Psychology

Our courses emphasise the experimental study of the mind, and we encourage you to share a sense of fun and adventure in psychological science.

Accredited courses

Our degrees are recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as qualification for graduate registration.

Hands-on facilties

Benefit from state-of-the-art facilities including electroencephalography (EEG) recording, eye tracking, sleep labs and a dedicated virtual reality environment.

Excellent reputation

Bristol is in the UK top ten for Psychology (THE World University Rankings 2023).

Psychology at Bristol

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. It helps us understand how humans and other animals interpret and respond to the external world.

Our staff are experts who teach the latest developments in the field, based on the cutting-edge research that they and their colleagues are conducting.

Bristol's specialisms include cognitive (developmental, language, memory and social) and biological (human brain and behaviour, vision, behavioural genetics) psychology, as well as computational neuroscience and neuropsychology.

Psychology at Bristol has a long and distinguished history. Conwy Lloyd Morgan, one of the earliest experimental psychologists, was the University’s first Vice-Chancellor.

We look for students who are bright, motivated and who show a genuine enthusiasm for the subject. You do not need a Psychology A-level to study psychology.

One of our recent Psychology graduates is also a young mum and wants to help reduce stigmatisation of teen mothers by showing what she's achieved. Find out more about her story.

We also offer BiochemistryBiological Sciences, Cellular and Molecular MedicineBiomedical ScienceNeurosciencePharmacology, and Physiological Science.

We get hands-on experience in experiments – a great opportunity to understand how psychology works in the real world. I am very excited about the optional units in third year, many of which will be taught by leading psychologists.

Jason, BSc Psychology

Career prospects

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Our degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), and they provide pathways to professional training in psychology and postgraduate programmes.

Bristol psychology graduates go on to successful careers within psychology-related fields. Other sectors that graduates go into include:

  • health
  • education
  • marketing
  • scientific and legal consultancy
  • banking and finance
  • human resources
  • media
  • the public sector.
What our students do after graduating

Course structure

A person working in a laboratory with a pipette, measuring out orange liquid into small containers.

Your first year will introduce important concepts and approaches and experimental methods and analysis. Lectures and tutorials will give you a strong foundation in developmental, cognitive, biological and social psychology. Psychological experiments and research methods units provide you with experience and training in the investigation, analysis and reporting of a range of psychological phenomena.

The second year covers core topics in greater depth, and you will approach psychological investigations at a more advanced level. Your laboratory work will be supported by instruction in advanced techniques of statistical analysis and in the use of statistical software.

Your third year is based mainly on optional units, covering topics that emphasise detailed knowledge of contemporary psychological issues. You will also carry out an original piece of independent research, which may be based in the laboratory or in a local school, hospital or business organisation.

The MSci Psychology and Neuroscience combines psychological science with a cellular, synaptic and systems-level understanding of brain function.

You can also study Psychology with Innovation, giving you interdisciplinary breadth, creative teamwork and entrepreneurial skills.

Sample units may include:

  • Issues in Social Psychology
  • Genes and Behaviour
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Myths and Misconceptions about Psychology
  • Drug Use and Addiction.

Impact and Outreach

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Our research helps to advance the scientific discipline of psychology and contributes to our outstanding, research-led teaching. Major research areas include brain and behaviour, cognitive science, and physical and mental health.

We collaborate with local, national and international partners, and our outreach team works with schools and members of the public to bring the subject to a wider audience. We have extensive connections with NHS Bristol hospitals.

There is an active undergraduate psychology society, which runs regular events and produces its own magazine.

Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. It includes a range of disciplines that share a common interest in understanding how humans and other animals interpret and respond to the external world.

Why study Psychology at Bristol?

The School of Psychological Science is a friendly environment and our staff are passionate about helping students to thrive during their time at Bristol.

Our courses have a fundamental emphasis on the experimental study of the mind and we want our students to share a sense of fun and adventure in psychological science.

Our staff are experts who teach the latest developments in the field, based on the cutting-edge research that they and their colleagues are conducting. We offer state-of-the-art laboratories, with facilities including electroencephalography recording, eye-tracking and sleep labs.

Over the course of the degree students become independent learners who can think for themselves.

In the third year you can tailor the course to your interests, choosing from a range of seminar courses and undertaking a major research project of your choice.

There is an active undergraduate psychology society which runs regular events and produces its own magazine.

See the School of Psychological Science on film.

What kind of student would this course suit?

We look for students who are bright, motivated and who show a genuine enthusiasm for psychology. While many of our students will hold a Psychology A-level, this is not a pre-requisite. Some aptitude for mathematics is useful as the courses include statistics but you do not need to be a maths whiz.

Our courses are centred around scientific enquiry and the final-year research project forms a major part of the degree. If you are scientifically minded and want to know about psychology as it is currently understood, then these courses would suit you.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our teaching is based on a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, laboratory classes and participation in research experiments.

You will develop close working relationships with staff through staff-led academic tutorials during the first year and these are developed through a combination of taught lectures and seminar-based discussion. This leads to individual project work from the third year.

We have diverse methods of assessment including coursework, oral presentations and examinations in addition to the final-year project dissertation.

What are my career prospects?

Our degrees provide pathways to professional training in psychology and are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduate destinations include a broad range of other sectors, including health, education, marketing, scientific and legal consultancy, banking and finance, human resources, media and the public sector.

The multidisciplinary and scientific nature of psychology means that you will develop an impressive range of transferable skills in quantitative analytical research, data handling and interpretation, critical evaluation, report writing, presentation and IT literacy.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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