Psychology BSc (Honours) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

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 of your degree. 

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.

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. 

UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2028
Four years full time
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
“I had never studied psychology before, but the School was excellent at introducing me to and keeping me a part of this new subject. Dynamic lecturers make topics interesting and engaging. Psychology is a sociable and comfortable community which I am glad to be a part of.”
- Glasgow, Scotland

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
    Gateway entry grades:
    Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
  • 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 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 (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

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

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of psychology is required.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:

MA alternative

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. 

Gateway programmes

Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades but meet the University's contextual criteria may be interested in the Gateway to Science programme.

Study abroad

Psychology students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. Psychology students are only able to study abroad for the full academic year (semester placements are not available). For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

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. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The BSc (Hons) in Psychology is a four-year course run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience. The School also offers an MA in Psychology, which may be more suitable for students who wish to take psychology alongside Arts subjects. The psychology element within both the BSc and MA degree programmes is exactly the same. 

Alongside psychology, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.  

Your first two years of study provide an introduction to a variety of subjects which make up contemporary psychology as well as a thorough grounding in the empirical basis of psychology. 

The skills you gain in statistical analysis, research and presentation will prepare you for your final two years, during which you will have the opportunity to specialise in a wide range of advanced subjects. These subjects can be broadly described as (but are not limited to): 

  • social psychology 
  • developmental psychology 
  • evolutionary and comparative psychology 
  • behavioural and cognitive neuroscience 
  • cognitive psychology 
  • perceptual psychology 
  • clinical psychology. 

During your final year, you will also have the opportunity to carry out a research project on a topic chosen in consultation with staff from the School. 

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


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 six psychology modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). 

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. 

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. 

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: 

  • Aggressive Behaviour 
  • Assessment in Clinical Psychology 
  • Clinical Neuropsychology 
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience 
  • Cognitive Psychology and the Emotional Disorders  
  • Collective Behaviour 
  • Communicating Psychology and Neuroscience 
  • Data Science for Psychology and Neuroscience 
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology 
  • Psychology of Music 
  • Psychology of Visual Art 
  • The Psychology of Social Change 
  • The Psychosocial Impact of Dementia 
  • Vision in a Complex World.

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. 

The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


Psychology is taught using a variety of methods including traditional lectures, seminars, practicals, tutorials and individual supervision. At sub-honours level, class sizes range from 200 to 350 students in lectures and 40 to 80 students for practical labs, down to only 10 to 12 students for small-group tutorials. 

At Honours level, much of the teaching is in smaller groups and there is a considerable amount of one-on-one contact with staff. Class sizes typically range from 40 to 150 students for lectures down to practical classes of 10 to 50 students along with individual supervision in project modules. 

When not attending lectures, tutorials and labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve: 

  • working on individual and group projects 
  • undertaking research in the library 
  • reading course material 
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations 
  • preparing for examinations. 

Sub-honours modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. At Honours level, modules are either entirely assessed by coursework, by examination, or by a mixture of the two. 

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. 

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three to four weeks to help you improve on future assessments. 

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

You will be taught by leading researchers in the field with an emphasis on research-led teaching. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader. 

You can find contact information for all psychology staff on the School of Psychology and Neuroscience website.  

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.



England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

EU and overseas

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take the Psychology BSc as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

Special joint degree notes

The joint options with Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Sustainable Development can also be taken as degree programmes with British Psychological Society accreditation.

In taking a joint degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Additional joint degree options are available for students who take the MA in Psychology.


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.

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Undergraduate visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2157
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
St Mary's Quad
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JP

School of Psychology and Neuroscience website

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