(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Psychology (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
For this course all applicants must also hold GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student 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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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
Students are introduced to statistical software in their first year, and thereafter the development of key skills forms an integral part of their learning activity.
In particular: D1(i) is developed throughout the course in laboratory classes, lecture-based courses, tutorials and the final year individual project.
D2(i) and D2(ii) are developed through the use of an extensive computer laboratory with access to the internet.
These key skills are taught in laboratory courses and statistics courses in both the first and second year and further developed with supervision of the third year project.
D3(i) and D3(ii) are developed primarily in laboratory courses and in the final year project.
D4 is developed in exercises and laboratory classes.
D5(i) and D5(ii) are emphasised throughout the programme and are developed by means of rigid deadlines, feedback on assignments and discussions with class tutors.
Students are also directed to the University’‘s ‘‘Key Skills On-line’‘ package that allows students to work at their own pace.
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.