With over 400 courses on offer in the UK, psychology ranks as the third most popular degree course in the UK after nursing and law. Its rise in popularity is due to the variety of career paths it leads to, both within the field of psychology and in a broader context such as HR and marketing. Plus the fact it is well regarded by prospective employers because graduates will have a background in scientific methods as well as the ability to write structured essays. And, with increasing discoveries about the brain, this is a subject that with the opportunity for learning at the cutting edge of research. We take a look at what you need to know about studying psychology before applying.
Psychology is essentially the study and research human behavior. It is a discipline that explores the functions of the mind and how this affects behaviour. There are many sub-disciplines including biopsychology, developmental, social, clinical and cognitive. The extensiveness of the subject is potentially what attracts most students to study psychology allowing them to either keep a broad set of disciplines or to focus and specify in certain disciplines.
Most psychology degrees begin with core elements such as mental health and childhood evolution, social psychology and personality theory, before moving towards more abstract areas such as cognitive processes, neuroscience and investigating concepts such as the psychology of age or prejudice. Each university programme will have a different emphasis based on their research areas so some may specialise in forensic psychology whilst others will focus on work and organisational psychology.
Commonly, psychology degrees are 3 years long. However this can be extended to 4 years if the degree is studied alongside a language or combined with a business studies programme including a placement year or a year abroad.
Prospective students commonly apply for psychology as a joint honours combination either with a science subject which will lead to a BSc, or with a humanity such as business studies or a language leading to a BA (or MA in a Scottish university).
Psychology has one of the highest subject employment rates in the UK. After achieving a psychology degree, graduates are considered to have acquired a diverse knowledge base that applies to anything that involves people and a range of skills, from an ability to handle data and work with statistics to working collaboratively in teams. Graduates go onto work in a range of industries including advertising, HR, teaching, forensics, marketing and counselling.
The high popularity of the course is reflected in the top-band A-level requirements. Although, depending on your choice of university, the entry requirements differ; the typical offer ranges from A*AA and ABB. Most universities do not specify any particular subject combination at A Level but would expect at least a 6 or above in GCSE Maths and Science. Work experience in a relevant area and a strong personal statement are also key to securing a place on these competitive courses.
Home status fees £9,000
International fees £15,000 – £24,500
Are you considering studying psychology at university? Gabbitas can help you every step on the way to ensure you find the right course at the right university. Get in touch today.