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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Dungannon West Renewal Ltd

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Manager of a business park


Psychology at Ulster University promises high quality teaching in a supportive learning environment.


BSc Social Psychology can be taken on a part-time basis (up to six years duration with an extra year for the DPP/DIAS option). This course can also be taken on a three year full-time basis (four years with optional DPP/DIAS). Part-time and full-time students are taught together during the normal working week.

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Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


The BSc Hons Social Psychology programme provides a knowledge of the discipline of psychology, with a particular focus on how this knowledge can be applied in social and community settings. The course shall emphasise the relevance of psychology to social problems and to the study of lifelong development. Graduates who take the course will develop a range of practical skills involved in studying, evaluating, and changing human social behaviour. You may wish to gain experience in the application of these skills in professional settings during a work experience placement. Graduates will be qualified to enter careers in professional psychology and other careers that involve working with people. Particular features include training in the scientific methods of enquiry and how psychology can be applied in professional settings. You will attain research skills through laboratory-based practical classes and develop statistical and computer competence.


Lectures and related activities are conducted in lecture theatres and laboratories on campus. The timetable requires attendance across the working week. Part-time and full-time students are taught together during the normal working week.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Psychology Applied to Health

Year: 1

The focus of this module is to introduce psychological perspectives to examine contemporary health issues. The module will introduce students to the field of health psychology, and provide an awareness of the role of psychological theory and practice to understand health behaviour. Important themes are the relationships between human behaviour and health outcomes, the importance of psychological processes and practice to understand and change health behaviours.

Introduction to Psychology 2

Year: 1

This module offers students an introduction to the main subject areas of psychology. The module is rooted in scientific research and covers the major theoretical aspects of psychology, with specific reference to areas such as personality, intelligence, memory, perception, and perspectives on mental health and psychological therapies. Alongside PSY131 it serves as a supportive knowledge base for later modules in the course.

Introduction to Psychology 1

Year: 1

This module offers students an introduction to the main subject areas of psychology. The module is rooted in scientific research and covers the major theoretical aspects of psychology, with specific reference to areas such as genes, environment, social psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology and psychobiology. Alongside PSY111 it serves as a supportive knowledge base for later modules in the course.

Year two

Introduction to Research Methods

Year: 2

This module establishes a foundation of basic research skills by introducing: key concepts of: the scientific method; research designs used in the behavioural and social sciences; a range of graphical and descriptive statistical techniques; statistical inference; hypothesis testing; and, the application of IBM SPSS in data analysis. Teaching methods are lectures and practical classes. Assessment comprises a class-based test and a written practical report.

Research Procedures in the Behavioural Sciences

Year: 2

Consolidating on PSY105 this module further develops students' knowledge, skills and competencies with regards to Psychological research methods. The emphasis throughout will be on relating methodological concepts to applied psychological research contexts, in particular the psychology experiment and qualitative methods. The module aims to equip students with the basic experimental, statistical inference, and qualitative methodological skills necessary to understand, conduct and evaluate psychological research.

Professional Practice and Applications in Psychology

Year: 2

This module highlights the skills needed to study, research and work in the discipline of psychology. The importance of key skills such as self-reflection, interpersonal communication and ethical thinking are introduced and embedded in the assessments. The relevance of these skills to further study and the work environment is emphasised.

Year three

Developmental Psychology

Year: 3

This module introduces students to current knowledge of biological, cognitive and psychosocial development across the life-span. The module includes lectures, seminars and both individual and group work from the outset.

Social Psychology

Year: 3

The module will develop the students' knowledge and understanding of social psychological explanations related to common behaviours such as attitude formation, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal attraction, social influence, and aggression.

Advanced Research Methods

Year: 3

This module presents methods relating to measurement, design and data analysis in the research process. Issues relating to qualitative methods, experimental and non-experimental designs, and statistical analysis will be addressed during lectures. In addition, experience in the use of multivariate statistical techniques and phenomenological approaches is gained through practical sessions. Students will also be introduced to single case methodology.

Year four

Cognitive Psychology

Year: 4

This module presents the core concepts in contemporary cognitive psychology with an emphasis on the empirical basis of knowledge in the area, on links with other areas of psychology and on everyday applications.


Year: 4

This module serves to introduce an understanding of the biological underpinnings of behaviour. In particular, the topics covered will highlight the important psychobiological influences in the production of everyday behaviours and psychiatric disorders.

Individual Differences

Year: 4

This module will discuss the nature and origins of individual differences in major psychological attributes, involving a range of cognitive abilities and personality traits. It will attempt to provide a grounding in the theory and practice of psychological assessments, including interpretation of psychometric test scores. Attention will be paid to the ethical and historical context of the topics and provide an introduction to the contemporary literature and research directions.

Year five

Psychology Project

Year: 5

Students will complete an independent empirical investigation on a psychological topic and present it as a dissertation. The project will be individually supervised and constitutes a culmination of the methodological teaching within the degree.

Psychology at Work

Year: 5

The module addresses aspects of professional psychology and affords students the opportunity to use the skills learned, both in this module and their wider degree to investigate a real world problem, and make recommendations to an organisation.

Development of Social Behaviour

Year: 5

This module is optional

In this module, students will explore the development of social behaviour in children and young people from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and will discuss how knowledge of the psychology of social development can be applied to real world issues. The module will also consider how knowledge based on research into the study of social development can be applied in clinical and educational settings. It builds on modules in Year 2, particularly Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology.

Health, Exercise and Sport Psychology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will introduce the student to the fields of health psychology, exercise psychology and sport psychology. It will adopt a biopsychosocial approach to health; look at social-cognitive and motivational theories in relation to exercise; and address the importance of factors such as motivation, arousal and self-confidence in sport psychology.

Forensic Psychology and Crime

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module explores the application of psychological theory and research to areas such as investigative psychology, confessions, offender profiling; sexual and violent crimes, and risk assessment. Students will explore the role that mental illness, social learning, and cognitive processes play in explaining criminality; they will also explore the application of psychology to investigative processes and preventative initiatives for self-harm and suicide in the criminal justice system

Year six

Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

Year: 6

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations will focus on theoretically based approaches to understanding the observed patterns in intergroup relations. In addition, the module will focus on how our understanding of these processes can aid our understanding of group level social problems as well as look at the social psychological strategies aimed at improving intergroup relations.

Theoretical and Applied Issues in Social Psychology

Year: 6

This module develops students' knowledge of theory and research in social psychology, building on the modules in Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology. Major theoretical approaches in contemporary social psychology, including social attitudes are explored. The application of social psychology to important social issues is discussed, and students will carry out a practical exercise in applied social psychology.

Occupational Psychology

Year: 6

This module is optional

This module is designed to explore worker behaviour in organisations. It addresses the relationship between the organisation and the personnel on social issues inherent in organisations. It also elucidates the organisational structures and procedures that help predict human work behaviours. It will emphasise research designs which have advanced our understanding of work and organisational psychology.

Behaviourism and Social Issues

Year: 6

This module is optional

This module extends students' understanding of behaviour analysis by providing in-depth coverage of its epistemology as well as its application to the analysis of social behaviour.

Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology: Theory and Practice

Year: 6

This module is optional

This module will build on students existing knowledge of developmental psychology, advancing their knowledge in complex theories, empirical results and debates within the literature. This module will also link developmental psychology research findings to practice. Students will gain practical research skills and hone their communication through completing coursework activities.

Clinical and Counselling Psychology

Year: 6

This module is optional

The module introduces students to the clinical /counselling psychology as a practice and profession, and the theory and skills associated with it. It is hoped that the module will stimulate students' interest in pursuing these specialisms as professional option within Applied Psychology.

Mental Health

Year: 6

This module is optional

This module provides students with a comprehensive insight into current debates and issues in the field of mental health research and practice. An emphasis is placed on prioritising psychological and social factors (as opposed to biology) to help conceptualise mental wellbeing and psychological distress. It will be relevant for students with an interest in the area of mental health, particularly those who intend to pursue a postgraduate career in professional psychology.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE in English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent).

The Subject Committee will consider a range of qualifications, experience and other evidence of ability to complete the course satisfactorily when considering applications for part-time study.


GCSE Profile to include Grade C or above in English.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Part-time students normally take between two and four modules each year. During Years 1 and 2 you will take a range of core modules that provide coverage of psychology in sufficient breadth and depth to meet the requirements of professional recognition. You are required to complete all modules at the lower level before attempting modules at the next level.

Full-time students take six modules in each of years 1 and 2. Final year students study five modules, including a research project that is conducted across both semesters. Part-time students normally take between two and four modules each year. During Years 1 and 2 you will take a range of core modules that provide coverage of psychology in sufficient breadth and depth to meet the requirements of professional recognition.

Level 4

In Year 1 you study Introductory modules in Psychology, Professional Practice, Research Methods and Statistics, and Psychology Applied to Health.

Level 5

You study Individual Differences, Cognitive Psychology, Psychobiology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Advanced Research Methods.

Level 6

At the final level, you will be able to choose from a range of optional modules concerned with advanced topics in psychology. Topics covered include abnormal psychology and community mental health, the development of social behaviour in children and young people, psychology in organisations, health psychology, theoretical and applied issues in social psychology, behaviourism and social Issues, and clinical & counselling psychology.

Exemptions and transferability

Students at Ulster University, in other universities, and Further Education Colleges who have taken modules similar to those in Year 1 may be eligible for entry into Year 2. If student numbers allow, transfer between Psychology courses within the University is also permitted.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Dungannon West Renewal Ltd

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Manager of a business park

Career options

Graduates are eligible to enter further training and careers in professional psychology, including educational psychology, clinical psychology, occupational psychology, counselling psychology, and forensic psychology. Graduates will also have acquired knowledge and competencies that will serve as a foundation for other careers that involve working with people and a knowledge of human behaviour, such as teaching, social work, advertising and marketing, the probation service, and personnel management. Many psychology graduates also enter careers in social research and the information technology industry.

Work placement / study abroad

DPP/DIAS Placement Opportunity

You will have the opportunity to apply for a place on an extended work experience placement in Year 3, leading to a separate diploma. If you do not wish to apply, or are not successful in gaining a placement, you proceed directly to final year.

Professional recognition

British Psychological Society (BPS)

Accredited against the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Academic profile

The course is taught by a dedicated team of enthusiastic psychologists, many of whom have achieved research excellence. The majority are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, some of whom have received special recognition for their teaching.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award is an annual prize for the final year student with the highest overall degree performance.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Contact the Faculty Office at:

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5027

Course Director: Dr Chris McConville

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4747


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Psychology


Causeway Women’s Aid have benefited greatly from our relationship with the School of Psychology at Ulster University. We have had the experience of hosting a student who was well equipped for her placement as a result of the preparation module delivered within the university. The student placement was part of a wider piece of research, “Every Voice Counts”, which was very well planned, executed and launched. This has given us so much valuable information that will inform our future service delivery and lobbying activities.