Duration: 3 years full time
UCAS code: C804
Institution code: R72
Applied Psychology (BSc)
Are you fascinated by how humans think, feel and interact with each other and the wider world around us? Applied psychology at Royal Holloway University of London takes the study of the human experience and applies it to real-world issues, creating a broader social and occupational context for your academic studies.
You’ll join a department ranked 3rd in the UK for research (THE, REF Institutions ranked by subject, 2022) contributing to this cutting-edge research culture with a final year research project. This flexible course lets you tailor your learning with a range of optional modules in your final year, including Occupational & Organisational Psychology, Human Performance: Work, Sport, & Medicine and The Ageing Brain.
You’ll study in one of the best-equipped psychology departments in the country, enjoying access to an on-site magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner for studying brain structure and activity, instruments for recording electrical changes in the brain (EEG), technology for tracking eye movements and more cutting-edge facilities and equipment. This friendly, inclusive department earned a 96% student satisfaction rating in the NSS 2015, and has been awarded the Athena SWAN Silver Award for its efforts to promote equality and women in science.
Follow your passion for applied psychology and you’ll graduate with highly developed literacy and numeracy skills, making you an attractive prospect for potential employers.
- Apply the theory and principles of psychology to real-world issues.
- Understand a broader spectrum of social and occupational contexts.
- Select from a range of optional modules in your final year.
- Contribute to cutting-edge research with a final year research project.
- Graduate with excellent employability prospects in a variety of sectors.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
This module provides an introduction to core aspects of psychological research. This includes how to find and read psychological papers, and thinking critically about research. General aspects of research covered include ethics in psychological research, designs and variables in research, reliability and validity, designing psychological research studies (correlational and experimental), and qualitative methods. Students are introduced to different types of data and distributions, and to describing data. In addition, the use of statistical tests in psychological research and how to choose the right test are introduced. Statistics covered may include inferential statistics, chi-squared test, independent and repeated t test, one-way independent ANOVA, correlation, linear regression, and non-parametric statistics. This course encompasses a Psychology Toolkit component; teaching sessions combined with self-study for the preparation of a portfolio.
This course aims to introduce students to the basics of personality and social psychology. The course will start with an introduction to key dynamic personality theories of Freud, followed by Jung. Students will then learn about theories and research on agreession, pro-social behaviour and conformity. In addition, key fundamental topics in social psychology, attitudes and values, will be introduced, as well as cross-cultural psychology and leadership.
This course provides an introduction to developmental psychology, which seeks to understand and explain changes in an individual’s physical, cognitive, and social capacities across the lifespan. The overarching themes are to describe changes in an individual’s observed behaviour over time, and to uncover the processes that underlie these changes. The course begins by introducing the historical and conceptual issues underlying developmental psychology and the research methods used for studying individuals at different ages. It then proceeds to address physical development in the prenatal period, followed by cognitive and social development during infancy. The course then examines change during childhood by introducing major theories of cognitive development and addressing the social contexts of development (parents, peers, and social relationships; morality, altruism, and aggression). The course concludes by addressing the physical, cognitive, and social changes of adulthood and ageing.
The aim of this module is to give students the core skills and knowledge needed to be successful as an academic psychologist. The module is divided into three components. First, students will develop a strong understanding of the academic skills needed within undergraduate studies for psychology, including finding and reading research journal articles, thinking critically, and writing about psychology. Second, they will be introduced to the typical career paths for psychology graduates, and they will be introduced to resources to allow them to develop their employability through their degree. Third, they will learn about the conceptual and historical issues underpinning current psychological research.
This module will provide an introduction to the key theories and research findings regarding Perception and Cognition. This may include topics within perception such as sensory perception as gateway to the world; attentional modulation of perception; illusions as key to reality, brightness, perception of colour, time, motion and depth; auditory perception, touch, taste and smell; the control of eye and head movements as a link between perception and action; and memory processes (both experimental and applied).
The module provides an introduction to the key neuroscience cencepts and research techniques relevant to Psychology. Topics include the basics of neural function, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, sensorimotor processing, and research methods used.
This module provides an introduction to the concept of abnormal psychology. The course starts with developing an understanding and knowledge about how we define abnormality in psychology and how this has developed and changed throughout history. Different approaches to understanding abnormal psychology are covered, starting with the biomedical model of abnormality. Following this, social and cultural approaches to abnormality are covered, followed by the philosophy of abnormality. Psychodynamic, behavioural and cognitive approaches to abnormality are also covered in detail. There is a focus on psychological disorders as we currently classify them in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The hierarchy of evidence in clinical psychology research is also covered.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
In this module you will learn about how to use SPSS to analyse, interpret and graph data, one way ANOVA (independent and repeated), factorial ANOVA (independent, repeated and mixed), ANCOVA, complex correlations, linear regression (multiple, categorical predictors, stepwise and hierarchical), logistic regression and factor analysis. You will also study research methods topics including advanced experimental design (factorial and quasi-experimental designs), questionnaire design and validation, and qualitative analyses.
This module will provide you with an overview of the key theoretical and empirical issues in cognitive psychology, including selective attention, multisensory perception and problem solving. You will look at reasoning, judgement and blindsight, and examine the impact of unilateral neglect and attention for action.
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the key topics in social psychology, with a particular focus on topics that highlight over-arching debates within this area of study. You will look at how social psychology can be applied to real-world issues, examining the social psychology of relationships, the self-concept, prejudice and group conflict, attribution theory, group decision-making, situational perspectives on evil, and non-verbal behaviour and social cognition.
In this module you will develop an understanding of cognitive development, including intelligence across the lifespan, language development, and number representation, and the development of social understanding, including social cognition, emotional development, prejudice, and adolescence. You will look in depth at the research techniques used in developmental psychology, as well as enhancing your ability to conduct critical analyses.
In this module you will examine theory and research in key areas of personality and individual differences. You will explore the difference between these two areas of study, and become equipped with methods of evaluating theories of personality. You will review key topics in personality and individual differences, with consideration for the relations between them in order to develop your integrative understanding of personality.
In this module you will develop an understanding of why modern psychology requires an understanding of neuroscience. You will look at neuronal structure, function and information transmission, and the organisation of the nervous system and how this reflects the principles of information processing. You will examine the methods used to study structure and information processing in the brain, becoming familiar with the brain's functional architectures and the neural basis of learning. You will also consider brain evolution, and the biology and psychopharmacology of reward, reinforcement and psychological disorders.
This module provides an overview to some of the ways in which applied and developmental perspectives in Psychology can be used to improve society. Students will obtain an appreciation regarding some of the conceptual issues regarding applied psychology, as well as an introduction to various ways that these perspectives can apply to societal issues/advancements.
This module provides an overview to some of the ways in which clinical and neuroscientific perspectives in Psychology can be used to improve society. Students will obtain an appreciation regarding some of the conceptual issues regarding clinical and neuroscience ethics, as well as an introduction to various ways that these perspectives can apply to societal issues/advancements.
In this module, you will carry out a piece of research as part of a small group, closely supervised by a member of academic staff. You will develop teamwork, presentation and analytical skills, and produce a substantial, independently written, report of your study.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
All modules are core
In this module students will attend four workshops that will allow them to explore four different areas of employability that psychology graduates typically enter: Mental health (clinical psychology, health psychology, forensic psychology, etc.), Education (teaching, educational psychologist, etc.), Research (PhD, research associate, market research, etc.), and Careers beyond psychology (finance, HR, graduate schemes).
- The Ageing Brain
This advanced-level social psychology module explores the application of social psychology to a range of real-world issues, including driver behaviour, persuasion and propaganda, religiosity, cyber-behaviour and the effects of media violence and pornography. Key theoretical themes drawn upon are attitudes, group behaviour and identity, and some topics are addressed using a multi-disciplinary approach encompassing anthropology, political science and sociology, as well as social psychology.
- Occupational and Organisational Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Criminal and Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Consciousness and Cognition
- Real World Quantitative Techniques
- Psychology of Love, Death and Meaning
- Psychology of Brain Injury
The aim of this module is to produce a substantial piece of original written work exploring a topic of the student’s own interest in an in-depth, advanced level extended essay prepared under the guidance of a supervisor.
- User-Centred Design
Teaching & assessment
We use a variety of different methods of assessment. These might include an essay about a controversial issue, an analysis of a video, a report of an experiment or a recently published research article. Some modules involve oral presentations.
Assessment is both summative (e.g. through exams and dissertations) and formative (e.g. essays which provide ongoing assessment and feedback), and the department has a tailor-made system of online feedback to provide detailed comments on essays and other coursework.
Many modules also have a written examination in May or June. Progression to the next year is dependent on passing the core modules. In combination, the quality and range of assessments will help you to develop a wide portfolio of skills and achieve high grades.
A Levels: AAA-AAB
- Psychology, Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Statistics.
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.
We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:
- AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
- AAA – Distinction
- BBB – Merit
- CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
- DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)
Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. No subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. No subscore lower than 54.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
Undergraduate preparation programme
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.
Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
Study applied psychology at Royal Holloway University of London and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects in a range of sectors.
The Department of Psychology is dedicated to helping students prepare for their graduate careers. Throughout their studies, students benefit from a course of careers seminars, events, advice and information. Plus, we have established connections with many local organisations, including the Macular Society, Southern Addictions Advisory Service and Bishop Creighton House, providing you with the chance to enjoy rewarding placement opportunities. Careers information and advice will be on hand throughout your studies, while annual ‘Meet Our Grads’ events mean you can share the knowledge and experience of our extensive alumni network.
Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy careers in local government agencies, mental health charities, media organisations, occupational psychology, health psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology and neuroscience.
As well as careers directly linked to Psychology, the transferable skills gained will form an excellent basis for potential careers in criminal justice agencies. As such, graduates have found employment with criminal justice agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, probation service, youth custody and the prison service. Others have pursued careers in banking, publishing, media, management, local government, mental health support, youth work or other support work. In addition, a large number of students progress to further study at masters or doctoral level. For those interested in continuing onto postgraduate study, as this course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, graduates have the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society, and eligibility to apply to our MSc in Forensic Psychology.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £22,700
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.
*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25, the fee is £9,250 for that year.
**This figure is the fee for students starting a degree in the academic year 2023/24, and is provided here as a guide. The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you are classified as an international student. Please see the fees and funding page for more information.
Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2023/24 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.