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C817 Psychology (Applied) BSc Undergraduate  2017


UCAS code C817
Degree BSc
Duration 3 years
Location Queen's Campus
From 2018 onwards, we are planning to deliver the Psychology (Applied) programme in Durham City.
Typical Offers A-Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 0101

Course Summary


Durham’s Psychology Department is a department with excellence in both research and teaching. This research strength extends across the wide variety of academic interests of the Department’s staff, from child health and development, perception, cognitive and behavioural neuroscience to the evolutionary basis of behaviour. The wide range and quality of the research interests of the staff in the Department allows us to offer a broad range of final-year option courses on both our degree courses. Our breadth of research strength means that you are guaranteed to be taught by some of the leading figures in their field of research.

We offer two psychology degrees, Psychology and Psychology (Applied), with both courses demonstrating extensive depth and breadth in the field of psychology. Our applied research facilities related to neurorehabilitation, education, social, health and developmental psychology are based in Durham University’s Queen’s Campus and so this is where we offer our Psychology (Applied) degree course, while our Psychology course is based on the Mountjoy Site in Durham, which houses facilities for studying perception, developmental psychology, cognition and behavioural neuroscience, amongst others. Students on each degree course are encouraged to get involved in experiments being carried out by their lecturers, thus gaining a deeper and more hands-on understanding of the issues they are learning about in their degrees, adding to their contextual experience.

If you want a degree course that explains behaviour in the context of real life, then this is the one for you. Our degree course in Psychology (Applied) emphasises psychology’s relevance to a range of everyday issues such as health, crime, education, technology and neuropsychological rehabilitation.

The first two years of your degree cover the fundamental areas of psychology required for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students are asked to think about how the material they are learning about is relevant in real-life situations. Your final year is made up of options that focus on the ways that psychology is applied to everyday problems and used in practical settings.

Year 1

In the first year, over five modules you learn about four major areas of psychology: cognitive psychology (the study of mental processes), social psychology (the study of relations between individuals), developmental psychology (the study of intellectual and social change in humans) and biological psychology (the study of the relation between the brain and changes in mental state and behaviour). You will also learn important techniques in experimentation, observation and statistical analysis. For your sixth module, you may choose Classic Papers in Applied Psychology: A Tutorial Introduction to Psychological Science, Classic Papers: A Tutorial Introduction to Psychological Science which is taught and assessed at Durham; or modules from the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study.

Year 2

In the second year you will further tackle the core areas of psychology considered by the British Psychological Society when it accredits a psychology degree. Over six modules you will develop your in-depth knowledge and understanding of the areas introduced in your first year and take up the study of neuropsychology, perception, abnormal psychology and psychometrics (the selection and use of psychological tests).

Year 3

In your final year, you may choose to take three or four modules in Psychology (Applied) or two or three Psychology (Applied) modules plus one or two from the Psychology Year Three modules on offer (including Modern Foreign Languages). The final-year Psychology modules are on specialist topics and include lectures, workshops, practical work and continuous assessment. All Department of Psychology final-year modules have an end of year examination. In addition to your chosen four modules, you will carry out and write up your own Research Project (Applied Psychology Dissertation) supervised by a member of staff. The range of possible topics is very wide and research can take place in settings such as schools or hospitals, as well as in research laboratories in the Department of Psychology. The Dissertation is a double module.

The list of final-year option modules may vary from year to year but in the past has included:

  • Psychology and Health
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Applied Developmental Psychology
  • Applied Psychology in Action
  • Psychology into Schools
  • Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Advanced Research Methods for Applied Psychology
  • The Science of Consciousness
  • Modules from the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study.

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University in 2016 please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered predominantly by leading research academics using a variety of methods including lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, workshops, practical classes, as well as additional individual feedback and support opportunities from staff and student peers. Up to six psychology modules are taken in each of the three years of study, with each module having clearly defined aims and learning outcomes encompassing graduated subject-specific knowledge, subject-specific skills, and generic transferable key skills.

In general, lectures highlight the main areas of concern within a module topic, covering historical and current empirical findings and methodological issues together with their concomitant theoretical interpretations. Small group tutorials and seminars guide students’ learning of lecture based material and that gleaned through independent study by promoting discussions and critical appraisal, developing students’ ability to organise and present information both orally and in a variety of written formats. Workshops and practical sessions enable students to gain first-hand experience of key research skills in Psychology and to learn and apply associated statistical and IT packages.

The number of weekly timetabled contact hours does not vary radically across the three years of the degree programme. However, there is a qualitative difference in the nature of the activities provided and in staff expectations: students are supported in becoming progressively more independent as thinkers and learners in preparation for further work or study on completion of their degree.

In the first and second years, students typically attend six hours of research-driven psychology lectures every week; additionally, timetabled tutorials, seminars, practical classes, workshops, feedback and support sessions are held regularly throughout the year. These constitute an additional two to three hours contact time per week. Outside timetabled hours, students are expected to undertake independent study to prepare for classes, complete assignments, and broaden their subject knowledge. The emphasis in Level 1 is to provide students with fundamental knowledge and skills as a foundation for those who have had no previous experience of psychology and providing the bases underpinning second and third year modules. In Level 2, students’ knowledge and skills are further developed and fostered; moreover all the subject areas essential for accreditation by the British Psychological Association and providing eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) are covered.

In the third year, students select from a variety of specialist topic modules. As these are primarily provided by lecturers eminent in their field, students have the unique opportunity to engage with and discuss the most recent theoretical and empirical issues. Level 3 modules are delivered through weekly two-hour lectures, seminars and workshops typically totalling eight hours per week. Additionally, building on research skills developed in their first and second years, and under the supervision of a member of staff, each third year student completes an independent empirical study. Depending on the nature of the investigation, a student might expect to meet with their supervisor on average once a fortnight throughout the year.

Throughout their three undergraduate years, students have access to all their lecturers informally on a ‘drop-in basis’, by email appointment, or through advertised weekly office hours. All staff are willing to engage in discussions, provide support, feedback and guidance where relevant. There are also Module Leaders who are members of staff designated to deal with issues relating to modules as a whole and Year Tutors who are available to help when necessary with any problems that may generally affect a student’s studies in Psychology.

The department has a thriving research community: Seminars are held at least once a week during term time to which undergraduate students are warmly invited. Additionally research groupings (such as the Centre for Vision and Visual Cognition) within the department and the student-run Applied Psychology Society hold regular talks and meetings.

Further non-timetabled opportunities for support and debate are provided by Peer Parenting Schemes, the Research Assistant Scheme, and by online discussion boards facilitated by the Psychology Department.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • Grade C in Mathematics at GCSE or equivalent is required, although a B is preferred 
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • If Psychology has been studied at A Level (or equivalent), then this will form part of the offer (see our website for further details)
  • We welcome applications from individuals with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2016 entry in the summer of 2015 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2016 entry on the University’s website and at UCAS from September 2015
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • Please consult the University website for required evidence of English language proficiency
  • We accept applications for deferred entry.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £22,000.00 per year

Part Time Fees

EU Student £1,500.00 per year
Home Student £1,500.00 per year
International non-EU Student £3,500.00 per year

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


The Psychology department comprises members of academic staff who use cutting edge techniques in order to become world leaders in their research field. The experience gained with us will therefore enable you to enter the workplace with knowledge and hands-on experience of how psychological issues are investigated and how this knowledge is applied to solve problems in the world.

Of those students who studied Psychology that left in 2013:

- 44% are in full time paid employment

Of those in employment:

- 65% are graduate level employment

- Median salary £19,000

Of those students in further study:

- 100% are in graduate level study, in areas including:

  • Conversion course/Speech & Language Therapy
  • PhD/Psychology
  • Masters/Psychology
  • PGCE/Primary
  • PGCE/Secondary
  • Conversion course/Law

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2012/13 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

I had an excellent experience as an undergraduate on the Psychology (Applied) course. My experience at Queen's Campus has been second to none, I found the course intersting and enjoying the three years I spent there. The excellent research-led teaching, combined with the wide range of final year options, is what - in my opinion - makes this degree in Psychology far superior to others. The third year modules allowed me to get to grips with more practical aspects of Psychology and guided my decision of what to do after graduating.

Of those students who studied Psychology (Applied) at Queen's Campus, who left in 2013:

- 41% are in full time paid employment

Of those in employment:

- 52% are graduate level employment

- Median salary £15,500

Of those students in further study:

- 100% are in graduate level study, in areas including:

  • Conversion course/Speech & Language Therapy
  • PhD/Psychology
  • Masters/Psychology
  • PGCE/Primary
  • PGCE/Secondary
  • Conversion course/Law

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2012/13 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

Employment development opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the Psychology Department to ensure that students receive information, advice and vacancies relevant to their needs.  A Careers Adviser delivers talks focused on ensuring that students receive the most relevant and up to date advice about professions that are of interest to students in the department.  This includes inviting professionals such as Educational, Counselling, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists onto campus to talk to students about their work.

A wide range of work is carried out in conjunction with the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to develop students' employability skills, including presentations/workshops on CVs, applications, assessment centres, interviews, commercial awareness, leadership, etc. 

A wide range of recruiters of Durham Psychology graduates attend careers fairs and run presentations on campus, from career areas including: Psychology, Teaching, Accountancy, Law, HR, Retail, Management Consultancy, Marketing Advertising, PR, Banking, IT, to name a few.

Work experience

Our department encourages you to gain experimental expereince during your time with us. To that end you can get involved via a participant pool scheme for which you can gain credit and also take part in our research assistant scheme. In this scheme you have the opportunity to join a research group in the department to see first-hand how ideas turn into experiments, how those experiments are run and what the results mean.
We also encourage our students to find related vacation experience either within the department through a summer bursary (external funding) or by working with one of our employability partners.

Professional recognition

Our degrees are accreditied by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for the *Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is the first step in your career as a psychologist. 

(*minimum of a second class honours degree required)

Neuro Partners are a company who specialise in care and support for people with Neurological Conditions and Brain Injury. We have over 250 employees across the North of England and although everyone works towards the same standards across the company, each individual brings their own knowledge ambition and expertise. Durham University produces high calibre Psychology graduates who boast all of the key skills we require when recruiting for Assistant Psychologists and Support Workers to work within our Service.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Campus Tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



Psychology aims to understand and improve how people perceive, think, act, react and interact. It examines all aspects of behaviour by investigating the processes underpinning the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind our actions.

Durham is the leading university to offer degrees in Psychology and in Applied Psychology with both courses demonstrating extensive depth and breadth in the field of psychology. You will receive genuine research-led education and, as well as undertaking your course-based studies, we invite students to actively participate in our research environment through seminars, conferences, research assistantship schemes and access to our clinical and experimental facilities.

Our degrees are accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and represent the first step in qualifying as a professional psychologist; however, they also provide you with an excellent variety of skills and abilities which are transferable to a diverse array of professions.

  • 94% of our Psychology students said they thought staff were good at explaining things in the National Student Survey 2014 (sector-wide average 92%).
  • Ranked 4th from 107 departments nationally for the number of graduates in graduate level employment or further study (Complete University Guide 2015).
  • 7th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.

Our extensive suite of research tools allows us to take advantage of such techniques as functional brain imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), event-related potentials (ERPs) visuomotor performance, eye tracking and biophysiological recording. Along with this we have extensive Child and Baby Laboratories as well as a wide variety of laboratory space. We have excellent facilities across both the Queen’s and Durham Campuses, with suites of teaching laboratories which are well-stocked with networked IT equipment. All facilities across both campuses are conveniently located close to other departments, the University Libraries and the Computer Centre. We use IT systems such as email and web-based databases and discussion boards as a matter of routine and all first-year students are introduced to these systems. You will also have access to the campus computer network.

We are a friendly community of staff, students and research workers in purpose-built modern buildings. Students across both degrees have their own common rooms which allow them to spend time and socialise with other members of their course. The Department also has a study library, which contains the main course text books, copies of papers referred to in lectures and seminars and copies of third year student projects and MSc and PhD theses. We also encourage our students on both Single Honours degrees to mingle, by providing cross-campus events, and encouraging students to attend all departmental events and seminars across both campuses.


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