Psychology and Counselling

Combining a BPS-accredited psychology degree with counselling and mental health modules, this programme will help you develop a scientific understanding of human behaviour, as well as a strong knowledge of counselling techniques.

Course detail

Start Date



4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BSc (Hons)



Why Study Abertay's BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Counselling?

This fascinating programme combines a BPS-accredited psychology degree with counselling and mental health modules. Learn from research-active staff at the best modern university in Scotland for psychology research.

Why do people behave in the way they do? What makes people react in certain ways? How can mental health issues be treated? This innovative degree allows you to develop a scientific understanding of human behaviour and combine it with a knowledge of mental health and counselling skills.

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes, and the relation between the two. It explores how we act and interact, both as individuals and in groups, and the thoughts and feelings that motivate our behaviour.

Counselling is concerned with the integration of psychological theory with interventions and therapeutic practice. As a student on this course, you will develop a scientific understanding of psychology as a discipline and practical skills in counselling and therapy.


Missed the 15 January UCAS deadline or changed your mind about where you want to apply? Don't panic, we are still taking applications through UCAS for September 2019 study.

Start a Degree in September 2019

Entry Requirements

Please note:  All applicants must have passes in English and Maths - National 5 grade C and GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent. National 5 ESOL is accepted in lieu of National 5 English.  Lifeskill Maths is not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Below are the literate subjects we accept for entry on this course:

  • Business Management
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • ESOL
  • Geography
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology

If there is a subject that does not appear, please contact our Admissions Office ( who will be able to confirm whether or not it would be considered for entry.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher ABBB Literate subject
A-Level BCC Literate subject
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 29 Points Literate subject
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Health & Social Care
SWAP Access ABB Humanities, Arts, Humanities and Primary Education, Nursing
HNC/HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Your Journey Starts Here

You can take a range of options during this degree, including:

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Counselling theories and interventions
  • Therapeutic skills and approaches

These options and more will provide you with a broad knowledge base across all areas of psychology and counselling.

With a close-knit community and plenty of one-on-one time with staff, a Psychology and Counselling degree from Abertay equips you with a range of transferable skills, ensuring you’re highly sought-after upon graduation.

Two rooms - room 1 shows a female counselling another female. room 2 shows a male counselling a female

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

Find out more

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2018/19)

Introductory Psychology (PSY101)

An introduction to the key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum (conceptual and historical issues in psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology) and to the research methods used in the scientific study of behaviour. The theoretical underpinnings of core areas are explored and set in an applied framework to help students understand how psychology research can be used to address real-world problems facing modern societies.

Introduction to Pluralistic Approaches to Mental Health (CNS001)

Students will be introduced to a pluralistic approach to mental health work with a specific focus on understanding the therapeutic process and the idea of recovery. Aspects of practitioner work and requirements of helping professions will also be examined.

Introductory Psychology 2 (PSY102)

An introduction to key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum (individual differences, developmental psychology, and biological psychology) that continues education in research methods used in the scientific study of behaviour. The theoretical underpinnings of core areas are explored and set in an applied framework to help students understand how psychology research can be used to address real-world problems facing modern societies.

Introduction to Mental Health Work (CNS002)

An introduction to common mental health conditions and treatment approaches. Provides a foundational understanding of the symptoms, experience and treatment of common mental health problems and encourages students to examine their own perspectives on mental health and well-being.

Cognitive Psychology and Research Methods (PSY204)

An introduction to the cognitive aspects of the BPS curriculum. Students will be introduced to research methodologies, theories and models of how cognitive psychology works as a science. They will also be introduced to the statistical concepts and methodologies that underpin research in psychology.

Interpersonal Skills and Helping Conversations (CNS003)

Provides students with the ability to engage in helping conversations in professional and non- professional roles and engage in embedded counselling and conversations in mental health settings.

Social Psychology and Research Methods (PSY201)

An introduction to the social psychology content of the BPS curriculum that will provide students with a critical and comprehensive understanding of the major topics, empirical research and theoretical approaches in social psychology. Building on the content of PSY204, students will be trained in the research methods that underpin the scientific study of social cognition and behaviour.

Therapeutic Skills and Approaches (CNS004)

Develops the conceptual ability of students to recognise the therapeutic change process and the activities which may be undertaken at each stage. This module is largely practice based and requires students to engage in reflection on their deployment of counselling and therapy skills in small groups.

Biological Psychology and PID (BPS Core) (PSY301)

The core BPS curriculum is covered in this module. Students are provided with knowledge of how biology affects behaviour and introduced to the evolutionary mechanisms that shape our minds. This module will also investigate how biology, experience and personality produce individuality in humans.

Counselling Theories and Interventions (CNS005)

Provides students with the ability to conceptualise their practice within a pluralistic model of counselling by exploring theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy and their associated ways of responding to them. The pluralistic model will be developed to encourage the integration of these understandings with the client perspective.

Developmental Psychology (BPS Core) (PSY302)

An examination of the theories, methods and empirical data relevant to psychological development throughout the lifespan. Module content includes: biological basis of development; designs and approaches of studying development; infancy; early and middle childhood; adolescence; adulthood; ageing.

Research Methods on Psychology (BPS core) (PSY303)

Building on the psychological research methods, techniques and analyses covered in years 1 and 2, this module will provide students with the ability to design and conduct independent research projects at honours level using the appropriate research methodology.

Introduction to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CNS017)

An introduction to the principles and methods of cognitive-behavioural therapy and an exploration of the ethical, professional and personal issues arising from the application of CBT theory and methods in practice.

Psychology Honours Project (PSY410)

Students are required to design, conduct and analyse their own independent piece of research and to present their research findings. This module provides guidance and support for the honours project process.

Advanced Social and Cognitive Psychology (PSY408)

Designed to develop students' understanding of social psychology and cognition, building on their Cognition and Social Psychology modules in year 2. This module develops a deeper understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and explores how these processes underpin social processing.

How the Course Works


Learning and Assessment 

Teaching is delivered through a variety of lectures, practical laboratory classes, tutorials and independent study. Counselling skills are developed through small group work and reflective practice.

Assessments are designed to test a breadth of skills. This includes examinations and class tests, laboratory reports, reflective portfolios, essays, presentations (both oral and posters), research projects, and scientific articles and case studies.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BSc (Honours) Psychology and Counselling



Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 


English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 


International Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 


Career Opportunities

The degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which is a requirement if you want to pursue postgraduate psychology training and qualifications in areas such as clinical, educational or forensics.

As well as psychology training, you’ll also develop knowledge and skills in counselling, allowing you to pursue postgraduate training as a counselling psychologist or practitioner.

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Psychology and Counselling graduates have transferable skills which are in high demand in the general graduate job market. These skills include communication, numeracy and statistics, information technology skills, research evaluation and analytical thinking.

This degree provides a good starting point for a number of careers beyond psychology and counselling, including teaching, research, social work, marketing, human resources, civil service, management and many more.

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Industry Links

Abertay staff have strong research links and many are members of professional societies. There are good links between psychology staff and industry, and most counselling staff are also current practitioners.

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our Psychology graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

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Bela Havasreti

Bela investigates financial fraud as an Analyst for Deloitte Poland.

Find out more

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Amanda Leitch

Amanda works in two charities in Dundee as a Youth Volunteering Worker and a Youth Support Worker.

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Ursa Klobucar

Ursa assists Clinical Psychologists as an Assistant Psychologist for NHS Tayside.

Find out more

Programme Leader - Psychology and Counselling

Dr Christopher Watkins

Dr Christopher Watkins

School of Social and Health Sciences | Senior Lecturer

View profile

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