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.
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.
Our Psychology degree offers a high level of professional skills and can be the first step to becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
Our degree programme
Our modules cover a wide range of topics such as child development, language, mental health, motivation, and forensic psychology. By drawing on aspects of biology, computing and philosophy, you gain a broad scientific and analytical background. You can also gain direct experience of research through the:
- Research Participation Scheme (where you take part in a project as a participant)
- Research Experience Scheme (where you gain hands-on experience of working on a project and a reference at the end)
- Work Experience Scheme (where you volunteer with a local organisation – such as a school, college, prison or hospital – and collaborate on a project).
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.
Psychology student Jemima talks about her course.
Year of professional experience
You have the option to take this programme with a year of professional experience. For more details, see Psychology with a Placement Year.
If you’d like to spend a year studying or working in Europe as part of your degree, see Psychology with Studies in Europe.
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.
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.
In The Guardian University Guide 2020, over 87% of final-year Psychology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
In the National Student Survey 2019, over 89% of final-year Psychology students who completed the survey, 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).
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.
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.
You take all compulsory modules and then choose two elective modules from across the University. The School of Psychology offers two elective modules: SP306 Introduction to Forensic Psychology and SP311 Business Psychology: An Introduction.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
SP300 - Psychology Statistics and Practical
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 investigationView full module details
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.View full module details
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.View full module details
You take all compulsory modules in Psychology. These modules, together with the final-year project, are required for professional recognition by the British Psychological Society.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
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 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.View full module details
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.View full module details
SP529 - Personality
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.View full module details
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 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 brain-damaged patients.View full module details
SP605 - Cognitive Psychology
The module gives a 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, it 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.View full module details
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 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.View full module details
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 is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory and systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings.View full module details
You take all compulsory modules and then choose four from a list of optional modules, allowing you to follow specialist interests and benefit from staff research expertise.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
SP633 - Applying Psychology
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).View full module details
SP582 - Psychology Project
All students are required to carry out a piece of psychological research on a specific topic, and to then present it as a report that adheres to the conventions of academic Psychology.View full module details
|Optional modules may include||Credits|
SP603 - Groups In Action
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.View full module details
SP608 - Evolution & Universal 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) general theories of human motivation, (b) evolution and biological perspectives, (c) The self and self-regulation, (d) human mating strategies, (e) relationships, (f) threat management, (g) emotion, (h) religion and illusion, (i) the modern unconscious, (j) curiosity. You will learn about methods and measures applied in the field of research on human motivation, and applications of theory and findings on human motivation to applied settings (e.g., daily life) will be discussed.View full module details
SP611 - The Neuroscience of Cognitive Disorders
This module will builds upon the cognitive theories and research methods explored at stages 1 and 2. It focuses on several forms of neurological deficit, each of which affects a different domain of cognition. You learn about how different strands of neuroscientific research, relating to behaviour, cognition, anatomy, and physiology, have both advanced our understanding of human neuropsychology, and informed on the design of relevant intervention strategies.View full module details
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 of 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. You will have the opportunity to develop new research to address an unanswered research question.View full module details
SP616 - Language and Communication
This module offers 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 will highlight the interplay between theory, research and application in the study of language and communication, focusing on core theories and research.View full module details
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.View full module details
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.View full module details
SP637 - Forensic Psychology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives
This module offers an in-depth examination of the theoretical and applied aspects of forensic psychology. It examines the development of laws and the principles on which the judicial system is founded; street gangs and career criminals; police and forensic profilers' responses to offending; eyewitness credibility; the police interview process; the role of juries; sentencing; the aims of punishment and how prisoners respond to it; theories of rehabilitation, and the implementation of the sex offender treatment programme. Research and research methods in forensic psychology are presented and critically evaluated. You will be encouraged to critique the literature and methodologies to further your understanding of the core forensic issues the course presents.View full module details
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 the application of these concepts to specific clinical conditions (e.g. neurosis, depression, autism, schizophrenia); to adult and child psychotherapy; and more generally to society (including social and cultural issues such as politics and art).View full module details
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.View full module details
SP643 - Psychology and Music
This module introduces you to a wide range of areas in the field of the psychology of 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 of the module will be to describe and explain the different theoretical approaches and research methodologies employed in the psychology of music in order to understand this most interesting aspect of human experience. 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, brain function, creativity, problem solving and memory. In addition, this module will example contexts where the psychology of music has practical applications, for example in health psychology and in the media. You will be introduced to a number of different perspectives, including neurocognitive, developmental and social psychological aspects of music. The module will facilitate an understanding of how the field of the psychology of music builds on and connects with your background knowledge of general psychology.View full module details
SP601 - Understanding People with Learning Disabilities
This module provides an introduction to important issues in learning disabilities. We examine definitions and attitudes to people with for example, Down's Syndrome. We explore a number of particular difficulties that people with learning disabilities experience, including communicating, establishing social and sexual relationships, and some of the resultant problems, such as sexual abuse and challenging behaviour. Finally, we consider the most recent social policy initiatives, with a focus on how services might implement policy objectives (such as social inclusion and adult protection).View full module details
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.View full module details
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
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.
The programme aims to:
- meet the needs of those contemplating a career in the psychological professions, as well as those motivated by an intellectual interest in psychology
- attract candidates from a variety of educational backgrounds
- provide an understanding of the principal perspective in psychology (for example, social, cognitive, and biological)
- introduce students to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches
- enable students to study chosen areas of psychology in depth
- cover the foundations of psychology to provide entry into the British Psychological Society
- 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
- interpersonal and group behaviour
- cognition and cognitive neuropsychology
- personality and individual differences
- philosophical and theoretical issues in psychology
- the relationship between psychology and allied disciplines
- different frameworks in psychology and levels of description and explanation.
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
- time management and preparation
- 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
- employing the inferential method of science (deductive methods, single case methods, semiotics)
- psychological statistical methods and their interpretation.
- 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; 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.
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|
AAB 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)||
Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
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.
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.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government and are displayed as TBC. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry 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.
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.
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.