Psychology deals with the understanding and explanation of behaviour and experience, and with how these change and develop throughout our lives. Psychologists are interested in many factors that affect our behaviour - from biological bases to social influences. They also study how we perceive our environment; how we think, learn and remember; how we communicate, both through language and non-verbally; and how we differ from one another in personality and abilities.

Psychology is an experimental and observational science, in which evidence from research studies is used to develop and evaluate theories. Psychology is a science in the sense that it seeks to understand mind and behaviour through experimentation, observation and measurement. Insight and intuition are helpful skills, but they are not sufficient.

Psychology is not simply the study of mental illness. If you are expecting psychology to tell you how to read other people's minds, then you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you enjoy controversy and the critical evaluation of ideas, and if you like investigating questions using a scientific approach, then you will probably enjoy psychology.


The School of Psychology offers single, joint, and combined BSc and MA degrees. Find out more about undergraduate study here at Aberdeen using the links below.