Psychology is the study of people: how they think, act, react and interact. Psychologists scientifically study all kinds of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying behaviour. Psychology examines questions such as: how do people act on a first date? How can we ease the effects of parental divorce on children? How can we make teams work efficiently? How can we help people to overcome depression or phobias?
Watch the School video to find out what it's like to be a Kent Psychology student.
By collecting information about what people do, think, perceive and feel, psychologists answer questions about human behaviour, cognition and development. This programme offers the full scope of a psychology degree but with an additional focus on Forensic Psychology.
Forensic Psychology applies psychological theory to understanding criminal behaviour, reducing offending, and understanding victim responses to offending behaviour. It also examines how psychology plays a role in the criminal justice system more generally.
On this programme, in addition to your focus on forensic psychology, you gain a broad background in practical applications, experimental and other methodologies, information technology and theory construction. At Stage 3, you are also able to choose optional modules that allow you to follow specialist interests. All your work will help you to demonstrate transferable skills valued by employers.
Think Kent video series
Sexual offending is a topic that many people simply don’t want to think about. Perhaps due to this, many people hold myths about sexual offending. One common myth is that child molesters are always paedophiles. In this video Dr Caoilte Ó Ciardha examines different approaches that can measure age appropriate-sexual interests in male participants. He discusses these approaches and their potential in the measurement and understanding of paedophilic sexual interest.
Psychology at Kent was ranked 12th in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 93% of Psychology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
For graduate prospects, Psychology at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Kent was 4th in the UK for the percentage of Psychology students who found professional jobs after graduation in 2015 (DLHE).
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
Psychology with Forensic Psychology is a three-year programme.
In Stage 1 you take four compulsory modules: SP300 Psychology Statistics and Practical; SP301 Introduction to Biological and General Psychology, SP302 Introduction to Social and Developmental Psychology, and
In Stage 2 you take seven compulsory modules in Psychology and keep a Forensic Psychology Reflective Log (Stage 2).
In Stage 3 you take three compulsory modules: SP633 Applying Psychology, SP637 Forensic Psychology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, and SP581 the Project in Legal, Criminological or Forensic Psychology. You also keep a Forensic Psychology Reflective Log (Stage 3) and take three optional psychology modules, allowing you to follow specialist interests and benefit from staff research expertise.
|Modules may include||Credits|
SP300 - Psychology Statistics and Practical
This module consists of statistics and research methods lectures and workshops, as well as laboratory demonstrations. Assessment is by structured coursework, research report writing, statistics exercises, multiple choice and essay examinations. Meetings take place three times per week (consisting of combinations of lectures, workshops or laboratory demonstrations).Read more
SP301 - Introduction to Biological and General Psychology
Psychology is an increasingly popular discipline, possibly because of its relevance to the problems of everyday life. It is also a scientific discipline and draws on other areas of scientific investigation for its concepts and ideas, including Biology, Linguistics, Computer Science and Philosophy. The general aim of this module is to introduce students to the scientific study of behaviour, covering the basic approaches to the subject, including the Biological approach, the Cognitive approach, Behaviourism and Ethology, the Development perspective and related philosophical ideas. Rather than teach these topics in separate blocks, the module is organised so as to emphasise how the theoretical frameworks underlying these approaches relate and contrast. The module also shows how psychological theories and ideas can be used to account for both everyday and abnormal human behaviour.Read more
SP302 - Introduction to Social and Developmental Psychology
This module, along with other Stage 1 psychology modules, provides a foundation for Stages 2 and 3. It will provide students with an introduction to the methods, techniques and issues involved in the study of social psychology. The emphasis of the module is on theory as the foundation of an empirical discipline and the importance of scientific methodology. It highlights the interplay between theory, research, and application in social psychology. Focus is placed on core theories and research in social psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, and applied psychology. The module is taught through lectures and skills workshops.Read more
SP306 - Introduction to Forensic Psychology
This module will introduce students to key topics in Forensic Psychology including theories of offending, the development of offending, the rehabilitation of offenders, the criminal justice system, criminal statistics, policing, and the public's response to crime. In particular, this module will focus on (1) fundamental applications of psychology, as a science, for understanding important forensic issues, and (2) key research methods common in forensic psychological research. Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to apply contemporary psychological concepts and methods to understand the important forensic psychological issues outlined.Read more
|Modules may include||Credits|
SP644 - Forensic Psychology Reflective Log (Stage 2)
Students will attend up to 4 talks specifically relating to careers in Forensic Psychology (e.g. a forensic psychologist from the prison service, a forensic psychologist from a mental health setting, an academic, and someone from the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology). They will be required to keep a log book, starting in Stage 2 where they record non-assessed activities relating to the forensic component of the BSc (guest lectures, research experience, etc.). This allows the students to have a record of activities for their CV, contributes to employability, and gives practice for similar requirements at MSc level or in pursuing BPS Stage 2 of professional training in Forensic PsychologyRead more
SP500 - Psychology Statistics and Practical
The broad aims of the module are: (a) to provide a continued training in methodological skills appropriate to psychological investigation; (b) to provide advanced training in statistical techniques of the analysis of psychological data; (c) to provide training in computing skills for conducting analysis of psychological data; and (d) to provide direct experience of some of the phenomena encountered in other Stage 2/3 psychology modules. The practical component of the module consists of a structured programme of laboratory classes and non-laboratory sessions during which students work in small supervised groups designing and carrying out four research projects related to themes encountered in the departments other Stage 2/3 modules. A programme of statistics lectures and computing workshops is closely linked to the practical classes. Computerbased statistical analysis is illustrated using SPSS, a general-purpose statistical package.Read more
SP528 - Child Development
The focus of this module is on understanding how children develop, with particular emphasis on the historical background of this part of the discipline, and the key theories, explanations and research conducted within developmental psychology. Certainly, it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that for all of us, the period of our lives we go through described as childhood has a significant influence on who we become as adults. Understanding something of the processes we all appear to go through is a central part of any psychology degree, and by the end of this module you should be in a much better position to understand the significance of child development for human psychology. As the course progresses we will move from issues germane to early infancy, then through early childhood and the associated social, cognitive and emotional changes the child experiences during that period, and then a detailed look at adolescence. An additional major component of the course examines how children acquire language and learn how to talk - possibly the most significant development of all.Read more
SP529 - Personality
The personality module examines different perspectives on the study of personality from Allport to the present day. The aim is to provide the student with a comparative and critical review of the major theories in personality and the research and findings that stem from them. Teaching will be by lectures and seminars.Read more
SP604 - Biological Psychology
This module focuses on the study of the biological bases of human behaviour, relating actions and experiences to genetics and physiology. The study of brain functioning is central to this module. It will address questions such as: How do genes, drugs and hormones influence behaviour? Why do we sleep? What causes behaviour? How are memories stored in the brain? What is the role of bodily reactions in emotion? Is schizophrenia a disorder of the brain? In addition, the module will also focus on the methods that are used to answer these questions, such as the recording of physiological signals, brain-imaging techniques, and the study of braindamaged patients.Read more
SP605 - Cognitive Psychology
The module gives students grounding in methods, techniques and issues of cognitive psychology and allied disciplines. Focusing on vision, memory, higher-levels of cognition concerned with language and cognitive control, and methodology, the module examines how cognitive processes are instantiated in mind and brain. It also provides an historical overview of the schools of thought that led to the inception of cognitive psychology as a distinct, academic discipline.Read more
SP619 - The Social Psychology of Groups
This module introduces you to the major orientations and discoveries in the social psychology of group processes. The material covers both behaviour within groups (e.g. group structure, social influence, leadership, and group performance) and behaviour between groups (e.g. intergroup conflict and cooperation, social categorisation and social identity, prejudice and its reduction). Basic mechanisms in groups that occupy the same position in the social structure in terms of power, status, and group size, as well as mechanisms that characterize asymmetric groups will be analysed. There is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory being examined by systematic empirical research. Teaching will be by lectures and seminars with additional practical demonstrations from time to time.Read more
SP620 - The Social Psychology of the Individual
This module introduces you to the major theories and research in the social psychology of interpersonal behaviour. The emphasis throughout is on social cognition, and three main areas will be considered: social cognition and the self, attitudes (including attitude-behaviour relations, attitude change and persuasion), and interpersonal relationships. There will be a strong emphasis on social psychological theory and systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings.Read more
|Modules may include||Credits|
SP633 - Applying Psychology
This module equips you with an understanding of what is meant by applied psychology, of the domains in which psychology can be applied (e.g., in business, education, law, health and the environment), and decision rules governing applied psychology such as the balance between the benefits of an intervention and the inherent cost and risks. It also introduces you to ethical, logistical, and methodological challenges in doing applied psychology and to the different theoretical perspectives underlying applied psychology derived from, for example, social, cognitive, evolutionary, developmental and forensic psychological theory.Read more
SP637 - Forensic Psychology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives
This module offers an in-depth examination of theory and application of forensic psychology to the criminal justice system. It examines: law development; types of offending e.g. street gangs and factors associated with becoming criminal; police and forensic profilers responses to offending; eyewitness credibility and the police interview process; the credibility of juries; sentence construction for offenders; the aims of punishment and prisoners responses to imprisonment; theories of rehabilitation and the implementation of the sex offender treatment programme. The module considers the role of forensic psychology in identifying and ameliorating offending behaviour. It presents and critically evaluates research and methodologies within forensic psychology. You will be encouraged to critique the literature and methodologies to further your understanding of the core forensic issues the course presents.Read more
SP639 - Psychoanalysis
This module provides you with a critical introduction to Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalytic psychology. It includes a critical evaluation of theory, method, and data in relation to fundamental concepts in psychoanalytic psychology (e.g. the unconscious, infantile sexuality). It also provides a critical introduction to Freudian and post-Freudian conceptualisations of specific clinical conditions (e.g. neurosis, depression, schizophrenia); of psychotherapy; and of social and cultural issues such as sexism and art.Read more
SP641 - Mental Health: Diagnosis, Interventions and Treatments
This module provides you with theoretical instruction and opportunities for critical evaluation in abnormal psychology. It examines the origins and identification of different forms of atypical cognitions and behaviours and investigates the psychological and social impact for patients. It covers some of the major mental health disorders, focusing primarily on what research has to say about their social/cognitive/biological bases and the implications they have for treatment. In addition, the module describes several methodological approaches and asks fundamental questions about the meaning of normality. The historical developments in this field are examined and current interventions and treatments feature highly in this module.Read more
SP643 - Psychology of Music
This module introduces you to a range of areas in the interface between psychology and music, including psychoacoustics and auditory perception, the development of musicality, the cognitive neuroscience of music and the relationship between music and emotion. The primary aim will be to describe and explain the different theoretical approaches and research methodologies employed in psychology and in music research. Consideration of the ways in which we perform, listen to, engage with and learn about music allows us to address key issues in the areas of language processing, creativity, problem solving and memory. In addition the course examines contexts where a psychological approach to music has practical applications, for example in health psychology and in the media. Amongst other things, this course will facilitate an understanding of how the field of the psychology of music builds upon, and connects with, knowledge of psychology more generally.Read more
SP636 - Evaluating Evidence: Becoming a Smart Research Consumer
The module systematically explores common logical and psychological barriers to understanding and critically analysing empirical research. Major topics considered include common fallacies of deductive and inductive reasoning, judgmental heuristics relevant to evaluating empirical research claims, essentials of a scientific method, misleading statistical and graphical techniques, establishing genuine associations, the role of inferential statistics for identifying illusory associations, essentials of causal inference, and threats to the validity of experimental and non-experimental research.Read more
SP608 - Motivation
This module gives you an opportunity to study the literature on universal motivation, inspired by a wide range of psychological perspectives (e.g., Evolutionary Psychology, Social Psychology, and Existential Experimental Psychology). You consider what universally motivates human cognition and behaviour, specifically: (a) universal human motivation, (b) evolution and biological perspectives, (c) threat management, (d) human mating strategies, (e) the body, (f) emotion, (g) the self, (h) death awareness, (i) meaning, and (j) religion and illusion. Moreover, you are introduced to methods and measures applied in the field of research on human motivation. Finally, applications of theory and findings on human motivation to applied settings (e.g., daily life) are discussed.Read more
SP611 - The Neuroscience of Cognitive Disorders
This module will build upon the cognitive theories and research methods explored in those modules taught at Stages 1 and 2. The central theme of the module will be to focus on distinct neuropsychological deficits acquired through stroke, such as hemi-spatial neglect, prosopagnosia, aphasia and amnesia. The idea will be to give students a grounding in how different strands of neuroscientific research - behavioural, cognitive, structural, physiological - have both advanced our understanding of neuropsychological disorders and informed on the design of relevant intervention strategies.Read more
SP612 - Attitudes and Social Cognition
This module is concerned with contemporary concepts, theories and findings in this broad area of social psychology and how they may be applied with benefits for individuals, groups and society. We will address the question how individuals form and maintain an understanding of themselves, other people, and the world they are living in. Drawing on cognitive principles, we will study the processes that underlie human judgments, behaviour, and decision making in real-life contexts. Students will have the opportunity to develop new research to address an unanswered research question.Read more
SP616 - Language and Communication
This module provides you with an opportunity to learn about the methods, techniques and issues involved in the study of language and communication. The emphasis is on theory as the foundation of an empirical discipline and the importance of scientific methodology. It highlights the interplay between theory, research and application in the study of language and communication, focusing on core theories and research in this area. Example topics may include animal vs. human communication, bilingualism, developmental language disorders, the development of inner speech and adult language processing.Read more
SP566 - Cognition in Action
This module tackles a variety of hot and/or critical topics in cognitive psychology, building upon the theories and research assimilated at Stages 1 and 2. The goal of the tutor or tutors, experts on their topics, is to bring you to a more advanced level, where you can start to evaluate pieces of research in terms of their findings, conceptual underpinnings and/or methodological choices. This year, the focus is on free will and metacognition, looking in particular at the extent to which we control, or feel we control, cognitive processes such as decision-making, attention, and memory. Practical applications and relevance to a general understanding of behaviour are emphasised throughout.Read more
SP580 - Advanced Developmental Psychology
This module will give you the opportunity to critically review recent research into key topics within advanced developmental psychology. Examples include social development, the development of prejudice, children as witnesses, the development of mindreading and learning from others. Through such an examination you will be in a good position to understand the questions, issues and controversies that are at the forefront of research in developmental psychology.Read more
SP601 - Understanding People with Learning Disabilities
This module provides an introduction to important issues in learning disabilities and can be taken either as a stand-alone module or as a pre-requisite to SP602 Researching People with Learning Disabilities. It examines definitions and attitudes to people with, for example, Autism and Downs Syndrome. It explores a number of particular difficulties that people with learning disabilities experience, including communicating and establishing social and sexual relationships, and some of the resultant problems, such as sexual abuse and challenging behaviour. Finally, the most recent social policy initiatives are considered with a focus on how services might implement policy objectives (such as social inclusion and adult protection).Read more
SP602 - Researching People with Learning Disabilities
If you are considering a career working with people, this module offers a great opportunity to have direct and personal contact with service users in a supportive context. It involves you in a project based on interviews with people with learning disabilities. There are teaching sessions on research, interview construction, recording and analysis. Practical work involves visiting a person with learning disabilities at their place of work and conducting a recorded interview with due regard to ethical and consent issues. A series of clinics designed to assist you in analysis, interpretation and presentation of the project work will follow.Read more
Teaching and assessment
Modules are taught by weekly lectures, workshops, small group seminars and project supervision. The Psychology Statistics and Practical modules include laboratory practical sessions, statistics classes, computing classes and lectures in statistics and methodology.
Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks and, where appropriate, the marks for your year abroad or placement count towards your final degree result.
The programme aims to:
- attract and meet the needs of those contemplating a career in the psychological professions, as well as those motivated by an intellectual interest in psychology, and forensic psychology
- attract candidates from a variety of educational backgrounds
- provide an understanding of the principal perspectives (for example, social, cognitive, developmental and biological) in psychology with emphasis on forensic psychology
- introduce students to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches
- cover the foundations of psychology, as defined by the British Psychological Society and the QAA Subject Benchmark
- enable students to study chosen areas of psychology in depth, including forensic psychology
- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and engages with work at the frontiers of knowledge
- enable students to manage their own learning and carry out independent research
- develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied within non-applied psychological and extra-psychological settings
- develop skills appropriate for graduate employment, both in the psychology professions and other fields.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- psychology statistics, practical experimentation and research
- cognitive and social development
- how interpersonal and group behaviour affects individuals
- how cognition and cognitive neuropsychology plays a role in human behaviour and experience
- personality and individual differences, and the impact they have on individuals and groups
- philosophical and theoretical issues in psychology
- the relationship between psychology and allied disciplines
- different frameworks in psychology, and an ability to demonstrate different levels of description and explanation
- scope of forensic psychology including relationships between the criminal justice system and the field of psychology.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- critical reflection
- oral discussion
- written analysis and interpretation
- critical evaluation and exposition of ideas
- development of writing and reading skills
- personal planning and project management skills
- self-reflection and development, responding to feedback from different sources (for example staff and peers, information technology)
- clarity in thinking, critical thinking, problem identification.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- conducting an empirical study, under supervision
- the design and conduct of psychological research
- evaluating and selecting frameworks and methodologies for exploring issues in psychology
- using the major analytic techniques employed by psychologists
- using the inferential method of science (deductive methods, single case methods, semiotics)
- reasoning statistically, and using a range of statistical methods with confidence
- the use of psychology-oriented software applications (for example, database programmes, experiment generators, statistical packages)
- disseminating psychological information to appropriate bodies.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication – how to organise information clearly; respond to written sources; present information orally; adapt style for different audiences; use images as a communication tool
- numeracy – how to make sense of statistical materials; integrate numerical and non-numerical information; understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information
- information technology – how to produce written documents; undertake online research; communicate using email; process information using databases
- working with others – how to define and review the work of others; work co-operatively on group tasks and projects; understand how groups function
- improving own learning – how to explore personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; review your working environment (especially the student-staff relationship); develop specialist learning skills (for example by taking a foreign language); develop autonomy in learning
- problem solving – how to identify and define problems; explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
Our graduates have gone on to work in:
- government administration
- social welfare
- the Home Office
- the probation service
- special needs work
- NHS and health charities
- social work
- public relations
Many continue their studies at postgraduate level to qualify as a:
- clinical psychologist
- educational psychologist
- forensic psychologist
- occupational psychologist.
Help finding a job
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
The School of Psychology has valuable links with educational establishments, hospitals and prisons in the area, offering you the possibility of both visits and work placements. We also offer a Research Experience Scheme that gives you a taste of working within a research environment.
Studying for a degree is not just about mastering your subject area. Employers also look for a range of key transferable skills, which you develop as part of your degree.
- computing skills
- writing and presentation skills
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- the ability to respond to challenges.
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
The programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (provided you graduate with at least second class honours and pass your final-year research project).
This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist, which is important if you want to work within the NHS or a local education authority.
For graduate prospects, Psychology at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Kent was 4th in the UK for the percentage of Psychology students who found professional jobs after graduation in 2015 (DLHE).
According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £18,000.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
AAA excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking
Mathematics grade C
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 17 points at HL with Mathematics 4 at HL or SL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.