Faculty of Medicine and Health

Institute of Psychological Sciences

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Study Psychology at Leeds

"Providing an excellent student education and learning experience is at the heart of our work in the Institute. We are proud of our students, the work they produce and the partnerships that we have we them. Subject with electrodes and headphones In our degree programmes, we aim to deliver inspirational teaching that draws on our extensive research expertise. You will encounter diverse psychological topics, which build year on year to advanced, specialist modules in your final year, providing you with a contemporary and engaging education in psychology. Training students in psychological research skills, from research design to its implementation and analysis, is also core to our undergraduate programmes, which are all fully accredited by British Psychological Society.

We aim to stimulate your thinking, within an inspirational research environment, and to provide you with the necessary resources to help you get the best out of your time with us. Multiple opportunities are available to you here in the Institute to extend your knowledge and competencies, from research experience posts and the enterprise scheme to a study abroad or industrial placement year. Our students become confident and skilled graduates, able to compete for the best jobs in the market place. We are proud of our Institute and look forward to welcoming you should you choose to study with us."

  Dr Ed Sutherland
Director of Student Education

Our undergraduate programmes

BPS logo We offer four undergraduate programmes, all of which are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The Society's minimum requirement for the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) is a second class honours degree. For more information on the BPS and why accreditation is important, please see www.bps.org.uk.

Entry requirements

Our four undergraduate programmes are:

BSc Psychology

BSc Psychology (International)

BSc Psychology (Industrial)

BSc Psychology (Intercalating)

Our education philosophy

Our aim is to inspire our students to develop to their full potential by engaging them in learning within a supportive, vibrant and exciting research environment. We value partnership with our students in learning and in research.

Neurons Psychology is an extensive and evolving scientific discipline, and to reflect this, undergraduate study of psychology at Leeds draws upon aspects of biology, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, animal behaviour, linguistics and forensics, as well as applied concerns involving health behaviours, medical error and product design. We provide substantial training in research methods, which includes training in conducting and understanding statistical analyses of data.

Student with headphones We are a reputable research institute (read more about our research expertise on our research pages) and we are passionate about sharing our knowledge. We teach core psychology in ways that draw upon cutting edge psychology research. You will be able to enjoy a unique apprenticeship model of learning and get involved in some of our research directly in your second and third years.

Group of children's faces Psychology as a profession and discipline of academic enquiry demands excellent communication skills, and our undergraduate students are trained to become articulate and proficient communicators equipped with professional skills to promote confidence and ambition in pursuing desired career paths.

Human brain

"I have really enjoyed my time studying Psychology at Leeds - the course has been stimulating and interesting and has really developed my research skills."
Madeline Kavanagh, 2012 Graduate

BSc Psychology

This degree is three years, full-time only. Each year has two semesters, semester 1 is September to January, and semester 2 is February to May.

Our degree programme is academically challenging and we encourage our students to aim high. Students at Leeds learn about psychology, and how to think critically about it, in a range of ways, including:

"My first year of Psychology at Leeds has covered a wide range of really interesting topics and given me great opportunities to get involved with research in the department."
Jo Cutler, Level 1 Student, BSc Psychology, 2012

The degree is taught in teaching units called modules and each module is worth either 10 or 20 credits. Modules taught in semester 1 are assessed in January and modules taught in semester 2 are examined in May/June. Students must pass 100 credits in each level in order to progress.

Modules in the BSc Psychology programme

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

Research Skills 1 (20 credits)
Research Skills 2 (20 credits)
Professional Skills for Psychologists (10 credits)
Developmental Psychology (10 credits)
Biological Psychology (10 credits)
Cognitive Psychology (10 credits)
Social Psychology (10 credits)
Perception (10 credits)
Psychology at Leeds (10 credits)

And one from:
Forensic psychology (10 credits)
Sport & Exercise Psychology (10 credits)
Psychology & the media (10 credits)
Animal Behaviour (10 credits)

Research Skills 3 (20 credits)
Memory and Language (20 credits)
Perception and Action (10 credits)
Psychological Disorders (10 credits)
Advanced Social Psychology (10 credits)
Mini Project (20 credits)
Neuroscience 1: Human Cognition (10 credits)
Neuroscience 2: Animal Cognition (10 credits)
Personality and Intelligence (10 credits)

For 2012-13 only, choice of one from:
Forensic psychology (10 credits)
Sport & Exercise Psychology (10 credits)
Psychology & the media (10 credits)
Animal Behaviour (10 credits)

Major Project (30 credits)

One module from each of Bands A, B, C. A further 3 from any band.

Band A: Health and Social Psychology
Approaches to Nutrition and Behaviour (15 credits)
Health Psychology (15 credits)
Applied Psychology (15 credits)
Reproductive Psychology (15 credits)
Occupational Health Psychology (15 credits)

Band B: Biological Psychology
The Biopsychology of Human Appetite (15 credits)
The Spatial World (15 credits)
Drugs, Hormone and Behaviour (15 credits)
Drug Addiction (15 credits)
Contemporary Learning Theory (15 credits)
Evolutionary Psychology (15 credits)

Band C: Cognitive Psychology
Current Themes in Cognitive Science (15 credits)
Reasoning and Decision Making (15 credits)
Remembering and Knowing (15 credits)
The Psychology of Design (15 credits)
Motor Learning in Children and Adults with Disability (15 credits)
Auditory Perception and Cognition (15 credits)

(Please note that modules are subject to change)


Students are assessed at many points throughout the degree, and are supported in understanding the purpose of assessment, its format, and how it will be marked. Most forms of assessment (except end of module examinations) will be returned with personalised feedback so that students can understand their performance and develop further. Assessment begins in the form of multiple choice exams, short reports and essays, and progresses onto more substantive pieces of work, such as larger research reports, examinations, presentations and research protocols. Students can discuss their grades and overall performance every semester by meeting with their personal tutor.


"The design and structure of the assessment used in this award is a carefully thought out balance between a traditional approach (essays and exams), which allows students to develop appropriate skills for assessment over more than one module, and a more innovative approach to assess the students' abilities."
Professor Dorothy Miell, The Open University, External Examiner 2008-2009

Student success

Approximately 25% of our students graduate from our undergraduate degree programmes with first class honours, and a further 65% graduate with a 2:1 degree.

"Leeds attracts good students and the degree has been designed to allow the students to be stretched and perform well."
Professor Chris Fife-Schaw, University of Surrey, External examiner 2010/11
The ability of our final year students to produce outstanding final year projects has been commented upon by our External Examiners, and reflects the underpinning of psychology at Leeds with a research-led, scientific approach to study. It also means that some of our top undergraduate students are nominated for, and are often successful in getting, external awards, for example, from the British Psychology Society or Experimental Psychology Society. Our students are also highly successful in gaining employment upon graduation.

One of our second year students talks about the Psychology course and life in Leeds in this three minute video.

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BSc Psychology (International)

This exciting four year degree programme is identical to the BSc Psychology programme in content, but it includes one year of studying psychology at another university outside the UK. There are over 200 exchange partners across 30 different countries.

All students must initially register on the BSc Psychology degree programme (UCAS code C800). Applications to study abroad can then be made in either December (for non-European countries) or February (for European countries) of Level 2.

Year 1: Level 1 in Leeds identical to the Level 1 of the BSc Psychology programme. However, students intending to study abroad in a foreign language may choose to study the language of their chosen destination. 10-20 credits of study are available to do this through agreement with the Study Abroad Tutor.

"The year abroad programme gave me an amazing opportunity. Being able to study under some of the world's paramount researchers, with great resources, in a wide range of topics, really improved the breadth and depth of my knowledge and understanding of psychology."
James Briggs, Study Abroad Year at the University of California
Year 2: Level 2 in Leeds is identical to Level 2 of the BSc Psychology programme. Elective modules may be used for language training. If students average a 2:1 at the end of Level 2, they may transfer to the BSc Psychology (International) programme.

Year 3: Study Abroad Year. In consultation with the Study Abroad Tutor, modules will be selected that broaden and deepen students' understanding of Psychology, that increase their familiarity with the culture, institutions and working practices of another country and, where appropriate, enhance their foreign language skills.

Year 4: Level 3 in Leeds identical to Level 3 of the BSc Psychology.

Forms of learning, assessment and support are identical to the BSc Psychology programme with the exception that there is a dedicated Study Abroad tutor in the Institute to support those students considering changing to the International variant.

Degree classification

The classification of the BSc Psychology (International) degree is identical to that for the BSc Psychology degree. All modules taken at Levels 2 and 3 in Leeds (Years 2 and 4) contribute towards the classification of the BSc Psychology (International) degree. Grades awarded during the study abroad year do not contribute to the degree classification. However, to be awarded the International degree students must pass their year abroad.

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BSc Psychology (Industrial)

Our new four year degree programme is identical to the BSc Psychology programme in content, but it includes one year of work placement in the UK or abroad. All students must initially register on the BSc Psychology degree programme (UCAS code C800). Applications for the work placement programme can then be made in Level 2.

Year 1: Level 1 in Leeds identical to the Level 1 of the BSc Psychology programme.

Year 2: Level 2 in Leeds is identical to Level 2 of the BSc Psychology programme.

Year 3: Work Placement Year. In consultation with the Institute and the Careers Centre, students can arrange to take up to three different placements during this year. Placements can be very diverse and student-led; the only requirements is that the placement demonstrates a clear potential to build the student's psychological knowledge and experience of using psychology in the workplace.

Year 4: Level 3 in Leeds identical to Level 3 of the BSc Psychology.

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BSc Psychology (Intercalating)

Our one year, intercalating programme enables medical students to develop a deeper understanding of human behaviour than can be acquired through conventional medical training. Students can develop a mature and critical approaches to theory and data and undertake their own research project under the supervision of researchers of international calibre. This promotes their ability to design and analyse experiments of their own, construct questionnaires and use other psychological and empirical techniques. These projects are carried out in laboratories, clinics, hospitals and other institutions with which the Institute has close contact. Topics investigated in recent years have included:

Psychology is a friendly department! Students interact, as far as possible, with every member of staff as well as with students on a range of psychology degree schemes, from psychology single subject to our joint honours programmes. Students will cover the following modules:

"Studying psychology at Leeds has equipped me with numerous transferrable skills which will help me in other areas of life. I have felt totally supported by the department and would highly recommend the degree to prospective students."
Kate Tuffy, Intercalating medic, 2012
Laboratory practical classes in which studies and experiments are designed and performed are supplemented by small group discussions and demonstrations. Special courses for intercalating students are offered to cover statistics and use of statistical packages at the start of semester 1.

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