BAEnglish & Psychology

Why this course?

As an English student at Strathclyde you'll enjoy the best of old and new: a grounding in the classics as well as an insight into new fields of literature.

We'll show you how exciting and wide-ranging our subject can be. Employers like the skills developed in an English degree: written and verbal communication, analysis and discussion of ideas and broad, creative thinking.

Our main focus in psychology is the study of human behaviour.

You'll study conditions of behaviour; how we learn, remember, coordinate our actions and interact with others. You'll also study the reasons for differences between individuals, such as personality or intelligence.

Due to the popularity of the course and performance criteria for entry into Honours (Year 4), numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are broad-based to start with. In Year 1 you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

English

What you’ll study

Year 1

Your first year of study will include Shakespearean drama and modern, cutting-edge fiction.

Year 2

Second-year students study some of the most momentous events in literary history, with classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing.

Year 3

In third-year, you'll choose from options including children’s literature, America in the 1920s, the First World War and the Glasgow novel.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation and choose from options including Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, travel writing, oral narratives and fairy tales.

Dissertation

In Honours year, you'll write and research a 6,000-word dissertation with guidance from a personal supervisor. This is an opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choice. Previous dissertations have focussed on music and film as well as literary topics.

Postgraduate study

We offer these taught masters degrees:

Masters degrees can be a first step to a PhD or help with career and personal development. We welcome overseas students, including visiting students.

We also offer various research degrees, including an innovative MRes in Creative Writing.

Socrates exchange

You'll have the opportunity to take part in the Socrates exchange programme, in which you can spend your third year (two semesters) abroad and obtain credits that qualify you to enter the Honours year in one or both of your principal subjects on your return.

Socrates have partner institutions in Germany and France, as well as programmes in North America and elsewhere. While priority on Socrates is given to students who have proficiency in the relevant language, many classes (at least in the host English departments) are conducted in English and there is no language requirement for countries like the USA.

Psychology

What you’ll study

Year 1

The first year covers the basic principles of learning including biological bases of behaviour, thinking and memory.

Years 2 & 3

Years 2 & 3 provides a greater understanding of human development and interaction, cognitive processes, individual differences and biological influences on behaviour.

Year 4

In Year 4, variety of classes that allow you to study an area of psychology in greater depth. You’ll study conceptual and historical issues in psychology and write a dissertation based on your research project.

International placement

There's an opportunity for you to take an optional international research placement through Erasmus.

The School of Psychological Sciences and Health has Erasmus exchange agreements with several European universities including:

  • Humboldt University zu Berlin, Germany
  • Universidad de A Coruna, Spain
  • University of Twente, Netherlands
  • University Tubingen, Germany
  • Radbout University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Major projects

You can undertake an optional summer research project working with a member of staff. In addition, there are opportunities to apply for funding to complete summer internships between year 3 and 4.

Facilities

Our high-quality facilities include six purpose-built experimental research laboratories:

  • driving simulator lab
  • memory lab
  • perception and action lab
  • psychophysiology lab
  • psycholinguistics lab
  • oculomotor lab

Postgraduate study 

Psychology graduates can progress into postgraduate training to become professional psychologists. We currently run a number of post-graduate courses which provide additional research training:

Student competitions

We currently award two prizes to exceptional psychology students.

The Gustav Jahoda Prize founded in 1997 in honour of Emeritus Professor Gustav Jahoda, the first Head of the Department of Psychology, is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners to a psychology Honours student for outstanding academic performance in their final year.

The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award is also awarded annually for outstanding academic performance in the final year. 

Course content

Year 1

English

Year 1

In this wide-ranging introduction to university-level English, your required reading ranges from ancient tales, to Shakespearean drama, to cutting-edge contemporary fiction.

Psychology

Psychology 1a

You'll take this class in semester 1 and are not expected to have any prior knowledge of psychology. It explores learning theory, developmental psychology, personality, biological psychology, and the scientific basis for psychology.

Psychology 1b

This class is taught in semester 2 and covers sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and research methods.

Year 2

English

Year 2

You'll study momentous events in literary history in the historical core classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing. You'll also learn about the various ways in which philosophers, historians and authors have tried to analyse literature in a course on Literature, Criticism and Theory.

Psychology

Cognition & Neuropsychology

This class reveals how our understanding of higher mental functions has been enhanced through:

  • theoretical and experimental studies of normal human cognition
  • neuropsychological studies of how cognitive functions may be damaged as a result of brain lesions
Topics covered include disorders of the perceptual system, memory and attention, and the role of the frontal lobes in planning, motivation, emotion, and personality.
Social & Health Psychology

This class introduces social psychological theories and research that provide insights into why people believe what they believe, and why they behave the way they do.

Topics covered include attribution theory, aggression, prosocial behaviour, group influence, norms, conformity, obedience, and attitudes.

It ends with an introduction to health psychology, demonstrating how social psychological principles covered earlier in the class are applied to pressing, real-world health issues such as dietary behaviour, smoking/alcohol-use, and suicide.

Introduction to Research Design & Analysis

You'll be introduced to the main features of measurement, research design, and statistical analysis in psychology.

Following a general introduction, the course presents fundamental concepts, issues, and debates in the field of research methods.

You'll also become familiarised with the conceptual basis for inferential statistical testing, and introduced to different inferential statistics. Finally, a brief introduction to qualitative research methods takes place.

Year 3

English

Year 3

You'll continue with historical core classes on Victorian and 20th-century Literature, and you'll also choose one further class (English with another subject) or three classes (single English). Our extensive menu of options means you could study anything from Shakespeare to experimental fiction, from children’s literature to America in the 1920s, from autobiography to the Glasgow novel, from First World War literature to detective fiction.

Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology

This class builds on year 2 and equips you with a broader, more advanced set of methodological and analytic skills. These skills are essential for carrying out the year 4 dissertation and for being able to read and understand articles published in academic journals.

Individual Differences

You're encouraged to think scientifically about conceptual and practical issues related to the study of individual differences, with specific reference to intelligence and personality. You'll gain the chance to put this knowledge into practice by designing your own measurement instrument.

Cognition

You'll be introduced to some of the core topics in cognitive psychology

  • Perception and action, particularly how we perceive time and recognise faces
  • Memory and learning, including models of episodic and working memory
  • Language, including word production, sentence comprehension, and discourse processing
  • Thinking, specifically problem solving, deductive reasoning and judgement and decision making.
Development

This class reviews the ways that children develop from infancy right through to the end of adolescence. Key theories are presented and used to explore the extent to which children’s development is continuous or stage-like and whether specific skills develop more quickly than others. Issues relating to infancy, ‘theory of mind’ (understanding others’ thoughts and beliefs), executive function (planning and monitoring abilities), language, and communication form the core themes in the class.

Psychobiology

The purpose of this class is to provide the opportunity for you to learn the basic principles of brain function, and to encourage you to address the implications of this understanding for their own view of how behaviour is generated. It includes coverage of electrophysiology and psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy, research methods in neuroscience. There are focused sections relating to the visual system and the motor system.

Social Psychology

This class allows you to consider current ideas and positions within social psychology. Four themes drive the class

  • Attitudes and attitude change, covering the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Health Belief Model
  • Identity, with a focus on social, personal and group identities
  • Prejudice, connecting both attitudes and identities, and covering a broad range of areas such as social representations, stereotyping, prejudice and conflict
  • Epistemology, where consideration is given to the theory of knowledge, how social psychological knowledge is produced, and to what effect

Year 4

English

Year 4

Throughout the degree, analytical and writing skills are being developed, preparing you to tackle the final-year dissertation. The choice of subjects for your dissertation is wide open – we value student initiative and reward it when we see it.

Fourth year is also your chance to take some more options – two for Joint Honours and three for Single Honours. The options on offer in Honours year include classes on Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, 1930s literature and culture, travel writing, atrocity and modernism, oral narratives and fairytales.

Psychology

Dissertation in Psychology

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to undertake an original piece of research, closely supervised by a single member of staff. Planning for the dissertation begins in year 3, and dissertations can be of such high standards that they are subsequently published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Advanced Organisational Behaviour

This class is offered by the Strathclyde Business School, and draws on current themes in Human Resource Management understood from the perspective of micro-organisational behaviour theory and research. Although the theoretical underpinning of the material covered is primarily about work and organisational issues at the level of individual behaviour in organisations, a contextual understanding of these issues is also encouraged.

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice I & II

If you take only one of these classes, you'll choose two of the following topics.

If you take both these classes, you're permitted to choose four:

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Social Development
  • Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology
  • Cognitive Impairment in Psychological Disorders
  • Practical Aspects of Memory
  • Artificial Intelligence

 

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice I & II topics
Qualitative Methods

This class will offer you the opportunity to develop a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of advanced qualitative research methodologies. It aims to support and develop your understanding of the epistemological and theoretical assumptions behind various qualitative methodologies, specifically:

  • discourse analysis
  • conversation analysis
  • grounded theory
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • narrative analysis. 
Social Development

Social development is a specialised, though broad, area of developmental psychology. It covers the development of all aspects of social behaviour, social influence and social reasoning. This class is intended for students who already have some grounding in developmental psychology and who wish to study advanced topics in depth.

Particular attention is paid to the interacting contributions of biological, cognitive and environmental factors. The lecture-based component of the course covers a range of core topics. These include:

  • Infant social behaviour and understanding
  • attachment
  • aggression
  • gender
  • ethnicity and ethnic attitudes
  • social cognitive development
  • social development in adolescence
Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology

This class will consider the historical and conceptual development of Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology, tracing its development from Freud’s work, through the work of the early Object Relations theorists, to modern approaches to Object Relations and Attachment theory.

It aims to critically assess the contribution that Psychoanalytic and Attachment theorists and practitioners can make to understanding personality. It promotes theoretical insight and reflective learning by engaging you with nomothetic studies of various aspects of psychoanalytic principles in practice such that links to discussions of theory are established.

In addition to lectures, you'll analyse personalities of two notable characters in history, critically assessing what unique insights into their nature's psychoanalytic theory can add to those of approaches rooted in cognitive-behavioural theories. You'll then be further encouraged to identify the links between background literature and the complexity of whole personalities. 

Cognitive Impairment in Psychological Disorders

This class will explore the theoretical underpinnings of the short and long term memory systems (working, episodic, semantic) and related cognitive functions (eg executive functions), the methodological issues relating to their assessment, and how aspects of cognitive function have been implicated in specific clinical disorders.

Lectures which explore theoretical models of these memory aspects will be followed up with more specific and applied lectures and class discussions about the role of working memory and other executive functions in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Williams syndrome, episodic memory in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and cognitive control, rumination and memory in depression. 

Practical Aspects of Memory

The focus of this class is to highlight the issue of generalisability of psychological theory with specific reference to memory. This approach encourages you to assess theories, developed in the laboratory, for their generalisability to real life applications, and, thereby, develops their critical analysis skills.

The two fields which are considered are forensic and clinical psychology. In the forensic domain the areas covered relate to the accuracy and completeness of eyewitness memory, and the assessment of line-up procedures and interview techniques used by the police, with practical recommendations made as to which situations and contexts certain procedures will be useful. In terms of clinical psychology, we will largely be focusing on the validity of repressed memories, with implications for ethically treating clients, and the important role of context in determining the veracity of a claim of recovered memories. 

Artificial Intelligence

This class will introduce you to some of the core topics in Artificial Intelligence, of both the traditional, symbol-manipulation and the more recent connectionist varieties. AI simulations in the areas of visual perception, language, memory and learning will be discussed to allow the exploration of key theoretical debates.

You'll develop an understanding of the relevance of artificial intelligence for psychology, and vice versa, and contrast the ‘analytic’ approach of experimental psychology with the ‘synthetic’ approach of AI. 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV

If you take only one of these classes, you'll choose two of the following topics.

If you take both these classes, you're permitted to choose four:

  • Perception & Action
  • Forensic 
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychology of Language
  • Performance Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology of Ageing & Dementia

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV topics
Perception & Action

Perception and action is one of the major fields in contemporary cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. This class provides an opportunity for you to explore the field at an advanced level and achieve in-depth understanding of three key areas:

  • Theoretical approaches to the problem of perception, paying particular attention to the contrasting perspectives and contemporary debate between ‘information processing’ versus ‘ecological’ theories of perception. 
  • The ways in which perceptual information is used in the planning and control of action both in laboratory studies and in ‘real world’ activities such as tennis, cricket, athletics, high-diving and driving. 
  • The role of cognitive maps and other representations of space in controlling perceptual activity. How cognitive representations of space are used to navigate around the external environment in children versus adults, and in blind versus sighted people. We also explore some of the spatial representations found in other species and explore how these can give rise to extraordinary spatial abilities.

 

Forensic

This class will consider the historical and conceptual development of forensic psychology.

It'll build on your earlier work, specifically on your knowledge of the psychology of individual differences and, more generally, on their skills in applying research methods in psychology. The class aims to critically assess the contribution that forensic psychology researchers and practitioners can make to the criminal justice system.

It'll promote theoretical insight and reflective learning by engaging you with both nomothetic and idiographic studies of various aspects of the work of forensic psychologists such that links to discussions of theory are established. In addition to lectures, you'll analyse real examples of the forensic psychologist’s work, specifically by reporting on the psychological dynamics of a police interview, and by applying psychological theory to the analysis of a criminal personality. 


Physiological Psychology

The main purpose of this class is to provide a selective overview of the physiological and neural substrates of motivational states. The two motivational states that are covered in this stream are hunger and sexual motivation. To help you understand these two motivational states, a number of other topics have to be covered to provide the required background knowledge:

  • evolution
  • the development of  the nervous system including the roles of genes and the environment in development
  • euro-anatomy
  • threats and incentives
  • self-regulation 
  • sexual differentiation
These topics will be new to you. You must learn new vocabulary and learn about basic physiological processes and neuro-anatomy. You'll also have to integrate this information to think about the psychological implications and consequences of these neural processes. 
Psychology of Language

The class will explore some of the key issues in psycholinguistic research such as pragmatic aspects of language use, language development, second language processing. You'll understand some of the key concepts in these areas (eg common ground theory, egocentricity in language processing, language transfer), and will be able to critically evaluate the key scientific findings relating to them. You'll also appreciate the main experimental paradigms/techniques that are used in the field. 

Performance Psychology

Psychological factors are recognised as having an essential role in the attainment of success in all aspect of performance, especially in sport. In this class, issues relating to the psychology of elite performance, individual and group processes and the acquisition of complex motor skills will be examined. The aim of the topic stream is to provide you with an in-depth understanding of:

  • Psychology of elite performance
  • The relationships between anxiety and performance will be evaluated, and the ways elite performers cope with the pressure will be assessed
  • Individual and group processes in sport: An evaluation of leadership styles and group and team dynamics will be undertaken
  • Motor skill acquisition and performance: current theoretical issues in the development of skilled motor behaviours will be analysed

 

Health Psychology

You'll be provided with a comprehensive grounding in the theories, methods and evidence base of health psychology. In addition, this class will provide opportunities for you to apply your knowledge to real world health problems. This combination of knowledge and practical application will enable you to make informed judgements about postgraduate study and training within the discipline. It'll also support any effort to gain employment within health related jobs, such as health promotion. 

Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia

This class will offer you the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of the theories and empirical data that are relevant within the field of neuropsychology of ageing and dementia.

It'll cover the differences between normal and pathological decline in old age and will provide information on the neuropsychological profiles and pathologies which characterise different forms of dementia.

You'll learn to identify the features which can aid early diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the dementias (eg for Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Lewy body dementia). You'll become familiar with how different aspects of cognition are distributed within the brain and will be aware of the consequences of impairment. Different methodologies that are used for the study of the dementias will be explored (eg neuropsychological assessment, functional and structural neuroimaging) and you'll learn to critically evaluate the benefits and pitfalls of each method.

 

Study abroad
Erasmus International Work Placement

This class is an option which is available to a restricted number of students who'll apply to take part. It involves a placement with a European University partner working in a research team during the summer between years 3 and 4. Additional assessment is the completed during semester 1 of year 4.

Assessment

English

In addition to traditional exams, many classes are assessed partly or solely by essays. In later years, students you the opportunity to set the topics and titles of these essays themselves.

All our classes use Myplace, Strathclyde's virtual learning environment, which can be used for online quizzes and keeping a reading diary.

Psychology

We assess you using class tests, essays, practical reports, dissertations, individual presentations, group presentations and degree exams.

Online and face-to-face group project work is also included in the course. You'll also take part in practical assignments from first-year onwards.

Learning & teaching

English

You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and take part in small group work, individual and group presentations, debates and writing exercises. Some classes also take place in computer labs and include analysis of texts using software tools.

We've recently introduced a new research task in which staff, undergraduates and postgraduates work together (Vertically Integrated Project).

Psychology

Our methods include lectures, small-group tutorials, practical labs, online tutorials, online wikis, group work, problem-based learning and one-to-one supervision.

These methods are used across all years of the degree and aim to provide you with opportunities to learn and work in different ways.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B, plus one from the list below
  • Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Year 2 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

2017/18

Scotland/EU
  • £1,820
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.

International
  • £13,500

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs

All recommended texts and computer software packages are available from the University Library and Pegasus.

Other costs

Students should purchase a standard calculator. It's required for the duration of the course.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Careers

English graduates from Strathclyde include TV journalists, councillors, the Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan and former head of the Scottish Arts Council James Boyle. An English degree helps graduates find work in areas such as publishing, the civil service, administration and creative writing.

As a Psychology graduate, continuing your studies will help you become a professional psychologist, which can lead to working in areas such as clinical, educational or occupational psychology. Many graduates also work in research.

Other possible careers are teaching, human resource management, social work, counselling and management and professional positions throughout the private and public sectors.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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