Psychology is the study of how people think, react and interact. It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivations that underlie such behaviour. It is an important subject because it relates to the whole range of human experience, from visual perception to complex social interactions.
This three year programme explores a range of areas within psychology and specialisms in the areas of clinical psychology and mental health. In your final year you'll specialise in the study of a range of approaches to clinical mental health issues. You'll benefit from the department's advanced technology, including an on-site MRI scanner, systems for tracking precise body movements in very young children and adults, CCTV and video systems for discreet observation of behaviour and a dedicated baby lab for studying the development of infants.
We are one of the top Psychology departments in the UK with excellent ratings for both research and teaching. Our research and teaching enhance one another, bringing students in touch with the frontiers of psychological knowledge and equipping you with a wide portfolio of transferable skills. You’ll contribute to our renowned research culture with a final year research project.
You’ll join a close-knit department that scores consistently high satisfaction rates in National Student Surveys, with a high staff-to-student ratio. You’ll learn in small tutorial groups and within a progressive environment for which the Department of Psychology has been awarded the Athena SWAN Silver Award for efforts to promote equality and women in science.
Follow your passion for psychology, clinical psychology and mental health and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects in a variety of different fields. Notable alumni include the leading bioscience innovator Professor Jackie Hunter CBE, founder of the Terrence Higgins Trust Dr Rupert Whitaker, and Dr Christian Jarrett – author of The Rough Guide to Psychology.
- Explore specialisms in the areas of clinical psychology and mental health.
- Examine the range of approaches to clinical mental health issues.
- Benefit from the department’s advanced facilities, including an on-site MRI scanner.
- Contribute to topics at the cutting-edge of psychological investigation.
Core ModulesYear 1
Introduction to Psychological Research
This module will introduce you to the core aspects of psychological research including how to find, read and interpret psychological papers and how to think critically about research. You will cover general aspects of research, including ethical considerations, designs and variables, reliability and validity, and the design of both quantitative and qualitative studies. You will be introduced to different types of data and distributions, learning how to describe and analyse data using inferential statistics such as the chi-squared test, independent and repeated t-tests, one-way independent ANOVA, correlational analyses, linear regression, and non-parametric tests.
Learning and Memory
This module will introduce you to the key components and processes of learning and memory. You will consider evidence suggesting that memory can be partitioned into different sub-systems, particularly short- and long-term memory. You will also look at the detailed processes that govern retrieval and forgetting, the nature of autobiographical memory, mnemonic techniques, and memory disorders. You will learn how memory is studied experimentally and how cognitive theories of memory may be developed or challenged based on empirical data.
Self and Society
In this module, you will be introduced to the basics of personality and social psychology. You will look at the key dynamic personality theories of Freud and Jung, and develop an understanding of the theories and research on aggression, pro-social behaviour and conformity. You will also examine fundamental topics in social psychology, attitudes and values, as well as cross-cultural psychology and leadership.
In this module, you will be introduced to developmental psychology, which seeks to understand and explain changes in an individual’s physical, cognitive, and social capacities across the lifespan. You will learn about the historical and conceptual issues underlying developmental psychology, and the research methods used for studying individuals at different ages. You will study the major theories of cognitive development in relation to physical development in the prenatal period, cognitive and social development during infancy and changes during childhood, and finally the physical, cognitive, and social changes that occur in adulthood and older age.
Biological Foundations of Psychology
This module will introduce you to the key biological concepts and research techniques relevant to psychology. Topics include the basics of neural function, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and the research methods used.
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
In this module, you will be introduced to the concept of psychological abnormality. You will develop an understanding of how abnormality is defined in psychology and how its definition has developed and changed through history. You will look at different approaches to understanding abnormal psychology, including the biomedical model, social and cultural approaches to abnormality, and psychodynamic, behavioural and cognitive approaches.
Psychological Research Methods and Analysis
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.
Personality and Individual Differences
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.
Brain and Behaviour
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.
Conceptual Issues in Psychology
This module will provide you with an introduction to the philosophical, conceptual, and historical underpinnings of the ways in which psychology is studied today. You will cover broad conceptual issues such as 'what is science?' and how psychology fits in, what makes a good scientific theory, and the philosophies of how sciences develop. You will look at the rise of behaviourism and cognitive psychology, the historical development of cognitive neuroscience and debates regarding the relationship between mind and brain, and how psychology became an applied as well as a basic science of mind and behaviour.
Final Year Project
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.
Optional ModulesYear 1
- All modules are core
- All modules are core
- Adult Psychological Problems
- The Ageing Brain
- Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Language, Communication and Thought
- Human Neuropsychology
- Health Psychology
- Developmental Disorders
- Criminal and Forensic Psychology
- Real World Quantitative Techniques
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
Preferred subject: Psychology, Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Statistics. At least five GCSE passes 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. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
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. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
Study psychology, clinical psychology and mental health at Royal Holloway University of London and you’ll graduate with excellent prospects of progressing to a rewarding career or further study, both in the UK and internationally. The range of transferable skills you’ll develop during your studies will make you an attractive candidate in a variety of different fields.
The Department of Psychology is dedicated to helping students prepare for their graduate careers. Throughout their studies, students benefit from a programme 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.
Within six months of graduation, 90% of psychology graduates (Unistats 2015) have gone onto full time employment or further studies. As well as careers directly linked to criminology and 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 programme 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
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £19400
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.
**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 programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.