Psychology BSc (Honours)

University of St Andrews
4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
St Andrews

About this program

Psychology BSc (Honours)

The BSc (Hons) in Psychology will introduce you to the full range of areas that are studied by psychologists, including perception, cognition, motivation and behaviour. You will be grounded in the theoretical foundations and modern developments of contemporary psychology. Emphasis is placed on practical classes and on learning research techniques right from the start.

Psychology is available as both a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree. The content of the subjects is the same irrespective of Faculty. Students who have a background in the sciences or who wish to study Psychology alongside Science subjects at St Andrews should apply for the BSc. For those interested in studying Psychology alongside Arts subjects, the MA in Psychology may be of interest instead. The entry requirements are the same for all single Honours Psychology degrees, and the chance of receiving an offer is the same for each of these degrees.

A degree in psychology from St Andrews is recognised by the British Psychological Society as conferring basis for graduate registration, provided requisite modules are passed with appropriate grades. BPS recognition qualifies you to undertake training in various areas of professional psychology, including both clinical and educational psychology.

Admission requirements

No previous knowledge of psychology is required.

Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

  • Standard entry grades: AAAB
  • Minimum entry grades: AABB
  • Gateway entry grades: BBBB

GCE A-Levels

  • Standard entry grades: AAB
  • Minimum entry grades: ABB

IB Points

  • Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
  • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)

General Entry Requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

SQA Qualifications

SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing science
  • Geography
  • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

GCSE Qualifications

GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

International Applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.

For more information about admission requirements, please check the programme's website.

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Program content

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in psychology alongside modules in at least one other subject.

Typically, you will take one psychology module per semester during your first two years, and three to four psychology modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).

First Year

Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules, which between them cover the foundations of psychology.

  • Fundamentals of Psychology 1: introduces the theoretical foundations, historical perspectives and modern developments of psychology, and provides a thorough grounding in the empirical basis of psychology.
  • Fundamentals of Psychology 2: expands upon the topics discussed during Fundamentals of Psychology 1 and continues to introduce the variety of subjects which make up contemporary psychology.

Second Year

Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules, which between them cover the core areas of psychology and prepare students for advanced modules. 

  • Advanced Principles of Psychology 1: covers the relations between, for example, brain and behaviour, cognition, perception, comparative aspects of behaviour, social and clinical psychology. It also contains a methodology component covering laboratory and field techniques.
  • Advanced Principles of Psychology 2: provides a more advanced treatment of a number of areas in psychology and extends the range of teaching from previous modules.

Third/Fourth Year

If you decide to take Psychology in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules ranging from clinical psychology to understanding how evolutionary forces have shaped both animal and human behaviour.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Assessment in Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Collective Behaviour
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology and the Emotional Disorders
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Evolution and Development of Social and Technical Intelligence
  • Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology
  • Perception
  • Psychology of Music
  • Psychology of Visual Art
  • Social Psychology
  • The Psychology of Dementia.

In fourth year, students will conduct a research project which will allow them to foster the skills of experimental design, appropriate research management and statistical analysis. Students can choose from a wide range of topics in consultation with their supervisor.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


Tuition fees have yet to be set for 2022 entry.


Bachelor of Science (single Honours degree)

Career paths

There are a number of professions directly linked to a psychology degree such as clinical, educational, industrial and forensic psychology. It is also associated with jobs in the welfare area and in personnel.

More generally, a good Honours degree in psychology can give direct entry into management training and civil service posts. Recent graduates have secured positions in the health service, speech therapy and banking.

Popular careers areas for psychology students include:

  • academia
  • advertising
  • civil service
  • general management
  • human resources
  • marketing and sales
  • social work

Psychology graduates also possess key transferrable skills, including:

  • scientific approach to problem solving and information acquisition with current information technologies
  • critical skills in assessment and review of information
  • written and oral presentation skills
  • group discussion and participation
  • ethical values in science and society

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills. 

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About this institute

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first University. As a 600 year-old institution, we are known across the globe for our world leading quality and depth of research. For six centuries some of the world’s brightest and most promising...

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Why study at University of St Andrews

Studying in St Andrews is a unique and rewarding experience that will take your skills and knowledge to the next level.

Students at St Andrews have access to some of the world’s best professors and lecturers and a degree from the University of St Andrews is sought after by employers around the world.

In addition to award-winning teaching and research, the University of St Andrews has an array of facilities which result in high levels of student satisfaction and a world class reputation.

Contact info

University of St Andrews

St Katharine's West
KY16 9AX St Andrews

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