Psychology MA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) (and degree combinations)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Social Sciences

What makes us who we are? Is it the way our brains function? Is it how we are brought up? Or is it the society we live in?

As a Psychology student you will learn how to use a wide variety of approaches to answer these questions and will have the opportunity to play an active part in furthering our understanding of the human mind and behaviour.

Why study this course at Dundee?

At Dundee you will be a part of a vibrant School in which teaching and research are carried out at world class standards. We are committed to a teaching environment of the highest possible standard and independent surveys show that both the quality review bodies and our students believe we are achieving it.

All of our lecturers are actively involved in internationally recognised research. We feel that this is very important for your degree. The science of psychology is constantly changing as new discoveries are made and so it is vital that you are taught the latest theories and developments in the subject.

Research apprenticeship scheme

Our great strength at Dundee is human experimental psychology focusing on three core areas: language, cognition and perception; neuroscience and development; and social identity. We have built up one of the strongest visual cognition research groups in the world and are particularly renowned for our work on eye movements and reading. 

At Dundee, you will have the opportunity to become an active member of this research community through our research apprenticeship scheme during Level 4, when you carry out your dissertation. Our research wing houses extensive research facilities and a teaching laboratory, fully equipped for lecture classes and laboratory practical classes.

What is so good about this course?

Our Psychology Community

Our School is well equipped with dedicated computer labs and a common room for our students to socialise and relax. Students are encouraged to become involved in all aspects of the life of the School with apprenticeship and mentorship schemes, an active School forum, and residential trips for staff and students. We also have a very active and popular undergraduate psychology society (DUPS), run by the students, for the students.

Degree Combinations

  • Psychology BSc
  • Psychology with French MA
  • Psychology with French BSc
  • Psychology with German MA
  • Psychology with German BSc
  • Psychology with Spanish MA
  • Psychology with Spanish BSc

Related Courses

This course is based in Psychology.

Find out more about our Psychology staff.

In addition to attending lectures throughout your degree, you will have the opportunity to:

  • take part in small group discussions in seminar sessions led by members of staff
  • gain research skills during practical classes
  • develop your communication skills through essays, technical report writing and oral presentations

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in three years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 below.

Typical Degree Programme

Level 1

Level 1 provides the fundamental grounding that you need to become a psychologist:

PY11001 Introductory Psychology 1
Semester 1, 20 credits

The module provides an overview over the core areas of contemporary Psychology. Lectures will introduce the student to the history and current questions of Psychology in areas such as Social and Developmental Psychology, Cognition, Abnormal and Biological Psychology. The module also provides an introduction to methods in psychological research.

PY12002 Introductory Psychology 2
Semester 2, 20 credits

This module provides a further introduction to three areas in Psychology. In the section on Social Psychology the course will explore the ways in which individuals interact with each other and behave in groups. The module will also cover the area of Individual Differences where particular attention will be paid to the aspect of personality. Finally, the section on Cognition and Perception will explore the process of perception, memory and attention. The module will also further develop psychological research skills through participation in practical projects, the study of the principles of experimental design and some basic statistical analyses.

Plus 4 other non-Psychology modules.

Level 2

Armed with the fundamentals, you can now explore more detailed aspects of psychology in number of areas such as Cognition, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Language. Concurrently you will learn about research methodology, statistics and critical thinking in workshops and lab classes that run alongside lectures. 

PY21001 Understanding the Mind
Semester 1, 20 credits

The module provides a grounding in theory and method in contemporary experimental psychology and covers: (1) cognitive neuropsychology; (2) human perception, sensation, cognition and emotion; and (3) psycholinguistics. The aim is to give a broad overview of the structure and functional consequences of the human mind.  Research skills are developed through practical work and study of the principles of experimental design, statistical analysis of data, interpretation of results and scientific reporting. Academic skills such as argument building are also developed via class workshops.

PY22002 Individual Development
Semester 2, 20 credits

The module develops the study of theory and method in contemporary experimental psychology by discussing: (1) cognitive, social and linguistic development throughout the lifespan; (2) personality; and (3) mental health.  The aim is to give students a sense of how the human mind develops and diverges to create unique individuals. Students undertake related practical projects and apply their research skills in the design and interpretation of experiments and the statistical analysis and reporting of data. Academic writing and critical evaluation skills continued to be developed in class workshops.

PY22003 Research Skills for Psychologists
Semester 2, 20 credits

The Research Skills for Psychologists module gives students hands on experience of the entire research process, from designing an experiment through to collecting, analysing and reporting the data.  The course also introduces the use of a statistical software program (SPSS) to allow students to run advanced statistical analyses with relative ease. The aim of this course is to actively develop students’ research skills through participation in a semester long class project which involves identifying their own psychological research questions and exploring ways in which they might be developed further.

Plus 3 other non-Psychology modules.

Level 3

The knowledge and skills gained from the first two years can now be consolidated and extended. You will study eight 15-credit modules covering the latest developments in:

  • PY31001 - Cognition (Semester 1)
  • PY31002 - Biological Psychology (Semester 1)
  • PY31003 - Social Psychology (Semester 1)
  • PY32001 - Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology (Semester 2)
  • PY32002 - Language (Semester 2)
  • PY32003 - Developmental Psychology (Semester 2)
  • PY31004/PY32004 - Psychological Research Skills 3a (Semester 1) and 3b (Semester 2)

Level 4

At this last stage in your training as a psychologist you will not only learn about topics at the forefront of current psychological knowledge, but also be able to contribute to this fast-moving research community. You will be able to choose three advanced and specialised courses taught in small group seminars, which address topics at the frontiers of contemporary psychological research.

You will also carry out an investigation of a topic of your own choice under the guidance of a member of staff, which you will write up as a dissertation.

Modules available typically include:

  • PY40004  Reading Development and Disability
  • PY40008  Infant Development
  • PY40010  Social Cognitive Development
  • PY40014  Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics
  • PY40018  Developmental Psychopathology
  • PY40024  Decision Making
  • PY40025  Second Language Processing
  • PY40028  Gesture, Cognition and Communication
  • PY40029 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PY40030  Majorities and Minorities
  • PY40034  Evolution and Behaviour
  • PY40036  Health in Groups
  • PY40037  Executive Function across the Lifespan
  • PY40039  Comparative Communication and Cognition
  • PY40015 - Dissertation

Although examinations, written and online, are the principal form of assessment, coursework also forms an important part of your degree.

The balance between coursework and exams varies over the four levels of our degree.

Level 1

Assessment in both modules is based on 49% coursework, 3% experiment participation and 48% examination.

Level 2

The 'Understanding the Mind’ and Individual Development' modules are both 50% coursework, 3% experiment participation and 47% examination. The Research Skills for Psychologists module is 50% coursework and 50% examination.

Level 3

The two 'Research Skills' modules are 50% coursework and 50% exam. The remaining 6 modules are all 20% coursework and 80% examination.

Level 4

Assessment of Advanced Modules takes two formats: some are 100% examination and others are 33% coursework and 67% examination. The dissertation module is 100% coursework.


Our psychology degree gives you fantastic preparation for a wide range of careers. So whether you want to pursue a career in psychology or not, our degree offers an unrivalled set of transferable skills. Psychology graduates are valued by employers for their ability to think critically, handle data and present information. The communication skills you will learn will also be invaluable in any walk of life.

We also run a successful research apprenticeship scheme in which students are trained to be a research assistant and will conduct psychology research with a member of staff. The aim of the scheme is to provide students with valuable work and research experience. The transferrable skills you will gain from this will improve your CV and help your job prospects.

Psychology Careers

There are a wide range of careers within psychology that you can follow after your degree including:

Clinical psychology, Counselling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, Occupational Psychology and Sports and Exercise Psychology.

For most of these professional psychology careers you will need to do a postgraduate degree. Entry into these programmes requires that your degree is recognised by the British Psychological Society. Our degrees have this recognition.

Careers outside of Psychology

Our graduates have also entered into a wide range of careers outside of psychology including nursing, marketing, teaching, sales and advertising, human resources, the civil service, management consulting and clinical trial management.

Professional Accreditation

Courses cover all of the major areas of human experimental psychology and our degrees are recognised by the British Psychological Society.

This recognition means that when you graduate you will be eligible for Graduate Basis for Registration, which is crucial for moving into careers in psychology or postgraduate study. 

Satisfying the BPS Graduate Basis for Recognition requires that you meet two criteria: first you must achieve at least a 2.2 in your degree and pass your dissertation; second, if you are taking a joint Honours degree, you must take all four of the Level 3 modules over your final two years and must also complete a dissertation.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects None, but see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects
BSc applicants who wish to choose modules from the School of Life Sciences in Level 1 must ensure they also satisfy those entry requirements - check the Life Sciences overview webpage
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB
European Baccalaureate 70% overall

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Psychology (SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HND with grade BB in the Graded Units with appropriate Psychology Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher in Psychology and another subject
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at AA
European Baccalaureate 75% overall

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowPsychology MA (Hons) / BSc (Hons)C801
Apply NowPsychology BScC800
Apply NowPsychology with French MAC8R1
Apply NowPsychology with French BScC8RA
Apply NowPsychology with German MAC8R2
Apply NowPsychology with German BScC8RG
Apply NowPsychology with Spanish MAC8R4
Apply NowPsychology with Spanish BScC8RL