course is designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. Such work develops your team working and negotiating skills.

Our placement year gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.


Aston University has recently invested over £400,000 to establish dedicated psychology laboratories for our students. Aston Business School teaching rooms and facilities have also been recently refurbished. You will benefit from:

  • An observation suite (with covert audiovisual recording).
  • Tools for psychophysiological measurement. 
  • A driving simulator.
  • Eye tracking technology.
  • Motion-capture technology.
  • Cubicles for computer-based cognitive experiments.  
  • Larger labs for focus groups and audience based experiments.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.
  • A large computer laboratory.
  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form.
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.

 See some of the facilities for yourself


Focus group room in the student psychology labs. This room can be used for focus groups and also contains a one-way mirror with recording equipment behind it.


Lounge area in the student psychology labs.


One of Life and Health Sciences computer labs. These labs can be used either for teaching or private study at any time. They are often used for statistics teaching.


Although based in the School of Life and Health Sciences, this course is taught jointly with staff from the School of Languages and Social Science.

Dr Kate Nicholls, Programme Director (JH Psychology & Sociology)

Dr Kate Nicholls is a lecturer and personal tutor based in Psychology. She teaches on a variety of modules across the programme, including ‘Critical Social Psychology’ and supervising final year projects. Her research interests are in pedagogy; social psychology; conservation psychology, social responsibility and environmental attitudes; nature and well-being; sport; gender and sexuality; and qualitative research methods.

Dr Simon Williams, Deputy Programme Director (Sociology)

Dr Tom Mills, Deputy Programme Director (Sociology)

Dr Nathan Ridout, Admissions Tutor

Find Out More

Discover more in the following ways:

What was the highlight of your time at Aston?

My final year- I managed to pick modules that I liked and I developed a bond with most lecturers which increased my sense of belonging. Having a professional rapport with my lecturers helped me in understanding the delivery of lecturers and encouraged me to book appointments with them.

How do you feel your placement prepared you for your future career?

Placement year made me realise I really wanted to do something more active - not an office based job. I found out about the unlocked graduate programme through my placement year and applied for it.

Register your interest