Psychology with Professional Placement (BSc)

Psychology is the systematic and scientific study of behaviour and experience. It has a wide range of applications from industry to commerce, education and health and social services.

School of psychology 2

Psychology is the systematic and scientific study of behaviour and experience. It has a wide range of applications from industry to commerce, education and health and social services.

Cardiff University’s School of Psychology is long established, well resourced, and has an excellent international reputation. As a Psychology student at Cardiff, you will be studying the subject very much from the scientific standpoint while meeting the challenges of understanding behaviour from social, cognitive and biological perspectives. This is a four year degree programme that is supported by enthusiastic lecturers from one of the UK's leading psychology research departments. You will be studying a degree programme that is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. You will have the opportunity to gain relevant work experience in the field while on placement in Year 3.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the degree include:

  • the opportunity to learn in a School which was graded ‘Excellent’ in the last Teaching Quality Assessment, and was ranked second in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework;
  • the involvement of research-active staff in course design and delivery;
  • the opportunity to spend a year on a professional placement;
  • the variety of modules on offer;
  • the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment;
  • the emphasis on acquisition of high quality practical skills and the development of innovative ideas;
  • the emphasis on safety and ethical considerations;
  • membership of the British Psychological Society and an awareness of professional standards and progression;
  • the opportunity to apply to undertake paid research with a member of staff;
  • flexibility, permitting graduates to pursue professional careers as psychologists, as well as a wide range of other careers, including postgraduate research.

If you are wondering whether you should have a year in a professional placement, then I would strongly suggest that you do. It is an experience you could not gain from anywhere else during your degree and a placement year can really help you stand out when you apply for jobs or places on postgraduate courses.

Jenna Spinks, undergraduate student

Key facts

UCAS CodeC810
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with sandwich year
AccreditationsBritish Psychological Society (BPS)
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 195 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 1200 applications.
Typical A level offerAAA/A*AB or AABIf an applicant has studied one of the following subjects - Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics - the typical offer would be AAB. If a student has not taken any of these subjects, the typical offer would be AAA/A*AB. We do not accept General Studies as an A level.In addition to this, at least a grade B GCSE is required for English Language or Welsh as a First Language and for Mathematics or Statistics. Psychology uses statistical methods which is why some basic knowledge and skill in mathematics is required.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points overall, with a minimum of 18 points at higher level.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a four-year full-time degree, with a September entry point, accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. The School typically has 195 undergraduate places.

You will take 60 credits in the first semester of year one at level four, which do not count towards the final degree classification. In level five (commencing in the second semester of year one and continuing through year two) you will take modules to the value of 180 credits.

You will spend year three on a professional placement; and at level six, the final year, you will take 120 credits.

Modules are compulsory at level five and optional at level six (with the exception of the research project).

Performance in level five contributes 30% towards honours classification, the placement report contributes 10% and level six contributes 60%.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

Level four of the degree occupies the autumn semester of year one and is designed to help you make the transition from school to university level study. It consists of three modules. These modules will:

  • introduce scientific thinking skills and use example research topics to help you learn the differences between good and bad science;
  • provide an overview of the main subject areas of psychology;
  • introduce the basics of research methodology through practicals and research design teaching.
Module titleModule codeCredits
Research Methods in PsychologyPS101820 credits
Social Psychology IPS201620 credits
Language and MemoryPS202020 credits
Psychological ResearchPS101420 credits
Biological PsychologyPS201720 credits
Introduction To PsychologyPS101620 credits

Year two

Level five occupies three semesters, starting in the spring of the first year. This level covers the main psychology areas in depth, combined with further teaching of research design and statistical analysis, practical work, and tutorials.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Thinking, Emotion & ConsciousnessPS202320 credits
Abnormal and Clinical PsychologyPS201820 credits
Social Psychology IIPS200720 credits
Developmental PsychologyPS201120 credits
Psychological Research SkillsPS202420 credits
Perception, Attention and ActionPS202120 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

You will spend your third year in a professional placement approved by the School, subject to availability. Students complete placements in diverse environments in the UK and overseas. These include prisons, hospitals, research units at other universities, rehabilitation clinics, counselling centres and industrial placements.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Occupational PlacementPS3003120 credits

Year four

Level six is the final year. Here, you will undertake a supervised research project that runs over two semesters. The research project is an opportunity to carry out an independent piece of research with individual supervision from a member of academic staff with expertise in the research area. In addition to the project, students at level six complete a range of final year modules (commonly around six depending on whether the modules selected are single or double modules). The option modules offer the opportunity for deeper exploration of topics that are close to the research interests of staff.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The degree is based on a range of core (mandatory) and optional modules. Each module is supported by electronic teaching materials (such as lecture recordings) shared via Learning Central, part of the University’s virtual learning environment.

Modules are likely to include lectures, seminars and group discussions, tutorials, and group work, and you will be expected to apply the skills you learn through tutorial presentations, research practicals and a research project.

At levels four and five you will receive detailed guidance to ensure that you have a firm foundation in relevant experimental skills. Tutors will ensure that you have achieved an acceptable level of competence before you progress to level six. At level six, you have an element of independence and are required to design, conduct, analyse and report individual project work. You will meet regularly with a supervisor to discuss methodologies and practical work.

How will I be supported?

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion boards.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.


Feedback
You will gain feedback on your academic progress in many ways throughout your studies: for example, during your project supervision or practical classes, tutorials and seminars, and Q & A sessions with lecturers. You will also receive written comments on the coursework you submit and have ample opportunities to discuss issues with teaching staff. We encourage you to use every opportunity to interact with staff in this way. You will receive detailed generic feedback on examinations via written question-by-question analyses of students’ answers, together with a breakdown of your marks. You should also examine and understand the basis of our marking criteria and familiarise yourself with how the contribution of different cognitive skills are captured by the grading system. While formal written feedback is clearly an important feature in supporting your intellectual development, it is not the only source and indeed you may also find it useful to test your own knowledge and understanding with friends or make use of the blogs/discussion boards associated with each module.

The main purpose of written feedback on coursework is to provide evaluative information to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work – not to provide a definitive model answer. Feedback is therefore important in the context of improving and enhancing your cognitive skills. It is also intended to support your development as independent learners. In order for feedback to serve this function, it is not only important that markers provide useful comments in a timely fashion, but also that sufficient attention is paid to the feedback by the person receiving it. In order to support this process, you will be asked to reflect on the feedback you have received from previous (relevant) coursework and to comment on how this feedback has been incorporated into your current assignment.

How will I be assessed?

Knowledge and understanding are assessed both summatively and formatively via multiple choice and conventional written examinations, essay writing, practical and project reports.

Formative feedback is provided at seminars, tutorials, and practical classes.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those that are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological facts, theories, ideas, methods, concepts and principles and appreciate their significance;
  • demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a coherent and developing scientific discipline;
  • demonstrate the skills/abilities necessary for scientific research in psychology, including abilities to formulate research hypotheses, design and conduct empirical studies, analyse data, and interpret findings;
  • demonstrate the skills in comprehending and evaluating psychological material, including the abilities to communicate clearly and concisely the concepts of literature and critically appraise the literature, in both written and oral presentation;
  • conduct safely, ethically and competently psychological research studies involving human and non-human animals;
  • record, analyse statistically, present (written and orally) and interpret data from psychological experiments;
  • communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by both oral and written means;
  • use information technology e.g. the Internet, reference database, spreadsheets, word processing, graphics and statistics packages;
  • perform and interpret statistical analyses of data;
  • work and communicate effectively both as an individual and in a team;
  • demonstrate effective time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines;
  • be aware of ethical guidelines.

The BSc in Psychology with Professional Placement provides excellent employment prospects. In addition to providing graduates with in-depth subject knowledge, it also offers excellent preparation for employment: Over the last two years, 89% of graduates felt that their degree had prepared them “well” or “very well” for employment.  Furthermore, in that same time 95% achieved a positive outcome from their degree (as defined as the proportion of graduates who were available for employment and had secured employment or further study). In 2014, 73% of graduates had secured graduate level employment or further study within six months of graduation.

The School of Psychology, in liaison with the University Careers Service, provides Careers Management Sessions (at year two) and an annual general careers talk at final year.

Students also have the opportunity to attend University approved courses provided by the Careers Service, and by the Students' Union, which focus on transferable skills.

Jobs

  • Pyschologist
  • Counsellor
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Recruitment Consultant

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.

You will spend your third year in a professional placement approved by the School, subject to availability. Students complete placements in diverse environments in the UK and overseas. These include prisons, hospitals, research units at other universities, rehabilitation clinics, counselling centres and industrial placements.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.