Lecturer demonstrating an EEG is a test to a class. A student wears a headpiece used to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain

Psychology with Placement Year BSc

Department of Psychology

Explore this course:

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2023-24 entry. View 2024-25 entry or find another undergraduate course.

    Key details

    Course description

    Join third-year Psychology student Justine as she takes us through a typical day of lectures before winding down with friends in the afternoon.

    Our four-year BSc will give you the skills and knowledge to investigate and understand human behaviour and mental processes. You’ll also do a year-long work placement as part of your degree.

    A placement is a great opportunity to test out a career path that you're considering, whether that's within the field of psychology or applying your transferable skills in industry. Our students have previously completed their placements with organisations including the NHS, Prison and Probation Services and IBM. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and you'll have the support you need from your tutor and the University.

    At Sheffield, you’ll cover five key areas of psychology to give you a comprehensive understanding of the subject. You’ll study:

    • Social and health psychology: discover how individuals’ behaviour, attitudes and emotions are affected by social situations and how we can use this knowledge to promote healthy behaviours
    • Neuroscience and clinical psychology: explore how mental illnesses are assessed and treated as well as the underlying neural bases of cognitive functions and mental health
    • Cognitive psychology: learn how humans think by studying their behaviour
    • Developmental psychology: learn about how changes happen across the lifespan, from cognitive development in infancy and childhood, to emotion and cognition in adolescents
    • Research methods: develop the skills to be able to answer important psychological questions, from how to design scientifically sound studies, to analysing data and sharing research findings

    Within these five areas of psychology, under the guidance of our internationally recognised experts you'll get the chance to explore important topics with real world relevance such as addictions, health behaviours, eating disorders, psychosis and depression. You'll run your own experiments and learn from some of the UK’s top psychology researchers too.

    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.


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Psychology with Placement Year BSc course structure
    UCAS code: C803
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    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.

    Core modules:

    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 explores 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, and how people feel and behave. 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.

    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 you get the skills and knowledge that every psychologist needs. You'll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, practical sessions and research projects.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours


    Throughout the course, you'll be assessed through a variety of methods including exams, tests and coursework.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    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

    International Baccalaureate 34, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in Applied Science

    BTEC Diploma DD in Applied Science + A in an A Level science subject

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AAABB + B in a science subject

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA, including a science subject

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in Science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction and 9 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Environmental Science, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Psychology or Statistics

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    Access Sheffield offer

    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

    International Baccalaureate 33, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in Applied Science

    BTEC Diploma DD in Applied Science + B in an A Level science subject

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AABBB + B in a science subject

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB, including a science subject

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in Science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Environmental Science, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Psychology or Statistics

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    English language requirements

    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

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    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.

    Department of Psychology

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university
    QS World University Rankings 2023

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      A top 10 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2022, High Fliers report

    Department of Psychology

    92% of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

    Research Excellence Framework 2021

    Graduate careers

    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 human resources, 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.

    Charlotte Naylor - Psychology student

    I'm now one step closer to becoming a qualified Educational Psychologist

    Charlotte Naylor BSc Psychology

    Studying psychology helped Charlotte realise that she wanted to pursue a career in this field. Thanks to her experience at Sheffield and related work experience, Charlotte is now studying for a Doctorate of Applied Educational Psychology which will allow her to qualify as an Educational Psychologist after three years.

    Chloe Saunders new

    My placement year with IBM helped me to secure a place on their graduate scheme

    Chloe Saunders BSc Psychology with Employment Experience

    After gaining valuable work experience within IBM's Human Resources Business Development team thanks to a year-long placement during her psychology degree, Chloe secured a place on IBM's graduate programme, working as a Business Transformation Consultant, analysing customer data to create artificial intelligence solutions.

    A profile photo of Louise Baird Smith

    The majority of people I work with did an English degree, so having a different and scientific background is a useful thing to bring to the team

    Louise Baird-Smith BSc Psychology

    Louise is a Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury, where she analyses the market for gaps and finds authors who can fill them. Her Sheffield Psychology degree gives her a unique insight into the job, allowing her to bring ideas to the table that others would not

    Work experience

    Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme. This gives you the chance to spend around six weeks working in one of our research groups over the summer. It's a unique opportunity to pursue research in an area that you’re excited about, and can help inform your future career aspirations.

    Fees and funding


    Additional costs

    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.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    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.

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    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply for this course

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2023-2024 entry. View 2024-2025 entry or find another undergraduate course.

    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.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

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