BSc (Hons) Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology

Our BPS-accredited Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology degree takes you on a journey to uncover why criminals break the law. Learn how to analyse the behaviour of offenders, the reasons behind the actions and interactions of criminals, and how we can make the Criminal Justice System fairer for everyone.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

C816

Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology

Why Study Abertay's BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the most complex machine imaginable: the human mind. Our degree with Forensic and Investigative Psychology teaches you how psychological theory and research can be applied to forensic settings like police investigations, the court room, and the prison service.

The first two years of this flexible degree are designed to help you dig deeper into the science behind the way humans think, feel, and behave. In years three and four, you take more advanced options related to your specialist degree pathway. You'll discover just how vital psychology is to criminal investigations.

Our academic experts will give you a thorough understanding of this fascinating world, including how to:

  • Analyse offender motives.
  • Understand offending behaviour.
  • Evaluate eyewitness testimony.
  • Profile missing people.
  • Understand the language of the judicial system.
  • Support vulnerable witnesses, victims and offenders.
  • Assess and treat of a variety of criminal behaviours.

An analytical approach is needed to evaluate the different kinds of criminal behaviour involved in investigations. You'll learn how to observe behaviour, tackle literature-based research and develop, test and evaluate theories. This culminates in conducting your own supervised research project in your final year, which is one of the corner stones of your degree.

You can switch to another Psychology pathway if you develop an interest in a particular topic later on. See 'How the course works' below for full details.

This Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology degree is accredited is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and its core areas follow the curriculum set out by the BPS. This accreditation is essential for students who want to become a Chartered Psychologist, and means that successful graduates are eligible to apply for further professional psychology training.

Our BSc (Hons) Psychology course scored an impressive 95% for Overall Student Satisfaction in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS).

Abertay is widely regarded as THE place to come for high quality teaching. But don't just take our word for it:

  • UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality (The Times/ Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).
  • UK Top 10 for Student Satisfaction & Teaching (Guardian University Guide 2021).
  • UK Top 10 for Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2020).

Book an Open Day

Abertay University's 2022 Open Days will be held in the autumn.

Be the first to know about this year's Open Days by registering your interest - we'll be in touch as soon as the dates and details are confirmed. 

Open Days

Your Journey Starts Here

You'll uncover the psychological issues involved in the management, investigation and prosecution of crime. Along the way you'll master how to provide rigorous research-based evidence which may be used in the criminal justice system.

Alongside this, you will gain skills in report writing, numeracy, statistics and IT, communication, and analytical thinking.

All of which helps you in the world of work and further study, whichever route you decide on after graduation.

group of students sitting in lecture hall

About Your Modules

All modules shown are indicative and reflect course content for the current academic year. Modules are reviewed annually and may be subject to change. If you receive an offer to study with us we will send you a Programme document  that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme. Please see Terms and Conditions for more information.

Modules

Year 1 Core Modules

You must study and pass four core modules

Brief description

This module will introduce youto some of the core areas in psychology through evaluation of seminal studies that have shaped our discipline. We will take an integrated approach, covering historical, theoretical and contemporary research that underpins our knowledge of human brain and behaviour.

Indicative content:

  • Attachment – Harlow (1985): What is attachment and how does it contribute to cognitive and behavioural development?
  • Neuropsychology – Gazzaniga (1967): How do studies of ‘split brain’ individuals who have undergone a callosectomy (had the two hemispheres of their brain disconnected) inform out understanding of how the brain works? Are different brain areas responsible for different functions?
  • Eyewitness Memory – Loftus (1975): Are our memories fixed? How can things that happen before and after a memory is formed change the way we remember things?
  • Eye Movements – Yarbus (1967): How can we measure and record what we are looking at? Why is this information important?
  • Androgyny – Bem (1974): Can changing how we think about masculinity and femininity change the way these concepts are researched and understood?

Brief description

Introduces you to the core principles and practical skills for psychological research. The curriculum includes an introduction to the scientific process, the benefits and disadvantages of key research designs, and practical application of statistical analysis and ethical considerations. Practical activities facilitate understanding of the link between psychological knowledge and empirical research.

Indicative content:

  • The Role of Research in Psychology: Introduction to scientific enquiry and the role of research in psychology
  • The Experimental Method: Defining experimental variables. Experimental design. Bias and control
  • Descriptive Statistics: Measures of central tendency and dispersion. Graphical and tabular presentation of data. Properties of the normal distribution curve. Standard error of the mean and confidence intervals
  • Inferential Statistics: Introduction to hypothesis formation and testing. The role of probability in statistical inference. Test selection for parametric and non-parametric data. Data analysis using inferential statistical tests. Type I and Type II errors. Introduction to statistical software for data entry; to summarise data in tables and graphs; and to perform descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
  • Ethics: Introduction to ethical considerations and implications with reference to the British Psychological Society Guidelines
  • Library Skills: Identify, locate and evaluate appropriate academic sources for a set academic task using key library and information skills, and acknowledge their use
  • Report Writing: Conveying information from investigations using the appropriate APA standard. Conduct and report a literature review using appropriate academic sources.

Brief description

This module will explore the rapidly expanding field of comparative psychology; the scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of non-human animals. The module will cover a breadth of comparative psychology including topics on physical and social cognition, communication, and learning, as well as applied aspects including human-animal interactions, ethics and welfare. 

Indicative content:

  • Conceptual Issues: Introduction to Comparative Psychology. Discuss the philosophy and historical context of comparative psychology and its relationship to understanding human cognition. Investigate the strengths and limitations of historical research methods and the evolution of the topic.

  • Mastering the environment (physical cognition): Considering the cognitive capacities that allow individuals to successfully exploit their physical surroundings covering tool−use, causal understanding and innovation.

  • Social Cognition: Investigating the cognitive processes that underpin the ability to live successfully in a social group covering social relations, intentionality and deception, and understanding other minds.

  • Animal Culture: Assessing the evidence that suggests non−human animals are capable of culture covering social learning and imitation, teaching, behavioural traditions and cultural evolution.

  • Communication: Assessing animal communication systems as well as evidence of human−like language systems in any non−human animal communication system.

  • Welfare: Investigating how comparative psychology can inform our understanding of animal welfare and related ethical issues involved in certain human-animal interactions.

Brief description

The purpose of this module is to enable you to recognise the steps you need to take to ensure you achieve academic success.

Indicative content

  • The new challenge of studying in HE: Expectations of a student in higher education.
  • Successful student behaviours: Academic excellence is only part of a successful university experience.  Find out more about wider integration through your University community.
  • Sense of purpose and Abertay attributes: Recognising the opportunity that university offers and starting to think about where this might lead and how you might determine that direction, whether that be career or further study.
  • Reflections on personal strengths and challenges: Preparatory work to consider what those strengths and challenges might be.
  • Formative Diagnostic engagement: Diagnostic tool can be taken on multiple occasions as student engages with developmental process.
  • Growth and moving forward: How could you act upon this information?  What resources are available to support your development?
  • Action planning: How to create an action plan and measure your success in meeting it
  • Summative assessment: Create action plan and identify schedule of microcredentials to study in year one.

Year 1 Option Modules

You must study and pass two option modules of your choosing - one in Term 1 and one in Term 2

Brief description

A sociological examination of key contemporary social issues, challenges and problems.

Indicative content:

  • Social inequality and social division: Social class and social mobility; race, ethnicity and multiculturalism; gender and identity.
  • Globalisation and globality: Media and culture; identity, nation-states and globalisation; terrorism and political conflict.
  • Social life and everyday life: The life-course; families and family life; interactionism; education.

Brief description

Explore key concepts regarding crime and punishment. This includes how they are understood and represented in society, and the impact of different understandings of crime.

Indicative content

  • The meaning of crime, deviance and punishment: What do we mean by crime, deviance and punishment? How and why do different societies define certain behaviours as criminal whilst others do not? External and internal social control; the problem of social order; conformity and deviance.
  • The Extent of Crime and deviance: The incidence of crime; How reliable are official statistics on crime? Who commits most crime? Are official statistics on crime useful? How do we 'talk' about crime and define criminal behaviour?
  • Crimes of the Powerful: Exploring the dark figure of crime: uncovering the implications of dominant constructions of criminality. What crimes exist that we know very little about? Why might that be? Includes engagement with crimes of the powerful including state corporate crime and human trafficking.
  • Punishment: In order to highlight the centrality of punishment in the criminal justice system, the meaning and use of punishment will be explored. Why do we punish people? What do we hope to achieve by punishing people? Is punishment a deterrent?

Brief description

An introduction to social issues in sport and exercise contexts. 

Indicative content:

  • Recognising and defining discilines within social science: You'll explore the major disciplines within social science in the context of sport and exercise (e.g., sociology of sport, sport development, sport history)
  • Discrimination in sport: You'll explore sources of discrimination in sport and exercise contexts (e.g., gender, class, ethnicity, LGBTI).
  • Sport political ideology: Learn how political systems impact upon and use sport.
  • Ethics and sport: Learn about moral and ethical issues in sport and exercise. This contexts provide a unique environment for moral and ethical issues.
  • Qualitative methodologies: An introduction to qualitative research and how this type of research has developed our understanding of sport and exercise.

Brief description

This module introduces the concepts of scientific literacy skills and a broad overview of some of the main principles, practices and techniques used in Forensic Science and the roles of Forensic Scientists. This will include some of the basic forensic practical skills involved in the investigation, searching and examination of crime scenes.

Indicative content

  • Information literacy and IT: This will include: how to use reading lists, library catalogues, online databases; the collection and evaluation of academic sources of writing, conventional formats and presentation, referencing, avoiding plagiarism; the planning and writing forensic scientific reports, defending academic arguments. As well as how to use the University desktop, file management, standard desktop software, introduction to software tools.
  • General Principles and History of Forensic Science: This will include an overview of the history of forensic science, including case studies and the practice of forensic science, the examination of scenes of crime as well as the nature of physical evidence, class and individual characterisation
  • Forensic Science Techniques: This will include fires and explosions; court procedures & legal systems; fingerprints; firearms and ballistics; forensic uses of DNA, blood dynamics; questioned documents; microscopy; toolmarks and impressions.
  • Practical Forensic Skills - Laboratory Based: Carry out a number of selected biological, chemical and forensic experiments, then interpret and report the data acquired.
  • Practical Forensic Skills - Crime scene based: Recording of crime scene – notes, sketches. Evidence Preservation - avoidance of contamination, control samples, collection, packaging and labelling of evidence (choice of packaging, avoidance of loss, deterioration or tampering, sealing, labelling and transport); Methodology of Effective Sampling - Effective sampling of trace and contact evidence (handpicking, swabbing, tape lifts, sweeping, vacuuming). Representative sampling, known samples and negative controls.

Brief description

Many of the theories and practical skills you experience during your early years of study are delivered in encapsulated sessions that can seem far removed from the bigger issues relevant to your discipline. This module will explain how theoretical knowledge is applied to the development of research questions, and how the skills you will develop are used in the scientific study of human behaviour in the field of psychology.

Indicative content

  • Where do I start? Understanding scientific literature: Understanding empirical research and extracting the most important information from a sea of confusing statistics and 'science-speak' can be challenging. You will learn how to approach a published research paper and how to identify the main message from the results.
  • Research approaches in psychology: Designing an experiment is challenging – there is often a balance to be made between the ‘ideal’ experiment and what can practically be done. You will learn about research questions and the different types of research that can be carried out. We will also consider how some famous approaches have influences scientific thinking.
  • Why does psychology need neuroscience? Understanding the links between the brain and behaviour is a huge area of psychological research. You will be introduced to neuroimaging techniques and will be asked to consider the pros and cons of each method, and the extent to which we can learn about brain function from neuroimaging.
  • Viewing psychology through the lens of evolution: Evolutionary psychology examines human behaviour in the context of Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection. We will look at research on social judgements of faces, which uses this theory as a framework to pose questions such as why we find a face attractive or threatening.
  • What makes a good theory? Applications for understanding language: How do we use research to refine our theoretical understanding? For example, can psychology offer new perspectives on the age old debate about whether dialects are languages?
  • Applying psychology evidence to the real world: Forensic psychology: You will consider how data collected in the real world (e.g., through police work) can be used for research purposes, and also how lab-based experimental findings can then be usefully applied (e.g., in the interpretation of eyewitness testimony).

Brief description

You'll be introduced to a sociological understanding of the processes of social change within European history. It will trace the dynamic interplay of politics, science, technology, economy, art, culture and ideas that has defined the epochs of classical antiquity, feudalism, early modernity and capitalist modernity.

Indicative content

  • Lectures: Lectures will be divided into four distinct sections that cover the following historical epochs: classical antiquity, feudalism, early modernity and capitalist modernity. Lectures will cover the social structure, economy, politics, science, technology, ideas and culture of the historical epoch concerned and the processes of historical change that led to its breakdown and supersession by another type of socio- political formation.
  • Tutorials: Tutorials will be of a traditional format centred around the discussion of readings from the core texts, related videos and library exercises - they will also offer guidance regarding the assessment requirements.
  • Introduction and Conclusion: In the first week there will be an Introduction to the Module and a lecture that focuses on the question 'What is history ?'. In the final week there will be an exam revision session.

Brief description

You'll be introduced to the criminal justice system and processes in Britain. It will examine how the criminal justice system operates, its key agencies and processes, as well as their relationship with the wider institutions, structures and issues in modern society. It will also look consider theories of and debates concerning crime and criminal justice and how these have influenced the history and development of the criminal justice system.

Indicative content

  • The Criminal Justice System: What is criminal justice? is there a criminal justice 'system'? general characteristics, themes and principles; theories and approaches to crime prevention and crime control; crime control models vs 'due process' models; criminal justice in Scotland.
  • Key Agencies: The role, functions and working practices of the main agencies operating within the criminal justice system (e.g. the police, courts, prisons and probation services) and the processes involved from arrest to probation.
  • Social Power, Inequality and Criminal Justice: Youth crime and justice; race and institutional racism; gender and crime; crime and criminalisation.

Year 1 MySuccess Modules - Term 2

You must study and pass three MySuccess modules of your choosing

Brief description 

Learn to understand the fundamentals of writing at university, including how to find the specific language for your subject and how to “sound academic” when you write. 

Indicative content

  • Finding the right words: Why having a big vocabulary is vital if you want to be a good writer. Introduction to the Academic Word List. How to build your subject vocabulary
  • Learning the style: What lecturers mean by “academic style”. How to learn the rules of academic writing. Why these vary in different subjects and different assignments
  • The connection between the right language and avoiding plagiarism: What we mean by “the right language” in writing. Some fundamental rules you need to remember. How this helps you to paraphrase (and why that’s vital). 
  • Being a guide for your reader: Why a clear structure is key to a good grade. How to lead your reader through your writing. How to make your writing “flow”.
  • Persuading your reader you’re right: Why all academic writing is persuasive writing. The importance of evidence. How to present your arguments and back them up

Brief description 

An introduction to the key digital capabilities you need for your studies. 

Indicative content

  • Map current skills: Identify current strengths against a range of digital skills students will need at university and are also sought by employers.  Create a plan to develop your digital skills journey using an online platform.
  • Digital Learning Environment: Identify tools including assistive technologies which will help you organise your learning and ensure your devices are efficient and secure.
  • Institutional Systems: Understand how to engage with institutional tools such as MyLearningSpace, MS Teams, OASIS, MyAbertay Dashboard and Calendar
  • Digital Communication and Collaboration: Use different types of online communication to communicate with other students and your lecturers.  Understand how learning networks are used professionally.
  • Digital Learning and Development: Understand how to develop skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Forms and OneDrive skills to an advanced level by gaining software provider accreditation.
  • Digital Creativity and Problem solving: Use appropriate tools to create and edit digital content, including multimedia while respecting copyright. 
  • Digital Identity: Identify effective use of social media to present a positive digital identify. 

Brief description

Get to know Dundee, the ‘coolest little city in Britain’. This amazing city has lots to offer. Find out for yourself why GQ magazine thinks we are ‘cool’, and why actor/comedian/author Stephen Fry said: “Dundee’s setting is probably more extraordinary than any other city in the UK. It is about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be.” Take a guided tour of our location, heritage, culture, industry and innovations, find out how you can get involved, and what’s on our horizon. #sunnydundee

Indicative content:

  • Location: We will explore the geography that makes Dundee’s setting “probably more extraordinary than any other city in the UK. It is about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be.” – Stephen Fry Did you know there is an extinct volcano in the city centre? and why our city is known as #SunnyDundee (one of the sunniest cities in Scotland)… It’s all down to geography
  • Heritage: The 3 ‘J’s – Jute, jam and journalism… the industrial foundations of modern Dundee – our link with the world through international trade (e.g. Dundee does not grow oranges – so how did we get to be famous for our Dundee marmalade?). Dennis the menace and his Beano pals will have a tale to tell you … and the McManus galleries hold many a local secret for you to uncover (find the Tay Whale).
  • Industry and Innovation: A city of innovation and reinvention… with lots of innovation over the centuries in Dundee, we will explore the Recent: Biomed, computer games… And the Future: MSIP, Eden project, E-Games arena One of the first places in the UK to have Green health prescriptions (and we have lots of parks!)
  • Culture: Take a ‘virtual’ trip to Antarctica on RRS Discovery, explore the history of industry at Verdant works, marvel at the displays in the V&A, dance at the Dundee rep, soak in culture at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and marvel at developments in medicine, engineering, environment and more at Dundee science centre…
  • Take part: Dundee is a friendly city, we say hello we help each other, we have lots of communities large and small. Discover how Abertay fits into the city and how you can too.

Brief description 

Take the first step on your journey towards becoming an independent, confident and accomplished information literate student in your chosen subject area, gaining an understanding of the fundamental skills you will need for research both at University and in lifelong learning.

Indicative content

  • Getting started: Identifying the ‘knowledge gap’ and the information needed to fill it: why information literacy matters. 
  • Understanding Information sources: How scholarly information is generated and disseminated; key characteristics of different information types (e.g. print/electronic, primary/ secondary, bibliographic/full-text, open access/paywall).
  • Searching for information: Planning, using and refining appropriate search strategies; online search tools (Google vs specialist services); using a range of web and database search functionality (e.g. truncation, phrasing, filters)
  • Evaluating information: Using appropriate quality criteria to critically evaluate information from any source to determine authority and bias.
  • Referencing: Understanding what is meant by academic integrity, plagiarism and the need for appropriate referencing; creating reference lists and in-text citations; use of referencing tools to manage information.

Brief description

The purpose of this module is to enable you to become an effective communicator of ideas and concepts. It will build on your existing visual and written communication skills and will help you develop confidence and support your communications development to support success in your academic, social, and future professional journey. This module will help you learn how to present and persuade a targeted audience that an idea is beneficial – presenting a clear and well-supported message or point of view to influence a decision. This will involve developing a visual portfolio in the form of a mood board or infographic to represent an idea/concept delivering content in a captivating way to give a sense of what the message or idea is to the audience. We will then guide you in developing a convincing, clear, and concise written justification that complements and supports the visual portfolio to convince the target audience of the benefits of the idea/concept. Developing these skills will be of significant benefit to your academic success at the university and beyond.

Indicative content:

•    What is visual communication and why is it important? Overview of forms of visual communication as a tool to convey an idea, concept, design thinking or project and why it is important to present in a simple and inspirational way to deliver impact to a chosen target audience.
•    What is persuasive writing and why is it important? Overview of structuring written communication to persuasively present a clear and well supported idea or point of view (evidence) including counter views to influence a decision by a target audience.

Brief description 

Gain an early opportunity to start planning your personal and career development for your life beyond University. 

Indicative content

  • The new challenge of knowing the future now: What will the future look like for me and what can I do to prepare? Videos, presentations and interactive activities sessions on a range of topics and concepts to help provide a wider context for self-development.
  • Who am I? Use of a range online interactive online self-assessment tools and activities used to create your own personal profile and benchmark your own career readiness.
  • My current personal profile and my future-(professional) self:  Using results and data from self-assessment tools to create personal profile. You're Introduced to the Career Management Cycle model as an approach to personal development, interactive self-reflection and for planning suitable personal goals. 
  • Mind the Gap: Use of positive case studies from previous students/graduates. (Where are they now?) To help inspire and raise your career aspirations. 
  • Growth and moving forward: Set out your next steps based on a range of opportunities available to do so. 
  • Decoding the jargon: Decode the jargon terms used in education/employment/work /careers. 
  • Action planning: Use of SMART technique in setting personal goals.

Brief description 

Experience first-hand what Abertay has to offer and further embed yourself as a member of the Abertay community.

Indicative content

  • Student Representation: The student voice is important to both us and the University. We value your opinions, and our reps allow us to hear it. Learn all about our Class reps, Division reps and Community reps. The University also delivers the Lead Voices, which recruits students to advocate the voices of students belonging to protected characteristics.
  • Societies: Societies are student led and student organised. Find out more about societies: what they do, the committee structure, society council and the skills you can gain from being part of a society. If you don'tt see something you like, then you can learn how to create a society of your own.
  • Sports: Whether you're interested in competitive level or looking for a social activity, there are a variety of sports clubs to join. Learn about our different sports clubs, the Sports Union, their committees and physical activities the University has to offer. There are several links between physical activity and wellbeing including mental health which will also be discussed.
  • Peer Mentoring: The Abertay Peer Mentoring programme connects students to other students. Abertay Mentors are experienced students who are keen to support the academic and personal success of others.
  • Enterprise: Bell Street Ventures is the University’s centre for enterprise who offer workshops, resources and consultation. Open to students and graduates whether you want to start a business, change the world or choose who you want to work with as a freelancer.

Brief description

Preparation for a successful experience at Abertay and beyond by equipping you with the knowledge and awareness of techniques and behaviours that are known to positively infuence ongoing wellbeing. 

Indicative content:

  • Course overview: Introduction to the course and to the underpinning theory.
  • Connecting: Consideration of the value of building strong social relationships and Identifying ways of becoming more connected at Abertay and within local communities.
  • Being active: Highlighting the benefits of becoming physically active and providing examples of how this might be achieved from different starting points and circumstances.
  • Taking notice: Introducing useful techniques such as mindfulness and grounding
  • Learning: Explaining the link between learning and wellbeing and showcasing a range of opportunities open to Abertay students.
  • Giving: Exploring the value of giving in different contexts and flagging options as an Abertay student, including peer mentoring, Student Association involvement and volunteering opportunities.
  • Course summary and next steps: Creating an action plan to adopt the behaviours above.
  • Summative assessment: An online quiz structured around the five elements above.

Year 2 Core Modules - Term 1 (Continuing Students Only)

You must study and pass one core module in Term 1

Brief description

The cognitive and social aspects of the British Psychological Society core curriculum. Cognitive psychology encompasses much of what are considered ‘mental processes’ which range from relatively low-level processes of perception to higher level things like memory and decision making. A combination of conventional lectures on cognitive psychology, supported by practical classes exposing you to experiments as participants.

Indicative content:

  • Conceptual and historical perspectives in cognition: Origins of research in cognition, and cognitive neuropsychology. Understanding how cognitive processes operate in different brain areas.
  • Neural architectures: Neurones, receptive fields and vision. How does the brain connect the world outside with our thoughts and experiences?
  • Perception and recognition: The recognition of objects and faces.
  • Attention: Is cognition a limited resource to be allocated carefully or do we attend to everything?
  • Learning and memory: What circumstances determine how we learn new information? How is this information stored in our brains and how do we access this information while reasoning?
  • Decision making and problem solving: How do we choose responses, how do we solve problems?

Year 2 Core Modules - Term 1 (Direct Entrant Students Only)

You must study and pass two core modules in Term 1

Brief description

The cognitive and social aspects of the British Psychological Society core curriculum. Cognitive psychology encompasses much of what are considered ‘mental processes’ which range from relatively low-level processes of perception to higher level things like memory and decision making. A combination of conventional lectures on cognitive psychology, supported by practical classes exposing you to experiments as participants.

Indicative content:

  • Conceptual and historical perspectives in cognition: Origins of research in cognition, and cognitive neuropsychology. Understanding how cognitive processes operate in different brain areas.
  • Neural architectures: Neurones, receptive fields and vision. How does the brain connect the world outside with our thoughts and experiences?
  • Perception and recognition: The recognition of objects and faces.
  • Attention: Is cognition a limited resource to be allocated carefully or do we attend to everything?
  • Learning and memory: What circumstances determine how we learn new information? How is this information stored in our brains and how do we access this information while reasoning?
  • Decision making and problem solving: How do we choose responses, how do we solve problems?

Brief description

The module introduces you to the core principles and practical skills of psychological research. The curriculum includes an introduction to the scientific process, the benefits and disadvantages of key research designs, and practical application of statistical analysis and ethical considerations. Practical activities facilitate understanding of the link between psychological knowledge and empirical research.

Indicative content

  • The Role of Research in Psychology: Introduction to scientific enquiry and the role of research in psychology
  • The Experimental Method: Defining experimental variables. Experimental design. Bias and control
  • Descriptive Statistics: Measures of central tendency and dispersion. Graphical and tabular presentation of data. Properties of the normal distribution curve. Standard error of the mean and confidence intervals
  • Inferential Statistics: Introduction to hypothesis formation and testing. The role of probability in statistical inference. Test selection for parametric and non-parametric data. Data analysis using inferential statistical tests. Type I and Type II errors.
  • Introduction to statistical software: Introduction to statistical software for date entry; to summarise data in tables and graphs; use of statistical software to perfom descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
  • Ethics: Introduction to ethical considerations and implications with reference to the British Psychological Society Guidelines
  • Library Skills: Identify, locate and evaluate appropriate academic sources for a set academic task using key library and information skills, and acknowledge their use
  • Report Writing: Conveying information from investigations using the appropriate APA standard. Conduct and report a literature review using appropriate academic sources.

Year 2 Core Module - Term 2 (All Students)

You must study and pass one core module in Term 2

Brief description

Further develop knowledge and skills to design, conduct analyse and report quantitative and qualitative psychological research in APA format. 

Indicative content:

  • Methods of research: Main quantitative and qualitative research methods available to psychologists; Use in applied settings; advantages and disadvantages.
  • The experimental method: Variables and levels; hypotheses; design - basic and advanced; control techniques; validity and reliability in experimentation; ethics in experimentation.
  • Data analysis - descriptive statistics: Data types; measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; normal distribution; graphing data; confidence intervals.
  • Data analysis - inferential statistics: Test selection; parametric and nonparametric 2-sample test of difference; Within and Between one-way ANOVA and Non-parametric ANOVA, effect size; power; correlation; Tests of both internal and external reliability; inter rater reliability.
  • Qualitative methods: Types of qualitative research techniques; questionnaire design, interviewing - types, advantages, disadvantages; analysing interview material.
  • Quantitative methods: Experimental method, two variable tests of difference (parametric and non-parametric), tests of relationships (parametric and non-parametric); multilevel testing (parametric and non-parametric), follow up testing (parametric and non-parametric). Reliability analysis using Cronbach's alpha, quantitative content analysis, item analysis.
  • Ethics: Creating and conducting ethical research based on BPS Ethical Guidelines.
  • Reporting research: Sections and content of an APA formatted psychology lab report; APA referencing.
  • Information searching: Structured and unstructured search; Search using the Internet and locating electronic journals using the university library system and appropriate data bases.
  • I.T. skills: Designing a lab report template using Word for Windows; using SPSS for data analysis.

Year 2 Option Modules - Term 1 (Continuing Students Only)

You must study and pass two option modules of your choosing

Brief description

Key issues in forensic psychology integrating information from clinical, biological, developmental, personality, social and cognitive psychology.

Indicative content:

  • General issues: Introduction to offenders, offences, victims, and the role of psychology in the actions of the police, the courts and prisons.
  • Explanatory models of crime and offending: Biological factors, gender differences, individual differences, childhood and developmental issues, social and economic factors, and cognitive-behavioural approaches.
  • Developmental basis for criminal behaviour: Biological basis of social, aggressive, and sexual behaviour with regard to neuropsychological, neuropharmacological and evolutionary issues. Psychological and biological treatments for childhood and adult psychopathology.
  • Mental health and offending: Mental health issues in offending behaviour. The relationship between mental health symptoms and risk in relation to offending. Personality disorder and schizophrenia as critical issues in serious offending.
  • Personality abnormality: Inherited and acquired conditions in lifelong risk of criminal behaviour such as ADHD, Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Examining the factors that increase the likelihood of serious sexual and violent behaviour, stalking, and criminal recidivism.
  • Substance use and crime: Addiction Models of criminal behaviour. Models of emotional dyscontrol in offending. The role of alcohol and drugs in serious assaultive behaviour, neuropharmacology and psychology.
  • Specific criminal offences: Consideration of information from specific offending populations and the psychological factors contributing to offences. Offences may include violent offending, fire raising, stalking, terrorism.
  • Sexual offending: Detailed consideration of individual offenders and the psychological characteristics of their criminal offences and offence development in relation to sexual and violent offending.
  • Risk assessment: Critical discussion of the role and nature of risk assessments with forensic populations including specific methods of risk assessment.
  • Treatment and interventions: Consideration of the background to the development and application of treatments and interventions including `what works?’ approaches and cognitive-behavioural treatments, as well as key issues relating to working with offenders.

Brief description

Introduction to the work of three key social theorists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim. Their work is used to critically illustrate the nature of capitalist modernity and the foundations of contemporary sociological theory and practice.

Indicative content:

  • Karl Marx: Capitalism, Workers` Movement and The Communist Manifesto (1848); Dialectics, Fetishism and the Purpose of Critique; Value, Labour, Money; Capital, Surplus Value and Exploitation; Primitive Accumulation, the Logic of Separation and the Question of Crisis; Class Struggle, Revolution and Communism.
  • Max Weber: Introduction: contextual overview and biography; The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism; Conception of sociology and methodology; Bureaucratisation and rationalisation; Class, status and party; Political sociology: power, legitimacy and the state.
  • Emile Durkheim: Introduction: contextual overview and biography; The Rules of Sociological Method; Suicide; The Division of Labour in Society; Morality and Religion; Crime, Deviance and the Law.

Brief description

You'll be encouraged to anticipate the future opportunities and challenges that will face children in the next 20 years. By looking at emerging social norms and technologies, you'lll explore how children of the near future may learn, socialise, and thrive, as well as looking at what practical and mental health challenges may be faced. You'll also focus on gathering appropriate evidence that can inform professional practice and when working directly with the next generation of children.

Indicative content

  • Childhood over the last century: An overview of how "childhood" has changed over the last 100 years. changing patterns of developmental research.
  • Relationships: Exploring generational changes in who children spend time with. Parenting, childcare and social networks.
  • Teaching and learning: Changes in curriculums and approaches to learning. Future directions of schools.
  • The use and misuse of technology: Technology in learning, learning of technology (e.g., cybersecurity), technology beyond learning
  • Developmental disorders and mental health: Definitions and prevalence as well as treatment, interventions and educational support.
  • Applications: Examining how we can apply this knowledge to professional practice with children.

Brief description

This module will focus on the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process and introduce students to the use of biometric information, not just for personal security, but also in a forensic capacity for the purposes of human identification.

Indicative content

  • Biometric Human Identifiers: Application of biometric information for both personal security and human identification purposes. Biometric evidence recovery from a crime scene and/or victim. Specialised and emerging biometric data. Links to current biometric databases
  • INTERPOL DVI: Introduction to the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process, recognising the four stages, the classification of disasters and understanding the identification criteria required to enable reconciliation.
  • Body Recovery and Mortuary Procedures: Describe and acknowledge the roles and responsibilities of the post mortem (PM) examination team. Recognise the sequence of a PM examination, the purpose and evidential value of samples recovered and how these items of evidence are preserved through integrity and continuity.

Year 2 Option Modules - Term 2 (All Students)

You must study and pass one option module in Term 2

Brief description

Key issues in forensic psychology integrating information from clinical, biological, developmental, personality, social and cognitive psychology.

Indicative content:

  • General issues: Introduction to offenders, offences, victims, and the role of psychology in the actions of the police, the courts and prisons.
  • Explanatory models of crime and offending: Biological factors, gender differences, individual differences, childhood and developmental issues, social and economic factors, and cognitive-behavioural approaches.
  • Developmental basis for criminal behaviour: Biological basis of social, aggressive, and sexual behaviour with regard to neuropsychological, neuropharmacological and evolutionary issues. Psychological and biological treatments for childhood and adult psychopathology.
  • Mental health and offending: Mental health issues in offending behaviour. The relationship between mental health symptoms and risk in relation to offending. Personality disorder and schizophrenia as critical issues in serious offending.
  • Personality abnormality: Inherited and acquired conditions in lifelong risk of criminal behaviour such as ADHD, Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Examining the factors that increase the likelihood of serious sexual and violent behaviour, stalking, and criminal recidivism.
  • Substance use and crime: Addiction Models of criminal behaviour. Models of emotional dyscontrol in offending. The role of alcohol and drugs in serious assaultive behaviour, neuropharmacology and psychology.
  • Specific criminal offences: Consideration of information from specific offending populations and the psychological factors contributing to offences. Offences may include violent offending, fire raising, stalking, terrorism.
  • Sexual offending: Detailed consideration of individual offenders and the psychological characteristics of their criminal offences and offence development in relation to sexual and violent offending.
  • Risk assessment: Critical discussion of the role and nature of risk assessments with forensic populations including specific methods of risk assessment.
  • Treatment and interventions: Consideration of the background to the development and application of treatments and interventions including `what works?’ approaches and cognitive-behavioural treatments, as well as key issues relating to working with offenders.

Brief description

You'll be encouraged to anticipate the future opportunities and challenges that will face children in the next 20 years. By looking at emerging social norms and technologies, you'lll explore how children of the near future may learn, socialise, and thrive, as well as looking at what practical and mental health challenges may be faced. You'll also focus on gathering appropriate evidence that can inform professional practice and when working directly with the next generation of children.

Indicative content

  • Childhood over the last century: An overview of how "childhood" has changed over the last 100 years. changing patterns of developmental research.
  • Relationships: Exploring generational changes in who children spend time with. Parenting, childcare and social networks.
  • Teaching and learning: Changes in curriculums and approaches to learning. Future directions of schools.
  • The use and misuse of technology: Technology in learning, learning of technology (e.g., cybersecurity), technology beyond learning
  • Developmental disorders and mental health: Definitions and prevalence as well as treatment, interventions and educational support.
  • Applications: Examining how we can apply this knowledge to professional practice with children.

Brief description

This module will focus on the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process and introduce students to the use of biometric information, not just for personal security, but also in a forensic capacity for the purposes of human identification.

Indicative content

  • Biometric Human Identifiers: Application of biometric information for both personal security and human identification purposes. Biometric evidence recovery from a crime scene and/or victim. Specialised and emerging biometric data. Links to current biometric databases
  • INTERPOL DVI: Introduction to the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process, recognising the four stages, the classification of disasters and understanding the identification criteria required to enable reconciliation.
  • Body Recovery and Mortuary Procedures: Describe and acknowledge the roles and responsibilities of the post mortem (PM) examination team. Recognise the sequence of a PM examination, the purpose and evidential value of samples recovered and how these items of evidence are preserved through integrity and continuity.

Year 2 MySuccess Modules - Term 2 (All Students)

You must also study and pass four MySuccess modules of your choosing

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Brief description 

Learn to understand the fundamentals of writing at university, including how to find the specific language for your subject and how to “sound academic” when you write. 

Indicative content

  • Finding the right words: Why having a big vocabulary is vital if you want to be a good writer. Introduction to the Academic Word List. How to build your subject vocabulary
  • Learning the style: What lecturers mean by “academic style”. How to learn the rules of academic writing. Why these vary in different subjects and different assignments
  • The connection between the right language and avoiding plagiarism: What we mean by “the right language” in writing. Some fundamental rules you need to remember. How this helps you to paraphrase (and why that’s vital). 
  • Being a guide for your reader: Why a clear structure is key to a good grade. How to lead your reader through your writing. How to make your writing “flow”.
  • Persuading your reader you’re right: Why all academic writing is persuasive writing. The importance of evidence. How to present your arguments and back them up

Brief description 

An introduction to the key digital capabilities you need for your studies. 

Indicative content

  • Map current skills: Identify current strengths against a range of digital skills students will need at university and are also sought by employers.  Create a plan to develop your digital skills journey using an online platform.
  • Digital Learning Environment: Identify tools including assistive technologies which will help you organise your learning and ensure your devices are efficient and secure.
  • Institutional Systems: Understand how to engage with institutional tools such as MyLearningSpace, MS Teams, OASIS, MyAbertay Dashboard and Calendar
  • Digital Communication and Collaboration: Use different types of online communication to communicate with other students and your lecturers.  Understand how learning networks are used professionally.
  • Digital Learning and Development: Understand how to develop skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Forms and OneDrive skills to an advanced level by gaining software provider accreditation.
  • Digital Creativity and Problem solving: Use appropriate tools to create and edit digital content, including multimedia while respecting copyright. 
  • Digital Identity: Identify effective use of social media to present a positive digital identify. 

Brief description

Get to know Dundee, the ‘coolest little city in Britain’. This amazing city has lots to offer. Find out for yourself why GQ magazine thinks we are ‘cool’, and why actor/comedian/author Stephen Fry said: “Dundee’s setting is probably more extraordinary than any other city in the UK. It is about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be.” Take a guided tour of our location, heritage, culture, industry and innovations, find out how you can get involved, and what’s on our horizon. #sunnydundee

Indicative content:

  • Location: We will explore the geography that makes Dundee’s setting “probably more extraordinary than any other city in the UK. It is about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be.” – Stephen Fry Did you know there is an extinct volcano in the city centre? and why our city is known as #SunnyDundee (one of the sunniest cities in Scotland)… It’s all down to geography
  • Heritage: The 3 ‘J’s – Jute, jam and journalism… the industrial foundations of modern Dundee – our link with the world through international trade (e.g. Dundee does not grow oranges – so how did we get to be famous for our Dundee marmalade?). Dennis the menace and his Beano pals will have a tale to tell you … and the McManus galleries hold many a local secret for you to uncover (find the Tay Whale).
  • Industry and Innovation: A city of innovation and reinvention… with lots of innovation over the centuries in Dundee, we will explore the Recent: Biomed, computer games… And the Future: MSIP, Eden project, E-Games arena One of the first places in the UK to have Green health prescriptions (and we have lots of parks!)
  • Culture: Take a ‘virtual’ trip to Antarctica on RRS Discovery, explore the history of industry at Verdant works, marvel at the displays in the V&A, dance at the Dundee rep, soak in culture at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and marvel at developments in medicine, engineering, environment and more at Dundee science centre…
  • Take part: Dundee is a friendly city, we say hello we help each other, we have lots of communities large and small. Discover how Abertay fits into the city and how you can too.

Brief description 

Take the first step on your journey towards becoming an independent, confident and accomplished information literate student in your chosen subject area, gaining an understanding of the fundamental skills you will need for research both at University and in lifelong learning.

Indicative content

  • Getting started: Identifying the ‘knowledge gap’ and the information needed to fill it: why information literacy matters. 
  • Understanding Information sources: How scholarly information is generated and disseminated; key characteristics of different information types (e.g. print/electronic, primary/ secondary, bibliographic/full-text, open access/paywall).
  • Searching for information: Planning, using and refining appropriate search strategies; online search tools (Google vs specialist services); using a range of web and database search functionality (e.g. truncation, phrasing, filters)
  • Evaluating information: Using appropriate quality criteria to critically evaluate information from any source to determine authority and bias.
  • Referencing: Understanding what is meant by academic integrity, plagiarism and the need for appropriate referencing; creating reference lists and in-text citations; use of referencing tools to manage information.

Brief description

The purpose of this module is to enable you to become an effective communicator of ideas and concepts. It will build on your existing visual and written communication skills and will help you develop confidence and support your communications development to support success in your academic, social, and future professional journey. This module will help you learn how to present and persuade a targeted audience that an idea is beneficial – presenting a clear and well-supported message or point of view to influence a decision. This will involve developing a visual portfolio in the form of a mood board or infographic to represent an idea/concept delivering content in a captivating way to give a sense of what the message or idea is to the audience. We will then guide you in developing a convincing, clear, and concise written justification that complements and supports the visual portfolio to convince the target audience of the benefits of the idea/concept. Developing these skills will be of significant benefit to your academic success at the university and beyond.

Indicative content:

•    What is visual communication and why is it important? Overview of forms of visual communication as a tool to convey an idea, concept, design thinking or project and why it is important to present in a simple and inspirational way to deliver impact to a chosen target audience.
•    What is persuasive writing and why is it important? Overview of structuring written communication to persuasively present a clear and well supported idea or point of view (evidence) including counter views to influence a decision by a target audience.

Brief description 

Gain an early opportunity to start planning your personal and career development for your life beyond University. 

Indicative content

  • The new challenge of knowing the future now: What will the future look like for me and what can I do to prepare? Videos, presentations and interactive activities sessions on a range of topics and concepts to help provide a wider context for self-development.
  • Who am I? Use of a range online interactive online self-assessment tools and activities used to create your own personal profile and benchmark your own career readiness.
  • My current personal profile and my future-(professional) self:  Using results and data from self-assessment tools to create personal profile. You're Introduced to the Career Management Cycle model as an approach to personal development, interactive self-reflection and for planning suitable personal goals. 
  • Mind the Gap: Use of positive case studies from previous students/graduates. (Where are they now?) To help inspire and raise your career aspirations. 
  • Growth and moving forward: Set out your next steps based on a range of opportunities available to do so. 
  • Decoding the jargon: Decode the jargon terms used in education/employment/work /careers. 
  • Action planning: Use of SMART technique in setting personal goals.

Brief description 

Experience first-hand what Abertay has to offer and further embed yourself as a member of the Abertay community.

Indicative content

  • Student Representation: The student voice is important to both us and the University. We value your opinions, and our reps allow us to hear it. Learn all about our Class reps, Division reps and Community reps. The University also delivers the Lead Voices, which recruits students to advocate the voices of students belonging to protected characteristics.
  • Societies: Societies are student led and student organised. Find out more about societies: what they do, the committee structure, society council and the skills you can gain from being part of a society. If you don'tt see something you like, then you can learn how to create a society of your own.
  • Sports: Whether you're interested in competitive level or looking for a social activity, there are a variety of sports clubs to join. Learn about our different sports clubs, the Sports Union, their committees and physical activities the University has to offer. There are several links between physical activity and wellbeing including mental health which will also be discussed.
  • Peer Mentoring: The Abertay Peer Mentoring programme connects students to other students. Abertay Mentors are experienced students who are keen to support the academic and personal success of others.
  • Enterprise: Bell Street Ventures is the University’s centre for enterprise who offer workshops, resources and consultation. Open to students and graduates whether you want to start a business, change the world or choose who you want to work with as a freelancer.

Brief description

Preparation for a successful experience at Abertay and beyond by equipping you with the knowledge and awareness of techniques and behaviours that are known to positively infuence ongoing wellbeing. 

Indicative content:

  • Course overview: Introduction to the course and to the underpinning theory.
  • Connecting: Consideration of the value of building strong social relationships and Identifying ways of becoming more connected at Abertay and within local communities.
  • Being active: Highlighting the benefits of becoming physically active and providing examples of how this might be achieved from different starting points and circumstances.
  • Taking notice: Introducing useful techniques such as mindfulness and grounding
  • Learning: Explaining the link between learning and wellbeing and showcasing a range of opportunities open to Abertay students.
  • Giving: Exploring the value of giving in different contexts and flagging options as an Abertay student, including peer mentoring, Student Association involvement and volunteering opportunities.
  • Course summary and next steps: Creating an action plan to adopt the behaviours above.
  • Summative assessment: An online quiz structured around the five elements above.

Year 3 Core Modules

You must study and pass four core modules

Brief description

The links between biology and psychology. Introduction to the physiology that underpins observable behaviour (genetics, CNS and the endocrine system), looking at processes that exert direct control over behavioural responses and those that play a modulatory role in human psychology. How biology, experience and personality produce individuality in humans.

Indicative content:

  • Biological control of behaviour: How the central nervous and endocrine systems interact to produce observable behaviours such as movement, ingestion, and reproduction.
  • Psychopharmacology: Looking at the physiological consequences of taking recreational and therapeutic drugs, and biological and psychological underpinnings of drug addiction.
  • Hormones, reproduction and emotion: Examining how hormones influence mate choice, mating behaviour and sexual orientation; the biological underpinnings of emotion, emotional valence and components of the emotional response.
  • Behavioural genetics, evolutionary and sociobiology: Influences of genetics and environment on human behaviour; an introduction to the evolutionary processes that impact human and non-human animal cognition and social interactions.
  • Methodologies: Neuropsychology and neuroimaging: Looking at the physiological and behavioural effects of brain degeneration and implications for everyday life; introducing methods used in investigation of neural correlates of cognition. Psychological testing and application: Psychometric testing, specific aspects in personality tests, reliability, validity, BPS guidance.
  • Introduction to personality and individual differences: Introduction into main theories in personality and individual differences; Trait vs. State; Personality vs. Situation.
  • Intelligence: Definitions of intelligence; psychometric approaches to intelligence and their implications for educational and social policy; cognitive basis of intelligence. Debates about generational, racial, and gender differences in IQ.
  • Biological influences: Heritability in intelligence and personality, neurobiological theories of personality, evolutionary influences & comparative personality, mental illness and personality disorders.
  • Personality and culture: Further ideas and debates in personality and culture including national character, social attitudes, evolutionary approaches, cognitive and learning styles, individual differences in health and illness, social anxiety and shyness.
  • Individual differences in cognitive styles: Individual differences in how we think, perceive and remember information. Exploration of different learning style and theories of learning.

Brief description

Explore the processes that underpin social cognition across development and examine how these processes change from early childhood to adolescence, adulthood and older age. It provides an in-depth understanding of how we process and remember information in a social context, covering issues such as group processes, stereotyping and prejudice, and perception of self and others.

Indicative content

  • Historical and Conceptual Issues: Introduction to research on the socio-cognitive approach, and the study of developmental changes in cognition and social processing.
  • Social Cognition: Stereotype formation and application: Models of stereotyping, stereotype formation and contents, and exploration of how and when stereotypic information is activated. 
  • Social Cognition: Prejudice and effective interventions: Examining intergroup prejudice and the interventions designed to reduce its negative effects.
  • Social Cognition: Self-processing: How self-processing systems shape attention, perception and memory.
  • Lifespan: Development of stereotyping and prejudice: Exploring patterns of stereotype development across childhood and adulthood, and their links to social and cognitive development.
  • Lifespan: Development of self-processing biases: How self-processing systems develop across childhood, adolescence and old age, impacting the effects of self on cognition.
  • Applications: Examining the effectiveness of applied social cognition research, from education to intergroup behaviour.

Brief description

The theories, methods and empirical data relevant to psychological development throughout the lifespan.

Indicative content:

  • Biological basis of development; theories and milestones: Pre-and post-natal brain development, brain maturation, biological basis of ageing.
  • How to study development?: Designs and approaches.
  • Infancy: Methods for studying infant development, physical development in infancy, cognitive development in infancy: Memory and pre- cursors to language, social and emotional development in infancy.
  • Early childhood: Methods for studying early childhood, physical and cognitive development in early childhood, language development in early childhood, social and emotional development in early childhood, moral development in early childhood.
  • Middle childhood: Physical and cognitive development in middle childhood, social development and peer relations in middle childhood. Emotional and Moral Development in middle childhood.
  • Adolescence: Physical and cognitive development in adolescence, social and emotional development in adolescence.
  • Adulthood: Biological, cognitive and social changes in middle adulthood. Theories and data on midlife crisis.
  • Ageing: Biological, cognitive and social changes in late adulthood; models of cognitive decline; emotional and personality changes, dementia, death, longevity.

Brief description

Build upon the psychological research methods techniques and analyses covered in earlier years such as aspects of experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analyses and project preparation. 

Indicative content:

  • Analysis of variance: Revise variance and one-way ANOVA. Examine factorial ANOVA designs; within, between and mixed designs; main effects and interactions; explore interactions and multiple comparisons (a priori and post-hoc).
  • ANOVA practical: Participate in the design, implementation and data gathering of a study suitable for analysis with ANOVA and write this up as an assessed piece of coursework.
  • Experimental design: Examine methodological issues in design, identifying limitations of designs, defining a research question, hypothesis testing and operationalising variables. Look at Type I and II errors; effect sizes and statistical power.
  • Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis: The theoretical underpinning of qualitative methods. The design of research questions; how to code data from visual and textual formats, the application of techniques such as content and thematic analysis. Use textual data (such as interview schedules) to carry out a qualitative analysis. This work will contribute towards the assessed qualitative report.
  • Correlation and multiple regression: Simple linear regression models and multiple predictors of a criterion variable (multiple linear regression). Explanation of statistical tests for multiple regression models.
  • Laboratory skills: Extensive training in the advanced use of SPSS for analyses. Regular laboratory attendance is recommended in order to develop strong research skills. This will allow you to become a confident researcher.
  • Project proposal for supervisor feedback and subsequent ethics submission: Write an ethics proposal for your fourth year project with support and guidance from your allocated supervisor. Employ research design and analysis skills to design a suitable experiment/study. Identify and address possible ethical issues which is central to this process. Supervisors will give feedback to a draft of the proposal.
  • Research skills: Writing and work management: Communicating effectively in oral and written form, using research literature effectively. Reporting and interpreting. Writing using American Psychological Association editorial style. Developing a meeting agenda, goal setting and evaluating progress, communicating effectively in supervision meetings, identifying responsibilities. Sustaining research work in laboratory classes.

Year 3 Option Modules

You must study and pass two option modules of your choosing - one in Term 1 and one in Term 2

Brief description

Learn the techniques required to design systematic approaches to scientific enquiry of the mind using the latest techniques and technologies. This includes identifying testable hypotheses and tractable questions. It also involves appreciating the technical constraints on display technology and the methodological considerations required to present stimuli accurately, precisely. Finally, it emphasises the importance of attaining the ability to communicate scientific methods for the benefit of others.

Indicative content:

  • Identification of Research Questions: Using collaborative methods to establish problems in psychology amendable to systematic research on or making use of technology.
  • Technology in Psychology: Appreciating the opportunities of using computers to assess human performance to precisely control displays or to enable large volumes of data to be collected.
  • Control of computer displays: Strength and weaknesses of CRT Monitors, Flat panel displays, tablet computers, Virtual Reality etc. Using computers to run experiments on visual processing.
  • Automation of data collection methods: Creating or modifying software to control the sequence, timing and data collection of experiments on analog or digital visual displays.
  • Visual Cognition and Vision Science: Measuring the limits of human visual performance. Using adjustment, staircase or constant stimuli methods. Understanding thresholds and bias. Explaining different methodological approaches to the assessment of eye-movements in scene perception and natural vision.
  • Data challenges in Psychology: Many areas of psychology create exceptionally large data sets, either through imaging techniques such as brain imagery, or distributed computing techniques such as mobile devices and social media. Each of these present opportunities for Psychological Science, but also challenges.
  • From Items Analysis to Linear Mixed Models: The inclusion of F1 and F1 Clark and Clark, Raijmaakers in the need for items analyses. Leading to the contemporary use of Linear Mixed Models.
  • Historical and Conceptual Issues: Using case studies to illustrate how technology has informed the creation of theoretical models of human processing. Understanding how technological evolution has driven developments in novel paradigms in vision science and visual cognition.

Brief description

This is a student-led module in which students and staff collaborate in the assessment content and marking criteria. The area of study is psychological research related to 'real life' situations showing how psychology can be practiced in environments such as industry, education, health and sport, and delivered as workshops by staff and external speakers.

Indicative content:

  • Psychology and Technology: How has psychology research influenced technology development such as artificial intelligence and security systems?
  • Psychological Therapies in the Real World: Understanding the applications and impact of psychology therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and speech and language therapy.
  • Psychology in the Public Sector: Understanding the ways in which local and national governments use psychology research.
  • Psychology in the Workplace: Exploring the impact of psychology on human resource management in the workplace, focusing on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Environmental Psychology: o what extent are the environments we live and work in influenced by psychology?
  • Sports Psychology in the Real World: What is sports psychology and how is it applied to issues like duty of care?
  • Applied Forensic Psychology: Applying psychology theory to crime to help answer questions like ‘why do offenders offend?’
  • Applied Educational Psychology: How can psychology theories be applied in teaching, such as supporting children with learning difficulties?

Brief description

This module will introduce you to the neuronal, cognitive, and emotional processes involved in physical and creative cultural practices, with an emphasis on dance and its power for change (hence; from dance to trance). Throughout the module, you will learn in short lectures with integrated Q & A sessions about current research on the perceptual, sensorimotor, emotional, cognitive and neuronal changes in relation to dance and other cultural practices from a psychological and neuroscientific perspective, covering a wide spectrum from social interaction, cognition, expertise, health and wellbeing, as well as personality and evolution. The theoretical and methodological content will be completed by small-group practical sessions that provide you with opportunities for shared, reflective experiences including example questions to prepare for the assessments. While the lectures and practical topics will focus on dance, you can choose your own activity of interest to apply the learnt content for the coursework such as music, theatre, sport, acting, painting and reading.

Indicative content:

  • Why we dance: Feelings, the innateness of rhythym and functions of dance: Are we born to dance? Is dancing an innate, biologically-driven activity to get in trance? Do animals dance? The module will provide a comprehensive introduction to theories and research findings on the evolution of dance, considering functions of rituals linked to aggression, status, trance, mating and communication. We will discuss studies showing the genetic disposition of dance, personality and individual differences in developmental, cognitive and motor responses to dance, music and rhythm.
  • What do you need to dance: Motor action, perception and memory: What makes our body move? To understand what we need in order to dance, the module will cover topics of motor control and action, visuo-spatial perception, memory and frameworks of expertise. Further, advancements in models of training and strategies to enhance performance will be discussed (i.e., imagery, attention, goal-setting, and other training technique for improving performance).
  • Watching dance: Audiences' expertise and personal preferences: What do we see and feel when we watch dance? This section builds the core of the module. It covers a large content, relating to the nonverbal information we transmit through dance and how. Research on cognitive, perceptual, emotional and sensorimotor processes of watching dance will be discussed within the concepts of action observation, mirror neurons, embodied cognition, sensorimotor entrainment, kinaesthetic empathy, biological motion, synchronicity as well as experimental aesthetics.
  • The benefits of dance: Self-confidence, body image, rehabilitation, health and wellbeing: The reports on effects of dance on health and wellbeing are controversial. While participation in recreational dance has predominantly positive effects on self-image, vocational dance training and professional dance practice can be hugely detrimental to the individual’s health and wellbeing. The findings from the literature are discussed in terms of body image, motivation, and identity, injury and self-esteem, ideal means of training, as well as dance as a form of rehabilitation.
  • The Psychology of thetre, art, music, sport and gaming: Throughout the module, we will touch on other cultural practices, such as acting, painting, writing, music, and so on. As with dance, individuals’ motivations to engage in these practices, related health and wellbeing benefits will be discussed and students are expected to engage in proposed literature in their field of interest.

Brief description

This module takes an evolutionary approach to the study of human behaviour. Specifically, we examine evolutionary approaches to cognition, culture, and sociality. The module starts with an exploration of social behaviours and demonstrates how social learning underpins uniquely human culture and cognition. We also explore evolutionary approaches to social perception and interaction, with a focus on social attributions of others in romantic and non-romantic contexts (face perception). The module draws on cutting-edge research from the field, with teaching sessions partly student-led. Students engage in a number of innovative learning contexts including demonstrations. You'll develop your ability to critically evaluate the primary scientific literature in these areas.

Indicative content:

  • Evolutionary approaches to human sociality and culture: Sociality and cooperation; Conflict and maladaptive behaviour.
  • Approaches, methods and concepts in Cultural Evolution: Humans as a cultural species. Why are humans distinct from other animals in their cultural repertoires? How does culture accumulate and progress?
  • Ontogeny of Cultural Evolution: How do children acquire culture? When does social learning emerge and are children ‘blind imitators’?
  • Social perspective and cognition: Human mate choice and sexual signalling: What makes someone beautiful? What trait dimensions do we assess from facial and other physical cues? Are these signals reliable? Historical context and methods in assessing attractiveness judgements and other social judgements.
  • Biological perspectives on human sexuality and romantic attration: Individual/cultural differences in sexuality. The hormonal basis of attachment. Biological perspectives on romantic expression and sexual behaviour.

Brief description

The psychology of mental health disorders and exploration of how patients experience their illness.

Indicative content:

  • Models to aid diagnosis: Introduction to the use of biopsychosocial models in the diagnosis of mental ill health.
  • Understanding causes: Exploration of the biological, psychological and environmental causes of mental health disorders such as psychoses, mood disorders, developmental disorders or learning difficulties.
  • Treatment and outcomes: Investigate treatment options for patients with disorders and categories of distress, evaluate research on treatment outcomes for different categories of patients.
  • Lived experience: Consideration of the lived experience of patients from symptom onset, diagnoses and treatment, experience of the clinicians and health workers in supporting patients with mental illness.
  • Prognosis and life after treatment: Evaluating how patients with different categories of distress respond to treatment, how their biological and environmental circumstances influence prognosis, and managing mental health conditions long term.

Year 4 Core Modules

You must study and pass two core modules

Brief description

Design, conduct and analyse your own independent piece of research and present your research findings. Receive guidance and support for the honours project process.

Indicative content:

  • Working with a supervisor: Making the most of supervision, preparing for supervision meetings, becoming a confident independent learner, setting goals, evaluating progress.
  • Application of Methods and Statistics (Workshop-based): Choosing appropriate methodologies. Using appropriate computer packages: e.g. SPSS and Excel. Use of specialised software: e.g. Superlab and E-Prime.
  • Becoming an effective researcher: Critically evaluating your own ideas, identifying the right question to ask, relating your ideas to the literature, ethical issues and how to address them.
  • Participating in the research community: Immersion in the literature. Organising research materials and keeping good records. Conducting meetings with outside agencies and communicating findings to participants and peers.
  • Design and procedure: Methodological issues, techniques of analysis, limitations of statistical techniques, pilot work, creating experimental materials, making sure ideas are ‘testable’, problems with implementation.
  • Data: Collecting data efficiently, keeping good records, ensuring data can be analysed, analysing data appropriately, interpreting the results. Ensuring confidentiality of data. Presenting data and research findings clearly.
  • Communicating results: Writing in APA (American Psychological Association) format, being your own editor, critiquing and reviewing your own work effectively, relating your findings to the literature. Presenting the main findings of the project orally.
  • Presentation skills: Organising material, presentations using multi-media. Personal confidence, audibility, modulation and diction in public speaking.
  • Personal Development Planning (PDP): Reflect on your own learning development and current skills (e.g. CV’s, experience and transferable skills) in order to develop employability awareness and as preparation for post graduate study and the workplace. Consideration of psychological literacy.
  • Writing skills: Developing a mature and confident writing style; correct editorial style for research projects. Trouble-shooting in writing skills; proof-reading.

Brief description

This module is designed to develop your understanding of cognitive psychology, building on content from previous modules, and to relate this to real world applications. The module develops a deeper understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and language, applying these to real world practices in areas such as education, policy development, security and the justice system.

Indicative content

  • Historical and Conceptual Issues: Introduction to cognitive models in psychology, their relevance to our current understanding of cognitive psychology. Review of examples of successful and unsuccessful applications of cognitive psychology.
  • Visual perception: Models of visual perception – reminder of processes in the recognition of objects, categories and faces. How can we improve face recognition in the real world – e.g. passport security.
  • Attention: Understanding models of visuo-spatial and executive attention. Executive functions and whether they can be trained by certain practices such as bilingualism, music or gaming.
  • Decision Making: Understanding processes related to decision making and which cognitive biases we are prone to engaging in and why.  Relating this to Behavioural Economics/nudge theory where policy makers aim to change decision making to lead to better public health outcomes.
  • Memory: Exploring types of long-term memory including semantic and episodic, declarative and non-declarative. Understanding associative networks in memory and priming. Relating this to forensic and justice settings e.g. how reliable is eyewitness memory?
  • Language and Multilingualism: Understanding the cognitive processes involved in storing and using multiple language varieties. How do we cognitive define bilinguals and monolinguals. Relating this to situations involving language assessment such as education, speech & language therapy etc.

Year 4 Option Modules

You must study and pass three option modules of your choosing – two in Term 1 and one in Term 2

Brief description

Major crime investigation involves a complex interplay of human, situational and environmental circumstances that can pose significant challenges to even the most experienced investigators. This module will examine the critical role that psychological research and theories play in informing policing investigative practice.There will be in depth discussions of established and emerging knowledge in key areas, such as the controversial topic of criminal profiling, investigative decision-making, crime-linkage and suspect interviewing.

Indicative content

  • Introduction and context: An introduction to investigative psychology and the importance of recognising how other people can influence our behaviour and cognitive processes, including an overview of both theory and application of social influence research in this exciting and developing area of applied psychology.
  • Investigative processes: An overview of the key stages and issues in relation to police and wider criminal justice system investigative processes including some of the key legal powers associated with these.
  • Investigative decision-making: How do detectives make critical decisions during an investigation regarding relevant lines of enquiry, which information is relevant to a case, where there are potential gaps in information and how to a build a case? How do they prevent tunnel vision and bias when faced with complex equivocal scenarios? We will evaluate key applied decision-making literature in the context of serious crime investigations.
  • Family liaison and support: Family Liaison Officers are specially trained police officers who provide a two-way flow of information between families and investigation teams for high risk missing person cases and bereavements resulting from fatal accidents, murders or unexplained deaths, or disasters involving multiple fatalities. We will discuss the psychology of this critical role including investigative challenges when a family member is a suspect.
  • Offender profiling: What is offender profiling and how is it undertaken? We will dispel some of the myths of popular media by evaluating different approaches to offender profiling, considering their efficacy and use by the police and discussing the future for this topical approach to investigation.
  • Serial homicide and case-linkage: What is serial homicide and how does it differ from other types of homicide? In what ways can offender profiling be applied to this serious crime? We will discuss critical research on crime-linkage grounded in psychological theory.
  • Investigating missing persons: What do missing people do and where do they go? What role is there for psychological theories in explaining missing person behaviour and helping the police investigate cases?
  • Psychological autopsy and suicide: Murder or suicide? How can psychology and related disciplines inform our understanding of factors which can be used to support investigative decision making regarding the likelihood of suicide and investigative decisions regarding whether a case might be a murder? The use of psychological autopsy as an aid in such cases will be critically evaluated.
  • Suspect interviews: We will examine and understand the psychology of suspect interviews, looking at current practices as well as the evolution and use of police techniques in different countries.
  • False confessions: Why do some individuals confess to crimes they did not commit? We will discussion the complex and fascinating issue of false confessions and how it relates to suspect interview techniques.

Brief description

An opportunity to link work experience with your academic study by undertaking a psychology-relevant work placement. Through a competitive process, you can apply for placements organised by the University or if you already have a suitable work or voluntary post, can use this to gain work-based credit. You must work a minimum of 30hrs across the term with your placement provider as well as attend sessions in the University designed to enhance employability and support the assessments.

Indicative content:

  • Introduction: Overview of expectations from work placement students.
  • Mapping skills, reflective practice and reflecting on personal experiences: Evaluating skills against careers and job opportunities, engaging in reflective practice, identifying areas of development.
  • Self-presentation in job applications: How to construct a cover letter, tailoring your CV, presentation in interview and networking events.
  • Careers in Psychology - real-life experiences: Abertay alumni will return to share their stories and experiences of securing jobs in psychology-related fields and beyond.
  • Project and task management: How to manage tasks and projects to ensure successful completion and effectiveness.

Brief description

You'll be introduced to the use of mindfulness and associated concepts in the maintenance of emotional and psychological well-being. The module combines theoretical knowledge and research with experiential learning. As well as examining the history, theories and application of mindfulness-based practices in mental healthcare, you'll have the opportunity to engage in mindfulness practice.

Indicative content

  • Origins of mindfulness: Buddhism, eastern philosophies and meditation practices. The western adoption of meditation from 1960s-present. Key figures in the development of mindfulness practices
  • Mindfulness Practices: Introductory training and support in developing students own mindfulness practice, ongoing peer- group facilitation and on-line reflective writing on the process. Introduction to the variety of mindfulness activities and methods of engagement in mindfulness practices
  • Contemporary research and theory in mindfulness: Evaluation of the applications and effectiveness of mindfulness-based practices in mental health and well- being. Introduction to the cognitive and spiritual models of mindfulness
  • Socio-political context: The cultural and research movements which have allowed the incorporation of mindfulness practices in to western medicine and healthcare

Brief description

A general introduction to the field of cognitive neuroscience but also specialist insights into current research topics. The theoretical and methodological foundations of cognitive neuroscience will be comprehensively reviewed and students will develop key skills to understand and report cognitive neuroscience research via individual and group work.

Indicative content

  • Cognitive Neuroscience: history, definitions, themes, approaches and issues.
  • Techniques and Technology: Series of lectures on the methodologies that are currently available in cognitive neuroscience, broadly divided in measurement and manipulation techniques.
  • Specialist areas: Lectures on contemporary research - these may vary from year to year and may be selected from the following (non-exhaustive) list: perception; action; attention; attentional control; memory; emotion; social cognition; language; numerical cognition; executive functions; decision making.
  • Identifying, reading and reporting primary sources: Students will be guided in searching for suitable primary sources and understanding cognitive neuroscience research reports. They will also be required to engage in supervised presentations of research papers followed by discussions with the class.

Brief description

This module focuses on child development in the first eight years. It will cover language development, number and counting knowledge, reading from a cognitive and educational perspective. In addition, it will look at the influence of play and the media during these early years.

Indicative content

  • Child cognition and brain growth: The development of the brain in early childhood and its links to language and numerical skills.
  • Conceptual issues in learning: Domains (modules), critical periods, learning mechanisms (e.g. statistical learning, bootstrapping, innate constraints), nature-nurture.
  • Speech and sounds: Auditory perception, acquisition of phonemes, and the effects of prosody on acquisition of other parts of the language system.
  • Acquisition of words: Words, concepts and categories. Child-directed speech, literacy acquisition, language impairments.
  • Rules of language: Acquisition of morphology and syntax.
  • Learning to read: Theories of normal reading; dyslexia and hyperlexia.
  • Early numerical skills: Theories of mathematical development; early number and counting skills.
  • The role of play: Play inside and outside the classroom. How play influences cognitive and social development.
  • Media: The role of television viewing and computer games on children's development.

How the Course Works

Learning and Assessment

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, seminars/tutorials and independent study.

Psychology degrees at Abertay are flexible. You can study different pathways and switch to a new pathway if your interests change over time.

You apply for one of these specific degree pathways at the start:

But if you’re unsure which to choose, don’t worry, apply for the course that appeals most.

This is because you have an opportunity to switch to a different pathway at the start of Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 (conditions apply*). Our academic team will always be available to help if you do decide to switch pathways.

Your degree title will be reflected in the pathway you choose e.g: BSc (Hons) Psychology with Development and Education or BSc (Hons) Psychology with Forensic Scene Investigation.

No other Scottish university is offering these flexible undergraduate degree pathways in psychology. We believe this gives our graduates a distinct edge when it comes to applying for postgraduate study or employment.

*Dependant on the relevant modules being taken. Please check your Student Handbook for full details.

Teaching and Assessment

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, seminars, tutorials, and independent study.

The practical laboratory classes are where you’ll learn relevant scientific techniques first-hand and engage in research by designing experiments then collecting and analysing the data.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods. These include examinations and class tests, practical laboratory reports, essays, oral and poster presentations, research projects, writing scientific articles and case studies.

All students must complete their Honours project on an area of psychological research related to their chosen pathway.

Accreditation

The British Psychological Society (BPS) is our professional body and the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme here at Abertay has their accreditation. The BPS Accreditation is essential for students who want to become a Chartered Psychologist.

Entry Requirements

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

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

One of the following: 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 (admissions@abertay.ac.uk) 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.

Republic of Ireland applicants, click on the UK tabs and scroll down to find your Entry Requirements.

See information about studying and applying to Abertay for International students.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher (standard entry) ABBB Literate subject
Higher (minimum entry) We may make you an offer at the minimum entry grades if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible for minimum entry (see below). BBC Literate subject at B
A-Level BCC Literate subject
Irish Highers A2B2B2B2 or H2H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 29 Points To include literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Health & Social Care
AHEAD   Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access   Access to: University Study/Community, Education & Humanities/Arts & Social Sciences and Primary Teaching/Languages, Arts & Social Sciences/Humanities & Primary Education/Degree Studies/Celtic Studies/Arts & Humanities/Humanities/Humanities (Teaching)
SQA HNC/HND A/AA Our Coming from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses
BTEC HNC/HND D Health & Social Care
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher AAB Psychology and one from Modern Studies, English, Sociology, History, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics
A-Level AAB Psychology and one from Government & Politics, English, Sociology, History, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics
SQA HNC/HND A/AA Our Coming from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants from across the world. Please select your country from the searchable list below to view different qualification entry requirements. If you have different qualifications to those listed, please contact us using the form below.

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Academic Requirements

Applicants will typically be required to achieve BCC at A-Level, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with an overall score of 29 points, to include any essential subject(s) at S5 or H4.

English language: English B at S5 or H4 is accepted. For English A, no grade is specified. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically require a High School GPA of 3.0, plus one of the following:

  • SAT (I) score of 1150
  • 3 AP Tests at grades 433
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests at 600
  • ACT Composite score of 26

A combination of AP/SAT II tests may be used, provided they are in different subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with 6 units as follows: 1 unit at II, 3 units at III, 2 units at IV, to include any essential subject(s) at III.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the European Baccalaureate with an overall grade of 73%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7 are accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomë e Maturës Shtetëore with an overall grade of 8.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Technique / Commercial with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants with national school qualilfications will typically be required to pass the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 13/20, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Trayecto Técnico Profesional with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior/Universitario with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Araratian Baccalaureate at Extended Level with grades BBC, to include any essential subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary General Education wih an average of 13 and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 66%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Year 12 Certificate plus ATAR rank of 80 or Overall Position of 9, to include any essential subject(s) at Year 12 with grade B, grade 3 or Sound Achievement.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis with an overall grade of 2.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at grade 2 in the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Tam Orta Tahsil Hazzinda Aggestat with an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 68%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama/General Secondary Education Certificate with an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree or post-secondary diploma in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70% or 2.75 (on the 4 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Intermediate/Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 2.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55% or B-, to include any essential subject(s) at 60% or grade B.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of General Secondary Education at an average of 6, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 6.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma van secundair onderwijs with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma de Bachiller at 64%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conculsão de Segundo Grau with an average score of 8.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conclusão de Ensino Médio with an average score of 8.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Brunei A Levels in 3 subjects at grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma za Sredno Obrazonvanie with an average score of 4.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Upper Secondary Education at average of C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 67%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalaureat or Baccalaureat Technique at an overall grade of 13, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Secondary School Diploma or Diplôme d'Études Collégiales with five grade 12 subjects at an average of 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Licencia de Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 5.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to complete Senior Middle/High School Certificate/Diploma at an average of 77%, to include any essential subject(s) at 77%; and pass GAOKAO with 550 points (based on the 750 points scheme).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Bachiller Academico at an average of 3.25, and the first year of a university degree or Tecnico Universitario in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Svjedodžba o Maturi with an overall grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Apolytírio Lykeíou with an overall grade of 17.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvědčení o maturitní zkoušce with an overall grade of 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentereksamen (STX), including 3 Level A subjects an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: Studentereksamen English Level A or B at grade 7 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller at an average of 7.0, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 14 / 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Gumaasiumi lõputunnistus with an average score of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4; and pass 3 state examinations at a minimum of 60% (or 2 states examinations plus C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS).

English language: 75% in the English state examination is accepted, or C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS (overall score 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5). For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentsprogv at an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at Level A grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen at an overall grade 4.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

English language: Advanced English at grade 5 within the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique at an overall grade 12.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 14 in the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat at an overall grade 11.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 13 in the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%/2.70, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%/2.70, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sashualo Skolis Atestati (Secondary School Certificate) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shualo Specialuri Sastsavleblis Diplomi (Special School Leaving Diploma) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abitur with an overall grade of 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 11.

English language: Abitur English at grade 10 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of B/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of B/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Greek Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio at grade 17.5 and 3 Pan-Hellenic exams at an average of 16.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Hong Kong HKDSE at 3333 in 4 core subjects, with elective subjects at 433 (for 3 electives) or 44 (for 2 electives), to include any essential subject(s) at 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Érettségi Bizonyítvány at an overall grade 4.2, with 2 higher subjects at grade 4, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Stúdentspróf at an overall grade 6.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 6.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Indian Senior School (Year 12) exam at an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/Madrasah Aliyah (SMK / MA) at 78%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Post School Qualification Diploma 1 at 2.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants from Ireland should check the UK Year 1 Entry tab for entry requirements with Irish Highers.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Te'udat Bagrut or Bagrut with at least 2 subjects at level 5 and 1 subject at level 4 at an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at Level 5 with 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato at 75%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8 (on the 10 point scale) or grade 16 (on the 20 point scale).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate at grade 3.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Completed Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 75% / 2.67, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at an average of B, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55%, to include any essential subject(s) at 55%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Atestas par vispārējo vidējo izglītību with an average score of 7.5, to include 3 state exams at a minimum of 75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Libanais or Baccalauréat II with 14, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Brandos Atestatas with an average score of 7.5 with a minimum of 75% in 3 state exams, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplôme de Fin d'Études Secondaires at an overall grade of 44, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 44.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Higher Secondary Education with 73%, to include any essential subject(s) at 73%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ensino Secundário Complementar with grade 2.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate (COHSC) with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s) at grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Malawian School Certificate of Education at grade 5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with a minimum of 3 subjects at BBC or 2.67 GPA, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) with 4 subjects at 75% / A2 B5 B5 B5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 75%/B5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matriculation Certificate Examination with grades BB at Advanced level and BCCC at Intermediate level, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at 70%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 75%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary Education Certificate (HSC) with 68%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) with an overall score of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English at grade 8 in HAVO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.0 or 55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.0 or 55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.0/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.0/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Secondary School Leaving Diploma/Matura with an overall grade of 3.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering with an overall average of 3.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

English language: English at grade 4 in the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 64%/3.0, to include any essential subject(s) at 68%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matura with an average score of 65%, to include 3 Advanced subjects at a minimum of 50%, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level with a score of 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma/Certificado Nível Secundário de Educação with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 16.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Qatar Senior School Certificate (Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama) at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.5/75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5/75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 7.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestat o Srednem Obrzovanii (Certificate of Secondary Education) at an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.7, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyah) with an average of 60%, and either the post-secondary diploma or first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5/75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Singapore GCE A-Levels with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške at grade 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at B2 level at grade 2 in the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Maturitetno spričevalo at grade 3.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the National Senior Certificate (with Matriculation Endorsement) with 4 subjects at 6555, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller with an average score of 7.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sudan School Certificate with an average of 60%/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%/B, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola with an average score of 16.5, to include any essential subject(s) at level 5 grade B.

English language: English Level 5 at grade B or English Level 6 at grade C in the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificat de Maturité with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Maturitätszeugnis with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestato Di Maturità with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Certificate of Secondary Education/Maw 6 with an average of 75%/3.3, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3; or complete the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 2.5, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the High School Diploma at an average of 55%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.2 (on the 5 point scale) or 60 (on the 100 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.7, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70% / 2.6 (on the 4 point scale) / 4.2 (on the 5 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination at 65%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.3, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Academic Lyceum at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior Universitario, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55% / 6.3 (on the 10 point scale) / 13 (on the 20 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).


English Language Requirements

All courses at Abertay University are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet our English language requirements. Accepted English language qualifications include:

IELTS - overall score of 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5

TOEFL - overall score of 78 (individual elements: L-17, R-18, S-20, W-17)

Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE - overall score of 169 on Cambridge Grading Scale

International Baccalaureate - English B at S5 or H4, English A no specific grade required

European Baccalaureate - English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English language if you are a national of certain countries. Please see English Language Requirements for the full list of accepted qualifications and further details.

 

If your academic qualifications aren't listed above, or if you have any further questions, please contact our international team using the form below. There is also lots of useful information for international applicants on how to apply, visa information, and studying in Scotland on our international pages.


Contact our International Team

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Support for Ukrainian students

We're keen to offer help to Ukrainian students who may wish to transfer from their existing institution in Ukraine or to register with us as new students for intake in September 2022-3. There will be no tuition fees charged for the duration of the degree programme, as those with refugee status are treated as ‘Home/Scottish’ students and will also have access to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland bursary and student loans. Our Recruitment Team can help guide applicants.

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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.

Fees and funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you depends on factors such as your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. 

More information

Find out about grants, bursaries, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs in our undergraduate fees and funding section.

 

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.

As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.

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Abertay International Scholarship

This is an award of up to £12,000 for prospective international undergraduate students.

Abertay rUK Scholarship

This is a £4000 award for prospective undergraduate students applying from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Career Opportunities

We are extremely proud of our alumni. Their post-graduation roles are wide and varied, such as:

  • Occupational therapists.
  • Youth workers.
  • Drug rehabilitation workers.
  • Clinical psychologists.
  • Primary/secondary school teachers.
  • College/university lecturers.
  • Research assistants.
  • Social workers.
  • Various positions within the police.
2 males and 1 female studying together

What does this involve?

Investigative forensic psychology means working with the police to help investigate crime scenes and uncover the motivation behind the crimes involved. This means working to understand why criminals behave the way they do, supporting police investigations and wider criminal justice interventions with offenders.

You'll develop techniques to elicit accurate accounts from both witnesses and victims, learn about eyewitness memory and cover investigative interviewing and jury decision making.

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Strong Industry Links

Abertay has strong links with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and many of the lecturing staff are members of professional societies. We have excellent connections with local health services, the games industry and local education authorities. This means you will be learning from industry experts as well as academics.

If you are currently employed, the Workplace Psychology module gives you the opportunity to consider how psychology can be applied within your own organisation.

 

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Get inspired

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

A picture of Pauline Mack smiling.

Pauline Mack

Pauline created over 100 e-learning resources in her first year at Rexel alone.

Find out more

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Bela Havasreti

Bela investigates financial fraud as an Analyst for Deloitte Poland.

Find out more

A photo of Ursa Klobucar. She's wearing glasses and a cream coloured top.

Ursa Klobucar

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

Find out more

Unistats

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)).

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