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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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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 2017
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; 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.

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

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.

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 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 to understand health behaviour. Important themes are the relationships between human behaviour and health outcomes, and the importance of psychological processes to understand and change health behaviours.

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 1

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, social psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology and psychobiology. Alongside PSY111 it serves as a supportive knowledge base for later modules in the course.

Developmental Psychology

Year: 2

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.

Individual Differences

Year: 2

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 three

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.

Cognitive Psychology

Year: 3

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.

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.

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 as well as look at the social psychological strategies aimed at improving intergroup relations.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.


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

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy

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:

Tel: +44 (0)28 7167 5027

Course Director: Dr Chris McConville

Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 4747



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.