Business Psychology with a Placement Year - BSc (Hons)

Overview

Psychology is the study of people – what they do, think, perceive and feel. It helps us to answer many important questions about society by applying scientific principles to human behaviour. Our Business Psychology degree applies psychological theories, methods and processes to the study of individual and group behaviour in the workplace. 

Kent is a leading centre for social psychology – the study of human behaviour in a social environment – and we also have strengths in cognitive, forensic and developmental psychology. Passionate about research, our academics are world-leading experts and can inspire you to develop your own ideas and become an independent thinker.

The lecturers have a friendly approach to teaching and you get a high level of academic support via lectures, seminars and one-to-one feedback.

Our degree programme

Business Psychology with a Placement Year is a four-year programme, you spend a year in practice between your second and final years. Our programme is accredited by The Association for Business Psychology

In the first year you gain an excellent understanding of psychology, laying a strong foundation for the advanced material covered later. Subjects covered include statistics in psychology, biological and general psychology, social psychology and business psychology.

Your second year of study builds on the knowledge gained in the first year. Modules cover the study of personality, social psychology of groups and the individual, personal and professional development, and the development of leadership skills.

In your final year, you design and carry out an extended individual project under the supervision of a member of staff. You must pass the project element to obtain an honours degree.

Year of professional experience

On this programme you spend a year on placement (subject to availability of placements and achieving an average mark of 60% at Stage 1). Alternatively, you can take our three-year Business Psychology degree.

Study resources

The School of Psychology is in a modern building with state-of-the-art teaching facilities and two computer rooms. Our specialised equipment includes:

  • eye-tracker technology
  • electroencephalography (EEG) equipment for monitoring brain function
  • brain stimulation laboratories
  • physiology laboratories
  • child-friendly testing spaces
  • a virtual reality laboratory
  • group dynamics laboratories
  • observation suites.

Extra activities

The Psychology Society is run by Kent students. Previous activities include talks by guest speakers and the chance for students to publish work in the Student Journal of Psychology.

The School of Psychology also puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. These may include:

  • research seminars led by leading psychologists
  • professional development workshops
  • informal staff presentations followed by open discussion.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    AAB excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking

  • Certificate

    GCSE

    Mathematics grade C or 4

  • Certificate

    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.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Distnction

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points or 17 points at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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. 

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

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.

Business Psychology with a Placement Year is a four year programme. 

Stage 1

You take all compulsory modules and then choose one elective module from across the University which can be related or unrelated to business psychology ie languages, politics or forensic psychology. 

Compulsory modules currently include

SP300 is concerned with methodology in psychology, with statistics in psychology, and how they interact. In the lectures, relevant topics in methodology and statistics are introduced over the course of the year (examples are design considerations, counterbalancing, sample versus population, descriptive statistics, histograms, summary statistics, hypothesis testing). There are a number of dedicated lectures looking at how the psychological literature reflects the methodological and statistical issues that have been addressed in the lectures, and how researchers have balanced the requirements of methods, statistics and theory-driven investigation

Find out more about SP300

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.

Find out more about SP301

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.

Find out more about SP302

This module will introduce students to key topics about Psychology in the workplace such as leadership, corporate crime, and workplace motivation – there will be a focus on the application of psychology to real business issues and questions, and lectures will focus on expertise within the School of Psychology at Kent. In particular, this module will focus on (1) fundamental applications of psychology, as a science, for understanding important business, work, and organisational issues, and (2) key research methods common in work and organisation psychological research. Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to apply contemporary psychological concepts and methods to understand the application of psychology to core work and organisational issues.

Find out more about SP311

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

You take six compulsory modules with the possible addition of new modules (to be approved) Topics in Business Psychology, Business Psychology: Personal and Professional Development. You also choose one optional module. 

Compulsory modules currently include

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 co-operation, social categorisation and social identity, and prejudice and its reduction). We analyse the 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. There is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory being examined by systematic empirical research. Teaching is by lectures and seminars with additional practical demonstrations from time to time.

Find out more about SP619

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 is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory and systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings.

Find out more about SP620

This module will research the changing world of work and work options, for example paid, self-employed, portfolio, part time and gift work-against the context of such challenges as the financial/banking crisis, global warming, the neo-liberal economic model and the alternatives.

Find out more about SP649

This module examines behaviour, performance, and health and well-being of individuals in work and organisational situations. Teaching focuses, with varying emphasis, on the areas of psychological assessment, work design and organisational change, health and well-being, and positive and negative aspects of performance. Overall the aim is of the module is to provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of core topics in business psychology.

Find out more about SP650

Students will attend up to four talks/workshops specifically relating to careers in Business Psychology (e.g. talks by consultant psychologists; recruitment agents). They will also participate in the Academic Peer Mentoring scheme as mentees. They will be required to keep a log book of all personal and professional development activities. This reflective practice enhances students' development, provides a record of activities for their CV, and contributes to employability.

Find out more about SP651

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 department’s other Stage 2/3 modules. A programme of statistics lectures and computing workshops is closely linked to the practical classes. Computer–based statistical analysis is illustrated using SPSS, a general-purpose statistical package.

Find out more about SP500

The module provides a comprehensive overview of the main theories in personality and differential psychology and introduces a number of key topics in research on personality and individual differences. We will consider what personality is, why it differs between people, and what the impact is of personality on life outcomes. The module introduces the basic principles of the scientific study of personality and the major dimensions of personality variation. We examine personality change and stability, the biological bases, and genetic and environmental influences. We will also focus on other important individual differences such as mental abilities (intelligence), political attitudes, religious beliefs and sexuality.

Find out more about SP529

The Research Participation Scheme (RPS) enables students commencing their training in Psychology to gain experience with academic research through participation in studies conducted by staff and other students who are more advanced in their studies (i.e., Final Year, MSc, PhD). Students enrolled in the RPS accumulate credits that correspond to the time spent participating in studies. All studies offered via the RPS have received independent ethical approval and comply with the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics.

Find out more about SP588

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year in industry

You undertake a placement within an organisation. Your work is jointly supervised by an academic supervisor in the School of Psychology and a placement supervisor.

Compulsory modules currently include

In this year you undertake a placement within an organisation that delivers a form of psychological or related service, such as the Health Service, Home Office, Education Department or Speech and Language Therapy Services. You may also undertake a research placement, so long as the work is clearly relevant to psychology. During this time your work will be under the joint supervision of an academic member of staff and a supervisor within the placement setting. The placement is typically 30 weeks in duration, and starts in September at the latest. While on placement you submit monthly blog entries and/or keep a diary where you reflect on your experiences on the placement. Under the supervision of the placement supervisor and the Kent academic tutor, you also complete a research project (including either empirical work or an extensive literature review to summarise how the latest psychology research can inform practice in the placement environment). You are typically on placement four days a week, and the fifth day is dedicated to completing coursework (reflective diary and project). You also attend regular 'Back to Kent' days, when you return to the University and meet with one other placement students and the Placement Year Co-ordinator to discuss your experiences.

Find out more about SP617

In this year you undertake a placement within an organisation that delivers a form of psychological or related service, such as the Health Service, Home Office, Education Department or Speech and Language Therapy Services. You may also undertake a research placement, so long as the work is clearly relevant to psychology. During this time your work will be under the joint supervision of an academic member of staff and a supervisor within the placement setting. The placement is typically 30 weeks in duration, and starts in September at the latest. While on placement you submit monthly blog entries and/or keep a diary where you reflect on your experiences on the placement. Under the supervision of the placement supervisor and the Kent academic tutor, you also complete a research project (including either empirical work or an extensive literature review to summarise how the latest psychology research can inform practice in the placement environment). You are typically on placement four days a week, and the fifth day is dedicated to completing coursework (reflective diary and project). You also attend regular 'Back to Kent' days, when you return to the University and meet with one other placement students and the Placement Year Co-ordinator to discuss your experiences.

Find out more about SP618

Stage 3

You take five compulsory modules with the possible addition of new modules (to be approved) Business Psychology in Practice and Business Psychology Project. You also take one optional module from within the School of Psychology.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module offers an exciting opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge research into groups.

You will understand and apply group research to social policy, business, politics, marketing, etc. and get the chance to consider current affairs and personal experiences with the opportunity for small group discussions and team work. Example topics: group decision making, leadership, organisational identity, improving co-operation in groups.

Find out more about SP603

This module complements the focus of the BSc degree on basic (fundamental) psychological research by providing training in applied psychology. It 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, health, and the law), and decision rules governing applied psychology such as the balance between the cost and risks inherent in an intervention and its benefits. It introduces you to ethical, logistical, and methodological challenges in applied psychology. You also learn about the history and philosophy of applied psychology, for example contrasting humanistic and behaviourist approaches to intervention, and a consideration of the role of socially constructed 'value' in the application of science (for example, how prejudices against homosexuality as a 'problem' warranting psychological intervention have waxed and waned according to prevailing social values).

Find out more about SP633

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.

Find out more about SP636

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £9250
  • International full-time £19800

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.

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.

Fees for Year in Industry

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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. 

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.

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 count towards your final degree result. Our assessment methods are varied and will include, but are not limited to, examinations, written assignments and essays, group work and oral presentations

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The  programme aims to:

  • provide a programme that will attract and meet the needs of both those contemplating a career in business psychology and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in psychology. 
  • contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of principal approaches and perspectives in psychology, with emphasis on improving working life.
  • develop a critical awareness and appraisal of the different approaches to psychology and related disciplines, and to introduce students to a range of different theoretical and methodological perspectives.
  • offer a range of modules covering foundations of psychology, as well as specialised modules in business psychology.
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and practice, and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • enable students to manage their own learning and to carry out independent research, including research into areas of psychology they have not previously studied.
  • develop general critical, analytical and problem solving skills which are applicable in a wide range of different applied and non-applied psychological and extra-psychological settings.
  • provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in the psychology professions and other fields.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

  • psychology statistics, practical experimentation and research from a theoretical and practical application.
  • how interpersonal and group behaviour affects individuals.
  • how cognition and biological processes play a role in human behaviour and experience.
  • personality and individual differences, and the impact they have on individuals and groups.
  • the historical, philosophical and theoretical issues in psychology.
  • the relationship between psychology and allied disciplines.
  • the different frameworks in psychology, and an ability to demonstrate different levels of description and explanation.
  • theory and practice of Business Psychology as applied to individuals, groups, and organisations.

Intellectual skills

You will develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • be able to undertake critical reflection on particular issues in the field of psychology
  • communicate ideas and research findings effectively and fluently by oral discussion including in groups
  • demonstrate findings by means of written analysis and interpretation
  • be able to make critical evaluation and exposition of ideas
  • demonstrate development of writing and reading skills
  • use effective personal planning and project management skills
  • demonstrate self-reflection and development from feedback from different sources (e.g., staff and peers, information technology)
  • demonstrate clarity in thinking, critical thinking and problem identification.

Subject-specific skills

You will gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • completion of an empirical study in an area of business psychology, under supervision
  • demonstrate expertise in the design and conduct of empirical research
  • evaluating and selecting appropriate frameworks and methodologies for exploring issues in business psychology
  • awareness of ethical principles and approval procedures and being able to apply these to   work undertaken by business psychologists
  • use of the major analytic techniques employed by business psychologists
  • demonstrate competence in use of inferential method of science (deductive methods, single case methods, semiotics)
  • reason statistically, and use a range of statistical methods with confidence
  • demonstrate competence in the use of psychology-oriented software applications (e.g., database programmes, experiment generators, statistical packages)
  • an ability to disseminate psychological information to appropriate bodies, and use of psychological knowledge to enhance this process.

Transferable skills

You will gain transferable skills in the following:

  • Communication: organise information clearly; respond to written sources; present information orally; adapt style for different audiences; use of images as a communication tool
  • Numeracy: make sense of statistical materials; integrate numerical and non-numerical information; understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information
  • Information Technology: produce written documents; undertake online research; communicate using e?mail; process information using databases
  • Working with others: define and review the work of others; work co-operatively on group tasks, assignments, and projects; understand how groups function; show leadership and followership
  • Improving own learning: explore personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; develop resilience; review working environment (especially student-staff relationship); develop specialist learning skills (e.g. foreign languages); develop autonomy in learning
  • Problem solving: identify and define problems; show entrepreneurship; explore alternative   solutions and discriminate between them.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

Independent rankings

Psychology at Kent scored 93% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

In The Guardian University Guide 2020, over 87% of final-year Psychology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Of Psychology graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 97% were in professional work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • government administration
  • social welfare
  • the Home Office
  • the probation service
  • teaching
  • special needs work
  • NHS and health charities
  • social work
  • public relations
  • marketing
  • publishing.

Many continue their studies at postgraduate level to qualify as a:

  • clinical psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • forensic psychologist
  • neuropsychologist
  • 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.

Work experience

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.

Career-enhancing skills

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.

These include:

  • 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.

Apply for Business Psychology with a Placement Year - BSc (Hons)

Full-time study through Clearing

The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer and are already in UCAS, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code C817
  • Institution ID K24
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