Psychology (Joint Honours)

What is Joint Honours?

With joint honours, you can study for an honours degree in two subjects. Find out more about joint honours.

Why choose this course?

  • In the 2012 National Student Survey, 95% of our students were satisfied with the enthusiasm of our teaching staff and how intellectually stimulating the course is.
  • Studying psychology as a joint honours degree allows you to keep your options open by studying two or three subjects and will open up a range of career opportunities for you.
  • If you study this course as a major or joint subject, you'll get the qualification you need to go on to postgraduate training to become a professional psychologist.
  • If you choose psychology as a major or joint subject, then your degree will be recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
  • 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 studying in a department that recognises the importance of teaching, but is also research active with a strong record of publication.

Anything else?

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 student 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.

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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.

Our teaching is research-led where you'll be taught by staff who are actively involved in research in different areas of psychology. As well as being enthusiastic about the subject we're also motivated to make the degree as interesting and enjoyable as possible through interactive teaching sessions and online lecture support. We also dedicate time to give you the support you need.

We use various teaching methods to make sure that the course is interesting, engaging and that you 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 and web forum.

We're not involved in animal research.

Visit our Psychology website

For more information please visit our Psychology website to see case studies on current students, details of the staff you'll get to meet and much more.

What can I combine this programme with?

What you will cover

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are usually 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.

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

2014/15 Fees

This is a resource intensive course.

UK/EU students

Full time:

  • If you combine this subject with a classroom based subject it will cost £8,100 per year.
  • If you combine this subject with another resource intensive subject it will cost £8,600 per year.

Part time:

  • If you combine this subject with a classroom based subject it will cost £1,010 per module, (you'll usually take 18 of these in total).
  • If you combine this subject with another resource intensive subject it will cost £1,075 per module, (you'll usually take 18 of these in total).

International students

Full time:

  • If you combine this subject with a classroom based subject it will cost £10,445 per year.
  • If you combine this subject with another resource intensive subject it will cost £10,725 per year.

*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2014 and August 2015. 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 and web forum. Recent quality inspectors praised us for ‘being at the forefront of technology-enhanced learning’.

In your first and second year, 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 psychology as a major or joint subject, then your degree will be recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and will mark the first step in your 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 for 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 following comments are from students on the BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, which overlaps extensively with our combined pathways.

Shaista Laher, current student
"When I first started university I was very scared to be in new surroundings and starting fresh, but I met so many people from my course who were all really friendly. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year of studying psychology; I have learnt a lot of interesting workings of many psychologists and their theories. I have enjoyed it a lot as the lecturers have been really supportive and approachable and have always been happy to help and it gave me a lot of confidence."

One of our current students
"There were many aspects of the course at Derby that I found particularly beneficial to my development. The first was the lecturing staff. I found them to be student focused as opposed to being pretentious and completely wrapped up in their own research."

One of our current students
"The course has been fantastically interesting incorporating a wide range of topics in the area and taught by enthusiastic and friendly staff. As a joint honours student I was worried about how the course would fit in with my other subject: English, but I have found that the knowledge I have learnt in Psychology has proven to be very useful in creating a new angle to my English work."

Monica Connors

"I feel this course has built my knowledge of all aspects 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. The overall the university experience has built my confidence and gave me the opportunity to meet like minded people." Read Monica's full story here.

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road, Derby


Related Links

Programme Specification

pdf JHS Psychology Programme Specification