Psychology MA, Single Honours

Psychology, MA

Introduction

Are you interested in what makes people tick? Do you want to understand why people do the things they do? If you are fascinated by people's behaviour this programme is for you.

Contact

Email
study@abdn.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1224 272090

Key Facts

UCAS Code
C802
Duration
4 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

Interested in this Degree?

How to Apply

Overview

As the study of mental processes and behaviour, Psychology is interested in what makes people tick, why they do the things they do and what happens when it goes wrong?

Psychology covers a wide range of theoretical and applied disciplines; in our degree you will study how we think, perceive, develop, and change. Importantly you will also learn how to “do” psychology and will receive rigorous training in the methods that are used to study human behaviour and the mind.

Our psychology department provides a supportive and stimulating environment for undergraduate students. All of our degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) guaranteeing an internationally recognised high standard of education.

Pyschologists can work in clinical and organisational settings. You may support children and families, adults towards improved mental health, winning and endurance in sports, profiling, or counselling, HR, and behavioural roles. We are all intrigued by self awareness, why we behave as we do.

The Different Degrees

Psychology at Aberdeen is offered as a BSc or a MA degree. The Psychology element of either programme is exactly the same and they are both equally valued as Psychology degrees. MA students have typically done arts and humanities subjects at school. In the first 2 years within the MA you will be able to take any arts course (e.g., sociology, philosophy, languages) and any science courses that you have the pre-requisites for (many of the science courses require you to have e.g., biology at higher/A-Level). BSc students typically have school qualifications in science subjects and do subjects like maths, biology and chemistry alongside psychology in the first 2 years.

What You'll Study

There is a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Honours degree and a Designated degree in Psychology. Application for entry to Honours occurs at the end of second year, and is based on academic performance achieved during second year.

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Introductory Psychology I: Concepts and Theory (PS1009)

PS1009 introduces you to major concepts and theories in psychology to provide you with a strong understanding of the human mind and behaviour. You will attend lectures on biological, development and cognitive psychology and participate in workshops where you will work as part of a team and debate topics related to the lecture materials such as “should teenagers be held responsible for the crimes they commit?” Studying psychology is beneficial to a range of careers including management, finance and counselling, to name but a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

Introductory Psychology I: Methods and Applications (PS1011)

PS1011 is a perfect combination of subject-specific knowledge and transferable skills. In weekly lectures and hands-on practicals, you will learn how various research methods are applied across a range of Psychology sub-fields. In addition, you will learn how to read scientific articles and begin to critique them. You will also be encouraged to develop skills such as giving presentations and writing literature reviews. Apart from acquiring these skills, the course will give you insight into the ‘human factor’ that all sciences necessarily have in common, and as such it will be a valuable addition to any degree.

Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (PS1509)

PS1509 introduces you to major concepts and theories in psychology to provide you with a strong understanding of human mind and behaviour. You will attend lectures on evolution & emotion, social, and sensation & perception and participate in workshops where you work in a team and debate topics related to the material covered in your lectures such as “should teenagers be held responsible for the crimes they commit?”. Studying psychology is beneficial to a range of careers such as management, finance and counselling, to name but a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

Introductory Psychology II: Methods and Applications (PS1511)

PS1511 builds on PS1011. You will learn more about research methods in Psychology through lectures, practicals, and taking part in experiment-demonstrations. You will also learn how to set up and conduct a Psychology experiment yourself. Part of the lectures will focus on statistics, to equip you with the skills to analyze and interpret your own data, culminating in a written research report, in which your critical thinking skills will be encouraged. You will also learn about the role of ethics in research. This course will enable you to spot the difference between ‘pop-science’ and genuine science.

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses across levels 1 and 2.

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (PS2017)

The course builds on the material covered in the 1st-year courses expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers three core areas of psychology: cognition & language, personality & social psychology, and behavioural neuroscience. Social Psychology will cover topics such as leadership and group processes. The third strand within this course is focused on Neuroscience, and will cover topics such as localisation of brain function and the neuroscience of emotion.

Advanced Psychology A: Methods and Applications (PS2018)

This course aims to introduce students to a broad range of methods used in psychological research. Lectures cover methods used to collect physiological data (e.g. brain imaging techniques), behavioural data (e.g. measures of task performance) and self-report data (e.g. survey, questionnaire and interview techniques). Practical classes involve students working in small groups to design studies, collect and analyse data, and write reports. Practical sessions are also used to teach students to use a statistical software package (SPSS) to analyse data collected in psychological studies.

Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (PS2517)

This course builds on the material that is covered in the 1st-year courses expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers four core areas of psychology: organisational & clinical, perception and developmental psychology. The lectures on Organisational Psychology cover organizational culture, occupational stress, motivation, leadership and team work. The clinical psychology section of the course will give you grounding in the key ideas within current Clinical Psychology practice and is taught by a practicing Clinical Psychology. The Perception part of the course will examine the visual and intentional systems.

Advanced Psychology B: Methods and Applications (PS2518)

This course builds on the material covered in the first semester course PS2018. Lectures focus primarily on statistical methods and data analysis, with associated practical classes where students work in small groups to design and run their own studies and write reports. In addition, there are lectures and small-group sessions addressing broader topics, including ethical issues in psychological research and how the knowledge and skills that are developed in studying psychology methods can enhance students’ employability.

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses across levels 1 and 2.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Methodology A (PS3015)

The main aim of this course is to help students prepare, evaluate and run their own Psychological research. As such this is a ‘hands-on’ course, where students will have the opportunity to conduct a small research project and practice using SPSS for a variety of statistical analyses. The course also provides a thorough grounding in qualitative and quantitative research methods through a lecture series. Specific topics covered in this course include: verification and falsification of results; ANOVA and qualitative research strategies.

Psychological Assessment (PS3011)

Psychological assessment is used by chartered psychologists in a number of areas, including clinical, occupational and forensic applications. The aim of this course is to introduce students to psychometric theory, real life applications of psychological assessment and the legal and ethical issues surrounding test administration.

Topics covered on this lecture based course include: IQ and mood assessment; clinical neuropsychological tests of cognitive dysfunction and memory; assessment of dementia and forensic aspects of assessment (legal malingering).

An ideal course for students intending to secure a career in applied psychology.

Perception (PS3012)

Interaction with the world around us involves perceptual processing using our three main senses : visual (seeing), auditory (hearing) and haptic (touch). The aim of this course is to consider a range of approaches to human perception, from historical beginnings to recent innovative research.

Topics covered include: colour perception; face recognition; perception of pain and age related changes in perception. Students will also engage in guided debate with their peers regarding media portrayal of recent research findings.

This course is produced by academics that specialise in this field, ensuring the most up-to-date and relevant lecture material.

Biological Psychology (PS3014)

This course aims to provide students with a good understanding of the biological basis of behaviour and cognition. The course is split into two sections, each featuring 6 lectures. Section 1 focuses on psychopharmacology, which is the investigation of the effect of medication on normal and abnormal brain function. Section 2 examines brain function and memory, with a specific focus on the application of this knowledge within the criminal justice system.

Specific topics that will be covered include: neurotransmitters; drug effects; Alzheimer’s disease; memory and psychedelic drugs.

Methodology B (PS3522)

This course builds on the skills already developed through participation in Methodology A. Similar to that course the aim is to help students prepare, evaluate and run their own Psychological research. As such this is a ‘hands-on’ course, where students will have a second opportunity to conduct a small research project and practice using SPSS for a variety of statistical analyses. The course also builds on the thorough grounding in qualitative and quantitative research methods provided in Methodology A through a second lecture course. This course also features workshops on employability, providing students with information on career planning, networking etc.

Social Psychology (PS3520)

Social Psychologists explore the psychological factors that influence individual behaviours within social situations. As such, the aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the range of topics within experimental social psychology, with a defined focus on social cognition.

Topics covered within this lecture based course include: Stereotypes; social perception and action; self-control; consciousness and mimicry.

This course provides a scientific explanation for social phenomena, making it ideal for students with an interest in individual and group behaviour.

Developmental Psychology (PS3518)

What does it mean to be human? This course takes a developmental approach to that question, covering a range of psychological attributes that change with age. The course aims to introduce students to theories of perceptual, language, social and emotional development along with encouraging debate on some key conceptual issues (e.g. nature versus nurture).

Specific topics covered within this course include: Awareness of mental states; information processing theory; face perception and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The broad range of developmental topics make this an ideal course for anyone with an interest in working with children.

Memory and Language (PS3519)

The memory component of this course aims to introduce students to the main theoretical components of memory (working and autobiographical memory). Psychological theories of forgetting and eyewitness memory will also be discussed.

The second component of the course, language, will introduce students to the key issues in psycholinguistics. This will include assessment of sentence processing, analysis of the processes underlying language production and factors that influence communication in different settings.

The assessment of multiple approaches within both research areas will provide all students with a good basis for developing critical thinking skills.

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Psychology Thesis (PS4019)

This course constitutes the final year thesis for the single honours Psychology degree. The thesis is an empirical based one, where the student collects and analyse a body of data in answer to a research question. The thesis itself begins in September and the final draft of the thesis is handed in for assessment the end of the second term. The Schools has an International Level research culture and the final year projects offer the students an opportunity to be involved in that culture. A number of the student projects have contributed towards research publications.

Senior Honours Level 4 Psychology A (PS4036)

This Level 4 course has two elements; the lecture course options and the critical review. In the second term Level 4 theory course you can pick two courses from the selection which include Cultural Evolution, Vision and Action, Advanced Topics in Language, Abnormal Psychology and Human Factors. In addition to your choice of courses you will complete a Critical Review of an area of research literature under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The course allows you to specialise in the areas of psychology at advanced Level and is open only to Behavioural studies/Psychology students

Senior Honours Level 4 Psychology B (PS4536)

This Level 4 course has two elements; the lecture course options and the critical review. In the second term Level 4 theory course you can pick two courses from the selection which include Brain and Body, Forensic Psychology, Neuroscience of Music, Applied Psychology in the NHS and Social Dynamics. In addition to your choice of courses you will complete a Critical Review of an area of research literature under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The course allows you to specialise in the areas of psychology at advanced Level and is open only to Behavioural studies/Psychology honours students.

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Undergraduate Open Day

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Find out more

How You'll Study

The School of Psychology provides an exciting and vibrant research-led learning environment for students. We combine traditional teaching methods with innovative techniques to deliver an enhanced undergraduate experience.

Teaching

  • Award-winning lectures and seminars with flexible course choice choices in fourth year that allow you to focus your degree on your speciality, e.g., Applied Psychology in the NHS, Forensic Psychology, Organisational Psychology, Advanced Topics in Language;
  • Practicals, experimental research projects, tutorials, and debate workshops that let you apply your knowledge;
  • Independent reading and online quizzes.

Assessment

  • Essays, project reports, examinations via essays and multiple choice questions;
  • Presentations, posters, blogs, wikis, and peer-assessment.

Support

  • An active psychology society running educational and social events that bring staff and students together;
  • Peer-assisted learning where you get help from other students who have already completed the courses you are taking;
  • Facebook support groups that allow you to get to know your fellow students, ask questions, and have informal discussions with both staff and students.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Research
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects

Assessment

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study this Degree?

  • You will be introduced to state-of-the-art concepts and theories taught by award-winning teachers and world-class researchers, exposing you to the latest thinking in the field.
  • You will benefit from the key strengths within the School of social psychology, neuroscience, language, perception and industrial psychology.
  • We have a wide range of course options available in 4th Year to allow you to specialise in areas such as clinical, forensic, language and developmental psychology.
  • The School of Psychology is ranked in the top twenty for research in the UK (2014 REF).
  • You will have the opportunity to gain experience using specialised laboratories and equipment including those for brain imaging analysis, eye movement recording, movement analysis and visual neuroscience.
  • To help you get a job we have an employability programme for our students which includes: internship opportunities, online resources, career talks and networking events.
  • Psychology graduates are eligible for membership of the British Psychological Society, this is a first step towards becoming a professional Psychologist.
  • In the final year students have the opportunity to do a unique research project to a professional level. A number of final year projects have gone on to be published in internationally renowned journals.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU All Students £1,820
RUK All Students £9,000
International Students Students admitted in 2014/15 £12,600
International Students Students admitted in 2015/16 £13,000
International Students Students admitted in 2016/17 £13,800
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Psychology at Aberdeen Founded Over 100 Years Ago

Founded over 100 years ago, The School of Psychology at Aberdeen is one of the oldest in the UK.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB

A Levels - BBB

IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL

ILC - AAABB

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Students undertaking Education, Medicine or Dentistry programmes must comply with the University's fitness to practise guidelines.

Careers

The School of Psychology at Aberdeen has an employability programme that provides support throughout your degree and beyond, helping to ensure our graduates get those all-important jobs and post-graduate study opportunities. Perhaps the most important aspect of this is our internship programme:

Internships: A range of Psychology-specific internships are available to fourth year students, including placements with Forensic, Clinical and Educational Psychologists. These internships provide vital experience that will ensure you stand out to future employers.

Our employability programme also includes the following:

  • Career talks: Find out more about the range of career options available and learn from the experience of past graduates and chartered Psychologists.
  • Employability officer: A member of academic staff who can be contacted directly for career advice and help in locating and successfully applying for relevant work and volunteer experience.
  • Networking event: Connect with more than 80 employers and chartered Psychologists at our annual networking event.
  • Online materials: A dedicated range of materials including: career paths of former graduates, answers to frequently asked questions, links to relevant work and volunteering experience.
  • Lectures from professional Psychologists: You will have the opportunity to attend lectures provided by a range of chartered Psychologists.

Accreditation

This Degree is Accredited by

Our Experts

Director
Dr Paul Bishop
Other Experts
Dr Emily Nordmann

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Contact

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen

AB24 3FX
Email
Phone
+44 (0)1224 272090
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