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Psychology
BSc (Hons)

2020/21 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School:

School of Psychology

Campus:

Coleraine campus

With this degree you could become:


  • mental health support worker

Overview

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

Summary

BSc Psychology can be taken on a part time basis (up to six years duration with an extra year for the optional placement).


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Coleraine campus

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

About this course

About

On this course you can expect to learn interesting new perspectives on how we engage with the world we inhabit. Why do you sleep? Why do people fight? How do we learn? How can we treat mental illness, or care for those in despair? There are many ways to approach such questions, and to this end we provide a comprehensive programme on the major areas of psychology. The programme will emphasise the causes and development of behaviour across the lifespan, and the ways in which people interact with and influence each other. 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.

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.

Attendance

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

Start dates

  • September 2020

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Part-time students normally take between two and four modules each year. At Levels 4 and 5 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.

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 theoretical and applied issues in social psychology, the development of social behaviour in children and young people, psychology in organisations, health psychology, psychopharmacology, behavioural neuroscience, mental health, forensic psychology, and clinical & counselling psychology.

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. A course handbook is also made available.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

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    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

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.

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.

Psychobiology

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.

Evolutionary Psychology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will develop knowledge of Evolutionary Psychology and its place in contemporary mainstream Psychology. It will combine Biological and Cognitive Psychology to explain behaviour from the perspective of survival and adaptation to environmental demands. It offers students the chance to develop critical thinking skills in attempting to dismiss or support a controversial theory.

Occupational Psychology

Year: 5

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: 5

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.

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.

Behavioural Neuroscience

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will develop knowledge of the principles of behavioural neuroscience, the relationship between neuroscience and the behavioural sciences, and contemporary experimental techniques derived from the amalgamation of these disciplines. Teaching methods involve lectures and practical classes, and assessment is via written assignment, written experimental report, and unseen written examination.

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module is for psychology degree students. It builds on the module, Topics in Behaviour Analysis. Emphasis in the module is given to the extension of the principles of behaviour analysis to areas of language and human cognition, and to providing a solid grounding in methodological aspects of applied behaviour analysis, as well as key areas of application to human behavioural problems, including autism and other important topics in clinical psychology.

Psychopharmacology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will develop knowledge of the principles of drug action, the medical use of psychoactive drugs and drug misuse. It will foster understanding of the place of drugs in society and of pharmacological processes. Teaching methods involve lectures and practical classes. Assessment is via a practical report, an essay, and an unseen written examination.

Year six

Psychology at Work

Year: 6

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.

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.

Health, Exercise and Sport Psychology

Year: 6

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: 6

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

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.

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.

Applied General Qualifications

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DDD (to include subject requirements)

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DDM (to include subject requirements)

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DD (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grade B

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DM (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grade B

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of D (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)

Award profile of D (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 65% overall with 65% in each level 3 module (NI 120 Credit Access Course).

Pass GB Access to Higher Education course with 24 Distinctions and 21 Merits

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include Grade C or above in English.

Essential Skills Level 2 Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE 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.

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

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • mental health support worker

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

Placement Opportunity (optional)

You will have the opportunity to apply for a place on an extended work experience placement on completion of Level 5 leading to a separate diploma. If you do not wish to apply, or are not successful in gaining a placement, you proceed directly to Level 6.

Professional recognition

British Psychological Society (BPS)

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

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2020

Fees and funding

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

Course Director;

Dr Andrea Furey

a.furey@ulster.ac.uk

T:+44(0) 28 70124613

Admission Department:

Anne Henderson or Karen Gibson

T: +44 (0)28 70123073 or T: +44 (0)28 70124353

E: ca.henderson@ulster.ac.uk or ki.gibson@ulster.ac.uk

International Admissions Office

E: internationaladmissions@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Psychology

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

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.

  Course Content