Study Psychology: A Comprehensive Subject Guide
Embarking on a journey into the captivating realm of psychology in the United Kingdom offers an enriching experience like no other. As a prospective student, you are on the brink of unlocking the mysteries of the human mind while immersing yourself in a diverse and dynamic academic environment. Whether you’re driven by a passion for understanding human behaviour or seeking a fulfilling educational adventure, the UK beckons as an ideal destination for your psychology studies.
Table of Contents
What is Psychology?
Have you ever wondered why we feel the way we do, why we think certain thoughts, or why we behave in particular ways? Well, the answer lies in the captivating world of psychology. At its core, psychology is like a magnifying glass that zooms in on the intricate workings of our minds. It’s a discipline that seeks to unravel the mysteries of human behaviour, thoughts, and emotions.
In simple terms, psychology is the study of what makes us tick. It’s the science that explores the patterns and puzzles of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Whether we’re talking about understanding the causes of stress, the reasons behind our dreams, or how our childhood experiences shape our adult selves, psychology is at the heart of it all.
Why Study Psychology?
Studying psychology offers a multitude of compelling reasons, each of which can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life. Here are some key reasons why you might consider studying psychology:
Self-Understanding: Psychology provides valuable insights into your own thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. By studying psychology, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your motivations, and your strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding Others: Psychology equips you with tools to better understand and relate to the people around you. Whether in personal relationships, at work, or in your community, understanding human behaviour and motivations can be incredibly beneficial.
Helping Others: Psychology offers a path to a rewarding career in helping people. Clinical psychologists, counsellors, and therapists, for example, work to improve the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities.
Problem Solving: Psychology teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are applicable in various fields. These skills are valuable in business, education, healthcare, and more.
Versatile Career Options: A degree in psychology can open doors to diverse career opportunities. You can work in fields such as counselling, education, human resources, marketing, research, and healthcare.
Contribution to Society: Psychologists contribute to society by addressing important social issues. They conduct research on topics like mental health, addiction, and social justice, leading to better policies and practices.
Personal Growth: The study of psychology can promote personal growth and self-improvement. It can help you develop better communication skills, enhance your emotional intelligence, and manage stress more effectively.
Fascination with the Mind: If you’re genuinely intrigued by the human mind and behaviour, psychology provides an opportunity to satisfy your curiosity and explore the complexities of consciousness, memory, perception, and more.
Research and Innovation: Psychologists engage in research to advance our understanding of the mind and behaviour. This research can lead to innovative solutions and interventions that improve the quality of life for individuals and communities.
Interdisciplinary Insights: Psychology often intersects with other fields like biology, sociology, and neuroscience. Studying psychology can provide you with a well-rounded education that draws from various disciplines.
In essence, studying psychology can enrich your life personally and professionally. It offers a deep and meaningful exploration of the human experience, and the knowledge and skills you gain can be applied in a wide range of contexts, making it a versatile and valuable field of study.
Best Universities for Psychology in the UK
Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest QS World University Rankings:
|Rank||Institution||Entry Standards||Student Satisfaction||Research Quality||Continuation||Graduate prospects outcomes||Graduate prospects on track||Overall Score|
|1||University of Cambridge||196||3.61||100||88||75||100|
|2||University of Oxford||206||3.62||98||99.3|
|3||London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London||210||4.41||3.64||100||98.8|
|4||University of St Andrews||213||4.01||3.43||97.8||80||93||95.8|
|5||University of Bath||188||4.04||3.03||98||86||86||94.8|
|6||UCL (University College London)||190||3.95||3.57||96.9||66||88||93.5|
|8||University of Glasgow||209||4.13||3.51||96.5||72||83||92.4|
|10||University of Bristol||180||3.79||3.33||96.9||74||81||91.9|
|11||King's College London, University of London||174||4.04||3.5||94.8||70||86||91.8|
|12||University of York||165||4.2||3.53||98.6||66||76||91.7|
|14||University of Exeter||169||3.8||3.44||97.8||76||76||91.6|
|15||University of Warwick||156||4.05||3.35||97.6||74||82||91|
|16||University of Leeds||160||3.72||3.28||98.1||73||84||90.5|
|17||The University of Edinburgh||198||3.63||3.64||98.1||64||73||90.5|
|18||University of Surrey||141||4.06||3.35||97||78||79||89.9|
|20||University of Southampton||152||3.9||3.37||98||68||78||89.4|
|22||University of Sheffield||150||3.55||3.45||98.8||68||82||89|
|23||University of Birmingham||154||3.61||3.48||97.8||65||79||88.6|
|24||University of Nottingham||157||3.67||3.29||98.2||68||72||88.6|
|25||University of Manchester||161||3.57||3.38||97.9||64||72||88.2|
|26||Aston University, Birmingham||131||3.91||3.18||98.3||70||86||88.2|
|27||University of Strathclyde||202||3.97||3.49||97||55||73||88.1|
|28||Queen Mary University of London||149||3.79||3.28||98||61||81||88|
|29||Royal Holloway, University of London||151||3.83||3.47||95.9||64||75||88|
|30||University of East Anglia UEA||138||3.85||3.45||97.6||60||73||86.8|
|31||University of Liverpool||143||3.47||3.46||97.8||62||77||86.7|
|33||University of Aberdeen||169||4.2||3.28||97.5||49||75||86|
|34||University of Reading||139||3.57||3.32||97||59||78||85.7|
|35||City, University of London||141||3.9||2.89||97.3||60||75||85.6|
|36||University of Kent||136||3.36||3.17||97.3||68||75||85.4|
|37||University of Leicester||127||3.74||3.32||97.1||58||79||85.2|
|38||Northumbria University, Newcastle||143||3.87||2.85||97||59||69||85|
|39||Nottingham Trent University||130||3.92||3.02||97.3||56||75||84.4|
|40||University of Sussex||137||3.72||3.38||96.9||48||72||84.3|
|41||Glasgow Caledonian University||181||3.99||3.41||98.1||45||73||84.3|
|42||University of Plymouth||132||3.85||3.05||97.1||50||76||84.1|
|43||Queen's University Belfast||162||3.82||2.64||95.7||48||67||84|
|44||University of Stirling||165||4.04||3.18||96.2||47||67||84|
|46||University of Portsmouth||129||4.07||2.96||93.4||59||74||83.8|
|47||University of Lincoln||129||3.76||3.03||96.4||55||74||83.7|
|50||University of Essex||122||3.93||3.32||93.9||55||72||83.4|
|51||University of Hull||126||3.9||3.1||95.5||51||72||83.1|
|52||Bristol, University of the West of England||131||4.03||2.92||93.7||56||76||82.8|
|53||Plymouth Marjon University||121||4.55||2.64||93.3||82.6|
|54||Liverpool John Moores University||138||3.89||2.46||93.5||58||75||82.6|
|55||University of Winchester||126||3.81||2.28||92.3||71||74||82.2|
|56||University of Dundee||170||3.8||3.06||94.6||43||70||82.2|
|57||University of Hertfordshire||115||3.81||2.89||95.4||61||77||82.2|
|59||University of Suffolk||103||4.1||2.69||90.4||74||75||82|
|60||Manchester Metropolitan University||134||3.85||3.02||94.5||51||69||82|
|61||Oxford Brookes University||111||4.03||2.93||95.5||53||73||81.6|
|65||Edinburgh Napier University||168||4.14||3.08||91.8||54||57||81.3|
|66||University of Westminster, London||111||3.81||2.75||94.4||61||71||80.9|
|67||Liverpool Hope University||125||3.61||2.92||92.2||58||65||80.9|
|68||University of Chester||129||3.93||2.35||93.1||61||67||80.8|
|69||Edge Hill University||131||3.9||2.45||93.6||52||67||80.7|
|70||University of Greenwich||120||3.85||2.95||92.1||61||60||80.7|
|71||University of Chichester||122||4.07||2.08||91.3||63||72||80.5|
|72||Birmingham City University||127||3.89||2.19||93.5||56||78||80.5|
|73||Sheffield Hallam University||119||3.74||2.64||96.6||52||75||80.5|
|74||University of Brighton||117||3.55||2.83||94.9||52||77||80.4|
|75||University of South Wales||124||3.91||2.77||90.8||62||69||80.3|
|76||University of Worcester||120||3.77||2.3||93.2||57||82||80.3|
|77||Leeds Beckett University||121||3.79||2.54||94.2||52||75||80.1|
|78||University of Central Lancashire||124||3.89||2.79||95||44||68||80.1|
|79||Cardiff Metropolitan University||128||3.44||2.96||90.9||54||80||80|
|81||Brunel University London||119||3.57||2.52||95.4||55||63||79.7|
|83||University of Roehampton||107||3.71||2.92||92.3||52||69||79.2|
|84||University of Salford||122||3.49||3.01||90.9||50||81||79.2|
|85||Canterbury Christ Church University||106||4.13||2.63||91.8||52||72||79.2|
|86||York St John University||121||4.11||2.67||92.3||46||61||79.1|
|87||University of Gloucestershire||121||3.85||1.55||95||57||67||78.7|
|88||University of Derby||116||4.08||2.31||94||48||65||78.6|
|89||Bath Spa University||117||3.7||2.06||93.4||56||73||78.5|
|90||Anglia Ruskin University||108||3.94||2.68||87.9||54||75||78.5|
|91||University of Bradford||117||3.67||2.09||92.9||58||67||78.3|
|92||University of the West of Scotland||133||4||2.27||91.8||56||71||78|
|94||London Metropolitan University||102||4.15||2.67||84.1||65||63||77.9|
|95||University of Cumbria||103||4.41||2||87.8||60||77.5|
|96||De Montfort University||116||3.61||2.43||91.7||52||67||77.5|
|97||Goldsmiths, University of London||120||3.21||3.01||90.6||49||58||77.3|
|98||Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh||155||3.74||2.3||93.9||44||56||77.2|
|99||Leeds Trinity University||115||3.98||1.78||89.1||57||80||77.1|
|100||University of Buckingham||131||3.95||84.1||72||83||77|
|101||University of Huddersfield||127||3.94||2.4||90.3||30||67||76.6|
|102||St Mary's University, Twickenham||113||4.04||2.17||85.4||47||78||76.6|
|103||London South Bank University||110||3.54||2.49||90.3||48||66||76.3|
|104||University of Bedfordshire||98||3.79||2.63||85.8||56||79||76|
|105||University of Bolton||117||4.15||1.63||89.7||55||60||75.9|
|106||University of Wales Trinity Saint David||126||3.99||1.39||81.1||62||74||75.5|
|107||Teesside University, Middlesbrough||115||3.88||2.17||89.9||41||70||75.4|
|109||University of Northampton||110||3.64||2.09||91.6||35||68||74.7|
|110||University of East London||105||3.45||2.61||91.4||41||68||74.7|
|111||University of Sunderland||119||4.05||2.87||80.1||46||56||74|
|112||University of Wolverhampton||108||3.93||2.37||87.5||39||58||73.9|
|113||Solent University (Southampton)||122||3.66||88.2||48||82||73.7|
|114||University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)||159||4.24||55||50||73.7|
|115||University of West London||107||4.07||1.4||91.2||42||54||73.3|
|116||Newman University, Birmingham||104||4.03||1.19||84.9||57||68||73|
|117||Bishop Grosseteste University||106||3.36||1.82||79||74||69.9|
|118||Buckinghamshire New University||103||4.11||81.6||38||36||66.4|
Entry Requirements for a Psychology Degree
Entry requirements for a psychology degree in the United Kingdom can vary depending on the university and the specific programme you are applying to. However, here are some general guidelines for undergraduate (bachelor’s) psychology programmes in the UK:
1. Academic Qualifications: Typically, you will need to have completed your secondary education with qualifications such as A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
2. A-levels or Equivalent Qualifications: Most universities in the UK require A-levels in specific subjects. Psychology A-level is not always a requirement, but it can be advantageous. Other relevant subjects might include biology, mathematics, sociology, or a combination of these. Some universities may also accept equivalent qualifications like the International Baccalaureate (IB) or BTEC qualifications.
3. UCAS Application: In the UK, university applications are typically made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You will need to complete a UCAS application and list the universities and programmes you want to apply to.
Jobs for Psychology Graduates
Psychology graduates possess a versatile skill set that can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities in various fields. Here are some jobs and career paths that psychology graduates often pursue:
Clinical Psychologist: Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental health disorders, providing therapy and counselling to individuals and groups. They work in healthcare settings, private practice, or mental health organisations.
Counsellor or Therapist: Counsellors and therapists provide emotional support and guidance to help clients cope with personal and emotional issues. They can specialise in areas like marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counselling, or school counselling.
School Psychologist: School psychologists work in educational settings to support students’ academic and emotional well-being. They assess and address learning and behaviour problems, develop interventions, and collaborate with teachers and parents.
Forensic Psychologist: Forensic psychologists apply psychology to the criminal justice system. They may work in prisons, courtrooms, or law enforcement agencies, helping to evaluate criminal suspects, witnesses, and offenders.
Health Psychologist: Health psychologists study the relationship between psychological factors and physical health. They may work in healthcare settings, promoting behaviour change and helping patients cope with chronic illnesses.
Neuropsychologist: Neuropsychologists examine the relationship between brain function and behaviour. They often work in clinical settings, conducting assessments and providing rehabilitation for individuals with brain injuries or neurological disorders.
Human Resources Specialist: Psychology graduates with a focus on industrial-organisational psychology (I-O psychology) can pursue careers in human resources, where they help recruit, train, and manage employees, as well as develop workplace policies and programmes.
Market Research Analyst: Market research analysts study consumer behaviour to help companies make informed marketing and business decisions. Their understanding of psychology is valuable in interpreting consumer trends and preferences.
- Research Assistant or Data Analyst: Psychology graduates with strong research and data analysis skills can work as research assistants or data analysts in academic institutions, research organisations, or government agencies.
Your choice of career may depend on your specialisation within psychology, your interests, and your level of education or training. Additionally, some roles may require further education, certification, or licensure.
Salary for Psychology Graduates
Check out the average salary for graduates in this field:
Low skilled: £18,000
Topics for Psychology Dissertation
Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of Psychology and make a significant contribution to its advancement:
1. Positive Psychology: Investigate the factors that contribute to well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction. Develop and test interventions aimed at enhancing positive emotions and resilience.
2. Cognitive Neuroscience: Utilise neuroimaging techniques to study the neural basis of cognitive processes such as memory, attention, and decision-making.
3. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Examine cultural variations in psychological phenomena, such as perception, emotion, and social behaviour. Investigate the impact of globalisation on cultural identities and psychological well-being.
4. Environmental Psychology: Explore the relationship between people and their physical environments, including the effects of urban design on mental health.
5. Evolutionary Psychology: Investigate how evolutionary processes have shaped human behaviour, cognition, and social interactions. Explore the evolutionary origins of psychological disorders and their implications for treatment.
6. Health Psychology: Examine the psychological factors influencing health behaviours, illness prevention, and treatment adherence. Investigate the biopsychosocial determinants of chronic diseases and ways to promote healthier lifestyles.
7. Forensic Psychology: Study the psychology of criminal behaviour, including risk assessment, profiling, and criminal rehabilitation. Examine eyewitness testimony accuracy and the reliability of forensic evidence.
8. Industrial-Organisational Psychology: Investigate workplace issues, such as employee motivation, job satisfaction, and leadership effectiveness. Develop interventions to enhance organisational performance and employee well-being.
9. Neuropsychology: Explore the cognitive and emotional consequences of brain lesions and neurological disorders. Study the neural mechanisms underlying conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.
10. Social Psychology: Investigate group dynamics, intergroup relations, and the psychology of social influence. Examine the impact of social media on behaviour, attitudes, and identity formation.
The Outcome of Psychology Graduates
According to HESA’s most recent Graduate Outcomes data, 77% of UK domiciled, first degree psychology graduates were in full (63%) or part-time (14%) employment 15 months after graduation, with a further 18% reporting that they were working alongside their studies. More than half (52%) were working in professional-level employment.
How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK
One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:
- For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
- In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
- Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
- Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
- International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Other Subjects to Consider
Frequently Asked Questions
Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.
While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.
Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.
Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.
Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.
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Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!