Why this course?
Our main focus in psychology is the study of human behaviour.
Studying with us, you'll look at conditions of behaviour – how we learn, remember, co-ordinate our actions and interact with others – and 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) the numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited.
Following the recent global economic crisis, economics is more important and relevant than ever. Decisions on money, banking, interest rates, taxation and government spending affects us all, with global consequences.
Economics aims to understand the activities of the different agents in the economy – consumers, producers and the government – and how they all fit together.
Our degree will give you the ability to explain complex data in simple terms to different audiences. You’ll also develop excellent mathematical, statistical and problem-solving skills.
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1 you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you’ll study
The first year covers the basic principles of learning:
- biological bases of behaviour
- social influences on behaviour
- changes in behaviour through the lifespan
- research methods
Years 2 & 3
The range of classes provides a greater understanding of human development and interaction, cognitive processes, individual differences and biological influences on behaviour.
We offer a 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.
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. We currently have active exchanges with:
- Humboldt University zu Berlin, Germany
- Universidad de A Coruna, Spain
- University of Twente, Netherlands
- University Tubingen, Germany
- Radbout University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
For general queries about exchanges to and from the School of Psychological Sciences and Health, please contact Dr Kellyanne Findlay.
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.
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
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:
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.
What you'll study
The first year of study looks at consumers and industries, with markets, market failure and the role of government, unemployment and inflation. No previous knowledge of economics is needed but the class is also suitable if you have studied the subject before.
You'll take core classes in microeconomics and macroeconomics and choose from a number of optional classes.
As a third year student, you'll study a combination of core and optional classes to develop the foundations laid in Years 1 and 2 with a view to Honours study.
Optional classes complement the areas of microeconomics and macroeconomics. You'll also write a dissertation.
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.
This class is taught in semester 2 and covers sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and research methods.
Introduction to Economics
The purpose of this class is to provide you with a balanced introduction to economics which will be at once self-contained and lay the foundation for further study in economics and more generally. The work of the class will be based on a programme of systematic directed reading, supplemented by tutorials, using group projects and in-class short answer tests as cumulative assessment.
Cognition & Neuropsychology
Social & Health Psychology
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.
Introduction to Research Design & Analysis
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.
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.
This is the core microeconomics class in second year. It aims to develop your understanding of: the concepts of consumer choice; the motives of the firm and profit maximisation; the market and its role in achieving equilibrium prices and quantities; and the implications of market power. It will introduce you to mathematical techniques commonplace in economics, giving you the ability to apply these in a wider economic context.
The class builds upon the macroeconomic foundations established in the first year Economics class and both extends and deepens analysis. In particular this class will develop your ability to use key macroeconomic models and will also provide an introduction to the analysis of economic data.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Adam Smith's hidden hand - markets result in efficient outcomes - doesn't always work. We seek to understand why through the study of market power, externalities and public goods, and then go on to apply these ideas to issues of education, healthcare provision and crime and punishment.
This class builds on the Macroeconomics you studied in second year by covering four topics in detail: (i) models of economic growth; (ii) the effects of macroeconomic policy in an open economy; (iii) the interrelationships between money growth, output, unemployment and inflation; and (iv) the implications of high government debt.
Dissertation in Psychology
Advanced Organisational Behaviour
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 Psychological Theory & Practice I & II
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.
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 topicsQualitative 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.
Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology
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
- ethnicity and ethnic attitudes
- social cognitive development
- social development in adolescence
Cognitive Impairment in Psychological Disorders
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.
Practical Aspects of Memory
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.
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.
Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV
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.
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
- Physiological Psychology
- Psychology of Language
- Performance Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Neuropsychology of Ageing & Dementia
Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV topicsPerception & 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.
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.
Psychology of Language
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:
- the development of the nervous system including the roles of genes and the environment in development
- threats and incentives
- 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.
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.
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
Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia
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.
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 abroadErasmus 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.
The dissertation is an important part of the fourth year programme. Single Honours Economics BA students are required to submit a dissertation in Economics while Joint Honours BA students may submit a dissertation in Economics or in their other Honours subject.
Elective classesMicroeconomics 4
Game Theory and Information Economics, the topics of this class, consider market failure resulting from two different sources: individuals pursuing their own self-interest at the expense of others; and information asymmetry which alters the way agents behave. Methods to alleviate these market failures will also be considered.
This class aims to provide you with the required tools to understand current macroeconomic issues, such as the interactions between the banking sector and monetary policy or the policy responses to the global financial crisis. Throughout the class, the analytical usefulness of the theoretical models taught is illustrated with real-world examples.
Introduction to Econometrics
This class builds upon the empirical content of Macroeconomics 2 and further develops your ability to analyse economic data. In addition, this class lays the foundations for further study of econometrics at Honours level.
Economics of Firms & Industries
This class introduces you to different industry structures and studies the behaviour of firms within those structures. The material builds on the study of the theory of the firm presented in Microeconomics 2 and provides a foundation for the study of industrial organisation at Honours level.
This course investigates the actions that firms in an industry might take to preserve their profit in that industry, and the implications that this has for competition policy and regulation. We take an analytical approach to the issues which will be supported by examining case studies and current events.
Financial Development & Economic Growth
In the third year econometrics class you’ll have learned about regression in both a cross-sectional data and time series data context. This class extends that knowledge in three ways.
First, for cross-sectional data, the class deals with regression techniques where the dependent variable may be restricted or limited in some way. In such cases, the regression model as taught in the third year class is not appropriate; this class develops models which are similar in spirit to the standard regression model, but can handle all of these cases.
A second purpose of Applied Econometrics is to develop regression methods which can be used when you have panel data - consisting of both cross-sectional and time-series dimensions.
Third, the class will build on the introduction to the econometrics of time series data developed in this class by developing two classes of models.
This class gives a balanced view of the role of finance in promoting long-run economic growth, but also booms and busts. The nature and role of financial intermediaries will be introduced, and, afterwards, formally addressed in a simple aggregate growth model. Empirical evidence will be examined, before turning to the specifics of micro-finance. The importance of financial globalisation will also be investigated. Finally, the rest of the class will be devoted to deciphering the causes and consequences of the current financial crisis.
Natural Resource, Environmental & Energy Economics
Behavioural Economics offers alternative theories that merge psychological insights with economic theory and are based on experimental and other evidence, that attempt to provide a better explanation of real-world behaviour.
This class is concerned with exploring these new behavioural theories with the aim of providing you with an expanded toolkit with which to approach ‘real-world Economics’ that is based on the burgeoning Behavioural Economics literature that has emerged over the past two or three decades.
After studying this, you should be able to extend much of your previously-learned knowledge in Microeconomics in various directions that take into account more realistic ways of modelling how individuals behave.
The class provides you with an introduction to natural resource, environmental and energy economics and policy. It focuses on the contributions of economics to understanding environmental, energy and resource problems, their causes, and the design of effective public policies to counteract them.
We assess students using:
- class tests
- practical reports
- individual presentations
- group presentations
- degree examinations
Online and face-to-face group project work is also included in the course. You'll take part in practical assignments from first-year onwards.
The majority of classes are assessed by a final exam. This mark is supplemented by one or more forms of individual and/or group coursework. In some cases, you can earn an exemption from the exam by achieving a specified coursework mark. Exams are normally held at the end of the semester in which the class is taught.
You normally have one opportunity to be re-assessed for a failed class.
Learning & teaching
Our methods include:
- small-group tutorials
- practical labs
- online tutorials
- online wikis
- group work
- problem-based learning
- 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.
Teaching is given over two semesters in blocks of 12 weeks each. Methods include lectures, tutorials and seminars. As a student you will take part in team-based projects and make use of online teaching materials. Our industrial partners regularly assist in teaching and the assessment of student presentations.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
1st sitting: AAAA
2nd sitting: AAAAB
- Higher English B, plus one from the list below
- Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.
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)
36 (Maths SL5)
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.
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 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 for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you're 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. Due to the high level of demand on the course, there are additional performance based criteria used to determine progress from Level 1 to Level 2 Psychology and from Level 2 to Single Honours in Psychology.
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.
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.