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Department of Psychology

Why study Psychology at Sunderland? Psychology courses at Sunderland will equip you with all the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in the field. You will be given the opportunity to tailor your degree to meet your personal interests and our expert staff will support you in achieving your full potential. As well as being accredited by the British Psychological Society, Sunderland is a great place to study psychology because:


We are rated fourth out of 110 UK-wide psychology departments for Teaching Excellence by The Sunday Times University Guide 2013


of psychology students are satisfied with the overall quality of the course at Sunderland, according to the National Student Survey 2012, the highest of all psychology departments in the North East for the fourth year running

4th in the UK

According to the National Student Survey 2012, the department is ranked fourth in the UK for assessment, feedback and personal development, sixth for academic support and eighth for course teaching

Top facilities

The course is taught at the purpose-built awardwinning, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, on the banks of the River Wear. This facility has specialist psychology and computer laboratories, so you can make the most of your studies.



Our Courses BSc (Hons) Psychology UCAS CODE: C800

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling UCAS CODE: C8BX

Both of these courses are full-time and take three years to complete. They are accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society (BPS), provided the minimum standard of a Second Class Honours Degree is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. As a graduate of this discipline, you will be equipped with the skills you need to pursue a career as a professional psychologist. There are numerous postgraduate psychology areas for you to choose from if you decide to continue with your studies. These include clinical psychology, counselling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, health psychology, occupational psychology, forensic psychology and educational psychology.


At Honours level, your course will be made up of the following modules:


BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling

BSc (Hons) Psychology






• Genes to Mind • Mind to World

• Academic Mentor 1 • Psychology in the Media

• Introduction to Counselling Theories • Developing Reflective and Academic Skills




•M  oral and Antisocial Behaviour • Cradle to Grave

• Academic Mentor 2

• Counselling Theories 2 • Introduction to Counselling Skills


•F  oundations of Psychological Research


• Psychological Research


•A  nimal Behaviour • Psychology Placement Module • Psychological Perspectives 10 CREDITS

•A  ttraction and Sexuality • Psychology of Religion • Dialogue




•F  rom Lab to Life: Big Issues in Psychology


• Mental Health and Illness



• Empirical Project

• • • • •

 linical Neuropsychology C Forensic Psychology Mental Health and Illness Occupational Psychology Contemporary Evolutionary Psychology • Environmental Psychology • Psychology and the Real World • Remembering and Forgetting 10 CREDITS

•A  dvanced Quantitative Methods • Cyberpsychology • Dark Personalities • Psychology of Art


• • • •

Clinical Neuropsychology Forensic Psychology Occupational Psychology Contemporary Evolutionary Psychology • Environmental Psychology • Psychology and the Real World • Remembering and Forgetting 10 CREDITS

• Advanced Quantitative Methods • Cyberpsychology • Dark Personalities • Psychology of Art


What Will You Study? BSc (Hons) Psychology UCAS CODE: C800 As a student on this course, you will learn about the mind, behaviour and how people think, act, react and interact. This will develop your knowledge and understanding of psychological theory and research, and you will be encouraged to apply your learning to the diverse ‘big issues’ in contemporary society, which include violence, mental illness, consciousness and climate change. At Stage 1, core content modules include ‘Genes to Mind’, where you will learn how genes ultimately give rise to thinking, conscious human beings. In ‘Mind to World’, you will learn how minds interact with one another and come together to create societies. Stage 2 of your studies will see you focus on two key themes. The first, ‘Moral and Antisocial Behaviour’, is based around social, biological and cognitive psychology, as well as neuroscience. This will develop your understanding of the most positive and negative aspects of human behaviour. You will also apply developmental, cognitive and evolutionary psychology in the ‘Cradle to Grave’ module, which will help you to understand psychological issues across the lifespan. Studying these themes is not only more engaging, but more worthwhile in terms of your development as a psychologist. A recent report by the Higher Education Academy (2011) advocated the sort of integrative approach to teaching that we have at Sunderland. As you develop as a psychologist, you will be able to specialise in a number of areas, including forensic psychology, mental health, personality disorders, environmental psychology, media psychology, evolutionary psychology and cyberpsychology.


BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling UCAS CODE: C8BX Combining two exciting disciplines, Psychology with Counselling will teach you skills that will prove invaluable in both listening to and understanding people. In addition to studying the same core modules as Single Honours Psychology students, you will take specific counselling modules, where you will learn about the theories of counselling, which will help to develop your skills in this area. Studying both of these subjects can provide you with a variety of career options – employers see the value in having employees with these skills, as they are invaluable when working with individuals.

I came to University expecting to enjoy learning more about psychology. I finished university equipped with a better understanding of how to critically analyse the world around me. Helen Edmonds, Psychology Graduate


Teaching and Assessment Staff at Sunderland promote learning through inquiry and use a variety of teaching methods, which include lectures, seminars, practical workshops and tutorials. Additionally, we also use more innovative, student-centred methods, such as problem-based learning. This will allow you to use your knowledge of psychology to tackle particular problems. Our assessments are designed to interest and challenge. They feature essays, research reports and examinations, as well as more contemporary assessments, such as media reports, expert witness reports and case studies. One of the assessments on our new ‘Psychology in the Media’ option module even allows you to develop a media artefact, such as a blog or short film. You will work with a member of staff on your own psychology research project at Stage 3. Past students have produced numerous outstanding research projects, some of which have been published. We provide you with high-quality assessment feedback, which you can use to improve your work. This approach led to Sunderland being rated fourth in the UK for assessment and feedback in the National Student Survey 2012.

The student experience is our driving ethos at Sunderland and helps our students develop a huge amount during their time as members of our vibrant department. Dr Matthew Watson


Facilities Sunderland has a number of purpose-built psychology laboratories that allow you to carry out a wide range of experimental work. These include: • • • • • •

Computing Laboratory and Power Laboratory Skillslab Multimedia and Games Research Room Cognitive Laboratory Linguistics Laboratory Visual Psychophysics Laboratory.

Research Research is central to our activities and ethos. A number of our staff are engaged in research projects in diverse areas, such as evolutionary psychology, mindfulness, autobiographical memory and computational neuroscience, among other projects. Members of our staff also use their skills to support projects in the local community. This very much enhances our undergraduate courses – research is integrated into the curriculum, so teaching is supported by examples of our staff’s research work. There are also opportunities for you to work jointly with members of the Psychology Department on research projects – a lot of students choose to do this at Stage 3 as part of their own research project, or you may choose to volunteer as a research assistant.


Careers The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (November 2010) reported that psychology graduates are highly regarded by employers due to their transferable skills. You will therefore be well placed to work in a number of different disciplines, such as: • • • • •

 ducation E Health and social welfare Marketing and PR Research, design and development Social care.

Employability is embedded into our psychology courses – it is something we take very seriously at Sunderland. We offer practical guidance and resources over and above our teaching to support you in finding work experience and highlight opportunities to gain future qualifications in psychology. You also have the option to go on to further postgraduate study, which includes Masters and PhD courses. You may also pursue chartered status in a number of different psychology fields, such as: • • • • • •


 linical psychology C Forensic psychology Occupational psychology Educational psychology Counselling psychology Sport and exercise psychology.

Psychology at Sunderland allows you to explore human behaviour in an exciting environment, with some of the most influential staff a student could ask for. I can’t recommend this course highly enough. Jonathan Howard, Psychology Graduate


Other Courses

Entry Requirements

Combined Subjects Psychology (Major, Dual or Minor)

For full information on all our entry requirements, visit and search using the UCAS course code

UCAS code: C8 A Combined Subjects degree course provides the opportunity to study psychology alongside another subject, for example, sociology or criminology. BPS accreditation is only available when psychology is taken as the major subject.

Joint Scheme of Extended Programmes Science – Psychology Pathway UCAS code: C801 This course offers progression onto psychology and is designed for those students who don’t meet the entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Psychology. It provides a solid grounding in science and the study skills needed to tackle a degree. It covers physiology, biology and psychology.

Further Information Marketing and Recruitment The David Goldman Informatics Centre The Sir Tom Cowie Campus St Peter’s Way Sunderland SR6 0DD t: 0191 515 2758 e: w: Applications for entry must be submitted through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). For further details go to When completing your UCAS form please use the following code for the University of Sunderland: S84.

TWITTER Follow us on Twitter @PsychUni_of_Sun

University of Sunderland Psychology Brochure 2014  

A brochure for the Department of Psychology at the University of Sunderland.