Psychology (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Psychology (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BSC C812


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

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.

Standard offer:

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 OFQUAL regulated 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.

International applicants:

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 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email

Additional Notes

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

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr John Patrick Rae

Reader in Psychology

Roehampton University

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  IA175-3-FY-CO  Introduction to Psychology  Core  30  30 
02  IA127-3-FY-CO  Statistics for Psychology  Core  30  30 
03  IA173-3-FY-CO  Introduction to Applied Psychology  Core  30  30 
04  IA147-3-FY-CO  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30  30 

Year 1 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PS101-4-AU-CO  Understanding our place in the world  Core  15  15 
02  PS102-4-AU-CO  Growing in the world  Core  15  15 
03  PS103-4-AU-CO  Experiencing Emotion  Core  15  15 
04  PS104-4-SP-CO  Thinking and the Mind  Core  15  15 
05  PS105-4-SP-CO  The Social World  Core  15  15 
06  PS106-4-SP-CO  The Social Brain  Core  15  15 
07    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
08  PS117-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Personal Development and Employability  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PS421-5-AU-CO  Statistics for Psychology  Core  15  15 
02  PS406-5-AU-CO  Developmental Psychology  Core  15  15 
03  PS407-5-AU-CO  Social Psychology  Core  15  15 
04  PS411-5-SP-CO  Brain and Behaviour  Core  15  15 
05  PS416-5-SP-CO  Personality and Individual Differences  Core  15  15 
06  PS423-5-AU-CO  Psychology of Health  Core  15  15 
07  PS425-5-SP-CO  Cognitive Psychology  Core  15  15 
08    Option from list  Optional  15  15 
09  PS417-5-FY-CO  Enhancing employability and career planning  Compulsory 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PS300-6-FY-CO  Psychology Project  Core  30  30 
02    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list or outside option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05  PS492-6-FY-CO  Advanced employability skills and career progression  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Learning methods

    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).

    Assessment methods

    A variety of methods of assessment are used, including multiple-choice exams (A1, A3), coursework essays (A1), end-of-year 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.

    Learning methods

    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.

    Assessment methods

    Intellectual and cognitive skills are assessed primarily through 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.

    Learning methods

    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.

    Assessment methods

    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. 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.

    Learning methods

    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.

    Assessment methods

    D1: Oral communication skills are developed and assessed through a poster presentation in year 1, an oral presentation in year 2, and a dissertation presentation in final year. Other forms of communication include writing lab report an essays are assessed throughout the degree, with variations on these assessments in final year (thought pieces, informatics, learning materials) (years 1 and 2).

    D2: Computer skills are taught and assessed throughout the core first year modules in computer lab classes, and assessed further in core second year modules as well as optional second year and final year modules.

    D3: Numeracy skills are introduced in all core year 1 modules and are developed and assessed further in second year stats modules. These skills are also used in lab reports through all years of study, including in the dissertation.

    D4: Problem-solving skills are developed and assessed in Year 1, where modules are built around how psychologists answer fundamental questions about human behaviour. These problem-solving skills are further developed and assessed through research projects in year 2 and culminating in the Final Year research project (PS300).

    D5: Working effectively is introduced and assessed in year 1 through developing time management skills and interaction with all relevant learning platforms. This is a key element with managing assessments throughout the degree.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

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