Return to homepage Skip to navigation Skip to site search Skip to main content Skip to footer

Psychology and Counselling

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

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: C843

Duration: 4 years (full-time)


Why choose this course?

  • The Psychology and Counselling programme is unique in Scotland. It is the only degree programme that combines a BPS-accredited psychology degree with Counselling modules. 
  • The programme is taught by research-active Psychology staff and Counselling practitioners, ensuring expert-led teaching.
  • Abertay University has been recognised for its research in Psychology, and was the highest rated Modern University in Scotland for Psychology research in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Students can take a range of options during their programme of study, providing a broad knowledge base across all areas of psychology and counselling.  Students will also learn how to design their own psychology experiments and analyse a variety of data, culminating in a supervised, student-led research project in the final year

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes, and the relation between the two. It explores how we act and interact, both as individuals and in groups, and the thoughts and feelings that underlie our behaviour. Counselling is concerned with the integration of psychological theory with interventions and therapeutic practice. As a student on this course you will develop both a scientific understanding of psychology as a discipline, and practical skills in counselling and therapy.

By combining the scientific, evaluative discipline of psychology with highly transferrable skills developed through the study of counselling, graduates of this programme emerge with a very valuable skill-set for employability.


What you study

What you study

Students study the core areas of psychology across the four year programme:

  • biological and evolutionary psychology 
  • cognitive psychology
  • developmental psychology 
  • social psychology
  • personality and individual differences
  • research methods 
  • conceptual and historical issues in psychology

Students also take core Counselling modules in areas including:

  • interpersonal skills 
  • therapeutic skills 
  • mental health perspectives 
  • counselling theories and interventions
  • cognitive behavioural therapy

In addition, students can choose from a variety of Psychology option modules and University electives, broadening their knowledge and experience. 

For more information on the course content, download the Programme information - BSc with Honours in Psychology and Counselling

How you learn and are assessed

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

Examination techniques

Student assessments are mixed to test breadth of skills. Assessments include examinations and class tests, laboratory reports, reflective portfolios, essays, presentations (both oral and posters), research projects, and scientific articles and case studies.

Our students said:

"Wonderful lecturers; happy to provide support and interesting discussions.  The modules are interesting and provide practical opportunities to engage and to reflect."

"I love the wide range of useful lectures, we cover so many different aspects." 

"The course is a great way of becoming a more confident person and learning the fundamental aspects of counselling." 

Entry routes

English and Maths:  All applicants must have passes in English and Maths in one of the following: National 5 grade C and GCSE grade C/4

Minimum Entrance Requirements

Higher ABBB; A Level BCC; Irish Highers H2H3H3H3; BTEC Extended Diploma DMM; International Baccalaureate 29 Points to include literate subject at S5 or H4
Essential subjects: To include a literate subject
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses
HNC/HND - our Coming from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses 

Not sure if you are 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 know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that 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 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

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

We encourage you to submit an application.

All applicants are required to provide certified proof of competence in English Language and the University's minimum requirements are listed here.

Alternative Qualifications
Applications are generally assessed on the basis of standard school leaving qualifications such as SQA Highers or GCE A Levels. For those with alternative qualifications, consideration is given to professional qualifications or other forms of formal academic learning as well as experience gained that could provide evidence of ability to benefit from a particular course.

The successful completion of approved access courses such as the University's AHEAD programme, or those offered by further education colleges (such as those offered by Dundee College in association with the universities of Abertay, Dundee and St Andrews) provides significant evidence of ability to benefit from study at Abertay.

For further advice please use our Ask a Question section

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

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

Further info

Career prospects

The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, a requirement for students who want to pursue post-graduate training in psychology, for example, clinical, educational or forensic qualifications.

As well as psychology training, students will also develop knowledge and skills in Counselling, allowing them to pursue postgraduate training as a counselling psychologist or practitioner.

Psychology and Counselling graduates have transferable skills which are in high demand in the general graduate job market such as communication, numeracy and statistics, information technology skills, research evaluation and analytical thinking.  The degree therefore provides a good starting point for a number of careers beyond Psychology and Counselling, including teaching, research, social work, marketing, human resources, civil service, management and many more.

Industry links

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

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081

"The course is a great way of becoming a more confident person and learning the fundamental aspects of counselling."


Information for New Students

New to Abertay then find out about being a new student.

Supporting our Students

Support for students at the University is provided by Student Services - find out more.

Student Life