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


Study Social Psychology at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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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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 2016
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

Introduction to Research Methods

Year: 1

This module establishes a foundation of basic research skills by introducing: key concepts of the scientific method; the social survey; a range of graphical and descriptive statistical techniques; statistical inference; and, the application of SPSS in data analysis. Teaching methods include: lectures, statistics and computing workshops, practical classes. Assessment entails: weekly computing and statistics workshop exercises; a written practical report; and, a class test.

Introduction to Learning

Year: 1

This module introduces topics concerned with the study of learning. Teaching is by lectures and practicals. Topics covered include: classical and operant conditioning; applied behaviour analysis; mentalism; philosophical issues in the analysis of behaviour.

Research Procedures in the Behavioural Sciences

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to experimental methods, inferential statistics and computing techniques relevant to quantitative methods in the behavioural sciences. Teaching methods will be lectures, statistics and computing workshops, and practical courses in research methods. Assessment is by coursework and examination.

Study Skills for Psychology

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the key skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning and communication in psychology.

Psychology Applied to Health

Year: 1

The focus of this module is to integrate psychological and other relevant perspectives to examine relevant contemporary health issues. The module will encourage critical awareness of the role of psychological theory and methodology in maintaining healthy functioning. The important theme of this module is that it encompasses relationships between human health and the development of the individual within a social and cultural context. Using a topic based approach students will be introduced to the growing area of health psychology providing a basis for more advanced examination of these central health care issues in their degree programmes.

Year two

Psychology, Career Development and Employability

Year: 2

This module seeks to enhance students? awareness of their available career opportunities and to further develop their employability skills. In so doing, this module seeks to enhance students? knowledge of the variety of professional applications of psychology and to encourage them to review their career goals and to begin the process of career planning.

Introduction to Psychology

Year: 2

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, personality, memory and clinical disorders. It serves as a foundation module for the rest of an undergraduate degree programme.

Developmental Psychology

Year: 2

This module adopts a topical approach to introduce students to the major theories, concepts and methods associated with the study of psychological development; emphasizing the empirical evidence, links with other psychology disciplines, and applied research. Teaching methods involve lectures and practical classes. Assessment entails a class test, a practical report, and unseen written examination.

Individual Differences

Year: 2

This module will discuss the nature and origins of individual differences in major psychological attributes, such as cognitive abilities, personality, and moods. It will attempt to provide a grounding in the theory and practice of psychological assessments. Teaching will consist of lectures, and a practical project.

Year three

Social Psychology

Year: 3

The module focuses on issues in personality and social behaviour and will include: a definition and examination of the roots of social psychology; the application of the main theories of social psychology; issues in social cognition, person perception and the understanding of self and others; the development of prejudice and social influence; human behaviour in groups; the development and manifestation of aggression; altruistic behaviour; and issues relating to the social psychology of gender differences. Students completing the course will have gained a foundation in theoretical and applied aspects of social psychology, contributing to their understanding of social behaviour and social issues. In practical work incorporated in the module students will acquire skills in qualitative research methods, the observation and recording of social behaviour, and analysing and reporting on this information.

Cognitive Psychology

Year: 3

This module presents the core areas of cognitive psychology - memory, attention, thinking and language - with an emphasis on the empirical basis of knowledge in the area, on links with other areas of psychology and on everyday applications.

Theoretical and Applied Issues in Social Psychology

Year: 3

This module develops students' knowledge of theory and research in social psychology, building on 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.


Year: 3

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. Teaching is by lectures and an empirical study.

Year four

Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

Year: 4

This module is optional

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 such as racism, sexism, riots and social protest.

Stress and Coping

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will develop knowledge of the psychology and physiology of stress and of its application in contemporary society. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between the biopsychological functioning of an organism and behaviour. Teaching methods will use lectures and practical classes, and progress will be assessed by coursework, comprised of a practical report and an essay, and an unseen written examination.

Abnormal and Clinical Psychology

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module will consider the nature and causes of psychological disorder, the assessment and treatment of mental illness, the involvement of social factors and processes in mental illness, community mental health, and the problems of the mentally ill in the community.

Occupational Psychology

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines six topics central to the theory and practice of occupational psychology. The module considers the role of women in work; selection, with a focus on the selection interview; work motivation; stress management; communication in organisations and leadership. The module is taught by lectures, seminars and practical exercises.

Applications of Developmental Psychology

Year: 4

This module is optional

Developmental Psychology has many theories and many concepts. In this module students learn to explore ways of synthesising this diversity into multidimensional frameworks of explanation. Core themes that are used to explore synthesis include school achievement, sexual health, and globalisation.

Year five

Psychology Project

Year: 5

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

Health Psychology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module aims to introduce the field of health psychology. Due to changing population demographics and changing patterns of morbidity and mortality and a move towards promoting health and preventing ill health, the area of health psychology is developing rapidly. The current module will include the background to health psychology, how psychological theory contributes to our understanding of health and illness, how it is applied to intervention strategies and techniques employed to prevent ill health and maintain well being.

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.

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 on 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, and is suitable for students who wish to enter a career in Clinical or Educational Psychology.

Educational Psychology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module focuses on a number of topics characterised by their importance in research and practice in educational psychology. Topics covered include individual differences in pupils? abilities, achievement and behaviour, and assessment and intervention approaches. Teaching methods involve lectures and seminars. The module is assessed by coursework (an essay and a seminar presentation / paper ) and an unseen sessional examination.

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

A levels are not normally a prerequisite for participation in this course. If you are a mature applicant who lacks formal academic qualifications, you may be admitted to the course if you can satisfy the Course Committee of your ability to complete the course satisfactorily.


The BTEC requirement for this course is 280-300 UCAS tariff points based on an overall BTEC award profile DMM-DDM to include Unit profile points 8-9 distinctions.


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.

Level 4

You study Introductory modules in Psychology, Learning, Career Development & Employability, Research Methods and Statistics, Study Skills, and Psychology Applied to Health.

Level 5

You study Social Psychology, Individual Differences, Cognitive Psychology, Psychobiology, Developmental Psychology, and Applied Issues in Social Psychology

Level 6

During Final Year 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, applications of developmental psychology, and educational 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

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.


Interested candidates should make a direct application using the University's online application system which can be accessed via the University homepage or by using the following link:

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

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.


Contact the Faculty Office at:

Tel: +44 (0) 28 71675027

Course Director: Dr Chris McConville

Tel: +44 (0) 28 70124747



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.