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Undergraduate courses


The first two years of all Psychology BSc degrees cover a central core of knowledge in a range of key areas such as Research Methods, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, the neuroscience of behaviour, and aspects of Clinical Psychology. In the final year, all students work closely with members of academic staff to carry out research projects at the cutting edge of contemporary research. In addition, students choosing C800 BSc Psychology continue to cover a broad range of advanced topics in their final year, whereas students on the more specialised BSc programmes focus on areas of Psychology with relevance to their particular degree choice. You can change between the different Psychology BSc degrees at the end of the first year subject to availability. We admit around 170 undergraduate students across all our single honours programmes each year (with no limits on individual programmes).

  • C800 BSc Psychology will give students a thorough understanding of how research into human behaviour can be conducted across different areas of Psychology without limiting study to any specific area. During year 3 students are able to study topics relating to cognitive and social development, language acquisition and processing, attention and perception, as well as a selection of the topics listed below.  Additionally, students may complete a Dissertation (independent library project) on a topic of their choice under the supervision of a member of staff.
  • C804 BSc Applied Psychology focuses on applying psychological research to real world issues, offering a broader social and occupational context. Topics include how we can modify health and social behaviour, research into psychological problems and understanding of interventions for children and adults, and also how Psychology can be used in the work place, in education and when exploring criminal behaviour.
  • C805 BSc Psychology, Development and Developmental Disorders focuses on issues related to the study of typical and atypical child development, including the development of perceptual, cognitive and social skills in infancy and early childhood, and developmental disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactive disorder.
  • C806 BSc Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Mental Health focuses upon the study of psychological problems in children and adults, as well as the study of how psychological factors are related to physical health and the prevention of illness.
  • C807 BSc Psychology, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience examines the relationships between the brain and higher functions such as decision-making and consciousness, the causes, symptoms and treatments of common brain disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, and methods for studying the brain such as functional MRI.

All of our undegraduate Psychology single honours degrees are recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, and qualify students to undertake postgraduate study in Psychology once they have graduated.

Single honours programmes course units

Year one

Single honours students from all degrees take four courses in each term of the first year. You'll be taught how to design and run research studies and receive practical experience in carrying out simple experiments and analysing statistical data. You will also have introductory courses in lifespan development, biological psychology, learning and memory, abnormal psychology, self and society, and sensation and perception. You'll be taught in several ways, mostly through lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. Altogether you can expect around 12 hours of tutorials, classes and lectures each week and the rest of the time you will be engaged in private study, reading and revision. Your understanding and knowledge will be assessed in coursework essays throughout term and end of year examinations, which are usually in May. You will also be allocated your own Personal Advisor – a member of academic staff who will be available to give you guidance and support throughout your time as a psychology student at Royal Holloway.

You can find out more about the course units open to you in your first year by checking our course finder. 

The 1st and 2nd Year Course booklet gives you more details about these courses.

Year 2

Courses in the second year build on the knowledge gained in the first year. They are more specialised and give you the chance to learn about particular topics in greater depth. In your second year you're  expected to carry out more independent reading and begin to design your own research. You will receive lab classes and tutorials and lectures in research methodology and statistics, developmental, cognitive and social psychology, personality, brain and behaviour, and conceptual issues.

You can find out more about the course units open to you in your second year by checking our  course finder.

The 1st and 2nd Year Course booklet gives you more details about these courses.

Year 3

In the final year, all students carry out independent research projects in small groups. Each group works closely with a member of staff to design a study on a topic at the cutting edge of contemporary research. Other course unit options will depend on your choice of BSc.  Note, all courses are subject to change depending on what the department is able to offer in any given year.

We also offer an optional, non-credit bearing placement course PS3000P. The placement course is the means through which the department offers Psychology career relevant placements for students to complete part-time during term or over the summer term. As part of the placement course students gain important work experience and through the completion of a self-reflective log and related careers sessions are taught to recognise and be able to present the skills they have developed through the undertaking of the placement. The aim of the course is to help students develop more competitive CVs and gain skills in applying for employment and for future use in the workplace. 

You can find out more about the course units open to you in your third year by checking our course finder.

The  3rd Year Options booklet gives you more details about these courses.

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