Psychology

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2nd out of 115 for student satisfaction in UK psychology degree courses!*

Psychology at Bath Spa examines the science behind what makes people tick. This involves developing a critical understanding of the various theories that have been applied to our species (and where appropriate to other species). In order to do this students will learn how we observe people, how we conduct surveys and experiments and how we apply statistical procedures to the evidence that we have gathered.

BSc Single Hons Psychology is a British Psychology Society (BPS) accredited course

For students joining the course from September 2014, the BSc Major Hons Psychology is also a British Psychology Society (BPS) accredited course (subject to specific module choice requirements)

 

*Source: National Student Survey 2014

Why study Psychology?

Not only is the course content fascinating, but a Psychology qualification prepares you for a wide range of work after graduation.

Course structure

Psychology at Bath Spa examines the science behind what makes people tick. This science involves developing a critical understanding of the various theories that have been applied to our species (and where appropriate to other species). In order to do this students will learn how we observe people, how we conduct surveys and experiments and how we apply statistical procedures to the evidence that we have gathered.

BSc Single Hons Psychologyand BSc Major Hons Psychology at Bath Spa are British Psychology Society (BPS) accredited courses.

In the first year you will take a module that introduces you to the main psychological approaches – social, cognitive, developmental, individual differences and biological psychology (PS4001-40 Introduction to Psychology). You will also take modules in research methods including survey work and experimentation (PS4002-20 Research methods and Statistics), and Individual Differences (PS4003). When you progress to Years 2 and 3 these main areas are studied in greater depth since individual modules are devoted to them and students on the single honours course have the option to choose a placement module in Year 2. For those taking Major or Single Hons Psychology there will also be further, more advanced courses in research methods. In Years 2 and 3 you are also able to study the scholarly specialities of individual members of staff, such as health psychology, criminological psychology, and neuropsychology. This means that for each of the modules your tutor will have specific expertise and will be engaged in scholarly activity in that area. For those taking Psychology as a Major or Single Hons course, there will also be a dissertation involving working one-to-one with a member of staff on an original research project in psychology.

Modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Psychology;
  • Research Methods in Psychology (1)
  • Individual Differences

Year 2

  • Research Methods in Psychology (2)
  • Social Psychology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Criminological and Investigative Psychology
  • Psychology of Health
  • Abnormal Psychology

Year 3

  • Psychology Dissertation Project
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Advanced Cognitive and Biological Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Social Psychology of Peace and Conflict
  • Counseling Psychology

Note that module choice may differ dpending on routeway. Single honours students may opt to take a placement module in year two.

Course assessment

Assessment varies and includes essays, research reports, group presentations, class deabtes and examinations.

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures and follow-up seminars. In the case of research methods, however, much of the teaching is conducted via practical classes.

You will participate actively in seminars, and these are characterised by small-group work. Bookable tutorials enable you to have one-to-one discussions with staff.

 

Teaching methods

Teaching resources include EBSCO (online access to over 400 psychology-related journals) and SPSS (statistical computer software for analysing quantitative data). We also have a biopsychology lab where we make use of ‘biopac’ equipment (computerised biological measures such as EEG) for practicals and project work.

Staff Profile: Dr. Alison Lee Neuropsychologist

Dr Alison Lee who conducts research into the neuropsychological bases of Parkinson’s disease has collaborative research links with the University of Boston and is regularly asked to present her work at conferences. Dr. Lee is also course director for the Applied MSc in Neuropsychology that we run at Bath Spa.

Teaching quality excellence

Overall student satisfaction with teaching for courses in this subject area (2013): 95%

Application method

No. of applicants (2012): 605

No. of places (2012): 61 (additional places are available as part of a Combined Award)

All full time applications are through UCAS

Having applied through UCAS, a typical offer will be within the range of 280-320 tariff points. Appropriate Key Skills points will strengthen an application, but will not be a condition of entry. GCSE Mathematics at Grade B or above will be an advantage. In addition to grades it is important to have a positive reference from a senior person in education on your UCAS form. Should your referee suggest that you are likely to gain the above grades and that you have a clear interest in psychology and are highly motivated, then an offer is likely to be made.

Course enquiries

admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

We have been collecting information about where our graduates work for a number of years. Many of our ex-students are currently collecting the relevant experience needed for placement on the BPS professional psychology masters and doctorates. Many of our graduates wish to work in mental health and to achieve this successfully it is recommended by the British Psychological Society (BPS) that graduates obtain as much relevant experience as possible. As a consequence of this we have had students volunteering (during their degree as well as after it) for organisations as varied as ‘Childline’, ‘The Samaritans’ and ‘Talk to Frank’ – the drugs helpline before applying for Clinical Psychology Doctorate programmes.  We have several working in hospitals in jobs from orderly to assistant psychologist in preparation for their application. For other professional degrees, this is the same situation.  We have prison ‘befrienders’, and prison tutors who have graduated in psychology, who ultimately wish to study towards coming Chartered Forensic Psychologists.

The majority of graduates in psychology across the country will not become professional psychologists. Some of our graduates have gone on to train in counselling (including some that have trained at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, as well as more local providers).  Many students choose to undertake PGCEs and a number of these are gaining experience for Educational Psychology courses. Other students go into management, sales and advertising, probation work and human resources.  Psychology is an attractive option since students learn both numerative/scientific skills and ‘people-skills’.

Students graduating with Single Hons or major Hons in Psychology (accredited by the British Psychological Society) can apply directly for postgraduate training in order to work towards becoming a professional psychologist.

Those taking a combined/minor award will need to take a further year’s ‘top-up’ conversion course should they wish to apply for postgraduate training in psychology.

Employers such as Wiltshire Youth Offending Team, Care Worldwide, MBA Associates Ltd., HM Prisons and the NHS have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Mentor for Youth Offerders, Social Worker, Healthcare Worker and Midwifery Research Assistant.

What students say...

Christelle Van Antwerpen, graduated 2014 from the BSc Psychology

"The course structure is very good at Bath Spa University, especially the option for neuropsychology in year three which is not offered everywhere.  I particularly enjoyed the smaller groups at Bath Spa."

"The lecturers are exceptional and go above and beyond."

Christelle is now completing an MSc in Neuropsychology while working in conjunction with Dr Jade Thai at CRIC on projects involving MS/CFS patients and examining working memory pathways.

 

External Examiners:

"I was impressed by the variety of assessments that the psychology team have in place. There are some very innovative assignments that provide an opportunity for students with different skills to do well."

"Employability issues are firmly embedded into the curriculum"