(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Psychology (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Accredited against the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
GCSE: Mathematics C/4
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, or a minimum of 3 in Higher Level Mathematics. We will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Note: If you choose a 30 credit outside option which is at a 2nd year level in component 6 of your final year, please note that this means you will only be taking 90 credits at third-year level (level 6). This is the absolute minimum allowable therefore, you must pass all your final year level 6 modules.
Dr Paula Miles
Director of Teaching, Senior Lecturer University of St Andrews
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
To provide an education in Psychology in core subjects appropriate to gain Graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Graduate Basis for Registration as a Chartered Psychologist through BPS accredited courses
To enable students to acquire a broad understanding of psychological science, while also providing opportunities to develop expertise within particular areas of specialisation (cognitive psychology, social psychology, perception, and neuropsychology).
To provide students with a suitable grounding for further study and research.
To provide training in transferable skills necessary to meet the current requirements of graduate employers.
- Demonstrated that they can work effectively in a professional environment, integrating academic and professional activities, having successfully completed a work placement of up to a year.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Basic psychological theory, research methods and statistics.
A2: Psychological theory within the core domains as outlined by the BPS. These are Biological Psychology; Sensation and Perception; Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; and Research Methods.
A3: Statistical theory and experimental design appropriate for psychological science.
A4: Principles and techniques in those areas in which the student has chosen to develop special expertise.
A101: Acquired knowledge, understanding and experience of a placement
The scheme has been designed to be progressive: acquisition of introductory material (A1) is taught in the first year; acquisition of compulsory core courses in psychological theory (A2), and acquisition of knowledge on statistical theory and experimental design (A3), are taught in the first and second years.
Understanding of specialist topics is encouraged in the third year by means of specialist option courses (A4), in addition to a compulsory final year research project (A4).
The compulsory second year courses and the final year project provide the core syllabus required for professional accreditation by the British Psychological Society.
While lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles outlined in A1-A4, the department encourages learning through the integration of other teaching activities, including tutorials or discussion groups (A1-A3), computer-based workshops (A1, A3), project research and supervision (A4), student presentations (A4), and directed reading (A1-A4).
The knowledge understanding and experience of a placement (A101) is acquired through successful completion of placement which occurs in between the second and final year of the three-year counterpart. The details of the learning/teaching methods are included on each training agreement and are specific to an individual student. It will include individual supervision by a university supervisor and a supervisor(s) from the placement provider.
A variety of methods of assessment are used, including multiple-choice exams (A1, A3), coursework essays (A1), end-of-year closed book examinations (A1-A4), laboratory reports (A1-A3), research project poster presentation (A4) and research dissertation (A3, A4).
The knowledge understanding and experience of studying abroad (A5) is acquired through successful completion of a year abroad which occurs in between the second and final year of the three-year counterpart.
Assessment of the placement (A101) is through a number of elements including
an assessment of the students performance in undertaking the placement, and reflecting on the placement experience.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Critically evaluate the relative strengths of a range of theories and techniques used in psychology.
B2: Employ evidence-based reasoning to produce coherent research plans and hypotheses.
B3: Assemble and integrate evidence from a variety of sources, including primary sources
B4: Analyse and interpret quantitative information relevant to psychological research in graphs, figures, tables, and determine whether appropriate statistical tests have been used.
The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures and laboratory classes.
B1 is developed in both lecture-based and laboratory-based courses.
B2 is developed in most laboratory assignments, and is central to the final-year project.
B3 is developed through lectures, guided reading and tutor led discussions groups.
B4 is developed in statistics and laboratory courses, as well as the final-year research project.
Intellectual and cognitive skills are assessed primarily through unseen closed book examinations, and also through marked laboratory reports, essays, and project work.
C: Practical skills
C1: Effectively test research hypotheses using standard statistical techniques (e.g., t-tests).
C2: Present quantitative data in tabular and graphical form.
C3: Use a range of psychological tools, such as specialist software, and laboratory equipment.
C4: Plan, undertake and report an empirical project.
Practical skills (C1-C4) are developed in laboratory classes, assignments and project work.
C1 is developed through exercises and exposure to a range of statistical software.
C2 is taught in laboratory-based project work and further developed in the final year research project.
C3 and C4 are developed in laboratory classes and during the supervision of the final year individual project.
Practical skills are assessed through marked laboratory reports, end-of-year examinations, and the final year empirical project, that includes assessment of both a poster presentation (10%) and a written report of the project (90%).
D: Key skills
D1: Communicate ideas effectively
i) Produce written reports/essays
D2: Be computer-literate
i) Use appropriate IT facilities to prepare and present laboratory reports and essays.
ii) Use statistical software to analyse quantitative data
D3: Handle data and be numerate
i) Collect, analyse and present numerical data.
ii) Use statistical techniques in the process of experimental analysis and design
D4: Problem solve and reason scientifically
Analyse complex problems and design effective solutions.
D5: Improve own learning and performance
i) Organise activity and time in an effective way.
ii) Study independently
Communication skills D1 are taught in Year 1 modules, culminating in an oral presentation assessment in PS106. This is further developed though further presentations at Level 5 (PS411 Brain and Behaviour) and level 6 in the PS300 Final Year Project presentations (posters with oral questioning). Communication skills will also be developed on the placement.
IT skills in D2 are taught through first year modules PS101-PS106 In computer lab classes.
Numeracy skills D3 are developed in Year 1 modules PS101-PS106. PS101-103 begin with descriptive statistics, database management, and plotting skills. These are revised in PS104-106, where students are also introduced to inferential statistics. These statistical skills are further developed in PS421 in second year, and are also central to assessments in PS406 and PS425 (research lab reports) and the Final Year research project (PS300). Qualitative techniques are introduced in PS105 and further developed in PS423.
Problem-solving skills are developed in Year 1, where PS101-PS106 are built around how psychologists answer fundamental questions about human behaviour. This culminates in a full lab report in PS105, and a presentation in PS106. These problem solving skills are further develop through research projects in PS406 and PS425 lab reports, and in the Final Year research project (PS300).
Working effectively is taught in Year 1 module PS101, and the placement. The online coursework submission system ensures timely submission of all coursework. The first- and second-year research classes involve working on group projects, the final-year project is most often performed by a single student, but sometimes students work in pairs. Either way, the scholarly activity associated with the write-up is independent, closely supervised by the project supervisor.
Oral communication skills are taught and assessed in PS411 Brain and Behaviour, and are included as a defence of the PS300 Final Year Project Poster.
Other forms of communication include lab report writing (second year laboratory reports), essays and thought pieces (years 1 and 2), examinations (all three years) and poster presentation of final year project.
Numeracy skills are assessed in year 1 modules, PS421, PS300.
Problem-solving and reasoning scientifically is assessed in PS416, year 1 modules, second year laboratory class reports (PS406, PS425), and final year projects PS300. Qualitative data analyses are assessed in PS423. There is also an element of problem-solving in researching, preparing and answering essay questions.