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Psychology is concerned with the study of the mind and is most commonly the study of discipline which seeks to gain insight into individuals and groups. It is an applied science which uses case studies and focuses on diagnosing issues. A psychologist is a professional practitioner of psychology, and they attempt to understand the role of an individual’s mental functions in their personal behaviour, and how they behave in certain social environments.

Psychology is a combination of two Greek words, ‘psyche’ relates to the spirit or soul, and ‘logia’ refers to the study of something. In current society, this applied science is used in an array of industries, from human resources to the medical profession, to gain insight into how people think as a group and as individuals.

What A Levels do I need?

Most universities do not require students to hold a psychology A-level, although some may ask individuals to have a science or a social science degree. Each institute will ask for varying A-levels and grades, with some asking for AAB while others require at least 136 UCAS tariff points.

Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and degree courses to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission to the course.

You can also see our Psychology personal statement examples and use the personal statement editor; these will help you to gain an insight into what you need for your personal statement.

What are my study options?

There are two options for students wishing to study psychology at university: a Bachelors of Arts (BA) and a Bachelors of Science (BSc). A BSc degree is more science based than a BA; however, most institutions will offer both. A psychology course will be taught within a classroom environment, and students will learn psychological theory by attending lectures, discussions in seminars, and by applying theory to practical case studies.

The first year of study will centre around obtaining a foundation of theory and knowledge, and some programmes will offer a professional year on placement as part of the course. This placement year will involve working for an organisation or company, assisting with research in a clinical setting, and then apply the knowledge you’ve learned in a real life atmosphere.

Some degree options are as follows, as a BA and a BSc degree: Psychology, theological studies, sport and exercise science and psychology and management.

What should I expect from studying Psychology?

Dependent on your course, individuals will cover the full curriculum set out by the British Psychological Society (BPS) required to meet the graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC).

First-year students will study modules regarding thinking psychologically, the science of psychology, individual differences, the psychology of social and individual well-being, research methods, empirical studies and statistics.

How will I be assessed?

Psychology programmes are assessed in a number of ways, from written examinations, lectures, workshops, practicals, essays, presentations and projects what is it like to study Psychology at university, an in-depth analysis reveals all.

What skills will I learn from studying Psychology?

A degree in psychology will provide candidates in subject specific knowledge and skills, such as problem analysis, computing skills, problem analysis, statistical analysis, interpretation and critical thinking. These skills will enable students to learn how scientists and psychologists identify problems and try to answer them, and how to apply psychological theories and research to everyday life.

Students will also develop attributes that are valued by employers, such as, team working, communication, problem-solving, self-management, numeracy and IT as well as decision making, planning and analysis.

Why study Psychology?

Individuals will be taught how to think critically and gain insight into human conditions, mental health and how to diagnose psychological issues. Psychology can also lead to social work, law, teaching and business as well as other related areas.

While a degree in psychology won’t offer candidates superhuman powers or the ability to read minds, it will allow students to understand human behaviour and functioning. Psychologist are interested in how people feel, act and think. These actions can be studied in an array of methods, from MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or X-ray imaging, allowing certified members to study brain structure.

What happens after I graduate?

After graduating, candidates may choose to study a postgraduate qualification, train as a medical psychologist, therapist, work within the private clinical practice or in another related career sector.

There is also the option to study a PGCE degree and to teach others after gaining your degree.

Will it help me get a job?

Psychology degrees teach students transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers and companies, such as research, communication, presentation, interpersonal understanding, listening and writing skills.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Psychology?

Particular job areas include; teaching, lecturing, forensics, psychologist, counsellor, advertising, human resources, market research and careers advisor.

What can I study after Psychology?

There are Master of Arts (MA) and Masters of Science (MSc) degrees available in a range of subjects, including, addiction counselling, adolescent psychology, abnormal and clinical psychology, advanced cognitive therapy, and sports psychology.

Famous Psychology studies alumni

Hugh Hefner, the owner, and creator of the Playboy Mansion earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Illinois. Also, actress Natalie Portman, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology during her time acting and chose to pursue her education while taking a break from acting work.

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