Department of Psychology
You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry.
Our British Psychological Society accredited course will give you the skills and knowledge to investigate and understand human behaviour and mental processes.
We'll show you how the brain works and how it links to behaviour, from a scientific standpoint. Plus, you can specialise in the topics that interest you most – from the nitty-gritty of neurological networks to the vast web of social interactions.
You'll get the chance to explore important topics with real world relevance such as psychosis, addictions, procrastination, health behaviours, eating disorders and depression, under the guidance of our internationally recognised experts. You'll also run your own experiments and learn from some of the UK’s top psychology researchers.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and makes you eligible for graduate membership. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist. It's necessary for courses in clinical, health and occupational psychology.
The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.
Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:
UCAS code: C800
In the first year of your degree, you'll study fundamental psychology topics, including how memory works, how we interact with others and our environment, and the biology behind human behaviour. You’ll take modules across the breadth of psychology ranging from developmental psychology and social psychology, to cognitive psychology, neuroscience and clinical psychology. Through your training in psychological research methodology you’ll also be learning how psychological experiments are designed and conducted, and get experience of how to analyse data and present findings.
- Cognitive Psychology I
This unit provides an overview of core components of cognition, and principles of their investigation. The module covers perception, attention, performance, cognitive neuroscience, language, learning, memory and reasoning. It introduces and explored key concepts, theoretical perspectives and foundational methods. Examples of key studies in cognitive psychology will be considered critically.20 credits
- Developmental Psychology I
This module provides an overview of the fundamentals of Developmental Psychology from infancy to adolescence, and into later life. The module introduces concepts of development, including cognitive development, social development, and neurological development. It summarises major developmental changes, and discusses theoretical perspectives underlying developmental research. Examples of key studies in developmental psychology will be considered critically.20 credits
- Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology I
This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the key principles within neuroscience and clinical psychology. The module will introduce students to the basic structure and function of the brain, techniques and assessments used within neuroscience and clinical psychology, and an awareness of the ethical issues. The module will cover the aetiology, development, assessment and treatment of specific psychological and neurological disorders. Students will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding by attending lectures, engaging with activities/discussions within the lectures and engaging with the reading for this module.20 credits
- Psychological Research Methodology I
This module provides an introduction to the knowledge and skills that underpin the science of psychology. We consider why psychological scientists conduct empirical research the way they do, and how to conduct research in psychological science. Topics span the various stages of the research process, including the logic of hypothesis testing; types of research designs, methodologies, and measurement strategies; descriptive statistics; simple qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques; and critical thinking about published research. Students will develop their knowledge and skills by attending lectures and participating in activities and discussions in workshops and tutorials.20 credits
- Social Psychology I
This module will provide an overview of the fundamentals of social psychology. The module will introduce and explain key theories and research, and their application, for understanding social psychological phenomena. Content is organised around two themes: How people think (Semester 1), and how people feel and behave (Semester 2). The module will include lectures that will provide opportunities to learn how to critically evaluate social psychological research and theories, as well as to describe how social psychology theory can be applied to address real world issues.20 credits
Students will also be able to take 20 credits of optional modules.
In second year, you'll build on your first year studies and explore core psychological topics in greater depth. For example, you’ll learn about eating disorders, how children learn, and why people struggle to follow through with their intentions. You'll gain more advanced research methods skills this year too as you learn how to use professional statistical analysis software, and take ethical considerations into account when designing research projects.
- Cognitive Psychology II
This unit builds on the overview of core components of cognition established at level 1 (Cognitive Psychology I). The module covers the same broad topics as Cognitive Psychology II - perception, attention, performance, cognitive neuroscience, language, learning, memory and reasoning. It expands on key concepts and introduced additional details of experimental methods and theoretical nuance. Applications of fundamental science are discussed.20 credits
- Developmental Psychology II
This module provides an in depth understanding of development from infancy to later life. The module builds on the overview of Developmental Psychology established at level 1 (Developmental Psychology I). The module examines how cognition, language, perception, and social skills develop, as well as considering individual differences in development and developmental disorders. It summarises major developmental changes, and discusses theoretical perspectives underlying developmental research. Examples of key studies in developmental psychology will be considered critically.20 credits
- Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology II
This unit will build on the content of Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology I, to provide students with a more in depth understanding of principles within neuroscience and clinical psychology. The module will cover the aetiology, development, assessment and treatment of more complex psychological and neurological disorders. Students will develop and build on their knowledge, skills and understanding by attending lectures, engaging with activities/discussions within the lectures and engaging with the reading for this module.20 credits
- Psychological Research Methodology II
This module builds on knowledge and skills developed at Level 1 to introduce more advanced concepts and techniques in research methods and statistics. Topics including research ethics; scale development; questionnaire design; advanced qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques; and critical thinking about published research. Students will develop their knowledge and skills by attending lectures and participating in activities anddiscussions in workshops and tutorials.20 credits
- Social Psychology II
The module continues from the linked first year social psychology module, Social Psychology 1 to cover specific social psychological topics in greater detail and depth. Lectures cover key theories and empirical research in social psychology. Lecture activities provide opportunities for applying social psychological theory and empirical research to explain or solve real world issues.20 credits
Students will also be able to take 20 credits of optional modules.
In third year, you’ll have a wide range of modules to choose from. Whether it's criminal psychology, the psychology of sleep, clinical psychology, or the psychology of eating behaviour and weight management, you can focus on the areas within psychology that interest you the most, to support your career goals.
This year offers you another opportunity to put the skills you’ve learnt so far into practice by completing an in-depth research project on a topic you've chosen and with access to state-of-the-art psychology research facilities and tools. This could include EEG, eye tracking or even virtual reality.
- Research Project in Psychology
The research project is intended to give students an opportunity to investigate a topic in Psychology in depth, by empirical research or computational modelling over two semesters. The topic must be approved by the Level 3 Tutor and the Departmental Ethics Committee.Staff may offer ideas for research project work and/or students are encouraged to develop their own ideas. They are expected to carry out the research themselves, although assistance is given, as appropriate, with equipment, programming or other technical requirements. The completed project is presented as a typed dissertation. There is an 8000 word limit.40 credits
- Extended Essay in Psychology
The extended essay is intended to give students an opportunity to study in some depth a topic of particular interest to them within the subject of Psychology. The topic must be approved by the supervisor. The essay will not entail the student conducting empirical research. Rather, it is intended to provide an opportunity for the student to write critically about a selected area in considerably more depth than is possible in a tutorial essay. The work is presented as a typed essay no longer than 3000 words not including abstract or references.20 credits
A student will take a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 60 credits from this group.
- Interventions and treatment in clinical psychology
This module aims to increase students’ knowledge of clinical psychology in practice. It will familiarise students with a range of treatments and interventions used in clinical psychology and their effectiveness, with an emphasis on current research evidence (where available). The module will concentrate on how therapeutic interventions can be used to alleviate emotional distress and improve functioning in common and complex mental health conditions; along with considering the use of transdiagnostic models where appropriate.20 credits
- Participatory Research with Children and Young People
This module explores the methodological and ethical issues involved in engaging children and young people as active participants in the research process. Students will analyse critically a number of case study research projects that have attempted to ensure the active participation of children and young people and will design a group research project that engages children and young people as active participants in the research process.20 credits
- Philosophy of Psychology
This course provides an in-depth look at a selection of issues in contemporary philosophy of psychology. Philosophy of psychology is concerned with such questions as : What is the structure and organisation of the human mind? Is the mind one big homogenous thing, or is it made up of smaller interacting components? If it has components, what sort are they and how are they interrelated? What aspects of our minds are uniquely, or distinctively human? What is the cognitive basis for such capacities as our capacity for language, rationality, science, mathematics, cultural artefacts, altruism, cooperation, war, morality and art? To what extent are the concepts, rules, biases, and cognitive processes that we possess universal features of all human beings and to what extent are they culturally (or otherwise) variable? Do infants (non-human) animals, and individuals with cognitive deficits have minds, and if so, what are they like? To what extent are these capacities learned as opposed to innately given? How important is evolutionary theory to the study of the mind? What is the Self? What are concepts? Is all thought conceptual? Is all thought conscious? What is consciousness? This course will discuss a selection of these and related issues by looking at the work of philosophers, psychologists, and others working within the cognitive sciences more generally.20 credits
- Atypical Brain Development and Degeneration
This unit investigates the causes and consequences of atypical brain development and degeneration. It specifically focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders and stroke. For each topic (i.e. for each neurodevelopmental disorder covered and for each type of stroke), diagnosis, cognition and behaviour will be discussed. Each disorder will also be set in context, explaining the support which may be required, including family support and intervention strategies.10 credits
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders
The broad aim of this module is to introduce students to the link between academic evidence and clinical practice when delivering evidence-based psychotherapies. The more specific aim is to introduce principles and practice of cognitive behavioural therapy, as applied to the treatment of eating disorders, linking evidence and practice explicitly. The module will commence with an introduction to cognitive-behavioural models of eating disorders. It will then address the evidence that supports those models and the effectiveness of the therapy overall. Subsequent lectures will introduce and demonstrate therapist skills and impact on patients (e.g., formulation; cognitive restructuring; behavioural experiments; exposure; psychoeducation).10 credits
- Cognitive Neuroscience
This unit provides an overview of the field of cognitive neuroscience, which is aimed at the understanding of the neural mechanisms involved in cognitive processes. Teaching will focus on methods and techniques, and the way in which these techniques have been used to help us understand aspects of cognition. Focus will be on perception, attention, and the neural underpinnings of certain neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism spectrum conditions and ADHD. In addition, we will discuss Brain Computer Interfaces and consider practical ways in which cognitive neuroscience techniques are being used in assistive healthcare. A strong focus of the course will be in understanding the way in which EEG is used in Psychology research. The course will include a practical demonstration of EEG and workshops focused on analysing EEG data.10 credits
- Criminal Psychology
This module will introduce students to the psychological aspects of criminal behaviour. Developmental, social, biological, and genetic perspectives on the origins criminal behaviour will be considered. Different types of crimes, including homicide, crimes against children, crimes committed by gangs, and sexual and intimate partner violence, will be introduced and research in those areas will be critically evaluated. Following lectures, students will engage in independent study to critically evaluate causes of crime and compare and contrast relevant preventions/interventions, using a self-selected case study. The module focuses on important aspects of criminal psychology, but no prior knowledge of criminal psychology is assumed.10 credits
- Current Controversies in the Psychology of Addiction
This module will introduce students to controversial issues related to addiction from a psychological perspective. Topics will cover the nature of addiction, its determinants, underlying neurological basis, treatment, and prognosis. During each lecture, the controversial topic will be introduced before relevant evidence is described and critically evaluated. Clinicians and / or service users with direct experience of addiction may contribute to some of these sessions. Topics covered may vary from year to year as new controversies emerge, but are likely to include critical appraisals of the brain disease model of addiction, and the roles of compulsion and habit.10 credits
- Health Psychology
This module presents key concepts and research in Health Psychology as they relate to major topics within the field: health behaviours and stress. The module builds on and expands PSY 246 (Social, Health and Environmental Psychology) module content introducing Heath Psychology, with lectures covering key theories and research on the interaction of psychological, social, and biological (biopsychosocial) factors in health and illness. Topics covered include stress and coping, personality and health, and health-promoting and health-compromising behaviours. Laboratory sessions aid in developing critical research skills in Health Psychology by providing hands -on experience in qualitative analysis and applied analysis of core concepts.10 credits
- Neural Bases of Learning and Development
The aim of the course is to explain current research, both experimental and theoretical, into the brain mechanisms that underlie basic forms of reward processing, associative learning and the formation of episodic memories. The lectures first cover the neural responses to pleasurable stimuli, including drugs of abuse. Next, the main characteristics of classical conditioning are outlined, followed by an account of cerebellar anatomy and physiology: a necessary basis for the evaluation of models of cerebellar function as applied to classical conditioning. Then, the anatomy and physiology of the hippocampus and its involvement in learning and memory will be described. Focus will be on episodic memory and how neural coding in the hippocampus might be used to store and recall memories.10 credits
- Occupational Psychology
To introduce and explore psychological issues in work settings, examining people's behaviour, thoughts and feelings related to their work. The course also focuses on some key organisational practices and processes, such as training and development, and leadership.10 credits
- Psychology of Sleep
The module provides an overview of the neural basis of sleep and the changes in the brain which occur during various stages of the sleep cycle. It will also cover the reasons why we sleep and the functions of sleep, with examples from Cognitive Psychology. In addition to this, some of the most common sleep disorders will be examined, including explanations regarding their underlying aetiology and current available treatments. This module is broad and will make references to different areas of Psychology, including elements of Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive and Health Psychology.10 credits
- Psychology of eating behaviour and weight management
This module will cover key theories and empirical research on the psychology of eating behaviours and weight management. We will consider the main drivers of eating behaviours and strategies to reduce overconsumption, as well as considering effective strategies for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Throughout the course, we will consider why some individuals are more susceptible to overconsumption and weight gain compared to others. We will also cover the stigma that people with obesity experience and consider stigma-reducing strategies. You will learn about the methods used and the challenges faced by researchers in this area. You will also have the opportunity to apply your learning to inform interventions and/or programmes to promote successful weight management and/or reduce weight stigma. The module will be delivered via lectures.10 credits
- Modelling Brain and Mind
This module is designed to provide undergraduate Psychology students with an accessible introduction to the application of core concepts from complexity theory, artificial neural networks, and dynamical systems theories, in the development of formal models used to test theories of brain and mind.10 credits
- Pragmatic Development: How children learn to use language for social communication.
How do children learn to use language with other people? This is the question addressed by research on pragmatic development. This module will start with some theoretical background on the nature of human language and the definition of pragmatics. It will then introduce you to the series of pragmatic skills acquired during infancy, childhood and adolescence (from prelinguistic communication right up to sarcasm and story-telling). We will finish up by considering individual differences in pragmatic development and atypical developmental trajectories. Throughout the course, we will highlight the research methods used to test pragmatic skills, the learning mechanisms that drive developmental change and the real world applications in computational, educational and clinical domains. The module will be delivered via lectures.10 credits
A student will take up to 20 credits from this group.
- What is Learning?
The module explores understandings about how people learn, and implications that these understandings have for how we conduct key social practices, including teaching, caring for children, assessing learning, and on educating generally. We will also look 'beneath' understandings of learning to the worldviews on which they stand, particularly 'realist' and 'constructivist' positions. This matters because 'realism' and 'constructivism' carry implications for how we conceptualise things we take for granted: the nature of truth, the process and products of science, the basis for ethics, the outcomes of research, and assumptions about what is. The module will explore these challenging issues.20 credits
- Psychoanalytic Perspectives of Infancy and Childhood
This module explores the relationship between psychological theory and experience. Students drawn to the study of psychology are presented with a curriculum comprising subjects (memory, perception, language, cognition, development, emotion) they have spent a lifetime experiencing. Hence psychology as a scientific study presents a unique experience for the student, learning what in an experiential sense is already known. This module introduces reflective models of inquiry in which psychological understanding is sought through the exploration of preconceptions transmitted within psychology and psychological education. This module also explores psychological approaches that illuminate different orientations to childhood experience and the implications for these different approaches for the knowledge generated.20 credits
- The Bilingual Brain
More than half of the world¿s population is bi/multilingual. This richness in linguistic diversity not only adds to the socio-cultural tapestry, but has implications for our understanding of neurological as well as cognitive-linguistic development. Drawing upon behavioural and neurological evidence from bilingual children, bilingual adults and bilingual patients with aphasia, this unit will: (a) examine current issues related to the definition of bilingualism as well as methodological issues; (b) examine language acquisition and language representation in the bilingual brain; (c) examine the effects of bilingualism on brain structural plasticity, and language control and selection mechanisms. Additionally, the unit will discuss the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and the implications for educational attainment and practice.10 credits
- Biological Basis of Brain Disease 1: Neurodegeneration
The module will examine recent and current research into human neurodegenerative disease including Huntington's, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and motor neuron disease. In addition, reference may be made to the spongiform encephalopathies, frontal dementias and Lewy body disease, with emphasis on their inter-relationships and commonalities. The genetic and non-genetic aetiological influences, defining pathology and pathophysiology and current understanding of the underlying biology will be examined by a detailed consideration of current research in these areas. The module will also include discussion of the prevention and treatment of the diseases, highlighting possible therapies which may be useful in several pathologies.10 credits
- Music Psychology in Everyday Life
This module will introduce you to theories, empirical investigations and applications of music psychology relevant to everyday life. You will learn about the diverse uses of music in everyday situations, which may include personal, communal and commercial settings. The reasons for music use in these situations are explored and possible explanations of music's ability to support functions are critically reviewed, including social, emotional, personal, educational and commercial impacts. The module will be delivered through lectures, group discussions, and small research projects.20 credits
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.
Learning and assessment
We use a range of teaching methods to make sure that our undergraduate students get the skills and knowledge that every psychologist needs. You'll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, practical sessions in the lab and research projects.
Throughout the course you will be assessed through a variety of methods including exams, tests and coursework.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including a science subject
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including a science subject
A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB, including a science subject + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including a science subject + A in Core Maths ABB, including a science subject + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including a science subject + A in Core Maths
International Baccalaureate | 34, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject 33, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject
BTEC | DDD in Applied Science DDD in Applied Science
Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AAABB + B in a science subject AABBB + B in a science subject
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA including a science subject B + AB including a science subject
Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit 60 credits overall in science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit
Mature students - explore other routes for mature students
You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
Science subjects include Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Psychology or Statistics
GCSE Maths grade 6/B
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Department of Psychology
Our teaching is informed by cutting-edge scientific research, which ranges from neuroscience through to child development and understanding why psychological therapies are effective. All of this has an impact on wider society.
Our work explores health and wellbeing, lifestyle choices, cognitive behavioural therapy, safe driving, mother-baby interaction, autism, Parkinson's disease, and reducing prejudice and inequality.
Department of Psychology students are based at Cathedral Court in the heart of Sheffield city centre, where you'll find our state-of-the-art computer lab, seminar rooms, tutorial rooms and social space. We're within easy walking distance of all of the main University of Sheffield facilities, including the Information Commons, the Diamond, and our award-winning Students' Union.
We have a suite of newly-refurbished testing cubicles where you can use computer stimulus presentation software to run experiments as part of your own mini projects. You can access a range of tools for testing participants in your third year research project. This includes eye-tracking technology used in perception studies, our state-of-the-art EEG suite for measuring brain activity, biomimetic robots, motion capture equipment and a virtual reality suite.
Why choose Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield
A top 100 university 2022
QS World University Rankings
Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014
No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017
Department of Psychology
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Department of Psychology
A psychology degree will put you in an excellent position for many jobs in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to be Clinical Psychologists, IAPT practitioners or train in the NHS.
Our degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, and covers all the topics and training that you need to complete the first steps towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
Our graduates work in personnel management, market research, advertising, sales, social work, nursing and teaching. They also enter professions such as clinical, health or occupational psychology, usually after postgraduate training. Some of our graduates continue to a PhD to follow a psychology research career.
If you want to do a full year of work experience as part of your course, you can join the University of Sheffield's Degree with Employment Experience programme and do a year-long work placement between your second and third year. You can test out a career path that you're considering - whether that's within the field of psychology or applying your transferable skills in industry. Most students earn salaries during their placements too.
Our students have previously completed their placements with organisations including the NHS, Jaguar Land Rover and IBM in roles including Student Psychologist and HR Business Development.
Fees and funding
The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.
Funding your study
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.
Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.
University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.
At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Apply for this course
Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.
The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.
Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.