Psychology MA (Hons) 2021 entry
The MA (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 studied up to Honours level in both the Faculty of Science (BSc) and the Faculty of Arts (MA). Students who have a background in the Arts or who wish to study psychology alongside Arts subjects at St Andrews should apply for the MA. For those interested in studying psychology alongside science subjects, the BSc in Psychology may be of interest instead.
A degree in Psychology from St Andrews is recognised by the British Psychological Society as conferring basis for graduate registration provided appropriate grades are met, and qualifies you to undertake training in various areas of professional psychology including both clinical and educational psychology.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
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.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAB
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
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.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.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.
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.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
Research within the School of Psychology and Neuroscience was ranked second in Scotland by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework with 84% of the research rated world leading and internationally excellent.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Find out more about studying psychology at St Andrews.
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 years (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 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 health 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 Psychology 1.
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
- Cognitive Psychology and the Emotional Disorders
- Developmental Psychology
- Group Behaviour
- Psychology of Art: Aesthetics and Individual Differences in Visual Function
- Psychology of Music
- Sex Differences and Gender Development
- 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.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Psychology as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
You can take Psychology as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degree for the MA in Psychology:
- Psychology with Geography
“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.”
Jack (Glasgow, Scotland)