Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Psychology BSc

This three-year programme, accredited by the British Psychological Society, exposes you to the widest possible coverage of the field of psychology. There is also the opportunity for a measure of specialisation within your studies, in order to make informed and rational decisions about your future career.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Psychology BSc
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Total intake (by subject area)
119 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
11 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

To include at least one, preferably two subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (double award acceptable) at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 18-19 points in three higher level subjects to include grade 6 in at least one, preferably two subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including at least one, or preferably two, subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

A1,A,A - A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), including at least one, or preferably two, subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A-AA. To include at least one, preferably two subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good (Advanced for GCSE/IGCSE)

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The first two years of the programme span the field of psychology, while the final year offers considerable choice of topics for study, according to your main interests and aims.
  • The UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences is one of the largest centres of psychology teaching and research in the UK, whose cutting-edge research is internationally recognised.
  • The programme is accredited and audited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates are eligible to become members of the BPS, the starting point for a career in psychology.
  • Excellent resources include our up-to-date web-based system, which makes all teaching materials (including course outlines, lecture presentation slides, handouts) available to registered students.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The first two years of your degree comprise a combination of compulsory and optional courses. Compulsory courses include the study of experimental design in psychology, the neurological underpinnings of behaviour, health and clinical psychology, cognition, individual differences and social psychology.

In the first year, six half-courses are taken in psychology, allowing you to choose the remaining 1.0 credit from another subject - arts or sciences - taught within UCL. In the second year, seven half-course credits will be psychology-based with the remaining 0.5 credits being drawn from elsewhere.

In your final year, all courses are taken in psychology and you will undertake a compulsory research project on a subject of your choice. Your project will be supervised by a staff member and will be an empirical, usually experimental, piece of research utilising the skills you have learned previously.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Concepts and Methods in Psychology
Introduction to Psychological Experiments
Introduction to Statistical Methods in Psychology
Memory and Decision
The Psychology of Individual Differences
Social Psychology

Optional courses

You will take 1.0 credit of subsidiary courses from across UCL.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Brain and Behaviour
Cognition and Language
Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments
Developmental Psychology
Health and Clinical Psychology
Perception, Attention and Action
Research and Quantitative Methods in Psychology

Optional courses

Computing for Psychologists
One 0.5 credits subsidiary course from across UCL.

Final Year

Compulsory course

Research Project

Optional courses

You will select six optional courses to the value of 3.0 credits. Options may include:

Applied Decision Making
Brain in Action
Cognitive Neuroscience
Genes and Behaviour
Human Computer Interaction
Human Learning and Memory
Language and Cognition
Organisational Psychology
Psychology of Education
Psychology of Health Risks
Social Psychology

Your learning

Your learning will involve attendance at lectures, and you will also experience laboratory classes. Small tutorial groups meet weekly, for which you will be asked to produce essays and prepare discussion topics. Progression to the second and third years is dependent upon your achievement in years one and two.


Assessment is primarily by end-of-year examinations, but other methods include multiple choice and computational tests. Your final-year project will be assessed in two parts; the research proposal (10% of the project mark) and the project itself (90%).

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Psychology BSc.


In addition to subject-based skills and knowledge, Psychology graduates also acquire a number of transferable skills e.g. numeracy, IT literacy, data management, time management, independent research, team working, report writing, presentation skills, communications and literacy skills and work ethically and professionally with people - all highly valued in a range of employment fields.

Your knowledge of all areas of the subject makes you eligible for entry into any field normally open to psychology graduates, or for further graduate training which is required for graduates wishing to work as a chartered professional psychologist in the areas of health, forensic, clinical, educational and occupational psychology.

While many UCL Psychology graduates have gone on to become professional psychologists in the National Health Service, in education, the civil service and industry, it is important to bear in mind that psychology provides a very useful basis for a wide range of other careers.

For further information on careers, visit www.bps.org.uk


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Research Assistant, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (2013)
  • Assistant Psychologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (2013)
  • Mathematics Teacher, Denton Community College (2013)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Clinical Neuroscience at UCL (2012)
  • Graduate Trainee, EDF Energy (2012)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Student view

There's a big focus on lab report writing and by the final year, students are so fluent in research write-ups that some even get published in academic journals. Briony Insua-Summerhays - Psychology BSc (Third year)

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£21,320 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

Together with academic requirements, we are looking to attract well-qualified students with a range of subjects at A level (or equivalent). We are also looking for you to demonstrate your appreciation that psychology, in all its branches, is a scientific subject. Applicants may be asked for additional information, including the completion of a questionnaire, prior to a decision being made.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


All applicants who are offered a place will be invited to attend an open day. This is intended to allow candidates to make an informed decision about whether the degree programme is right for them, and so all candidates resident in the UK are usually expected to attend.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students