Available for January start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 3-6 years

UK/EU fee

£15,840

International fee

£15,840

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start dates

January, September, May

Location

Online

Online course description

Please note that due to the popularity of our BPS accredited courses we urge you to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

Our BSc (Hons) Psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and has been successfully running online for more than eight years. It is one of our most popular and established online degrees. Completing an accredited degree is an essential first step to becoming a qualified psychologist. But even if that isn’t your career goal, this is still a fascinating subject to study.

The British Psychological Society Accredited Undergraduate Psychology logo

Follow your own interests

During the final stage of this online course, in addition to the compulsory core areas of psychology, you can also choose from a range of optional modules allowing you to follow your own interests. These may be in areas such as addictive behaviours, applied psychology and ergonomics, or autism, Asperger’s and ADHD.

With a choice of start dates - September, January or May - and interactive online learning materials, you have the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures.

Free student membership of the British Psychological Society

To show our commitment to our students, we are always looking for new ways to facilitate your growth as psychologists. Enrol onto this course and receive full BPS student membership for the duration of your studies.

Please note: Free BPS membership is not available to students in receipt of Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELC).

Accredited and non-accredited routes

Learning online provides plenty of opportunities to interact with our expert online tutors and your fellow students.

As an online student hoping to gain eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS you must attend a one week residential held at the University of Derby’s Kedleston Road site. This residential is part of the Psychology in Practice module and takes place in July. The residential week provides you with the opportunity to experience different aspects of psychology such as experimental design, running hands-on practical experiments, group data collection and statistics.

If you are unable to attend the residential week, or you don’t need GBC, you can take an alternative module instead and graduate with a non-accredited BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies.

See what the Psychology in Practice week is all about

Our academics and students talk about the University's Psychology in Practice week

View the Psychology in Practice week video transcript

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Psychology, Dr Alice Doherty, talks about our online Psychology BSc (Hons) course in this video.

Our Academic Lead, Dr Alice Doherty, talks about the online BSc (Hons) Psychology course

View our BSc (Hons) Psychology course introduction video transcript

using a laptop on a desk

How Fiona's cancer inspired her studies

Fiona Henderson was in the second year of our online Psychology degree, writing an essay on what stops women going to the doctor when they spot breast cancer symptoms. That’s when she found out she had cancer.

Read Fiona's storyRead Fiona's story

What you will study

To complete Stage 1

You will need to complete all six core modules (120 credits) before you can progress onto Stage 2. We will confirm your study pattern once your application has been accepted.

To complete Stage 2

You must complete six modules (120 credits) before you can progress onto Stage 3.

BSc (Hons) Psychology: To graduate with a BPS accredited degree title, you will need to complete the core modules, including the Psychology in Practice module, and choose one of the optional modules.

BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies: If you do not want or need to graduate with the BPS accredited degree, you will be awarded the title of BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies. For this award, you will need to complete the four core modules as well as two optional modules. You will not be required to complete the Psychology in Practice module, however you can take this module if you wish.

To complete Stage 3

You will need to complete a double module plus four optional modules.

BSc (Hons) Psychology: You will need to complete the Psychology Research Project (double module), plus four 20 credit optional modules.

BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies: You will need to complete the Psychology Literature Review Project (double module) or the Psychology Research Project, plus four additional 20 credit modules.

Your Online Tutor or Online Learning Advisor will advise you of the optional modules available but they may include subjects such as Addictive Behaviours, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD, or Pain Psychology.

Please note: Optional modules are subject to availability and study patterns.

Stage 1Stage 1Stage 2Stage 2Stage 3Stage 3

Code: 4PS507

Introduction to Biological Psychology

In this module students will explore how the brain works, including an introduction to the brain, neural structures and neurons. We will investigate the history of biological psychology and consider key questions, such as whether parts of our brains serve specialised functions and if there are individual differences in brain structure, associated with handedness, for example. We will also investigate how our understanding of brain function informs our understanding of selected areas of human and non-human cognition and behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the underlying principles of biological psychology
  2. Explain the relationships between physiological systems and behaviour

Module content

This module will focus on a number of areas which may include the following:

  • Conceptual and historical issues in biological psychology
  • Biopsychology as a neuroscience
  • Research methods of biopsychology
  • Biological bases of human and non-human behaviour
  • The nervous system, neurons and neuronal conduction
  • Neurotransmitters and behaviour
  • Typical and atypical neuropsychology
  • Comparative psychology
  • Hormones and behaviour
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS508

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

This module introduces students to cognitive psychology as a science. The aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of research into human cognition including areas such as perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking. The module will also explore everyday applications of cognitive research and help students develop an understanding of debates in cognitive psychology.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain theory and research into human cognition
  2. Communicate an academic argument in a clear and concise manner
  3. Outline the key debates surrounding specific research areas in cognitive psychology

Module content

This module will discuss what makes cognitive psychology a science and will explore theories, methodologies, research, and debates relating to core topics of human cognition. Topics discussed may include:

  • Cognitive psychology as a science
  • Perception
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Thinking
  • Language
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Applications of cognitive psychology
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PS509

Introduction to Developmental Psychology

This module introduces students to concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of child development. Students will first be introduced to the area of developmental psychology, its historical development, the methods used by researchers working in this field and key debates such as 'what drives development?' The research and theories proposed by key figures working in the areas of social and cognitive development will then be discussed.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts, theories and methods in developmental psychology
  2. Discuss key issues in developmental psychology
  3. Outline fundamental theories in developmental psychology in a format that may be understood by a non-academic audience

Module content

This module will examine how social and cognitive development has been researched in psychology and explore the theories proposed by key figures working in this area. The following are examples of indicative content:

Studying development – the historical origins of developmental psychology, key issues and debates within developmental psychology (eg the nature nurture debate), research methods used within developmental psychology (eg longitudinal and cross sectional design), explanations of a-typical development and the contributions that developmental psychology can make to the real world.

Developmental theory – the background of key figures within developmental psychology (eg Piaget, Vygotsky, Bowlby, Erikson, Chomsky) and how this shaped their research; prominent cognitive theories of development (eg Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Vygotsky’s theory of development); prominent theories of social development (eg Bowlby’s theory of attachment); theories of lifespan development of the self (eg Erikson’s theory of development).

More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS510

Introduction to Social Psychology

In this module students will be introduced to some of the key concepts included in the study of Social Psychology. Students will explore a range of basic social psychological theories that have been developed to explain our engagement with others such as how attitudes develop; how aggressive or altruistic behaviour can be explained; and how our identities influence the ways we view, and are viewed by, others. This module will also consider how the mere presence of others can change behaviour, for example, how individual behaviour changes in a crowd. Students will also examine how cognitive processes influence our impressions of people, how attitudes form and how these can lead to negative attitudes towards specific groups, which in turn influences behaviour towards group members. Students will be required to apply these conceptual issues to examples taken from everyday life and explain how relevant concepts can explain individual behaviour within a social setting.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Outline and explain a range of social psychology theories
  2. Discuss the methodologies and methods used in social psychology

Module content

This module will focus on a number of areas of social psychology. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Introduction to social psychology and research methods in social psychology
  • Social influence, eg obedience, conformity, compliance and persuasion
  • Changes in individual behaviour in group situations, eg deindividuation
  • Identity in a social context, eg social identity theory
  • Social psychology and cognition, eg impression formation, attribution and stereotypes
  • Attitudes and attitude change
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Pro-social behaviour & aggression
  • Cultural context of social psychology
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PS511

Psychology: Traditions and Skills

This module aims to develop students’ academic understanding of the discipline of psychology from a historical perspective in order to instil an appreciation of the development of psychological traditions that underpin modern psychology training and practice. The module will provide a structured opportunity to develop a range of skills students of psychology need to successfully engage in their programme of study.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Outline the development of psychology as a discipline
  2. Employ a variety of communication methods that are appropriate to the discipline of psychology
  3. Evaluate their competence in a variety of skills that have been explored in the course materials in order to develop a personal development plan

Module content

The module content may include:

  • Origins of psychology and the historical development of the discipline
  • Different perspectives within psychology and their links to theoretical positions and methodological approaches
  • Distinctions between academic and professional areas of psychology
  • General and discipline specific study skills
  • Locating, reading and reviewing psychological literature
  • Planning and managing academic work
  • Individual and group approaches to learning
  • Discipline specific academic writing styles, and presentation skills including oral and poster presentations
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS512

Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology

The purpose of this module is to provide students with an introduction to the key principles underlying research methods in psychology. Students will be taught the need for systematic research methods and will explore the relationship between theory and data in both quantitative and qualitative research. Students will learn key principles in research design and will engage in and evaluate the practical aspects of generating quantitative and qualitative research data. Students will learn how to analyse quantitative and qualitative data and how to report the findings of simple psychological studies in a standardised format.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the purpose and principles of psychological research
  2. Design simple psychological studies that are ethically sound
  3. Analyse, report and interpret qualitative data
  4. Analyse, report and interpret quantitative data using statistical software, eg SPSS

Module content

This module will provide information on the basic foundations of psychological research methods which will be further developed within subsequent modules. The module content focuses on a number of areas of research design and types of analyses in order to help students achieve the module learning outcomes, these may include:

  • Types of research design, eg qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods
  • Ethical Considerations required for psychology research
  • Qualitative methods: Epistemology; methods eg type of interviews, focus groups, grounded theory, case studies, discursive, thematic analyses; approaches eg realist, social constructionist
  • Quantitative methods: Design, eg experiments, observational studies and surveys; predictive hypotheses; types of variables; types of samples; levels of data measurement; descriptive statistics eg central tendency, skew and kurtosis, assessing assumptions of normality, calculating z-scores, type I and type II errors; probability; testing significance; effect size; alternative techniques eg Bayesian inference
  • Basic inferential analyses of parametric and non-parametric data relationships and differences, eg correlations, Chi square, t-tests, Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks
  • Conducting, reporting and interpreting both qualitative and quantitative research results using a standardised format
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS513

Brain, Behaviour and Human Development

This module has two components, developmental psychology and biological psychology. The developmental psychology component of this module aims to further develop students’ understanding of psychological concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of developmental psychology. During this section of the module students will explore a range of research relating to cognitive and social development and develop the skills needed to evaluate existing research. The biological psychology component of this module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the relationship between brain functioning and behaviour. Students will examine the biological bases of a range of behaviours and will consider how research in biological psychology can contribute to the understanding of psychological function.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and evaluate, key issues, concepts and theories in developmental psychology
  2. Explain and evaluate, selected psychological phenomena and associated underlying biological processes

Module content

The following are examples of indicative content:

Developmental psychology component

This component of the module will cover concepts, theories, issues and methods in relation to social and cognitive development. Development is examined from prenatal through to middle childhood. The kinds of topics you may cover will include: prenatal development, perceptual development, theory of mind, language development, and atypical development (eg autism).

Biological psychology component

This component of the module will cover core concepts in biological psychology, as well as biological explanations of key behaviours. The kinds of topics you may cover will include: conceptual and historical issues in biopsychology, research methods in biological psychology, biological basis of human and non-human behaviour, genes, evolution and behaviour, psychopharmacology, stress and emotion, learning and memory, sleep and new developments in neuroscience.

More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS514

Cognitive Processes and the Social World

This module will critically explore psychological theories, methods, research and debates relating to the study of cognitive psychology, social cognition and social psychology. Students will study topics in human cognition and have an opportunity to research a topic of their own choosing. In the study of social cognition, students will gain an understanding of topics involving the interplay of cognitive and social psychology, and the methods and approaches used to study them. Finally, the module will cover social psychology, in which the role of psychology and social contexts is considered, and be will introduced to contemporary approaches to social psychology. Students will have the opportunity to observe the contrasts and connections between this and more traditional approaches.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Design, conduct and report a study of human cognition that extends previous theory and research within the field of cognitive psychology
  2. Explain key social psychological concepts, models and theoretical orientations in contemporary social psychology research
  3. Compare the objectives, strengths, weaknesses and contributions of different approaches to the study of a social psychology topic

Module content

The module content may include:

  • Topics from cognitive psychology, eg attention, memory, thinking, decision-making, language
  • Consideration of cognitive psychological research with evidence from different approaches, eg laboratory experiments and cognitive neuropsychology
  • A study of social cognition, eg attribution, attitudes
  • Information about approaches to the study of social psychology, eg traditional experimental, the rise of social constructionism, the role of language, and the influence of culture
  • Social influence in groups, eg majority and minority influence, conformity, obedience, social impact theory
  • Inter-group processes, eg prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping; group interaction theories; reducing approaches to reducing prejudice
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS517

Quantitative Methods and Individual Differences

This module advances the concepts of quantitative research methods that were introduced to students at Level 4 using the study of individual differences. You will obtain a sound knowledge and understanding of traditional areas and prominent thinkers in the areas of personality and intelligence theory, before moving onto more specific areas of psychology where the differences between individuals has been researched. Alongside this, you will obtain a proven ability to use a variety of research methods appropriately. Specifically, you will learn how to design, conduct and interpret appropriate experimental and quasi-experimental investigations of a range of individual differences variables. You will also develop an ability to elementary scale development for the testing of individual differences within psychology.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Design, conduct and report psychological research using quantitative methods
  2. Examine and assess the complexity of measuring individual differences
  3. Choose, analyse and interpret a variety of quantitative tests in the study of individual differences by using specialist software (SPSS)

Module content

This module will examine how individual differences (Part 1) have been researched in psychology, and focus upon the quantitative research methods (Part 2) appropriate to examining this. The following are examples of indicative content:

Areas of individual differences: The content of this part introduces students to the areas of individual differences. Students will have an introduction to the psychodynamic and humanist approaches to personality and they will learn about trait approaches to personality. Moreover, they will learn about learning and cognitive approaches to personality, such as learning theory and cognitive approaches to personality, including theories of Skinner's behaviourist learning theory, Bandura's social learning theory and Kelly's personal construct theory. Students will develop a knowledge on the main theories of intelligence and intelligence testing, including the concept of 'g' compared to the idea of multiple intelligences; and they will be able to describe the development of intelligence testing and show awareness of the role of intelligence theory in the development of intelligence testing. Furthermore, they will learn about individual differences in health and illness (and how to design studies on this), and measuring health (and issues with this). The area of individual differences in cognition is also covered in this module. Students will understand some of the history of individual differences in cognition research and be familiar with the psychometric approach to studying individual differences in cognition. Moreover, they will be familiar with individual differences in working memory (eg working memory span) and in perception (eg face perception). The last unit of this module focuses on the psychology of religious belief, including an overview of the terms used, some of the main research findings, and some of the main theories.

Quantitative methods: The content of this part builds up on the quantitative foundations provided on Level 4 research module (Research Methods and Analysis; RMA). The first unit of this module, it is a revision of statistical methods (eg inferential statistics, parametric/non-parametric tests) that students learnt at Level 4 research module (RMA). The remaining units, focus on advanced statistical techniques, including One-Way Independent ANOVA, Factorial Independent Measures ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis Test, One-way Repeated Measures ANOVA, Factorial Repeated Measures ANOVA, Friedman’s ANOVA, Factorial Mixed ANOVA, Linear Regression, and Multiple Regression.

Basic scale development and other development: Methods of systematic review and how this relates to scale development, measures of reliability and validity, wording and item creation, data reduction, reliability analyses (eg Cronbach’s Alpha). Also, students should identify and address ethical considerations in an area of individual differences.

More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS518

The Individual in Psychology: Qualitative Understandings

This module introduces a range of qualitative methods of data analysis and collection used within psychology and the different insights these approaches bring to the area of individual differences. The module will explore the use of online qualitative research methods and related ethical issues and also the underlying assumptions which inform psychological research into individual differences such as gender, identity and health. This module will also cover a range of philosophical orientations and methodological approaches enabling students to consider the ways in which the individual, and their engagement with the social world, can be explored from a qualitative perspective.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Design, analyse and report a qualitative research project and illustrate its relevance to an area of individual differences
  2. Outline a future career plan and evaluate the skills developed during their psychological studies in relation to this plan

Module content

This module will examine how individual differences have been traditionally researched in psychology and explore the challenges and different insights a range of qualitative research methods offer in this area. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Ethics in qualitative research
  • Qualitative research theory including ontology and epistemology
  • Generating and collecting qualitative psychology data
  • Qualitative analytic techniques
  • Writing qualitative research
  • Individual differences
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS520

Psychology in Practice

To graduate with a BPS accredited degree title, you will need to complete this core module as part of the accreditation requirements.

One week residential

This module will include one week attendance at a residential school (usually based on the University of Derby campus), during which you will have the opportunity to use specialist equipment, and discuss research and analysis issues.

The module aims to develop your skills in researching psychological topics by providing practical, laboratory based experience in conducting psychological investigations and by introducing a range of qualitatively based techniques for generating data.

If you do not want or need to graduate with a BPS accredited degree, you will be awarded the title of BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Select, justify, and employ appropriate practical tools and techniques to carry out psychological investigations
  2. Use and interpret appropriate qualitative or quantitative analyses and to report findings from a psychological study

Module content

The kinds of topics you may cover include:

  • Strategic literature searching
  • Rationale writing
  • Writing a research proposal
  • Laboratory experience
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Presenting and interpreting results
  • Online research methods
  • Psychometrics
More information
20 Credits
core
Practical

Code: 5PS512

Abnormal Psychology

This module aims to develop students' critical understanding of the main forms of mental illness, such as mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia etc., from a psychological perspective. This module considers the definition of abnormal psychology, and development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The module provides students with an understanding of the key features of a variety of disorders, and examines the contribution of psychological approaches to the theories, research, diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behaviour, through various activities including case studies, discussions, and use of the DSM.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss contemporary literature relating to the biological and psychological analysis of a wide range of functional disorders
  2. Explain the interaction between biological, psychological and social influences in the development of psychological disorders
  3. Apply theory to practice in the area of abnormal psychology

Module content

This module introduces students to the area of abnormal psychology and examines a range of mental illnesses. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • The development of the DSM
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS537

Sport and Exercise Psychology

This module explores the role of the internet in contemporary psychology. We will investigate how psychological theory and research can be applied to a variety of online behaviours, including online social support and online identity.

The module will allow you to develop a critical awareness of the debates and ethical considerations associated with conducting psychological research online. Some practical applications of cyberspace will be examined, for example online psychometric testing and online research methods. Negative online behaviours will also be considered, such as online addiction and cyberbullying.

Module content

Module content may include:

  • Online social support
  • Online dating and social networks
  • Online research methods and ethics
  • Social media as a research environment
  • Online psychometric testing
  • Online gaming and addiction
  • Online identity.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Describe and critique the current concepts, insights and application of psychological theory and research online.
  2. Apply an awareness of the issues, debates and ethical considerations associated with conducting psychological research online to propose a novel research study.
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 5PS538

Sport and Exercise Psychology

This module provides an overview of various contemporary sport and exercise psychology topics aimed at a level 5 undergraduate level. The content will cover individual characteristics, social processes and their influence in the design of interventions in order to enhance sport performance and exercise participation. This module will focus on the application of key theories, models and skills used by sport and exercise psychologist to enhance performance and physical activity.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse and apply psychological theories relating to sport psychology to positively influence athletic performance
  2. Analyse and apply psychological theories relating to exercise psychology to positively influence exercise participation

Module content

Indicative content may include:

Psychological constructs that impact sport performance, for example: anxiety, confidence, personality, and group cohesion.

Psychological constructs that impact exercise participation, for example: motivation, behaviour change, well-being and the environment.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS519

Psychology Research Project

This module represents the culmination of students’ training in psychological research methods, and allows students to put into practice research skills acquired at levels 4 and 5. Under academic supervision, students identify a research issue in an area of psychology of their choosing, formulate meaningful research questions and/or hypotheses, select appropriate methods, collect and analyse empirical data, and write up the study in a scientific report. In addition, students prepare for graduate employment and/or postgraduate training by reflecting on and articulating the personal and transferable skills they have developed across their studies.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Effectively use psychological theory and research to design an ethically and methodologically sound research study to address a pertinent question in psychology
  2. Conduct a psychological research study that uses appropriate methodologies and data analyses to investigate and infer coherent conclusions
  3. Produce a report of a psychological study consistent with the standards expected of research in the chosen area of psychology that demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate relevant literature and research findings
  4. Identify the knowledge and skills developed throughout the undergraduate training in order to articulate these in a way that is relevant to future employers and/or postgraduate study

Module content

For each student the content of the module is largely defined by the scope and nature of their research question and its investigation. The module team helps the student to explore and discuss candidate topics prior to a final decision as to the Independent Study project to be undertaken.

Students can choose to do their research project in a wide range of areas of psychology, limited only by the staff expertise available for supervision.

More information
40 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS520

Psychology Literature Review Project

In this module, students are expected to present evidence of their ability to conduct a comprehensive review of the published research literature in an area of psychology of their choice. Under appropriate academic supervision, students review the literature base in their chosen area, organise, analyse and synthesise the research findings in the form of a scholarly literature review that presents an integrated analysis of the current state of knowledge and research in that field. In addition, students will prepare for graduate employment and/or training by reflecting on and articulating the personal and transferable skills developed across their studies.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Specify a research issue or topic that is sufficiently bounded and defined to permit a comprehensive or near-comprehensive literature review, and consider any potential ethical issues
  2. Use electronic and other data bases to conduct systematic searches of the published psychology research literature
  3. Critically evaluate and interpret research methods and findings as reported in published papers
  4. Synthesize contemporary research findings in order to evaluate current perspectives in the specified research topic or issue
  5. Identify and articulate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their undergraduate training in order to provide an appropriate account of their suitability for graduate employment and/or postgraduate study

Module content

For each student the content of the module is largely defined by the scope and nature of their research question and its investigation. The module team helps the student to explore and discuss candidate topics prior to a final decision as to the Independent Study to be undertaken.

Students can choose to do their Independent Study project in a wide range of areas of psychology, limited only by the staff expertise available for supervision.

More information
40 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS523

Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD

This module introduces students to two childhood developmental disorders: autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Students will study classifications, diagnosis, treatments, controversies and outcomes for both conditions, drawing on current research and theory. Students will critically evaluate evidence around these key topics, especially in light of historical and cultural understandings of these conditions. The module will also discuss practical applications of current psychological knowledge to both treatment and social adaptation for individuals diagnosed with these conditions.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the classification symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  2. Critically evaluate autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) research and theory

Module content

The module examines research and theory on ASD and ADHD and their application in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD and ADHD. Indicative learning content may include:

  1. Historical background of the study of ASD and ADHD
  2. The classification, diagnosis and epidemiology of ASD and ADHD, referring to current criteria and diagnostic practice in the UK and abroad
  3. Symptoms and comorbidity of ASD and ADHD
  4. Aetiology of ASD and ADHD, which may include genetic/biological influences, cognitive theories
  5. Behavioural, cognitive, and pharmacological treatments for ASD and ADHD
  6. Developmental outcomes
  7. Controversies about ASD and ADHD, as they pertain to each topic
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6PS525

Clinical Applications of Psychology

The module builds on and develops knowledge gained through the study of core psychology at levels 4 and 5 and its application in an applied context. This module is designed to develop students’ understanding of the application of psychological theory and research in practice. The module will focus on two professional areas of psychology (clinical and health) that are concerned with the psychological health and well-being of individuals. Students will be introduced to the generic skills required of psychologists working in these areas before exploring the application of psychological theory and research to understanding the psychological components of a range of clinically relevant topics. The use of psychologically-based assessments, interventions and therapies appropriate to specific populations and clinical issues will also be examined.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the translation of psychological theory and empirical evaluation into clinical practice and treatment development
  2. Critically evaluate the utility of psychologically-based interventions or therapies to address clinically relevant issues

Module content

The module will be based around understanding the generic skill base required of psychologists working in clinical contexts; exploration of illustrative areas of practise from clinical and health psychology; and application of psychologically-based, assessments, interventions and therapies.

Content will focus on:

  • Applied psychology in the clinical context
  • Health psychology in practise
  • Clinical psychology in practise psychologically-based assessments, interventions and therapies - eg CBT and third-wave CBT, motivational interviewing, art therapy, and compassion-focused psychotherapy
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6PS526

Psychology in Education

The module is about how psychology applies to education. This means the application of psychological theory, research and methods to educational processes and settings. The module therefore has a strongly applied emphasis. It will look predominantly at primary and secondary education. It is designed with students in mind who may progress to postgraduate training to qualify as teachers or educational psychologists, or who may work in educational settings, eg as teaching assistants. It is also designed to be attractive to those with a strong interest in education and applied psychology.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Assess how current psychology knowledge, methods and practices can be applied to education
  2. Explain how psychological analysis applies to educational topics and issues and present to a non-academic audience

Module content

This module introduces students to the applications of psychology in education. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Research methods used in educational settings
  • Social relationships and the influences of peers and friendship groups
  • Collaborative learning techniques and their usefulness
  • Causes and consequences of bullying
  • Social anxiety
  • Individual differences, eg dyslexia, their impact on learning and strategies of support
  • School transition
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS529

Forensic Applications of Psychology

This module will give you a thorough introduction to the application of psychology to our understanding of criminal behaviour and the criminal justice system.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Review and appraise psychologically oriented explanations of criminal behaviour and control
  2. Apply psychological theories and research to to evaluate police investigation and judicial processes
  3. summarise and critically evaluate key research in the field

Module content

This module offers an insight into some of the practical applications of psychology, as well as the psychological explanations for offending behaviour and control.

Weekly unit titles:

  • Development of criminal and antisocial behaviour
  • Mental health and crime
  • Dealing with offenders
  • Violence and aggression (the case of terrorism)
  • Judicial processes
  • Offender profiling
  • Eyewitness testimony and cognitive interviewing
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6PS530

Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology deals with the problems that arise from brain injury that affects cognitive functioning. This module looks at the biological and cognitive consequences of a number of conditions and analyses the knowledge we have at present and what that knowledge tells us about the normally functioning brain. This module will explore a number of conceptual issues within the context of neuropsychological disorders. Issues covered will include, population sizes, methodologies, recovery of function, remediation versus research, normal versus abnormal deficits, and lesion sites. These issues will be illustrated through the exploration of visual agnosia, amnesia and ageing. The module will combine the acquisition of knowledge with the skill of delivering that knowledge appropriately to a named target audience.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Describe and critically evaluate the neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms involved in neuropsychological theories
  • Critically illustrate a conceptual issue by drawing on a variety of contexts
  • Present a coherent and critical assessment of one topic area covered in the module

Module content

In the module we will cover a number of relevant neuropsychology topics. These will include:

  • What is neuropsychology?
  • Agnosia
  • Amensia
  • Blindsight
  • Ageing
  • Alzheimer’s disease
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical

Code: 6PS532

The Psychology of Pain

The experience of pain cannot be captured in physiological terms alone and in recent years psychology has made an enormous contribution to the understanding of pain and its phenomena, mechanisms and treatment. This module will explore and integrate current theory and research in key areas of pain and pain management from a psychological perspective. This module will explore the neurobiological and psychosocial underpinnings of pain perception and expression including cognition and emotion. Pain measurement will be explored and psychological approaches to the treatment and management of pain will be described.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the principle ways by which psychologists have studied the phenomena of pain
  2. Critically evaluate the theoretical and methodological developments in research and practice applied to one particular area of the psychology of pain in an online presentation to an audience
  3. Communicate relevant information relating to an area of pain in a written format suitable for use as a patient/practitioner information resource

Module content

The module content may include learning material covering the following areas:

  • Experience of pain
  • Neurobiology of pain
  • Theories of pain
  • Psychosocial influences on pain
  • Investigating and measuring pain
  • Interventions
  • Issues in pain research
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS538

The Psychology of Health

The module builds on and develops knowledge gained through the study of core psychology at levels 4 and its application to the study of health and illness. Health psychology is one of the fastest growing disciplines in psychology. This module will explore the key theoretical concepts that underpin the discipline and introduce students to the main models and theories that health psychologists use to explain the experience of health and illness and their links to other areas of psychology.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Summarise the core health psychology concepts, models and theories that underpin contemporary health psychology research
  2. Critically evaluate the application of health psychology theory to the maintenance of health
  3. Critically evaluate the role of health psychology research in understanding the experience of illness

Module content

  • Health psychology in context
  • Core health psychology theory
  • Models of health behaviour
  • Health promotion
  • Psychological aspects of healthcare
  • The health-illness link
  • Chronic illness
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS545

Applied Performance Psychology

This module explores selected psychological factors related with performance. This will allow students to become familiar with theoretical frameworks and current performance psychology literature from a range of disciplines including sport and exercise psychology and business psychology etc. Students will develop critical appraisal skills and the ability to apply theory and research to real life practical situations. Consideration of applied consultancy practise, ethics and approaches to psychological support for athletes, clients etc. will develop students understanding of applied psychology focusing on performance.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Apply performance psychology theories to real life examples, to include identification of issues and the implementation of interventions
  2. Critically reflect on the process of data collection and the skills utilised in the development of their case study

Module content

This module will cover a range of topics including:

  • Professional philosophy, frameworks and ethics
  • Needs assessment and self-regulation
  • Motivation and motivational climate
  • Confidence
  • Performance under pressure
  • Mental skills interventions
  • Burnout
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS546

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

In this module, students will explore the historical context of psychology, and trace how modern movements and methodological approaches are informed by earlier theory and research. Students will be encouraged to explore current topics and how they have been informed by different perspectives in psychology. Students will examine the ways that modern areas of psychology have responded to criticism, while also investigating how historical concepts shape applications and understandings of psychology today. Finally, the module will critically examine the political context of psychology and the extent to which psychology can be treated as an objective science. This module will require students to take a critical view of the past and the present, and how psychology impacts on individuals in real-life settings.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate historical theories and concepts in psychology in terms of methodological, ethical, political and social critiques
  2. Examine the relevance of established psychological research and theory and how this informs current topics and debates

Module content

This module explores the conceptual and historical development of psychology and examines the relevance of established psychological theory to current topics and debates. Examples of indicative content may include:

Conceptual and historical development of psychology: eg positivism, behaviourism, biological approaches, cognitive approaches, humanism, psychoanalytic approaches.

The politics of psychology: psychology as a social science, ethics, ethnocentrism, ethnicity, scientific racism and sexism, the use and misuse of psychology, psychology as an objective science.

Application of Psychology in current topics and debates: eg offender behaviour and forensic psychology, feminist psychology, LGBT issues, behaviour change, family psychology.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6PS547

Language and Literacy Development

The module builds on and develops knowledge gained through the study of developmental and cognitive psychology at levels 4 and 5. It focuses on current models of language and literacy development. In addition students will be encouraged to critically explore the notion of a "normal" pattern of development by examining language learning in challenging contexts. The module will examine current research in language and literacy development from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives and will explore how this body of research has shaped theoretical understanding. It will also examine how this understanding is applied in educational approaches to language and literacy. This module should benefit students with an interest in developmental, educational or child psychology, and/or special needs education.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Be able to effectively communicate and integrate knowledge of multiple theoretical approaches to language and literacy development
  2. Critically evaluate the notion of "normal" patterns of language and literacy development
  3. Explain how research on language learning difficulty informs psychological theory on language and literacy development
  4. Critically apply psychological approaches in language and literacy development to educational practice

Module content

To meet the learning objectives the module will examine current research in language and literacy development, how this body of research has shaped theoretical understanding and how it is applied in educational settings.

Indicative content may include:

  • Theoretical approaches to learning to speak, read, and write
  • Examples of language and literacy development in challenging contexts which could include:
    • Language development in children with cognitive or perceptual deficits
    • Developmental dyslexia
    • Social deficits in language development, eg Autism
    • Bilingualism and second language learning
  • The assessment of language and literacy development in research and education
  • Educational approaches to language and literacy development
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6PS548

Positive Psychology

This module will provide students with an overview of positive psychology, and particularly the role of positive psychology in health and performance. This module will provide students with an understanding of the origins and physiological aspects of positive psychology. Moreover, it shall discuss the contemporary applications of positive psychology research to individuals and organisations.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Apply positive psychology theories to propose an intervention to improve an area of health or performance
  2. Critically evaluate positive psychology theory and approaches and explain their application in contemporary research

Module content

This module may cover:

  • Origins of positive psychology
  • Applied positive psychology
  • Hope, resilience and self-efficacy
  • Gratitude and optimism
  • Positive psychology, health and wellbeing
  • Positive psychology theories and interventions
  • Positive psychology and performance
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

How you will you learn online

Our Psychology BSc (Hons) course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster
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Entry requirements

You require:

We also accept Access qualifications (with a grade of 22 merits or a distinction).

Students who have completed the online University Certificate in Psychology will be offered automatic progression to the online Psychology BSc (Hons) programme where they have achieved a final average grade of 50% and have passed all the core shared BSc/UCP modules.

For all other students who have completed the online University Certificate in Psychology, progression onto the BSc will be at the discretion of the Programme Leader/Academic Lead.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

* If you don't have GCSE Maths, you can study our Certificate of Credit in Introduction to Maths in Preparation for Higher Education, which is a 20-credit module designed to help you develop your mathematical skills in preparation for higher education. 

**If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5, you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes, which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Fees and funding

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £880 17 (sixteen 20 credit modules and one 40 credit module) £15,840

† Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Please note: If you wish to obtain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) you will be required to study the Psychology in Practice module. This module involves a one week residential component at our Derby Campus. Costs for accommodation, travel and your meals are not included in the module cost.

You will be responsible for making your own accommodation and travel arrangements. Accommodation may be available at the University halls of residence for which the usual university tariffs apply. Contact us to find out more.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three options:

 

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Careers

If you want to become a professional psychologist, you will need to undertake further postgraduate training (for further information refer to the BPS website) and after completing this BSc, you’ll be able to do just that. You can choose to train in areas such as clinical psychology, occupational, forensic or educational psychology. If you are interested in health psychology you can continue to study our MSc Health Psychology with us online.

If you’re more interested in psychology as a subject and are not pursuing a career as a psychologist, then this course is still valuable. It allows you to develop skills for a variety of careers, such as working in educational or health settings, and in management or administration.

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Dr Alice Doherty
Programme leader

Dr Alice Doherty, Academic lead for psychology, is a multidisciplinary teacher with varied teaching experience in a range of subjects including Psychology and English as a Foreign Language.

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Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

† Additional information about your studies

Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Download programme specification

Unistats