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Guide to studying Psychology

A Psychology degree can make you highly employable. Studying this subject can lead to a career in law, social work, teaching, business and much more.

Woman talking while a psychologist takes notes

CONTENTS

  1. What's Psychology?

  2. Why study Psychology?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Psychology graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Psychology?

Psychology is the study of the mind. It's an applied science that seeks to understand individuals and groups through general principles, using case studies to diagnose issues.

A professional practitioner of psychology is called a psychologist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of a person's mental functions in their individual behaviour and how they behave in a social environment.

Why study Psychology?

Psychology allows you to understand the principles of what makes people tick. Reliant on scientific methods, the statistics involved are tricky to understand but worth it in the long run.

You'll be taught to think critically. A significant number of methods taught are focused on this outcome, and it's a superb skill to have for your future career.

Read our six reasons to study Psychology for more information on why you might choose this subject area.

Psychologist conducting Rorschach test

What jobs can you get as a Psychology graduate?

Psychology degrees teach you transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as a good level of interpersonal understanding, and writing and listening skills.

Particular job roles, as well as psychologist, include counsellor, teacher and lecturer, forensic psychologist, and working in sport and exercise, advertising, careers advice, HR, and market research.

Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, including Think Ahead.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Psychology have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Psychology students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need?

You'll usually need an A Level in one of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology or Statistics.

Different universities and courses will ask for a variety of grades and other entry requirements. These are subject to change. Ensure you confirm with your chosen institutions what their requirements are.

What degrees can you study?

  • BA Psychology and Philosophy
  • BA Psychology and Theological Studies
  • BA Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science
  • BA Psychology and Management

How will you be assessed?

Courses are assessed via a variety of ways. Your degree could be measured through lectures, workshops and laboratory practicals, as well as traditional exams, essays, projects and presentations.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include straight MAs in Psychology, as well as master's courses in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, Addiction Counselling, Adolescent Psychology, Advanced Cognitive Therapy and Sport Psychology.

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