The University of Bath is a world-class institution. This year, the Sunday Times voted Bath the University of the Year 2011-12, ranked fifth in the UK.
League tables consistently show that the BSc (Hons) Psychology is among the very best. Our reputation is founded on the quality of our teaching and our long-standing record of cutting-edge, theoretically-informed research in applied aspects of psychology.
Our focus on work placements, in-depth project work, and a close connection between research and teaching all ensure that a degree from Bath is the ideal starting point for a rewarding career or postgraduate study.
Some of the features that contribute to the success of the Psychology programme include:
Our BSc in Psychology provides students with a grounding across the discipline and focuses particularly on areas specified by the British Psychological Society including:
We also teach a broad range of research methods. Like all degrees we train you in experimental methodology but we also have a strong emphasis on observational research and qualitative analysis, for example using data from interviews and focus groups. In addition, the Bath programme has distinctive focuses including cognition, critical social psychology and cyberpsychology.
One-fifth of our programme consists of units which are taught by other University of Bath Departments. In each year you take core psychology units and choose extra units to explore an area outside psychology. In the final year (if you wish) all your units can be psychology or you can continue with your chosen options to the next level. These streams or optional units are in the disciplines of:
The degree structure
The BSc Psychology is delivered over four years. In the first year we lay the foundations for understanding basic concepts, methods and theories in psychology. In the second year the units build on your knowledge from the first year and introduce more research methods including project work. The third year is your placement year where you will work in a professional psychology institution either in the UK or overseas (minimum of 30 weeks). In the final year there is a range of advanced units, many of which reflect the research interests of the staff in the department. You will also complete your dissertation, which involves collecting and analysing data (you are likely to have made a start on this during your placement year).
The placement year
The BSc in Psychology at the University of Bath is one of only four courses in the UK that includes a mandatory placement year. The excellent employment rate of our students is due in no small measure to the ‘hands-on’ experience and skills they acquire from their placement. The placement is assessed and contributes towards the final degree classification. The aim of the placement is to give you the opportunity to experience the practical aspects of psychological work, and to receive training in the skills associated with that work. Over the years, the University has built up contacts with a large number of organisations that can provide the high standard of training we expect.
How does a placement help you?
What kind of job could I do?
There are placements in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors. You could choose to work, for example, in clinical, educational, forensic, organisational, development or research settings. These may be in the UK or overseas.
Recent placements include:
The Department of Psychology is ranked 2nd for research (and 4th overall) in the UK by this year's The Complete University Guide (in association with The Independent). In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise over half the department's staff were affiliated with research areas ranked in the top five across the country.
The Department has a distinctive research profile and a long-standing record of cutting-edge, theoretically-informed research in applied aspects of psychology; our four main research strengths are: Clinical Psychology, Cognition, Affective Science & Technology Laboratories (CASTL), Health Psychology, and Social and Cultural Psychology. In the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), over half our staff were affiliated with research areas ranked in the top five across the country.
Department staff and affiliates are involved in a diverse range of fields in psychology. Here are details of a few staff members to show how our research and teaching interests overlap:
Dr Mark Brosnan - Mark mostly studies cognitive processes in autism and related conditions. He is the author of the book 'Technophobia' and teaches developmental disorders.
Dr Jeff Gavin - An expert on how people form and maintain relationships online, Jeff teaches personality and cyberpsychology.
Professor Christine Griffin - Christine is an expert on young people's identities and how these relate to real-world activities like drinking and clubbing. She teaches research methods and design.
Professor Helen Haste - Helen is a Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath. She has a long record of research, publication, public lectures and media broadcasting in moral, social and political values, and on the interface of science and culture, including issues in gender and science.
Dr Karen Rodham - Karen is an expert on pain management and deliberate self-harm. She teaches health psychology in the department and wrote the books 'By their own Young Hand: Deliberate Self-harm and Suicidal Ideas in Adolescents', and 'Health Psychology'.
Professor Paul Salkovskis - Former Clinical Director in the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Institute of Psychiatry, Paul is now at the University of Bath as Director of our Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme. Paul is internationally renowned for his expertise on cognitive behavioural factors in obsessive compulsive disorder, health psychology, health anxiety, specific phobia, panic disorder and agoraphobia.
Professor Suzie Skevington - A leading expert on quality of life, Suzie works extensively with the World Health Organization. She teaches health psychology.
Dr Ian Walker - Ian uses psychological theories to study road safety and travel behaviour. The author of 'Research Methods and Statistics' and 'Research with People', he teaches statistics and traffic psychology.
Because of the wide range of generic skills and the rigour with which they are taught, training in psychology is widely accepted as providing an excellent preparation for a number of careers. A psychology degree is highly marketable in communications, counselling, health, human resources, management, market research, police work, the prison service and social research, in addition to its traditional place in clinical, educational, and organisational contexts. Much professional work in psychology requires further specialist training and many of Bath graduates in Psychology go on to graduate training in psychology. We are positioned first in the UK for ‘Jobs after six months’ in the Guardian 2011 rankings of top universities in the UK for Psychology.
BSc(Hons) Psychology , now working as a Research Fellow in forensic psychology at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
“On my placement I worked with Dr Richard Kemp in the Forensic Psychology Group at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. The work involved research into forensic and legal psychology, with a focus on identification evidence and eye-witness testimony. I was given responsibility for conducting my own research which gave me more confidence in my own ability as a researcher but also tested the academic skills I’d learnt in the first two years at Bath.
Thanks to the skills I leant on the placement and the great experience I had, I’m now back in Australia working as a Research Fellow in forensic psychology at Edith Cowan University, Perth.”
BSc(Hons) Psychology, now studying for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology
“Psychology is a fascinating subject dealing with the complexities of human behaviour, and Bath stood out for me as the best place to study it. Psychology at Bath offers the placement year, which is a fantastic addition to the degree. I gained valuable experience in the Anxiety Research Unit at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. I worked as a co-therapist and gained real world clinical experience. I learnt so much that you cannot find out in a class room. Trying to get work experience in psychology is really hard but Bath graduates are top of the pile because we already have practical experience. My placement showed me that I definitely wanted to become a psychologist and helped me progress on the competitive path to Clinical Psychology training. I left Bath feeling very prepared to start my career as a psychologist.”
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