Psychology BSc (Honours) 2022 entry

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.

How to apply Register your interest

Key information

UCAS code


Course type

Bachelor of Science (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 September 2026

Entry requirements

These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. 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.

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

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 entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

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 English language requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of psychology is required.

General entry requirements

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

Other qualifications

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.

Course information

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

Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system

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:

  • 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.

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.


Teaching format

Psychology is taught using a wide 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 8 to 10 students for small-group tutorials.

At Honours level, much of the teaching is in small groups and there is a considerable amount of one-on-one contact with staff. Class sizes typically range from about 70 to 150 students for lectures down to practical classes of 10 to 50 students along with individual supervision in review and 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.

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

In addition to your studies in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

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


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 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. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students.

Virtual visiting days


Tuition fees for entry

Home-funded £1820
RUK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Republic of Ireland £9250
Islands (Channel Islands, Isle of Man) £9250
EU and overseas £26350

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

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.

"With" degrees

You can take the BSc in Psychology as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first-named subject.

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

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

Your future


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. 

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.

Student life

The University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first-year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions, and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from, ensure a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of psychology may be interested in joining the Psychology and Neuroscience Society which organises academic activities such as lectures and trips to Edinburgh Zoo, as well as weekly lunches, a ball and other kinds of socials.

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience is located in the beautiful Old Library building, dating back to the Victorian era, which sits inside St Mary’s Quad on the south side of town. Most of your classes and labs will take place here.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings, parks and beaches, providing a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. Find out more about the town of St Andrews.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews
St Mary's Quad
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JP

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2157

School of Psychology and Neuroscience website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official statistics about higher education courses taken from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges about all their students. You can use this data to compare information for different degree programmes to help you make a decision about what and where to study.