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, performance-related criteria are in place to manage entry into Honours (Year 4); this means the numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited and dependent on performance.
Education is essential if you're hoping to study initial teacher education courses. We offer you the chance to develop knowledge of the education systems of Scotland and beyond, looking at issues including policy, social justice, equity and inclusion.
Combining education with other subjects provides opportunities for those who wish to work in professions associated with education, but who don't wish necessarily to become teachers. Please note that this course doesn't allow you to qualify as a teacher, though joint honours Education graduates will be able to explore postgraduate routes into teaching careers (via the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education).
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
Education issues explored include:
You'll undertake a placement with children between the ages of 0-14.
- the impact of poverty and social class on children and society
- the role of culture and community in education
- how people learn and the place of policy and politics in education.
In second year you'll look more closely at how people learn. You'll study how children learn from before they are born to learning in later life. You'll also learn about informal education and have the opportunity to study an education-focused module of your choice.
This year explores the history and philosophy of education as well as looking at adult education. You'll also review how children and childhood are represented in film and literature.
As a fourth year student, you'll have an element of choice in your study modules. You can look at policy and politics in education and/or broader social issues in education.
As part of the first year in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences all students choosing to study education must undertake a placement. This placement involves working with children between the ages of 0-14 for 70 hours across the course of the year. The placement can be in a range of options other than a mainstream primary school setting.
Please read our important information about the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults).
Students enjoy a wide range of professional development opportunities. These might be ones run by students or by organisations that are invited in to speak with students. There are currently leading professional development opportunities in the likes of British Sign Language, anti-sectarian education and working with children abroad. Students will have the opportunity to lead some professional development for staff and students if they have a particular strength or expertise relevant to education. There are extra-curricular education activities such as a philosophy café and film group.
Within the joint honours in Education you’ll be able to undertake a dissertation that allows you to do research in an area of particular interest to you.
Education students have access to the Education Resources Centre. This is a library dedicated to education materials. It is the best resource of its kind in the country.
Students completing the BA joint honours in Education will be well-placed to apply for PGDE primary or secondary courses. They will also be able to continue onto the Strathclyde MEd.
The University of Strathclyde is the only university in Scotland to offer a joint honours Education degree.
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.
Understanding Education in the 21st Century
Placement and Curriculum
This class introduces students to a large and rich seam of disciplinary knowledge. It is an introductory class of potential interest to all who want to understand more about Education. Some of the key content to be addressed in the module is around the following:
- the field of study that is education: what it is and how we know that
- the context of education: some contribution of political, historical and economic dimensions to curriculum, schooling, policy, globalisation
- education achievement: some contributions of psychological, sociological and philosophical perspectives to topics such as learning, diversity, gender
On this module, students from across disciplines work together to learn about children and the communities in which they live; children's health and wellbeing; child protection; children's voice; children's play and play places. The notion that the health and wellbeing of children and young people is central to the advancement of society is a seminal theme in this module.
The placement experience has been designed to allow students to undertake a work placement with children and young people from 0 - 14 years. Placements will be provided in a range of settings outwith the mainstream classroom.
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.
Learners & Learning
This class provides students with an essential understanding of human learning processes and the needs of learners across the life-course.
This module investigates philosophical and pedagogical interventions beyond the school curriculum in informal settings, with adults in particular. It'll also open up possibilities for informal education techniques and practices to be considered and adopted by a range of professions and to explore potential partnerships between informal education specialists and others.
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
History and Philosophy of Education
Children & Childhood
This module will support students in developing their knowledge and understanding of the roots of some key educational ideas in history. These will be considered from a philosophical perspective.
Social Pedagogy with Adults
This module will focus on children and childhood in contexts other than formal education settings that will be explored elsewhere. The aim of this module is to introduce students to the concepts of child and childhood through a range of representations. The class will draw on children in film, art and literature to explore representations of children and childhood and experiences of childhood.
This module is based on an understanding of the evolution of adult learning and the resultant principles that underline current practice and will illustrate how adult educators work and will also open up possibilities for adult education techniques and practices to be considered. It'll also explore potential partnerships between adult educators and others.
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 in Education is designed to further students’ development of a questioning, self-evaluative and reflective approach in a major in-depth piece of work demanding independent, self-motivated study and the sustained application of professional research and enquiry skills.
The widest possible range of topics, types of project, modes of enquiry and of research techniques is encouraged. What projects have in common is the individual student’s ownership and control of the project and the expectation of high quality work.
Choose from this listPolicy and Politics in Education
Social Issues in Education
This class will provide students with the opportunity to engage in debate about current issues in education through detailed exploration of the policy and political contexts. It will introduce students to frameworks for understanding how policy comes about and how it is inextricably linked with political issues.
Social Research Methods
This module will teach students about the responsibility of teachers for the education, health and well-being of all children, in the context of a complex and diverse society. It will also address the needs of those who will work with children, young people and adults in a variety of education-related contexts through its focus on a range of key social issues and the relevant national legislative and policy framework.
This class prepares you for designing and completing a research project. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge required in planning and delivering a research project.
We assess students using:
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.
- class tests
- practical reports
- individual presentations
- group presentations
- degree examinations.
In first year, you're supported in learning about academic reading, writing and referencing - skills that will help you become a successful undergraduate. Peer support encourages you to develop your own assessment skills and learn from each other. During the course, tutorials and presentations will be assessed and feedback will be provided, before you submit work for formal assessment.
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.
You'll take part in workshops for practical aspects of the course, and have access to lab space and specialist teaching space for science and the expressive arts, including physical education. Field trips and the chance to study elective and optional classes are also available to you.
Throughout the degree programme, students will be invited to lectures by guest speakers that are visiting the School of Education. They'll also be invited to lectures specifically for Education students. As part of the work on professional development, students will have the opportunity to organise guest speakers from relevant organisations to speak with students. The School of Education aims to be responsive to the interests of its students as well as ensuring that they have access to leading educationists when they visit.
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.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
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.
Course materials & costs
All recommended texts and computer software packages are available from the University Library and Pegasus.
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
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.
Many of our graduates gain employment in areas associated with education, such as law, psychology, the civil service and journalism. A joint Honours degree in education and another subject enables graduates to apply for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, in either primary or secondary education.