Psychology

Our BPS-accredited Psychology degree takes you on a journey to uncover the reasons behind human actions and interactions.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

C800

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

Psychology is the scientific study of the most complex machine imaginable: the human mind. This BPS-accredited degree takes you on a journey to uncover the reasons behind human actions and interactions, digging deeper into the thoughts and feelings that trigger our behaviour.

How do we learn and remember? What do our actions and interactions tell us about our behaviour? How do we communicate verbally and non-verbally? Satisfy your inquisitive mind and find answers to these questions and more during this fascinating psychology degree.

The discipline of psychology is continually evolving, with many exciting new developments occurring across a number of core areas (Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Biological Psychology). The use of neural imaging techniques is one significant advancement, which helps us to understand the links between brain and behaviour.

At Abertay, new developments in the field are readily incorporated into the core curriculum, with this programme offering a comprehensive selection of topics on human behaviour. The core areas follow the curriculum set out by the British Psychological Society.

This course scored an amazing 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 take our word for it:

  • Sunday Times UK University of the Year 2020 for Teaching Quality.
  • Guardian University Guide 2020 Top 10 in the UK for Student Satisfaction with TeachingCourse and Feedback.
  • National Student Survey 2020 Top 10 UK Universities for Student Satisfaction.

Your Journey Starts Here

Alongside the core curriculum, you'll also have the opportunity to explore your interests across more specialist areas of psychology, such as language development, mental health and aging, psychology and technology, forensic psychology, brain and behaviour and evolutionary psychology.

In addition, you'll learn how to design your own psychology experiments and analyse a variety of data. This culminates in creating a supervised, student-led research project in the final year of your degree.

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 three 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:

  • 1. Attachment – Harlow (1985): What is attachment and how does it contribute to cognitive and behavioural development?
  • 2. 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?
    3. 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?
    4. Eye Movements – Yarbus (1967): How can we measure and record what we are looking at? Why is this information important?
    5. 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.

Year 1 Option Modules

You must study and pass two option modules of your choosing – one from Group [A] and one from Group [B]

Brief description

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

Module 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

A sociological overview of the mass media, its developments, and social impacts.

Module content:

  • Content: The Meaning of the Mass Media (definition and origins of key terms, the historical emergence of mass mediated popular cultures).
  • Media and technology: Media technology and historical development, theories of technology and technological determinism, social impacts of technology representations of technology in Science Fiction and popular culture).
  • Media cultures: Audiences, fans, genres, elite and mass culture.
  • The cultural history of media forms: The Press, Cinema and Television; debates surrounding media effects.
  • The language of crime, violence and conflict: Terrorism and political violence.
  • Race and representation in the media.
  • Gender and media culture.
  • Celebrity and celebrity culture.
  • Gender centred cyber bullying.
  • Pornification.

Brief description

The scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of non-human animals. It covers 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. There is an optional field trip.

Module 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

Introduction to a sociological understanding of the processes of social change within European history. 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.

Module 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.

Years 1 and 2 Elective Modules

You must study and pass one elective module of your choosing

Brief description

Introduction of the concept of smart cities - hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and digital technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all.

Module content:

  • Social impacts

There is an overall need for theoretical and methodological plurality in how we assess the impact and value of future cities in terms for individual and societal well−being. Gaps in our understanding relate to the complex ways individuals and groups engage with built and natural settings, the cultural goods and consequent benefits that may arise and the inequalities associated with these cultural benefits.

  • Security

Different types of cyber-attacks that could be launched against a Smart City. Impact of cyber-attacks. Approaches to securing the smart grid and critical infrastructure, i.e. improving cyber resilience.

  • Sustainable urban food production

Includes the long established allotments movement to large-scale projects based on sustainability throughout the food chain. Urban food production includes the long established allotments movement. The demand for urban growing also responds to the densification and intensification of living areas, due to population rise, migration and demographic aging with lower housing and ‘garden’ space standards placing greater importance on collective production.

  • Energy, waste and water

At present, water and wastewater facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive responsibilities owned and operated by local governments, representing up to 35% of municipal energy use. Future cities will need to utilise more sustainable methods of water and wastewater management and renewable energy production.

  • Digital technologies

​Digital technologies will play a major role in creating sustainable and resilient cities offering a vehicle for more inclusive decision−making process and promoting dialog amongst architects, urban planners, the public and technologists.

Brief description

Develop a range of skills, knowledge and techniques within the natural, technological and social sciences relevant to the study of environmental sustainability and life in the twenty-first century. Understand the critical issues that confront humanity and begin to discern appropriate responses.

Module content:

The challenge of sustainable development
Problems associated with life in the 21st Century and the relationship to scientific provisionalism and uncertainty.

The genesis of sustainable development concept
Developments associated with the Club of Rome are outlined while Limits to Growth and the Tragedy of the Commons.

Evolution of sustainable development
The Reo Summit and Suitability, and Policy Developments thereof.

Scientific inquiry and sustainable development
Controversial issues like climate change, oil peak, and food production and the role of science in helping delimit them as problematic.

Mainstreaming sustainability
Sustainability and Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience, as individual and social concerns, and their role in transformation.

Communicating sustainability
Human well-being, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy and the practicalities of Sustainability in Scotland.

Sustainable development in practice
Community Empowerment associated with Land Reform. Energy Production and Food Production in Tayside.

Ethics and sustainability policy
Active citizenship and globalisation.

Innovating locally, transforming globally
Transformations required to embrace Sustainability.

Active relationship for sustainable futures
Thinking globally, acting locally.

Brief description

How lifestyle can affect physical and mental well-being. Reflect on your own lifestyle choices and how to incorporate good health behaviours into your life.

Module content:

  • Sleep and stress
    The impact of sleep and stress on health and performance. Completion of sleep diaries and questionnaires related to sleep patterns and stress.
     
  • Physical activity
    Current physical activity recommendations, components of physical fitness.
     
  • Physical inactivity
    Understanding why people are inactive. The link between physical inactivity, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
     
  • Physical activity and mental well-being
    The effects of physical activity on mental well-being.
     
  • The effect of carbohydrate consumption and exercise on blood glucose
    Measurement and recording of blood glucose in response to the carbohydrate ingestion and exercise.
     
  • Simple health and fitness testing
    Measurement and recording of data. Tests will include blood pressure, strength, endurance and flexibility. Data will be compared with normative values for these tests.

Brief description

Develop critical thinking skills that form the basis for progression across the academic disciplines of the university. Learn how to recognise, construct, evaluate, criticise and defend different forms of argument.

Module content:

•    Potential 'timeless' debates 
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: e.g. existence of God; privacy and civil society; private property; money as source of 'evil'; nature/nurture; free speech; pornography; capital punishment; prostitution; animal experimentation; meaning of justice; abortion; affirmative action; just war; trade union power; good life/good political community; human nature; monarchy; value of democracy; meaning of equality; citizenship rights.

•    Potential 'timely' debates
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: eg, Scottish independence, academic freedom; drug legalisation; drug use in sport; immigration; free health care; war on terror; EU membership; euthanasia; progressive taxation; race and gender discrimination; gay marriage; human rights; politics/sport; global warming; internet censorship; nuclear power; education league tables; nuclear weapons; GM agriculture; religion; cloning; fair trade; value of contemporary culture.

•    Critical thinking seminars
Follow-up discursive discipline specific seminar sessions led by teaching staff on topics covered in formal debates. Learn to identify types of argument presented, evaluate perspectives and to reflect upon their own reasoning processes and value assumptions. The debates and seminars facilitate a foundation for the acquisition of graduate attributes.

•    WEB CT Wiki discussion forum
Work in small groups to write a short 800 word indicative "Thinking Summary" online Wiki of the arguments presented in each debate. These summaries will be constructed by each designated Thinking Group of three students using the Wiki facility on Blackboard which will facilitate further discussion on the moderated WEB CT discussion forum.

Brief description

The social, managerial, economic, political, and technical challenges and opportunities associated with emerging renewable energy innovation, production, supply and consumption.

Module content:

•    Renewable energy non-technical challenges and opportunities
Social and political challenges and opportunities of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Economic and environmental challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Strategic and managerial challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption.


•    Renewable energy technological challenges and opportunities
Geotechnical, Geophysical and Hydrographic information; Knowledge of sources of hydrographic information and interpretation of published charts. Forces on structures; Appreciation of the various forces acting on marine structures. Technical limitations and challenges of energy distribution systems and energy storage. Current technological development trend, collaborative innovation in renewable energy.

Brief description

An understanding of the concepts of tolerance, and the importance of making sound ethical decisions. Develop the qualities, characteristics and skills to meet the aspiration for Abertay graduates to become global and active citizens. 

Module content:

•    Introduction to equality and ethics legislation 

•    Diversity competence and moral/ethical reasoning 
Inclusiveness, equal opportunities, positive action, reasonable adjustment.

•    Attributes for the workplace and for global citizenship.

•    Reflective practice 
Application of models of reflective practice.

•    Contemporary issues

Brief description

Learn how to adjust language to suit context. Analyse a range of linguistic issues, including “proper English”, how language can be used to create moral panics, and the ethics of communication.

Module content:

•    “Good English”
The role of standardisation, dialect and idiolect − how we choose language to reflect our identities and our role in a speech or discourse community.

Language and influence
How the media constructs narratives to persuade or inform the audience (and how to tell the difference).

Creating a narrative across genres
The conventions, freedoms and limitations of different forms; using these forms in new ways.

Narrative changes over time
How authors reinvent old stories to reflect current concerns.

Technical writing
The use and manipulation of data; hearing the author's voice; critiquing "bad science".

The ethics of communication
 (Electronic) media and ownership, attribution and theft.

Brief description

“Personal” digital safety to make computer security fun, practical and eye-opening.  Learn the base knowledge that will continue to be relevant to future generations of devices.

Module content:

•    Current state of computer security
An overview including legal aspects.

•    Cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and threats
Malware, Network attacks (denial of service, packet sniffing etc.), bots and rootkits. How the bad guys can obtain your password.

•    Information leakage
Recovery and forensics recovering deleted or corrupted files. What your browser knows about you. Web browser forensics.

•    Securing networks, accounts and devices
Defence against malware, honeypots, Secure protocols, intrusion detection, Password security, Mobile device security.

•    Human aspects of cyber security 
The Psychology of Hackers, Social Engineering, identity theft, Usability vs security.

•    Breaking the code
An introduction to cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, public and private keys, the key exchange problem.

•    History of cryptography 
The Caesar cipher, polyalphabetic ciphers, the Playfair cipher, the role of Enigma and the Bletchley Park cryptographers in WWII.

•    Computers and Crypto Diffie-Hellman and RSA encryption
Phil Zimmerman and “Pretty Good Protection". Quantum Cryptography – Provably unbreakable information hiding. Mathematical Underpinnings – Large prime numbers and why they matter.

•    Steganography
 A picture's worth a thousand words when you're hiding the wood in the trees.

•    The law, society and cryptography 
Why you can be imprisoned for forgetting your password. The Civil Liberties Arguments for and against strong-crypto. International perspectives on information hiding, information freedom, the right to privacy and the conflicts between these. Are unbreakable cyphers an unqualified “good thing”?

Brief description

Develop perspectives on the key challenges faced by humankind such as environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. Understand the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.

Module content:

  • Interdisciplinary research
    Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research
     
  • Global challenges
    Challenges from different disciplines. Examples include: Climate Change: causes and impact; Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games; Global Security: valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment; Contemporary Challenges to Healthy Living; Food Security: global threats and local needs; Energy Poverty: space travel.

Brief description

Design an activity to communicate and present scientific principles to primary school children. Learn about working as a group and how to communicate complex ideas.

Module content:

Developing a science communication activity
Target audience, sources of information to identify suitable activities (CfE documentation etc.), health and safety, issues around working with specific groups, accessibility, ethics, costing and sustainability.

The landscape of engagement and current practice
Types of public engagement activities, target audiences, funding, role of learned societies, universities and other bodies. Public engagement in Dundee and Tayside.

Brief description

Work in a team to develop game design concepts for serious applications. Gain the knowledge, processes and techniques of game design and study examples of serious games developed to benefit society.

Module content:

•    Overview of Games
A brief history of games, game art and gamification.

•    Games for change
Understanding how games can benefit society.

•    Game mechanics
Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

•    Gameplay constructs
What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

•    The game design process
Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow.

•    Game design theory and practice
Identifying the elements within effective design and how they are implemented.

•    Documenting the design interactive
Oriented design, technical design, capturing requirements.

•    Business models
Exploring methods that can be used to generate revenue within the game design.

Brief description

Develop the knowledge and awareness required to make good career decisions and the skills and confidence to successfully navigate each stage of the recruitment process for graduate jobs.

Module content:

  • Developing self-awareness
    Profiling of personal strengths, values and priorities in relation to career choice.
     
  • Developing opportunity awareness
    Generating career ideas based on your personal profile; Exploring the range of graduate opportunities within job sectors of interest; Reviewing occupations that are directly related to your own subject discipline.
     
  • Developing a career action plan
    Matching your personal profile with best fit opportunities in the job market; Creating a timeline of actions to improve your prospects of meeting your aim.
  • Developing job seeking skills
    Sourcing suitable job opportunities - both advertised and unadvertised; Creating a professional image online; Identifying the skills and qualities employers look for in graduates; Learning how to produce targeted applications for specific job roles; Practising the presentation of your strengths and motivations in face to face selection activities.

Brief description

Learn about natural disaster such as landslides and flooding, structural disasters such as the Tay Rail Bridge and the system of critical infrastructure (such as road, rail, air and shipping transport networks, power grid, gas and water networks, health system) that constitute the backbone of modern societies.

Module content:

•    Overview of the scope and the content of concept of critical infrastructure failure during natural disasters and resilience against such failures
The consequences of geophysical, hydrological and meteorological disasters on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure protection capabilities against natural disasters. Interdependencies of critical infrastructures during large disasters, presents a brief review of current research being done in this field, and presents a methodology to address interdependencies.


•    The identification of the vulnerabilities of the critical systems
The critical systems upon which modern society, economy, and polity depend. The identification of the vulnerabilities of these systems threats that might exploit these vulnerabilities. The effort to develop techniques to mitigate these vulnerabilities through improved design.


•     Flooding in Scotland
General overview of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, the structural, economic and societal impact and responses to flooding. Resources will include historical examples, current policies and information (including SEPA flood maps). Case study (with virtual/actual field visit?) the Perth Floods of 1990 and 1993 and the Perth flood defence scheme*


•    Landslide origins, types and mitigations
General overview what landslides are, why they happen and what can be done to prevent them.


•    Structural failure
An example such as why the Tay Bridge failed and what it meant for the Forth Rail Bridge.


•    Reports and investigations
The role of reports in accident and disaster investigations in creating informative reports; case studies of accidents, disasters, learning from history, learning from case studies, learning from common law

Brief description

Introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to launch a small business successfully. This module will define and help you acquire the personal and professional skills needed to develop a professional career and/or to succeed as entrepreneurs in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Module content:

  • Understanding entrepreneurship.
     
  • Generating successful business ideas.
     
  • Environmental scanning.
     
  • Developing a credible business plan that includes evaluating business ideas.
     
  • Presenting the business idea.

Brief description

An understanding of some of the processes involved in food production. Discuss common misconceptions and ideas which present the food and nutritional industries in a bad light.

Module content:

•    Student led investigations
Student led investigations of the different sectors within the food and drink industry including: prebiotics – and the controversy surrounding the term; if barbequing is a healthy cooking method; and exposing the celebrity chef - common Myths about cooking.


•    Consumerism
Does the food industry listen to us? Understanding consumer and sensory science to better understand why you buy the products you buy.  How food/public health is reported by the media? The French paradox / Mediterranean diet.


•    Future of food
Ethical food production and the future of foods, and what’s waste got to do with it?


•    Debunking myths
Debunking food myths, more science than science fiction in our food today, like the science behind getting sauce out of a bottle and what to drink – Whisky or Beer?


•    Facts from fiction
Finding facts from fiction, investigating the three-second rule – should I eat things that have fallen on the floor? What’s so super about super-foods? Fat or sugar: Which is worse?

Brief description

Learn how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Explore questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?’

Module content:

  • Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness
    How do we ‘think’ about mental health, and mental ill health?
     
  • Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement
    Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour?
     
  • Gender, culture and mental health
    How gendered cultural expectations and representations influence how we respond to mental health issues.
     
  • Media representations
    The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.
     
  • Resilience, treatment and recovery
    Common mental health problems in the UK, treatment and management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Brief description

An introduction to the wide range of disciplines in forensic investigation. Learn how crimes are investigated from the moment of reporting through to the presentation of the evidence in court. A hypothetical case study provides an over-arching framework in which to explore the critical aspects of forensic investigations. It involves not only physical and electronic evidence, but also statements from witnesses, suspects and victims which requires cross discipline collaboration of professionals.


Module content:

Crime scene investigation
How a crime scene is examined in the context of incomplete contextual information and to avoid loss or contamination of evidence and the maximising of the value of evidential material.

Media involvement
Positive and negative effects of the media/public interest in the crime.

Forensic biology
Examination and evidential value of body fluids, DNA, hairs and fibres.

Forensic chemistry
Analysis for drugs, toxicological analysis, firearms, explosives, and trace evidence.

Digital sources
Evidence from CCT, mobile phones, computer hardware, on−line behaviour.

Forensic reasoning and practice
An introduction to forensic problem solving, thinking styles, case assessment and interpretation.

Psychology of witnesses and suspects
False confessions, offender profiling, effects and avoidance of cognitive bias in forensic science through process design.

Year 2 Core Modules

You must study and pass two core modules

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. Social psychology is the study of how we process information about others, and the biases that influence this processing. 

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?
  • Conceptual and historical issues in social psychology: Defining social cognition and social behaviour. Understanding classic and contemporary approaches, and the social processing biases they reveal.
  • Pro- and anti-social behaviour: Exploring the influence of social learning on aggression and the social factors that influence helping behaviour.
  • Attitudes and social influences: Understanding attitudes and the attitude-behaviour link, routes to attitude change. Conformity and obedience.
  • Decision making and problem solving: Exploring the impact of social identity on perception and behaviour. Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination.
  • 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

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

You must study and pass two option modules of your choosing – one from Group [A] and one from Group [B]

Brief description

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

Module 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

Gain a better understanding of the difference between 'pop psychology' and scientific evaluation. Examine the many grandiose claims that are peddled as 'psychological fact' by the media, e.g. listening to classical music will improve a child's IQ. Many industries have been based on dubious claims about the human brain and behaviour. Discuss such claims and evaluate if they have substance. 

Module content: 

  • Paranormal beliefs and experiences: Is Extrasensory Perception Real?
  • Myths about the brain: Can repressed memories be recovered in therapy? How easily are false memories created?
  • Myths about our mind and body: Does “Power Posing” really work? What evidence is there for out of body experiences? Can we use our mind to cure cancer and other ailments? Is there such a thing as a 'gay gene'?
  • Myths about language: Does being bilingual make you smarter and keep your brain younger?
  • Psychology and society: Is our behaviour being manipulated through Behavioural Economics? What evidence is there that video games make people more violent?

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.

Module 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

Different perspectives in psychology, biology and behavioural sciences that explore various conceptual and historical issues relating to how psychological science is/has been conducted, disseminated and applied in the wider world. How individuals have attempted to understand our minds, consciousness, our “self” and our place in the world.

Module content:

  • Philosophy of science: How we formulate and answer questions: How is science funded, conducted and disseminated? What is a theory and a good explanation?
  • Conceptual issues and current directions in Psychology: Metaphors of mind. Perspectives on, and applications of, psychology. Is the mind a blank slate? Is the DSM valid? How do you know what is ‘true’? Ethics, politics and moral psychology.
  • Know thyself: Perspectives on self: Relationships between 'self' and memory. Can psychological experiments answer philosophical questions about flourishing and the meaning of life?
  • History of Psychology: A broad overview of common themes and debates running through the history of our field. Linking past ideas to current thinking. The 'shaping' of psychology by social forces and the 'Psychologization of society'.

Brief description

The relationships between criminal activity and the state and the complex media centred discourses emerging from them

Module content:

  • Crimes of the powerful: The state as criminal actor.
  • Media, crime and power.
  • Investigative journalism, corruption and the political process.
  • State corporate corruption.
  • The nation state and violence.
  • Terrorism and counter terrorism in the global war on terror.
  • Crimes against humanity.
  • Transnational organised crime.
  • The geopolitical war on drugs.
  • Discourses  – Urban Legends, Conspiracy theories and other Stigmatized Knowledge.

Years 1 and 2 Elective Modules

ou must study and pass one elective module of your choosing

Brief description

Introduction of the concept of smart cities - hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and digital technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all.

Module content:

  • Social impacts

There is an overall need for theoretical and methodological plurality in how we assess the impact and value of future cities in terms for individual and societal well−being. Gaps in our understanding relate to the complex ways individuals and groups engage with built and natural settings, the cultural goods and consequent benefits that may arise and the inequalities associated with these cultural benefits.

  • Security

Different types of cyber-attacks that could be launched against a Smart City. Impact of cyber-attacks. Approaches to securing the smart grid and critical infrastructure, i.e. improving cyber resilience.

  • Sustainable urban food production

Includes the long established allotments movement to large-scale projects based on sustainability throughout the food chain. Urban food production includes the long established allotments movement. The demand for urban growing also responds to the densification and intensification of living areas, due to population rise, migration and demographic aging with lower housing and ‘garden’ space standards placing greater importance on collective production.

  • Energy, waste and water

At present, water and wastewater facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive responsibilities owned and operated by local governments, representing up to 35% of municipal energy use. Future cities will need to utilise more sustainable methods of water and wastewater management and renewable energy production.

  • Digital technologies

​Digital technologies will play a major role in creating sustainable and resilient cities offering a vehicle for more inclusive decision−making process and promoting dialog amongst architects, urban planners, the public and technologists.

Brief description

Develop a range of skills, knowledge and techniques within the natural, technological and social sciences relevant to the study of environmental sustainability and life in the twenty-first century. Understand the critical issues that confront humanity and begin to discern appropriate responses.

Module content:

The challenge of sustainable development
Problems associated with life in the 21st Century and the relationship to scientific provisionalism and uncertainty.

The genesis of sustainable development concept
Developments associated with the Club of Rome are outlined while Limits to Growth and the Tragedy of the Commons.

Evolution of sustainable development
The Reo Summit and Suitability, and Policy Developments thereof.

Scientific inquiry and sustainable development
Controversial issues like climate change, oil peak, and food production and the role of science in helping delimit them as problematic.

Mainstreaming sustainability
Sustainability and Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience, as individual and social concerns, and their role in transformation.

Communicating sustainability
Human well-being, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy and the practicalities of Sustainability in Scotland.

Sustainable development in practice
Community Empowerment associated with Land Reform. Energy Production and Food Production in Tayside.

Ethics and sustainability policy
Active citizenship and globalisation.

Innovating locally, transforming globally
Transformations required to embrace Sustainability.

Active relationship for sustainable futures
Thinking globally, acting locally.

Brief description

How lifestyle can affect physical and mental well-being. Reflect on your own lifestyle choices and how to incorporate good health behaviours into your life.

Module content:

  • Sleep and stress
    The impact of sleep and stress on health and performance. Completion of sleep diaries and questionnaires related to sleep patterns and stress.
     
  • Physical activity
    Current physical activity recommendations, components of physical fitness.
     
  • Physical inactivity
    Understanding why people are inactive. The link between physical inactivity, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
     
  • Physical activity and mental well-being
    The effects of physical activity on mental well-being.
     
  • The effect of carbohydrate consumption and exercise on blood glucose
    Measurement and recording of blood glucose in response to the carbohydrate ingestion and exercise.
     
  • Simple health and fitness testing
    Measurement and recording of data. Tests will include blood pressure, strength, endurance and flexibility. Data will be compared with normative values for these tests.

Brief description

Develop critical thinking skills that form the basis for progression across the academic disciplines of the university. Learn how to recognise, construct, evaluate, criticise and defend different forms of argument.

Module content:

•    Potential 'timeless' debates 
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: e.g. existence of God; privacy and civil society; private property; money as source of 'evil'; nature/nurture; free speech; pornography; capital punishment; prostitution; animal experimentation; meaning of justice; abortion; affirmative action; just war; trade union power; good life/good political community; human nature; monarchy; value of democracy; meaning of equality; citizenship rights.

•    Potential 'timely' debates
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: eg, Scottish independence, academic freedom; drug legalisation; drug use in sport; immigration; free health care; war on terror; EU membership; euthanasia; progressive taxation; race and gender discrimination; gay marriage; human rights; politics/sport; global warming; internet censorship; nuclear power; education league tables; nuclear weapons; GM agriculture; religion; cloning; fair trade; value of contemporary culture.

•    Critical thinking seminars
Follow-up discursive discipline specific seminar sessions led by teaching staff on topics covered in formal debates. Learn to identify types of argument presented, evaluate perspectives and to reflect upon their own reasoning processes and value assumptions. The debates and seminars facilitate a foundation for the acquisition of graduate attributes.

•    WEB CT Wiki discussion forum
Work in small groups to write a short 800 word indicative "Thinking Summary" online Wiki of the arguments presented in each debate. These summaries will be constructed by each designated Thinking Group of three students using the Wiki facility on Blackboard which will facilitate further discussion on the moderated WEB CT discussion forum.

Brief description

The social, managerial, economic, political, and technical challenges and opportunities associated with emerging renewable energy innovation, production, supply and consumption.

Module content:

•    Renewable energy non-technical challenges and opportunities
Social and political challenges and opportunities of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Economic and environmental challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Strategic and managerial challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption.


•    Renewable energy technological challenges and opportunities
Geotechnical, Geophysical and Hydrographic information; Knowledge of sources of hydrographic information and interpretation of published charts. Forces on structures; Appreciation of the various forces acting on marine structures. Technical limitations and challenges of energy distribution systems and energy storage. Current technological development trend, collaborative innovation in renewable energy.

Brief description

An understanding of the concepts of tolerance, and the importance of making sound ethical decisions. Develop the qualities, characteristics and skills to meet the aspiration for Abertay graduates to become global and active citizens. 

Module content:

•    Introduction to equality and ethics legislation 

•    Diversity competence and moral/ethical reasoning 
Inclusiveness, equal opportunities, positive action, reasonable adjustment.

•    Attributes for the workplace and for global citizenship.

•    Reflective practice 
Application of models of reflective practice.

•    Contemporary issues

Brief description

Learn how to adjust language to suit context. Analyse a range of linguistic issues, including “proper English”, how language can be used to create moral panics, and the ethics of communication.

Module content:

•    “Good English”
The role of standardisation, dialect and idiolect − how we choose language to reflect our identities and our role in a speech or discourse community.

Language and influence
How the media constructs narratives to persuade or inform the audience (and how to tell the difference).

Creating a narrative across genres
The conventions, freedoms and limitations of different forms; using these forms in new ways.

Narrative changes over time
How authors reinvent old stories to reflect current concerns.

Technical writing
The use and manipulation of data; hearing the author's voice; critiquing "bad science".

The ethics of communication
 (Electronic) media and ownership, attribution and theft.

Brief description

“Personal” digital safety to make computer security fun, practical and eye-opening.  Learn the base knowledge that will continue to be relevant to future generations of devices.

Module content:

•    Current state of computer security
An overview including legal aspects.

•    Cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and threats
Malware, Network attacks (denial of service, packet sniffing etc.), bots and rootkits. How the bad guys can obtain your password.

•    Information leakage
Recovery and forensics recovering deleted or corrupted files. What your browser knows about you. Web browser forensics.

•    Securing networks, accounts and devices
Defence against malware, honeypots, Secure protocols, intrusion detection, Password security, Mobile device security.

•    Human aspects of cyber security 
The Psychology of Hackers, Social Engineering, identity theft, Usability vs security.

•    Breaking the code
An introduction to cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, public and private keys, the key exchange problem.

•    History of cryptography 
The Caesar cipher, polyalphabetic ciphers, the Playfair cipher, the role of Enigma and the Bletchley Park cryptographers in WWII.

•    Computers and Crypto Diffie-Hellman and RSA encryption
Phil Zimmerman and “Pretty Good Protection". Quantum Cryptography – Provably unbreakable information hiding. Mathematical Underpinnings – Large prime numbers and why they matter.

•    Steganography
 A picture's worth a thousand words when you're hiding the wood in the trees.

•    The law, society and cryptography 
Why you can be imprisoned for forgetting your password. The Civil Liberties Arguments for and against strong-crypto. International perspectives on information hiding, information freedom, the right to privacy and the conflicts between these. Are unbreakable cyphers an unqualified “good thing”?

Brief description

Develop perspectives on the key challenges faced by humankind such as environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. Understand the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.

Module content:

  • Interdisciplinary research
    Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research
     
  • Global challenges
    Challenges from different disciplines. Examples include: Climate Change: causes and impact; Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games; Global Security: valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment; Contemporary Challenges to Healthy Living; Food Security: global threats and local needs; Energy Poverty: space travel.

Brief description

Design an activity to communicate and present scientific principles to primary school children. Learn about working as a group and how to communicate complex ideas.

Module content:

Developing a science communication activity
Target audience, sources of information to identify suitable activities (CfE documentation etc.), health and safety, issues around working with specific groups, accessibility, ethics, costing and sustainability.

The landscape of engagement and current practice
Types of public engagement activities, target audiences, funding, role of learned societies, universities and other bodies. Public engagement in Dundee and Tayside.

Brief description

Work in a team to develop game design concepts for serious applications. Gain the knowledge, processes and techniques of game design and study examples of serious games developed to benefit society.

Module content:

•    Overview of Games
A brief history of games, game art and gamification.

•    Games for change
Understanding how games can benefit society.

•    Game mechanics
Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

•    Gameplay constructs
What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

•    The game design process
Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow.

•    Game design theory and practice
Identifying the elements within effective design and how they are implemented.

•    Documenting the design interactive
Oriented design, technical design, capturing requirements.

•    Business models
Exploring methods that can be used to generate revenue within the game design.

Brief description

Develop the knowledge and awareness required to make good career decisions and the skills and confidence to successfully navigate each stage of the recruitment process for graduate jobs.

Module content:

  • Developing self-awareness
    Profiling of personal strengths, values and priorities in relation to career choice.
     
  • Developing opportunity awareness
    Generating career ideas based on your personal profile; Exploring the range of graduate opportunities within job sectors of interest; Reviewing occupations that are directly related to your own subject discipline.
     
  • Developing a career action plan
    Matching your personal profile with best fit opportunities in the job market; Creating a timeline of actions to improve your prospects of meeting your aim.
  • Developing job seeking skills
    Sourcing suitable job opportunities - both advertised and unadvertised; Creating a professional image online; Identifying the skills and qualities employers look for in graduates; Learning how to produce targeted applications for specific job roles; Practising the presentation of your strengths and motivations in face to face selection activities.

Brief description

Learn about natural disaster such as landslides and flooding, structural disasters such as the Tay Rail Bridge and the system of critical infrastructure (such as road, rail, air and shipping transport networks, power grid, gas and water networks, health system) that constitute the backbone of modern societies.

Module content:

•    Overview of the scope and the content of concept of critical infrastructure failure during natural disasters and resilience against such failures
The consequences of geophysical, hydrological and meteorological disasters on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure protection capabilities against natural disasters. Interdependencies of critical infrastructures during large disasters, presents a brief review of current research being done in this field, and presents a methodology to address interdependencies.


•    The identification of the vulnerabilities of the critical systems
The critical systems upon which modern society, economy, and polity depend. The identification of the vulnerabilities of these systems threats that might exploit these vulnerabilities. The effort to develop techniques to mitigate these vulnerabilities through improved design.


•     Flooding in Scotland
General overview of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, the structural, economic and societal impact and responses to flooding. Resources will include historical examples, current policies and information (including SEPA flood maps). Case study (with virtual/actual field visit?) the Perth Floods of 1990 and 1993 and the Perth flood defence scheme*


•    Landslide origins, types and mitigations
General overview what landslides are, why they happen and what can be done to prevent them.


•    Structural failure
An example such as why the Tay Bridge failed and what it meant for the Forth Rail Bridge.


•    Reports and investigations
The role of reports in accident and disaster investigations in creating informative reports; case studies of accidents, disasters, learning from history, learning from case studies, learning from common law

Brief description

Introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to launch a small business successfully. This module will define and help you acquire the personal and professional skills needed to develop a professional career and/or to succeed as entrepreneurs in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Module content:

  • Understanding entrepreneurship.
     
  • Generating successful business ideas.
     
  • Environmental scanning.
     
  • Developing a credible business plan that includes evaluating business ideas.
     
  • Presenting the business idea.

Brief description

An understanding of some of the processes involved in food production. Discuss common misconceptions and ideas which present the food and nutritional industries in a bad light.

Module content:

•    Student led investigations
Student led investigations of the different sectors within the food and drink industry including: prebiotics – and the controversy surrounding the term; if barbequing is a healthy cooking method; and exposing the celebrity chef - common Myths about cooking.


•    Consumerism
Does the food industry listen to us? Understanding consumer and sensory science to better understand why you buy the products you buy.  How food/public health is reported by the media? The French paradox / Mediterranean diet.


•    Future of food
Ethical food production and the future of foods, and what’s waste got to do with it?


•    Debunking myths
Debunking food myths, more science than science fiction in our food today, like the science behind getting sauce out of a bottle and what to drink – Whisky or Beer?


•    Facts from fiction
Finding facts from fiction, investigating the three-second rule – should I eat things that have fallen on the floor? What’s so super about super-foods? Fat or sugar: Which is worse?

Brief description

Learn how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Explore questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?’

Module content:

  • Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness
    How do we ‘think’ about mental health, and mental ill health?
     
  • Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement
    Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour?
     
  • Gender, culture and mental health
    How gendered cultural expectations and representations influence how we respond to mental health issues.
     
  • Media representations
    The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.
     
  • Resilience, treatment and recovery
    Common mental health problems in the UK, treatment and management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Brief description

An introduction to the wide range of disciplines in forensic investigation. Learn how crimes are investigated from the moment of reporting through to the presentation of the evidence in court. A hypothetical case study provides an over-arching framework in which to explore the critical aspects of forensic investigations. It involves not only physical and electronic evidence, but also statements from witnesses, suspects and victims which requires cross discipline collaboration of professionals.

Module content:

Crime scene investigation
How a crime scene is examined in the context of incomplete contextual information and to avoid loss or contamination of evidence and the maximising of the value of evidential material.

Media involvement
Positive and negative effects of the media/public interest in the crime.

Forensic biology
Examination and evidential value of body fluids, DNA, hairs and fibres.

Forensic chemistry
Analysis for drugs, toxicological analysis, firearms, explosives, and trace evidence.

Digital sources
Evidence from CCT, mobile phones, computer hardware, on−line behaviour.

Forensic reasoning and practice
An introduction to forensic problem solving, thinking styles, case assessment and interpretation.

Psychology of witnesses and suspects
False confessions, offender profiling, effects and avoidance of cognitive bias in forensic science through process design.

Year 3 Core Modules

You must study and pass three 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

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 three option modules of your choosing – two from Group [A] and one from Group [B]

Brief description

This module covers core BPS curriculum and examines the links between biology and psychology.

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

This is a BPS core psychology module that examines theories, methods and empirical data relevant to psychological development throughout the lifespan.

Module content:

  • Biological basis of development; theories and milestones
    Pre-and postnatal 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

This module will build upon the psychological research methods techniques and analyses covered in years 1 and 2. Aspects of experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analyses and project preparation will be covered.

Indicative content:

  • Analysis of Variance: As part of the ANOVA section we will briefly revise variance and one-way ANOVA. We will then move on to examine factorial ANOVA designs; within, between and mixed designs; main effects and interactions; exploring interactions and multiple comparisons (a priori and post-hoc). ANOVA practical Throughout the ANOVA labs and lectures, students will participate in the design, implementation and data gathering of a study suitable for analysis with ANOVA and will write this up as an assessed piece of coursework.
  • Correlation and Multiple Regression: Here we will cover simple linear regression models and multiple predictors of a criterion variable (multiple linear regression). Here we explain statistical tests for multiple regression models.
  • Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis: We will cover the theoretical underpinning of qualitative methods. This will include the design of research questions; how to code data from visual and textual formats, the application of techniques such as content and thematic analysis. We will use textual data (such as interview schedules) to carry out a qualitative analysis. This work will contribute towards the assessed qualitative report.
  • Experimental Design: Here we will examine methodological issues in design, identifying limitations of designs, defining a research question, hypothesis testing and operationalising variables. We will also look at Type I and II errors; effect sizes and statistical power.
  • Laboratory Skills: Students are given extensive training in the advanced use of statistical software for analyses. Regular laboratory attendance is recommended in order to develop strong research skills. This will allow the individual to become a confident researcher.
  • Project proposal for supervisor feedback and subsequent ethics submission: Students are required to write an ethics proposal for their fourth year project with support and guidance from their allocated supervisor. Research design and analysis skills are employed to design a suitable experiment/study. Identifying, and addressing, possible ethical issues are 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. We will also cover principles of Open Science.

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

Develop your understanding of social psychology and cognition, building on second-year Cognition and Social Psychology modules. Deepen your understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and how these processes underpin social processing.

Indicative content:

  • Historical and conceptual issues: Introduction to cognitive models in psychology and their influence on our understanding of social processing.
  • Visual perception: Models of visual perception – reminder of processes in the recognition of objects and categories.
  • Attention: Understanding models of visuo-spatial and executive attention. Divided attention and dual processing accounts of cognition. Working memory.
  • Memory: Exploring types of long-term memory including semantic and episodic, declarative and non-declarative. Understanding associative networks in memory and priming.
  • Social memory: The storage and organisation of complex social information in memory. Exploring social categorisation and the formation and structure of stereotypes.
  • Activation and application of social categories: Understanding conditions of stereotype activation and application. Dual processing models of social cognition and automaticity.
  • Stereotype formation: Models of the cultural development of stereotypes, as well as developmental trajectories of stereotype use across childhood.
  • Attitudes and prejudice: Exploring the cognitive bases of attitudes such as prejudice. Models of attitude-behaviour links and prejudice control.
  • Self-processing systems: The influence of the self on attention, perception and memory for incoming information.
  • Neuropsychological perspectives: Understanding the neural bases of the cognitive and socio-cognitive processes covered in the module. What can neuroimaging and patient studies tell us about social and non-social cognition?

Year 4 Option Modules

You must study and pass three option modules of your choosing – two from Group [A] and one from Group [B]

Brief description

The criminal justice system involves a variety of organisations and professionals such as the police, the courts and offender services. Learn how psychological theories and investigation can inform procedures followed in these organisations.

Module 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.
  • Offender profiling: What is offender profiling and how is it undertaken? There will be evaluation of difference approaches to offender profiling and consideration of the future for this topical approach to investigation. What is serial homicide and how can offender profiling be applied to this major crime?
  • 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?
  • Eyewitness testimony: The effects of social influence on memory: stress, suggestibility, alcohol, conformity. Applications of this research to real life (e.g., accuracy of memory in a forensic investigation).
  • Identification: The role of human memory, face processing, and communicative styles on the construction of facial composites and identification of suspects. Discussion of the appropriateness of the use of CCTV footage as evidence in courts of law.
  • False and recovered memories: How and why do people recall events which did not occur or recall events at a later date which they were previously unable to recall? What can the study of human memory tell us about this interesting debate? What implications does this have for the criminal justice system?
  • Interviewing: How should we best interview witnesses to ensure reliable and complete statements are made? What differences might there be in interviewing suspects rather than witnesses? Critical evaluation of the tools and techniques psychologists developed to aid interviewing (e.g., the Cognitive Interview)?
  • Child Witnesses: What can the study of child development tell us about the appropriateness of having children as witnesses in court? Critical evaluation of appropriate questioning techniques.
  • Expert Witnesses: What is/should be the role of the psychologist as an Expert Witness?

Brief description

Theory and practice in mental health disorders and cognitive decline in ageing.

Module content:

  • Introduction: Introduction to the training and practice of mental health and abnormal psychology. Historical and conceptual background to mental health and abnormal psychology.
  • Abnormal Psychological Disorders: The main abnormal psychological disorders, for example, anxiety disorders; affective disorders; Schizophrenia and the somatoform disorders.
  • Mental Health Specialisms: Mental health specialisms, for example, the use of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based-Stress- Reduction (MBSR), suicidal behaviour and psychiatric rehabilitation.
  • Mental Health and Typical Ageing: What constitutes “mental health” as we age? The problem of pathologising behaviour. Status, stigma, identity and power in old age.
  • Mental Health Phenomena in Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, diagnosis, intervention and quality of life. The problem of managing psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis in these conditions.
  • Mental Health Phenomena and Abnormal Ageing: pathology in older age - symptoms, diagnosis and the problems of managing psychiatric conditions.
  • Mental Health and Rehabilitation in Ageing: The problem of managing psychosis in conditions and the interventions available.
  • Mental Health Phenomena of Bereavement: The process of death, normal and complex grief, end of life decisions, euthanasia.

Brief description

Pursue a topic of interest, different from any other work either submitted or proposed, relevant to your work or voluntary experience. Reflect on your work or voluntary experience, identify an issue that can be informed with reference to published psychological literature, negotiate and agree a chosen area for review, complete and report on this agreed review.

Module content:

  • General: Content will be individually agreed dependent on the work or volunteer placement, topic and study plan.

Brief description

An evolutionary approach to the study of human behaviour that focusses more on questions relating to why we behave in certain ways rather than investigations about how we behave. Explore the extent to which characteristics such as faces, voices, behaviour and odour can influence human attraction, cooperation and social interaction as well as cognition and mental health, drawing on evolutionary explanations of behaviour and recent research within the field of evolutionary psychology.

Module content:

  • Evolutionary approaches to human behaviour: Introduction to the evolutionary mechanisms that underpin human behaviour such as individual and kin selection, reciprocal altruism and inter- and intra-sexual selection.
  • Why do humans cooperate?: Helping related individuals to survive and reproduce; helping un-related individuals and the benefits of altruism and reciprocity; evolutionary explanations for non-cooperative acts such as homicide and suicide.
  • Cultural evolution: Evolution of religion, music, literature and art; role of sexual selection in evolution of art and language; gene-culture co-evolution.
  • Applied Evolutionary Psychology: Looking at applications for evolutionary analyses of behaviour in health and mental wellbeing, trade, commercialism and consumerism.
  • Human mate choice and sexual signalling: Signalling of dimensions of individual ‘quality’ through traits such as facial appearance, body size and shape, voice and odour in human and non-human animals; evaluation of research methods in assessing and interpreting these.
  • The physiology of attraction: Hormones and behaviour; the chemicals that underpin attraction; the brain and reward: effects on our brains of experiencing attraction.
  • Development of sexual preferences: Hormones and behaviour; the chemicals that underpin attraction; the brain and reward: effects on our brains of experiencing attraction.
  • Individual differences in mate preferences: Identification of individual differences (e.g. in mate quality, hormonal status, environment) that predict variation in sexual behaviour.
  • Reading personality in the face: Is there a kernel of truth in the folk belief that you can tell something about someone’s personality from the way they look? Historical context and current findings.

Brief description

The use of mindfulness and associated concepts in the maintenance of emotional and psychological well-being. Examine the history, theories and application of mindfulness-based practices in mental health care and take the opportunity to engage in mindfulness practice.

Module 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 into western medicine and healthcare.

Brief description

Introduction to the field of cognitive neuroscience and specialist insights into current research topics. Review the theoretical and methodological foundations of cognitive neuroscience and develop key skills to understand and report cognitive neuroscience research via individual and group work.

Module content:

  • Introductory concepts: Cognitive Neuroscience: history, definitions, themes, approaches and issues.
  • Methodological and design principles: Methodological and design principles: differences and common issues in psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
  • Available techniques: The techniques that are currently available in cognitive neuroscience, broadly divided in measurement and manipulation techniques.
  • Specialist areas: The specialist areas -  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: Be guided in searching for suitable primary sources and understanding cognitive neuroscience research reports. Engage in supervised presentations of research papers followed by discussions with the class.

Brief description

Child development in the first 8 years. Learn about language development, number and counting knowledge, and reading from a cognitive and educational perspective. The influence of play and the media during these early years.

Module 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.

Brief description

Develop your understanding of social psychology and cognition, building on second-year Cognition and Social Psychology modules. Deepen your understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and how these processes underpin social processing.

Module content:

  • Historical and conceptual issues: Introduction to cognitive models in psychology and their influence on our understanding of social processing.
  • Visual perception: Models of visual perception – reminder of processes in the recognition of objects and categories.
  • Attention: Understanding models of visuo-spatial and executive attention. Divided attention and dual processing accounts of cognition. Working memory.
  • Memory: Exploring types of long-term memory including semantic and episodic, declarative and non-declarative. Understanding associative networks in memory and priming.
  • Social memory: The storage and organisation of complex social information in memory. Exploring social categorisation and the formation and structure of stereotypes.
  • Activation and application of social categories: Understanding conditions of stereotype activation and application. Dual processing models of social cognition and automaticity.
  • Stereotype formation: Models of the cultural development of stereotypes, as well as developmental trajectories of stereotype use across childhood.
  • Attitudes and prejudice: Exploring the cognitive bases of attitudes such as prejudice. Models of attitude-behaviour links and prejudice control.
  • Self-processing systems: The influence of the self on attention, perception and memory for incoming information.
  • Neuropsychological perspectives: Understanding the neural bases of the cognitive and socio-cognitive processes covered in the module. What can neuroimaging and patient studies tell us about social and non-social cognition?

How the Course Works

Learning and Assessment

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

The practical laboratory classes offer the chance to learn relevant scientific techniques first hand, and an opportunity to engage in research by designing experiments and collecting and analysing data.

You're assessed using a variety of methods. These include examinations and class tests, practical laboratory reports, essays, presentations (both oral and posters), research projects and writing scientific articles and case studies.

Accreditation

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 is 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 H2H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 29 Points To include literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Access to (one of the following):- 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)
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)
HNC Our Coming from College pages list approved HNC courses
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher AAB Psychology
A-Level AAB Psychology
HNC/HND 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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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.

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

A BPS-accredited psychology degree is crucial for becoming a chartered psychologist. This is essential if you're keen to practice in areas such as clinical, counselling, educational, forensics, health, occupational or sport psychology.

Psychology graduates gain a number of transferable skills, which are in high demand in the general graduate job market. These skills include numeracy, statistics and IT skills, communication and analytical thinking.

2 males and 1 female studying together

Occupations

Occupations that a psychology degree will also provide a very good basis for include:

  • Police
  • Occupational therapist
  • Drug rehabilitation worker
  • Primary or secondary school teacher
  • College or university lecturer
  • Research assistant
  • Social worker
Group of students working together on Desktop computers

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 also have good links with local health services, the games industry and local education authorities.

The Workplace Psychology module gives you the opportunity to consider how psychology can be applied in your own workplace.

Three people sitting on sofas talking

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

Close up of male smiling

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

Always-On Online Open Day

We aim to immerse you in student life here at Abertay and give you a true feel for our courses and our amazing academic community.

Experience our Always-On Open Day anytime for a mix of:

  • Subject and course presentations and videos.

  • Campus tours, info on applying, funding, student support and accommodation.

  • What the city of Dundee is like to live in.

Take time to soak it all in.

SEE ONLINE OPEN DAY

 

An Abertay Student on a yellow coloured background

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)).