Psychology MA (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: School of Psychology

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 Psychology 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's so good about Psychology at Dundee?

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.

My course is globally recognised (which is great for my career prospects), and attracts students from all over the world - I've really enjoyed taking part in group study sessions in the library during the pre-exam periods. This course is also spot on for students who can't decide whether to choose International Relations or Politics as a course.

Degree Combinations

  • Psychology BSc
  • Psychology and Business Economics with Marketing MA
  • Psychology and English MA
  • Psychology and European Studies MA
  • Psychology and Geography MA
  • Psychology and History MA
  • Psychology and Mathematics BSc
  • Psychology and Philosophy MA
  • Psychology and Politics MA
  • 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 the School of 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

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

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. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Level 1

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

  • Introductory Psychology 1: PY11001
    Semester 1, 20 credits

    • Social psychology
      • dealing with the ways in which people influence one another and behave in groups
      • Learning Memory in Animals and Humans
      • Individual Differences with special reference to human personality
    • Science and Psychology
      • the influence science has on current thinking
  • Introductory Psychology 2: PY12002
    Semester 2, 20 credits

    • Cognition - the process of perception, memory, imagination and language
    • Biological Psychology - the dependence of behaviour on the structure and functioning of the brain and nervous system
    • Developmental Psychology concerned with the emergence of thought, language and social awareness in infancy and childhood

Plus 4 other non-Psychology modules.

Level 2

Armed with the fundamentals, you can now explore more detailed aspects of psychology:

  • Neuropsychology and Language: PY21001
    Semester 1, 20 credits
    This module provides a grounding in theory and method in contemporary experimental psychology and emphasises (i) cognitive neuropsychology, the study of the effects of focal brain damage on perception, memory and thinking, (ii) human performance, especially attention, working memory and action; and (iii) psycholinguistics, including animal language, language acquisition, and language processing. Research skills are developed in each area through practical work and study of the principles of experimental design, statistical analysis of data, interpretation of results, and scientific reporting writing.

  • Perception and Development: PY22002
    Semester 2, 20 credits
    This module develops the study of theory and method in specific topics in contemporary experimental psychology. These include an introduction to visual perception and an overview of issues in developmental psychology. Students undertake practical projects in relation to each topic and apply their research skills in the design and interpretation of experiments and the statistical analysis and reporting of data.

  • Research skills for Psychologists : PY22003
    Semester 2, 20 credits
    This module covers the entire research process, from designing an experiment through to analysing the date that you collect. The course is split into three sections. In the 'Critical Thinking' section you will be taught how to find and critique existing psychological research. Within this module you will also learn more general academic skills such as finding/reading papers and writing critically about research. In the 'Research Methodology' section you will gain a solid grounding in the issues behind psychological research and methodology, including ethics. Finally, the course will include a section of 'Statistical Analysis'. Within this section you will learn some of the more advanced analyses used in psychological research, how to run them SPSS and how to write up and effectively present the analysis.

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 courses covering the latest developments in fields such as:

  • PY31001 - Cognition (Sem 1)
  • PY31002 - Biological Psychology (Sem 1)
  • PY31003 - Social Psychology (Sem 1)
  • PY32001 - Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology (Sem 2)
  • PY32002 - Language (Sem 2)
  • PY32003 - Developmental Psychology (Sem 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:

  • PY40027 - Animal Minds: A comparative approach to social development (Year-Long)
  • PY40024 - Decision Making (Year-Long)
  • PY40016 - Group Processes and Social Identity (Year-Long)
  • PY40029 - Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PY40018 - Developmental Psychopathology (Year-Long)
  • PY40020 - Language and the Mind (Year-Long)
  • PY40022 - Vision in the Real World (Year-Long)
  • PY40015 - Dissertation (Year-Long)

Although written examinations 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 56% coursework and 44% examination.

Level 2

The 'Neuropsychology and Language' and 'Perception and Development' modules are both 47% coursework, 3% experiment participation and 50% examination. The Research Skills for Psychologists module is 50% coursework and 50% examination.

Level 3

The two 'Research Skills' modules are 60% coursework and 40% exam. The remaining 6 modules are all 20% coursework and 80% examination.

Level 4

Assessment of Advanced Modules is 100% examination based with some Advanced Modules including an element of coursework to the final element of the paper. 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
  • Sports and Exercise Psychology

Careers outside of Psychology

Our graduates have also entered into a wide range of careers outside of psychology including:

  • Nursing
  • Teaching
  • Human Resources
  • Management Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Sales and Advertising
  • Civil Service
  • 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 requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher AABB
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 Your Country 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

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
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
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, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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."
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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 Loan Company.

Please apply via UCAS



Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Psychology MA (Hons)C801
Psychology BScC800
Psychology and Business Economics with Marketing MALNC0
Psychology and English MACQ83
Psychology and European Studies MACR88
Psychology and Geography MACL87
Psychology and History MACV81
Psychology and Mathematics BScCG81
Psychology and Philosophy MACV85
Psychology and Politics MACL82
Psychology with French MAC8R1
Psychology with French BScC8RA
Psychology with German MAC8R2
Psychology with German BScC8RG
Psychology with Spanish MAC8R4
Psychology with Spanish BScC8RL