Psychology (Joint Honours)

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Why choose this course?

96.9% of Derby graduates were in work or further study within six months of completing a full-time degree.

  • Should you choose to major in psychology, the course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, and if you achieve a second class degree or above, you are eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. This is needed for postgraduate training to become a professional psychologist
  • You'll be supported by our enthusiastic and experienced team of psychology lecturers who will guide you through your studies and help you to reach your full potential
  • We've got some excellent facilities on campus, where you can develop your psychological research and practical skills
  • You’ll be taught by active researchers, like Dr Zaheer Hussain, who recently co-authored what is believed to be the UK's first study into smartphone addiction, which received worldwide attention.
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Fact file

UCAS code: Y002

Start date: September

Course length: Full-time: three years. Part-time: up to six years  

Campus: Kedleston Road, Derby  

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

About this course

Psychology is the scientific study of human thought and behaviour. You can combine this course with a wide range of subjects, including Biology, Criminology, English, or Sociology. This allows you to keep your options open and study what you're most interested in. You can choose to study psychology as a major, joint, or minor subject as part of your joint honours degree. Your decision will determine how many psychology modules you'll study.

During the course you'll gain a detailed understanding of the different areas of psychology including developmental, social, biological, cognitive, and health psychology. You can look at the applications of psychology to a wide range of areas, from understanding the nature and causes of mental health problems to investigating decision making in real life situations.

We have excellent facilities, including high specification computing labs with software for designing experiments, which you'll be introduced to right from the start of your degree. You'll also receive training in qualitative research design, such as developing your interviewing skills and running focus groups. These skills are crucial for carrying out research effectively. You'll also have the chance to use a range of psychological recording equipment, our observation suite with video recording facilities and project rooms to carry out your research.

We aim to teach 'research-led' programmes. Our psychology modules are taught by staff who are actively involved in research in that area of psychology. As well as being enthusiastic about the subject, we're also motivated to make our psychology pathways as interesting and enjoyable as possible, for example, interactive teaching sessions and use of the web for lecture support. We also dedicate time to give students the proper support they need, particularly through our programme of academic facilitation sessions. We place a great emphasis on being available and being responsive to student needs through a variety of support systems both at a departmental level as well as a university level.

We're not involved in animal research.

What you will cover

The modules you study will depend on whether you select Psychology as a major, joint, or minor subject.

Stage one

If you choose to study Psychology as a joint honours course, you’ll study the following modules in your first year:

  • Skills and Careers in Psychology 1
  • Introduction to Biological and Developmental Psychology
  • Introduction to Social and Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology

Stage two

If you major in Psychology from stage two onwards (to obtain GBC), you’ll study the following modules:

  • Skills and Careers in Psychology 2
  • Biological and Developmental Psychology
  • Social and Cognitive Psychology
  • Quantitative Methods and Individual Differences
  • Qualitative Methods: The Individual in Society

Stage three

If you are majoring in Psychology by Stage three (to obtain GBC), you’ll need to study the following module:

  • Independent Study in Psychology

Optional modules:

  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Autism, Asperger's and ADHD
  • Clinical Applications of Psychology
  • Emotion in Context
  • Family Health Psychology
  • Forensic Applications of Psychology
  • Human Behaviour and Evolution
  • Neuropsychology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychology in Education
  • The Dark Side of Psychology
  • The Psychology of Pain
  • The Psychology of Rationality
  • Work Placement

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are usually between 220-300 UCAS points*, of which at least 200-240 will be from your core A2s (full A levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.

We'll accept up to 60 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications.

We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team.

We also accept the Access to HE Diploma.

Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent level 2 qualifications.

*This will depend on which programme you're combining this one with, for example most Joint Honours programmes require 260 points, but anything combined with Law will require 300 points.

The UCAS tariff points are a guide - we'll also consider all the information that you've included in your application. We'll also want to see that you're enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.

General undergraduate entry requirements

How to apply

UK/EU students

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree

Fees and finance

2015/16 Fees

This is a resource intensive course.

UK/EU students

  • Full time: £9,000 (each year)
  • £1,125 per module (you usually take the equivalent of 18 single modules)

International students

  • Full time: £11,190

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2015 and August 2016. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

2016/17 Fees

UK/EU students

  • Full-time: £9,000 (each year)

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2016 and August 2017. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

How you will learn

We use various teaching methods to make sure that this course is interesting and that you'll learn in an effective way. We don't just teach you in lectures and seminars, you'll also take part in group activities and practical work, and use online resources such as our virtual learning environment. Recent quality inspectors praised us for ‘being at the forefront of technology-enhanced learning’.

At stages one and two, you'll generally follow a traditional lecture and seminar format. Each week, you'll need to attend one lecture and one seminar per module. In your third year, some of the modules will require a two hour interactive lecture a week.

However, lectures and seminars are intended to give you the basic information you'll need to pass the module. It's expected that most of your time will be spent working independently; for example, reading journal articles and books, conducting experiments and evaluating theories and research.

How you're assessed

In your first year, you'll mainly be assessed through assignments, although you may have to take some class tests. In your second and third year, you'll be assessed either by assignments or exams. For the assignments you'll need to complete essays on specific topics, but you'll also carry out and write up practical reports in qualitative and quantitative methods and give oral and poster presentations. In exams, you would usually be asked to complete essay questions. However, sometimes exams will include multiple choice and/or short answer questions.

Careers and employability

If you choose to major in psychology and achieve a second class degree or above, you are eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society. This is needed for postgraduate training to become a professional psychologist.

You'll gain a range of different skills which are all useful for going into many different careers or training when you graduate. You'll develop good communication and IT skills plus an understanding of behavioural research. These key transferable skills are all highly valued by potential employers.

Some of our previous graduates have qualified in areas such as clinical and educational psychology, or enrolled on PhD's. Some have worked in other professions where psychological knowledge is relevant, such as lecturing in psychology, or working in mental health settings. While others have entered careers where transferable skills are more relevant, such as management training. Once you have graduated, you could also go on to study our MSc Health Psychology course, if you would like to specialise in the area of health psychology.

One of our graduates, Rachel Christmas, who studied Joint Honours Psychology with Criminology, is now working in Her Majesty's Prison in Peterborough as a custody administrator. She says, "You end up with a much wider knowledge base and more choice of what to study and how to use your knowledge."

What our students say

"The University of Derby has changed my life. Throughout my university life I have been given an abundance of opportunities, from both the course and from the Students Union, that have advanced my employability skills, networks, and experience. My experiences range from being a regional coach, First Year President, and Joint Honours Faculty Representative, allowing me to voice the Joint Honours students' opinions to University management. All of this have given me the confidence to become a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) student reviewer, which is a role that I am truly looking forward to."

Rajveer Bual, current Pscyhology and Sport and Exercise Studies student

The following comments are from students on the BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, which overlaps extensively with our combined pathways.

"I thoroughly enjoyed studying psychology; I discovered a lot of interesting theories and research by many psychologists. The lecturers were really supportive and approachable, and always happy to help. It gave me a lot of confidence."

Shaista Laher, graduate

"I feel this course built up my knowledge for a future career in criminal justice. The degree has also helped me get used to doing presentations and application forms, as well as writing personal statements. Overall, my university experience built my confidence and gave me the opportunity to meet like minded people." Read Monica's full story here.

Monica Connors, graduate

Joint Honours at Derby logo

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road, Derby


Related Links

Programme Specification

pdf Psychology Joint Honours programme spec