Core Areas of Psychology
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
Dive into the fascinating world of studying the human mind and behaviour with our psychology programme at the University of Salford.
Designed to provide graduates with in-depth knowledge and opportunities to meet the demands of today's workplaces, this course provides a thorough understanding of diverse psychological concepts. Through a hands-on approach, we focus on honing your research skills and encouraging the practical application of theories in real-world scenarios.
Psychology graduates are highly sought after in a variety of workplaces, equipped not just with theoretical knowledge but also with the ability to effectively apply their understanding in professional settings.
What do our students think?
Click here to find out more about Omayma and Kingsley’s experience at Salford, and the skills and opportunities that helped shape their academic journey.
- Learn about the core areas of psychology: biological, cognitive, developmental, social and individual differences
- Learn to be a critical thinker, able to consider a problem, develop a research plan and execute that plan
- Be able to choose from optional modules, allowing you to explore areas of particular interest to you
This is for you if...
You're naturally inquisitive and curious about the range of human behaviours
You have strong written skills and have an aptitude for research
You want to progress into a career where you can make a difference to people's lives
All about the course
Our psychology course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) - if you achieve a lower second class degree or above, Graduate Basis for Registration is awarded. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.
During the second year you will have the opportunity to apply for a sandwich year which will be taken between the second and third year of your programme, to either study abroad or gain professional experience. Please note, there is a limited number of placements available and therefore a place on the sandwich year isn't guaranteed.
The final year gives you the opportunity to specialise in areas of psychology that interest you and to undertake a supervised research project of your own. There is also an optional module in your final year which gives the opportunity to undertake a work placement, giving you real-life experience.
You can read an interview with BSc Psychology students Kingsley (first year) and Omayma (third year) here.
Embark on an exciting exploration of Psychology with our captivating module that delves into the intricacies of the five core areas as defined by the British Psychological Society. This integration of approaches will immerse you in the fascinating field of Psychology, to deepen your grasp of human behaviour through the exploration of both foundational theories and cutting-edge research. By mastering this module, you’ll not only gain a comprehensive understanding but also acquire the skills needed to confidently apply specialised knowledge at an advanced level.
Philosophical roots, research approaches and academic skills in Psychology
Explore Psychology's origins and evolution in this module offering insights into its philosophical and scientific roots. Uncover the intriguing journey from early understandings to the establishment of Psychology as a distinct discipline, shaped by historical and cultural milestones. Consider the dynamism of research frameworks, from traditional approaches to post-modern influences. The module will also empower you with academic skills essential for a successful Psychology degree and future career development.
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Gain a profound understanding of the philosophical foundations and practical applications or qualitative approaches to psychological research. Delve into diverse data collection methods such as interviews, observations, and focus groups. Elevate your analytical skills through a focus on thematic analysis, setting the stage for future specialisation and independent application at advanced levels of study.
Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
Build a strong foundation in quantitative approaches, honing skills in data analysis techniques and specialised software applications. This knowledge forms the basis for advanced skills development at higher levels of study, enabling you to master the essential tools for impactful research and professional success.
Coding for R in Psychology
Unlock the power of R programming in Psychology. Learn the basics and equip yourself with the skills to create computational scripts tailored for psychological applications. Gain versatile programming skills transferable to languages like Python, enhancing your employability and broadening your career prospects. Engaging assessments and hands-on in-class tasks, ensure you master the material, setting you on a path to success.
Psychology in Contemporary Contexts
Uncover the relevance of psychological principles across diverse real-world contexts, offering practical insights applicable to various areas. Elevate your skills as a critical thinker and problem solver, honing research and analysis abilities crucial for navigating the complexities of the modern world.
Psychology of Happiness
Explore applied topics like ageing, physical and mental health, cognition, and the impact of environments on happiness. Enjoy autonomy as you direct your own learning, culminating in a research study that allows you to delve deeper into the fascinating realm of happiness psychology.
Research and Professional Skills
This multi-faceted module equips you with the knowledge and skills essential for both academic and professional excellence. Not only will you enhance your understanding of research but also lays the groundwork for a successful Level 6 dissertation and a flourishing graduate career.
Building on your first-year knowledge, you'll further unravel the mysteries of human and non-human animal behaviour through a greater knowledge of the field of Biological Psychology. Topics range from the biological bases of behaviour to neuropsychology, genetics, and evolutionary psychology, offering a comprehensive and captivating exploration of this field.
Classic Paradigms in Cognitive Psychology
Elevate your understanding of cognition with this advanced module. Immerse yourself in a world of empirical studies and contemporary theoretical models, to further enhance your expertise into such concepts as perception, learning, memory, language, and thinking and gain insights that bridge theory and practical application.
Developmental Psychology in Childhood and Adolescence
Further expand your knowledge of the depth and relevance of Developmental Psychology in understanding children and adolescents. Improve your skills by focussing on research techniques specific to this sub-field and witness the real-world impact as you apply module content to policy and professional practice.
Explore the rich history, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies of personality and intelligence. Consider diverse approaches, from trait-based and humanistic to cognitive and biological, providing a comprehensive overview and enabling you to apply your insights to real-world case studies.
New and Critical Theories in Social Psychology
Extend your knowledge of Social Psychology through the consideration of ten areas for enhanced focus. These encompass aspects of both intergroup and interpersonal social functioning and provide basis from which to design and execute your own choice of mini research project.
Further Research Methods
Further master the skills of research design and execution. Elevate your statistical ability to interpret complex results, including multivariate analysis, effect size, and confidence intervals. Dive further into the world of qualitative analysis, grasping methods like grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), and conversational analysis.
This module will introduce you to the field of Environmental Psychology, exploring current and seiminal research in key areas of human-environment interrelationships. Topics may include:
The psychological significance of place; climate change denial and activism; psychologically informed architecture; media, politics and the environment.
Experimental Programming and Data Science
Further unlock the power of programming, as you’re introduced to Python and PsychoPy for designing experiments in Psychology and neuroscience. Develop practical skills in programming, data processing, and visualisation to gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Experimental Research in Cognitive Psychology
This module expands further on the study of Cognitive Psychology, allowing you to develop knowledge of how to carry out an empirical investigation and gain a critical understanding of the use of equipment to help answer important questions in the field.
Further Individual Differences
Extending on earlier Individual Differences modules, further advance your understanding of a range of specialist areas and corresponding statistical techniques. These sub-disciplines will provide you with a deep knowledge of how personality develops and manifests across the life span in a range of unique contexts.
Introduction to Forensic Psychology
This introductory module will allow you to apply previously learned psychological theory to understand criminal behaviour and associated psychological problems associated with offending. Sessions will also provide an insight into investigation processes used by the police, as well as the wider criminal justice system and the role of forensic psychologists and related employment pathways.
Social Psychology of Everyday Life
This optional module invites students with a passion for Social Psychology to apply their expertise to explore the frontiers of newly emerging theory in this field, to recognise its role in everyday phenomena, to make explicit the impact of others on our behaviour, as well as to consider its expansion to the applied field of Political Psychology.
States of Consciousness
In this module, you will explore psychologists' understanding of consciousness, with a particular focus on the biological and neuroscientific study of consciousness. You will explore questions such as; What is consciousness? What can changes to conscious states teach us? How can the study of consciousness contribute to the understanding of mental health? And could machines become conscious?
You will carry out a large-scale empirical research project on a topic of your choice. The range of skills you develop as you navigate the process of research design, applying for ethical approval, recruiting participants and carrying out your research, performing appropriate analysis, and writing up your work will be invaluable in any workplace.
Become Unstoppable: Professional Skills
This module will provide students with the skills required to be an effective professional. Students will reflect on their career aspirations, their own wellbeing and that of others within the workplace.
Optional modules - you will choose four from options including:
Atypical Child Development
This module explores what it’s like for children growing up with various conditions like autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, deafness, and developmental language disorder, and well as the impact on development of growing up in adverse environments such as poverty.
Brain and Behaviour
This module examines in detail the relationships between behaviour and the nervous system. You will explore these relationships through the consideration of key topics in the field of neuroscience including learning, psychopharmacology, brain damage, aphasia/alexia, organic brain disorder, and mental health.
Child Language Development
This module will develop your knowledge of how children learn language, from sounds, words and grammar, to the complexities of human communication. You will explore data from real children to increase your understanding and test out the theories discussed in class.
Develops your understanding of the relevance of psychology to education and provides opportunities to apply psychological theory and principles in the field of education and professional practice.
Effective and Affective Thinking and Processing
During this module, you will learn to apply theories and methodologies from cognitive psychology to real-world behaviour. You will explore the influence of emotional processing on human cognition and performance and reflect on the optimal conditions for thinking and decision-making.
An applied module which will introduce you to offender profiling, lie detection techniques and psychological theories of criminal behaviour; guest speakers have included a serving chief investigating officer, a forensic psychologist and a probation officer.
This module explores the effects that exposure to media has on people, as well as how people process information from media. It looks at advertisement, persuasion, news journalism, social media and internet use, including the use of metaphors in the media. It also covers conversation analysis and discursive psychology.
A practitioner based module which will provide you with a tour of relevant theories and topics (including stress, selection techniques and change at work), as well as an assessment opportunity to apply these in real-world settings, including your own experience in the workplace.
Psychology of Ageing
Explore positive models of ageing and lifespan development in the 21st Century including: identity, physical and mental health, and the psycho-social implications of ageing.
Psychology of Global Issues in the 21st Century
A new module which considers the role of psychology in a global context. You will have the opportunity to use your psychological knowledge to explore the issues of the day.
Psychology and Health
This module aims to introduce you to the concepts, theory, methods and applications of health psychology. It is concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness, their treatment and management as well as what it is that keeps people healthy and well.
The Psychology of Extreme Violence
The psychology of serial homicide, mass shooting, and terrorism. The module also explores the neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass shooters, the pathway to intended violence in such extreme cases of violence and the neuropsychodynamics of individuals who commit serial homicide and single homicide.
The Psychology of Mental Health
You will explore conceptualisations of mental health, explanations of mental health, legal and social ramifications of mental ill health, the range of conditions treated within psychiatry, and therapeutic modalities and agencies. You will also think about the language used in the field, such as the shift from talking about ‘abnormal psychology’ to less stigmatising terms, and also the linguistic origins of the terms used to describe mental health conditions.
You have the opportunity to undertake a work placement where you will be able to put what you've learnt into practice.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be Doing?
Throughout your course, you’ll be supported by expert and award-winning staff, including authors of books and papers in a range of specialisms, some of whom have appeared on national television and radio and have been nominated for University of Salford teaching awards.
The psychology team are research active and have been recognised at both national and international levels and for work on driving, media, child development, addictions, clinical and health psychology, occupational stress, emotional intelligence and terrorism. We aim to engage with students in a variety of ways, including through the use of new technologies, including the SalfordPsych blog and Twitter account. The team are proud of the quality of psychology courses we deliver and are committed to providing stimulating and rewarding opportunities to study psychology – either as a single discipline or in combination with counselling or criminology.
Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose to study, you can expect:
- Exams 25%
- Research report 25%
- Essays 25%
The remaining 25% will be split between:
- Practical reports
- Group work
We provide a comfortable and friendly environment for you to carry out a wide range of psychological testing. These include:
- The eye tracker laboratory uses the Tobii x50 eye tracker to monitor conscious and unconscious gaze movements
- An observation suite with a two-way mirror
- A video game analysis laboratory where you can analyse the psychological and physiological effects of violent video games
- A dedicated computer suite that allows access to a range of psychological programs such as ERTSLab and E-Prime
Click to find out more about our Psychology Laboratory.
School of Health and Society
The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.
Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.
What about after uni?
How do I become a qualified psychologist?
All practising psychologists must have postgraduate qualifications which means there isn’t a fast track route to a career in psychology. To become a chartered psychologist, you need to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership by completing a BPS accredited degree. You can then look at further training in your specific field of interest. An undergraduate degree in psychology is typically the first step on the ladder for those wanting to become a psychologist. It generally takes around six years to become fully qualified, usually including a full three-year degree and three years of postgraduate training.
Further study (generally 1 - 2 years) will also be required for areas such as teaching, HR and counselling.
You can find more information about careers in psychology on the BPS website.
Our graduates have taken a range of jobs within a variety of fields. Some graduates have gained employment as an assistant psychologist, a mental health support worker or within drug and alcohol services or have gone on to pursue a career as a chartered psychologist. Alternatively, you may take a role in advertising, marketing or retail. Whatever direction you choose, the key skills within this degree ensure that you will be both accomplished and imaginative in your career.
- MSc Applied Psychology (Addictions)
- MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies)
- MSc Psychology of Coercive Control
- MA Social Work
- MSc Media Psychology
The British Psychological Society (BPS) accredits this course – if you achieve a lower second class degree or above, Graduate Basis for Registration is awarded. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.
What you need to know
Your application should demonstrate a good understanding of the discipline of psychology. You will have strong written skills and an aptitude for research, together with a desire to explore all areas of psychology and enthusiasm to discover more about the range of human behaviours.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.
GCSE English and maths at grade C/grade 4 or above, equivalents accepted.
UCAS tariff points
If applying to start from September 2024, you will need 112-120 UCAS points.
BTEC National Diploma
If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit
60% pass mark
112 points BBBCC
Irish Leaving Certificate
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from those who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
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You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
Explore our International Scholarships.