Psychology BSc (Hons)

Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    4 or 3 Years
  • Course options
    Optional placement year
  • UCAS code(s)
    C800 (3 year course) C801 (4 year course)
  • School

Entry requirements

  • A level (2020 entry)
    ABB-BBB from three A level subjects
  • BTEC
    Are welcome with the relevant A level subjects, see below for 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

  • On campus events
  • Apply
    This course is open for 2020 entry applications, click the ‘Apply via UCAS’ button
  • Application date
    See the UCAS website for more details.
  • Start date
  • Open Days
    Our next Open Day is taking place on:
    Saturday 5th October
Play Video

Psychology Bsc (Hons) at Aston University

Admissions Tutor Dr Nathan Ridout explains some of the main features of the BSc (Hons) Psychology and the benefits of studying it at Aston University.

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

90% of students found the course intelectually stimulating (NSS, 2019)

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

Set your studies in a real world context with an optional placement year in the UK or abroad

Course summary

This course is for you if you wish to study a BPS-accredited course with a broad curriculum that emphasizes human behaviour and real world applications of psychology. Benefit from an optional placement year to gain the applied practical skills required to stand out in a crowded graduate jobs market. The placement year can be at home or abroad, like recent graduate Amrita who completed hers as a Neuropsychology Research Assistant in Brazil.

Entry requirements for 2020

Duration: 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: C800 (3 year course) or C801 (4 year course). You do not need to apply for both courses - they have the same entry requirements and it is possible to swap between the two before enrolment or during Year 1.

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, Education, 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 future 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 offers a broad psychology curriculum with an emphasis on human behaviour and real world applications of psychology. 

The course integrates theoretical psychology, techniques of psychological investigation and major areas of applied psychology. In the first two years you will focus on theoretical aspects and develop expertise in a broad range of research methodologies. In your final year, you will apply your knowledge and skills to conduct original research in your chosen field, and develop specialist knowledge by selecting options to fit your interests and career goals.

You will have the option to undertake a placement abroad or in the UK year which will enhance your employability.

Hear from staff and students as they discuss studying psychology at Aston:



Dr Nathan Ridout.



What you will study

2020 entry

Year 1

Begin your journey into this fascinating subject by studying the key topics that will form the basis of your Psychology degree. Covering biological psychology to an introduction to clinical psychology, you’ll learn about psychology as an academic history, how to articulate your gained knowledge of core theories and concepts and discover more about the possible graduate career pathways open to you and the attributes you’ll need to succeed in them.


  • Key Skills in Psychology I
  • Key Skills in Psychology II
  • Biological & Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental & Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Contemporary Psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology

In addition, you will be required to complete two out of the following three modules:

  • Psychological Interventions
  • Myth-busting in Psychology
  • Social Responsibility in Psychology

Year 2

In your second year you will continue your psychology education journey by building on the core grounding you gained in your first year, as well as being introduced to exciting new subject areas such as the brain, behaviour, neuropsychology and learning. You’ll gain the skills required to communicate appropriate critical thinking, develop your ability to use a wide range of statistics and qualitative methods and acquire an advanced understanding of both historical and contemporary psychology theories and concepts.


  • Research Methods & Data Analysis
  • Applied Psychology & Professional Skills
  • Social Psychology
  • Brain & Behaviour
  • Lifespan Development
  • Individual Differences & Personality
  • Cognition & Cognitive Neuropsychology

In addition, you will be required to complete one out of the following two modules:

  • Psychology & Wellbeing
  • Neuroscience in the Real World

Year 3 (optional placement year)

The optional placement year gives you the opportunity to gain valuable career boosting experience by setting your studies in a real world context of a working environment alongside professionals. You will get the chance to take your placement in a wide variety of settings such as research, clinical and forensic. Please see our placement year tab for more information.

Final Year

During your final year you will get the chance to conduct a final year project in an area of interest to you, with individual support from a member of staff. This will enable you to identify a research question and hypothesis, which you will then design, execute and report a sustained and independent project around.

Alongside this you will also get the chance to select the modules you study. You will get the chance to pick a variety of options that fit your interests and career goals. This will give you the ability to communicate a detailed, integrated and critical understanding of the issues in psychology.


  • Final year project

Module options:

  • Auditory Perception
  • Mind & Brain
  • Psychosis
  • Psychology of Illness
  • Social Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Brain Imaging
  • Affective Disorders
  • People and Health Care
  • Basics of Joint Attention
  • Psychology Asthma & Allergy
  • Investigative Interviewing
  • Research into Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Neural Control of Appetite
  • Applying Psychology: A Collaboratively-Created Course
  • Brain & Behaviour in Adolescence
  • Psychology of Childhood Obesity
  • Clinical Psychology of Intellectual Disabilities
  • Psychology of Physical Activity and Exercise
  • Perspectives on Improving Methods in Psychological Science
  • Visual Perception and Illusions
  • Judgement and Decision-Making
Placement year

Set your studies in context and enhance your employment prospects by opting to take a psychology or related professional placement, selecting from a wide range of UK or overseas placement opportunities. This may be paid employment, although research, clinical and forensic placements are usually unpaid.

The placement year offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set your studies in the context of a working environment, alongside professionals. By obtaining relevant work experience you will also boost your future employment prospects. 

Recent examples of placements include:

  • NHS Health Trusts
  • Aston Villa Football Club
  • British Energy
  • The Civil Service
  • Corus
  • Ford
  • University research teams in the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore
  • The Home Office
  • Marks and Spencer
  • The Prison Service
  • GlaxoSmithKline.

Interested in travelling during your studies?

Make the most of your time at University and take advantage of the vast overseas placement opportunities. Some of our students have travelled to the USA, Australia, Singapore and Brazil. Don't take our word for it, read Amrita's blog about her time in Brazil as a research assistant in Neuropsychology.


All students will receive specialist support and supervision for their specific placement. There is an overall placement tutor for the year and all students are allocated an individual placement tutor. Students who enter placements in the NHS may be required to pay for DBS checks and occupational health checks.

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

Learning, teaching & 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.
Professional accreditation

BSc Psychology 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

This course provides an excellent springboard for careers in professional areas of psychology including occupational, educational and clinical psychology. It is also ideal for further study, careers in local and central government, social services, industry and commerce. Our graduates have proven success in finding clinical psychology placements. 

93% of graduates from this programme were in employment or further study within 6 months of leaving Aston University in the most recent DLHE study (2014).

Recent roles include: 

  • Assistant Psychologist, NHS 
  • Behavioural Mental Health Support Worker, Northampton Borough Council
  • ChildLine Supervisor, NSPCC ChildLine 
  • Family Support Worker and Project Facilitator, Malachi Specialist Family Support Services CIC
  • Forensic Mental Health Support Worker, Inmind Healthcare Group 
  • Marketing Internship, Red Cross 
  • Paediatric Research Assistant, Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • Project Worker, Addaction 
  • 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 
  • Speech and Language Learning Support Assistant, Eldon Junior School  
  • Youth Crime Prevention Worker, Hampshire County Council.

Follow our graduates:

Shanie studied Psychology BSc on a four year course with a placement she secured at GSK. The course opened her up to a varied range of professions after graduating and she now works in Human Resources for Mondēlez. See her story.


Aston University has recently invested over £400,000 to establish dedicated psychology laboratories for our students. 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 our facilities for yourself:

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:

Life and Health Sciences Computer Labs. These labs can be used either for teaching or private study. they are often used for statistics teaching.

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 are in the student psychology labs:

Waiting area in the student psychology labs.

Eye tracking facility:

Eye Tracking

Computer lab specifically for psychology project use:

Final Year Project Room.


Psychology staff undertake cross-disciplinary health research and are based in the School of Life & Health Sciences. The exceptional quality of research in the School of Life and Health Sciences has been confirmed in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions. 94% of our research was rated as being internationally excellent or world leading.

You will join a department that is home to nearly 50 teaching and research members of staff. This broad range of research interests informs our teaching, providing a wide range of modules for undergraduate students, which is especially beneficial to final year students when conducting their research projects.

Psychology staff are based in a number of research groups and centres across the school, with interests in neuroscience and neurodevelopmentageing, cognitive and affective neuroscience, neuroimaging – including neuroimaging of clinical populations, health and lifespan development and sensory and perceptual systems.

You can discover more about individual members of staff and their research interests on our staff web pages.

Meet the Course Director and Admissions Tutor:

Dan Shepperd

Dr Dan Shepperd

Dan is the psychology undergraduate programme director and is a social psychologist with interests in gender, sexual identity, friendship, and group prejudice. His background is in discourse analysis and he specialises in qualitative research methods to analyse interviews, focus groups and sets of media data.

Dr Laura Shapiro

Dr Laura Shapiro

Laura is the Admissions Tutor for psychology courses. She is interested in the relationship between pre-school cognitive skills and instruction on early reading progress, and in particular, the relative importance of general auditory skills and specific speech skills in beginning and intermediate stages of reading.

Find Out More

Discover more in the following ways:

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston?

The quality of teaching at Aston allowed me to develop as a person and an academic. It encouraged me to spark my interests, and gain extra-curricular experience by attending seminars, events and take part in research.

Why did you choose to study at Aston?

I was a serving Special Constable for West Mercia Police throughout my time at Aston University and so I wanted to study somewhere that had good travel networks enabling me to continue my volunteering, while also attending a respected University which has a great campus environment.

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

My placement was the first time in my life I was truly independent, living abroad for 10 months, this allowed me to grow as a person. The placement role was in neuropsychology, this pushed me to want to study this area further and provided me with the experience I needed to be accepted on a Cognitive Neuroscience Master's Course at Aston University.

Register your interest