Introduction

Legal Studies and Psychology at Aberdeen is a great combination, bringing together close examination of the world of law – including topical and controversial issues. You will explore how we think and behave as humans, in a stimulating and highly-rated teaching and research environment that gives you a hands-on approach to gaining the skills and grounding to succeed in any career involving ‘people’.

This programme is studied on campus.

Legal Studies at Aberdeen gives you the benefit of studying a range of subjects in our highly-regarded Law School, established in the year 1495, now ranked 12th in the UK out of more than 90 law schools, and scoring an impressive 95% for student satisfaction.

Although you won’t be accredited to enter the legal profession in Scotland (or England), you will gain valuable knowledge of legal systems and important academic qualities that are greatly sought by employers. Topics you can study include commercial law, Government and law, legal theory, European and international law, human rights, EU law, environmental law, criminology and criminal justice and Scottish legal history.

You’ll combine this with our special strength in Psychology, rated in the latest UK assessment of university research as third top in the UK. Psychology deals with the understanding and explanation of behaviour and experience, and how these change and develop throughout our lives.

You’ll learn from our internationally-recognised researchers in neuroscience, perception, language and cognition and occupational/industrial psychology, and use specialised laboratories including those for analysing brain scans.

The skills you’ll gain will open up career opportunities in legal and/or psychology-related fields, including human resources, social work, counselling and teaching, and areas benefiting from an understanding of the human mind and behaviour such careers in business, marketing and advertising.

Degree marketing image

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
CM89

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Legal System (LS1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces the fundamental components and characteristics of the Scottish legal system. It includes a study skills programme which covers different facets of the study of law along with a series of practical workshops which introduce key legal information sources (both electronic and paper) and appropriate search strategies. Lectures and tutorials will cover topics such as the Scottish legal tradition, formal sources of Scots law, the legislative process, organisation of the courts, judicial precedent, civil procedure, alternative dispute resolution, the European legal order, legal services and access to justice.

View detailed information about this course

Introductory Psychology I: Concepts and Theory (PS1009) - 15 Credit Points

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, social 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 a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

View detailed information about this course

Introductory Psychology I: Methods and Applications (PS1011) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Foundations of Private Law (LS1022) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides firstly a map of private law as drawn from the institutional scheme. It then progresses to an equivalent of the medical student’s study of anatomy in the sense that, concentrating on the law of property and obligations, it examines the main concepts of private law and how they operate together as a system to solve everyday legal problems.

View detailed information about this course

Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (PS1509) - 15 Credit Points

PS1509 introduces you to major concepts and theories in psychology to provide you with a strong understanding of human mind and behaviour. You attend lectures on evolution & emotion, developmental psychology, and sensation & perception and participate in workshops where you work in a team and debate topics related to the material covered in 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 a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

View detailed information about this course

Introductory Psychology II: Methods and Applications (PS1511) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, 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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from the below courses, plus further credit points from non-LS courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

Criminal Law (LS1020) - 15 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB degree introducing students to Scottish Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including crimes against the person, crimes of dishonesty, crimes against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving exercises in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Case Studies on Law in Society (LS1026) - 15 Credit Points

This module examines, through the use of current, high-profile case-studies, the varying role played by law in wider society. The course departs from the traditional ‘black letter’ approach to studying law and will focus primarily upon current legal problems facing society and the related ethical, economic and social arguments. It will be seen that law is not merely a static body of rules but a mechanism for facilitating and inspiring change in all aspects of our society.

View detailed information about this course

Contract (LS1520) - 15 Credit Points

Contract is one of the central subjects of private law and is one of the main branches of the law of obligations. Contract Law covers obligations which are voluntary in nature. Every day we make contracts from buying a newspaper to buying a house. Contract Law is an area where Scots law and English law are very similar and this course will cover Scots contract law but also highlight where English law differs with the aim of giving students a working knowledge of contract in both countries.

View detailed information about this course

UK Constitutional Law (LS1537) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the law about government and the state in the United Kingdom. The course primarily cover UK constitutional law. Major topics include institutions of state, parliamentary sovereignty, Britain's relationship with the European Union, the rule of law, the separation of powers, and devolution. This area of law is fast-moving, and an effort is made to address current issues.

View detailed information about this course

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (LS1523) - 15 Credit Points

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution is a very practical course designed to give students a first-hand interaction with a number of the different structured ways to resolve disputes that exist. The course is taught by way of a weekly lecture which focuses on an explanation of theory and rationale followed by role play tutorials, where students engage in negotiations and mediations in particular.

View detailed information about this course

English Criminal Law (LS1527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB with English Law degree introducing students to English Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including offences against the person, offences of dishonesty, offences against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to English Legal System (LS1528) - 7.5 Credit Points

This 7.5 credit course introduces key elements of the English legal system, building on points considered in the Legal System course. It considers sources of law (with a focus on the common law and doctrine of precedent), key institutions and personalities (eg police, jury, Lord Chancellor), criminal and civil processes, key controversies (eg the future of legal aid, the place of social media and the diversity of judges) and the present and developing nature of the different branches of the legal profession, particularly in the face of evolving technologies. Assessment is by research exercises OR an exam at the student’s choice.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (PS2017) - 15 Credit Points

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 perception. Social Psychology will cover topics such as leadership and group processes. The perception part of the course will examine the visual and intentional systems.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Psychology A: Methods and Applications (PS2018) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (PS2517) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the material covered in the 1st-year courses, expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers four core areas of psychology: organisational & clinical, behavioural neuroscience and developmental psychology. The first strand covers 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 Psychologist. 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.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Psychology B: Methods and Applications (PS2518) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points from level 1 and 2 Legal Studies courses.

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Psychological Assessment (PS3011) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Methodology A (PS3015) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Developmental Psychology (PS3518) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Social Psychology (PS3520) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select a further 60 credit points from Legal Studies LX Honours courses.

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Psychology Joint Honours Thesis (PS4038) - 15 Credit Points

This course constitutes the final year thesis for any joint 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 January 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.

View detailed information about this course

Advances in Biological Psychology (PS4033) - 15 Credit Points

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. 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.

This course is intended for students completing joint honours degrees in Behavioural Studies or Psychology.

View detailed information about this course

Perceptual Processes (PS4037) - 15 Credit Points

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 intended for students completing joint honours degrees in Behavioural Studies or Psychology.

View detailed information about this course

Memory and Language Processes (PS4532) - 15 Credit Points

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.

This course is intended for students completing joint honours degrees in Behavioural Studies or Psychology.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select a further 60 credit points from Legal Studies LX Honours courses.

Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

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 they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

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

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

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 24%
independent: 76%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 51%
coursework: 42%
practical: 7%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 24%
independent: 76%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 71%
coursework: 26%
practical: 3%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 7%
independent: 93%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 79%
coursework: 18%
practical: 3%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 6%
independent: 94%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 78%
coursework: 20%
practical: 2%

Why Study Legal Studies and Psychology?

Why Psychology

  • 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.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2020 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above).

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2020/21
International Students £17,200
Students Admitted in 2020/21

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX