Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental functioning. Our degree aims to develop you as a highly competent, professional graduate. We also want to give you that wider outlook on the world which is part of the whole University experience.
As a research-led University, we can equip you with the analytic and other transferable skills favoured by employers. It also serves as a stepping stone onto a broad set of specialist postgraduate qualifications, to enable your career development.
Several things make Psychology at Southampton distinctive. Our undergraduate teaching is ranked 4th in the UK according to the Guardian University Guide (2009), and we are one of the highest of 22 UK universities to be recognised in the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) ranking of European graduate programmes. Our seal of approval is provided by the British Psychological Society, and our undergraduate programme was the first to receive unconditional accreditation in 2005. Notwithstanding these standards of approval, we are continually looking to the needs of our students through placement schemes, internships, and study-abroad opportunities.
Psychology is an integral part of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences which allows our researchers access to a wealth of additional expertise. Psychology also has fruitful and active links, notably with the School of Education, facilitating the PGCE training and with Law, facilitating work in the area of crime analysis. We also maintain rich links with Medicine through a strong interest in Neuroscience. This interaction opens more career pathways for Southampton psychology students as they can progress into a number of interdisciplinary areas for further study or for employment. These include graduate entry into medicine and mental health practice.
For us, Psychology is not just ‘all in the mind’. We can help you put it into action as well.
Find out what our students think about studying Psychology at the University of Southampton: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/undergraduate/our_students.page?
Our academic staff are internationally well respected in their fields and provide cutting-edge and world leading debate and instruction in their areas of expertise. From the very first few weeks of study, our students learn with the most esteemed professors of Psychology and this, we believe, sets our degree apart from others in the UK and beyond. Our degree programme also allows a huge flexibility of study, providing a framework in Years 1 and 2, and then providing complete choice of study in Year 3 over both your study topics and your study environment. Notably, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to study with the traditional academic environment, or within a local school setting, or even within an International setting through our established Erasmus study exchange scheme. Our degree structure will help you tailor your learning to your career ambitions, providing a perfect first step towards postgraduate training or employment.
Modules are taught via a mixture of lectures, tutorials and interactive learning sessions. Assessment varies between modules with a combination of exams and coursework to suit the material. Other modules are assessed entirely on coursework, such as modules on research skills in years 1, 2, and 3.
The School provides an e-lecture theatre, allowing interactive learning, and an informal learning environment called iZone, designed to encourage teamwork and collaborative learning.
We recognise the value of learning through hands-on experience so credit is given in all years for participating in our own ongoing psychological research. In addition, we prize and protect the opportunity for small-group teaching with academic tutors. Each student has a personal tutor from whom they can seek advice throughout the degree. Tutors can help you with module selection, personal difficulties and study problems, and personal tutors have a major role to play in monitoring your progress during the degree. To ensure our students are fully supported during their first year, our undergraduates meet with their personal tutor at least three times during the first term in addition to the weekly meetings of Thinking Psychologically.
Structure of the degree
In this year, you will learn the foundations that support Psychology as a Science, whilst at the same time having the opportunity to study broadly through 2 options drawn from any part of the University.
The Psychology curriculum introduces you to essential tenets of psychological theory in the broad areas of cognition, and social and individual well-being. You will also be introduced to essential methods of research enquiry, and data analysis which will support your own research studies. You can choose from a wide range of Psychology modules, as well as other non-psychology modules too.
You will cover material from six key research areas of psychology: Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Individual Differences, Cognitive Psychology, Perception, and Social Psychology. In addition, your training in research methods and practical tuition are extended in preparation for the final year project; students will follow the Research Methods and Data Analysis 3 course and undertake the Psychology Research Laboratory class. At the end of this year, all BPS areas will have been covered.
The wide selection on offer in the final year allows you to select and tailor your own studies to areas of interest, or to potential career pathways.
In the final year, you will study eight modules. Two of these are compulsory and relate to the Empirical Project. The remaining six are optional seminar units and you can choose them from an available list. These seminar courses are based upon individual reading and open discussion of up-to-date research.
You will choose a topic for a literature review and a research project, which are completed under the supervision of one of our lecturers.
The research project is the culmination of three years research training and represents a valuable piece of psychological research, the best example of which will be awarded a prize at graduation.
To find out more about the structure of the degree programme please click here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/undergraduate/courses/c800_bsc_psychology.page?
Research Assessment Exercise
Working at the forefront of their fields, our academics in Psychology are committed to the highest-quality scientific investigation on a range of social, educational and health-related issues that together make a real impact. The fact that we are a thriving research-led culture means that you gain from cutting-edge expertise immediately.
In the most recent (2008) Research Assessment Exercise (REA) Psychology at Southampton received a grade point average of 2.70, ranking it 8th in the UK. The peer-review panel noted that this was a particularly strong discipline nationally, so this result is both welcome and well-deserved. Some of our most frequent collaborative partners within the University, such as Medicine and Social Sciences, also received high scores in the 2008 RAE.
We look forward with confidence to the Research Excellence Framework, scheduled for 2014.
At Southampton, Psychology is deemed a scientific discipline. Our various laboratories and other facilities here are the backbone of much of our rigorous research work.
Research in Psychology is organised into three primary research divisions. Additional information about our research divisions and research facilities is available by clicking http://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/research/index.page
Division of Clinical Neuroscience
The Division of Clinical Neuroscience seeks to build bridges between rapidly developing knowledge of brain functioning and the mental processes characterising developmental and psychological disorders. Within this Division there are two principal research groups:
Division of Cognition
The Division of Cognition aims to generate and test theoretical accounts of the mental processes underlying human knowledge and action, in both laboratory and real world contexts. Within this Division there are two research groups:
Division of Human Wellbeing
The Division of Human Wellbeing examines the processes that lead to psychosocial adjustment or maladjustment and their impact on physical health and psychological happiness. Within this Division there are several research groups:
Through the academic year, Psychology hosts a series of talks and seminars, bringing the best of current research and thought to a Southampton audience.
Some presentations are given by invited speakers from other (often overseas) universities and research centres. Others come from one of our own academics. It is an opportunity to hear in some detail about the latest research from an expert in that field, often with an international perspective. For more details, click here: www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/news/seminars/latest.page
The University’s Hartley library is one of the leading research libraries in the country and is situated within a few minutes walk from Psychology. This recently extended and refurbished Library provides access to books, electronic journals and a range of other resources to support your studies.
A degree in Psychology at the University of Southampton provides you with the necessary knowledge base for a broad spectrum of employment roles. It also supplies you with a scientific approach and a capacity to question, test, evaluate, and formulate appropriate responses within each of these roles. It should not surprise you then that in2010, more than 93% of our graduates were working or went on to postgraduate education (Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey), putting Psychology students from Southampton ahead of the curve in their career development.
Our alumni work in a diverse set of sectors. We have graduates placed with all of these employers within the UK.
Employers of our graduates include:
We have others who work in voluntary organisations here and overseas, such as the Save the Children organisation, UniCef, and Oxfam.
A selection of the types of jobs and courses our graduates have gone on to are shown below:
Jobs and courses our graduates are doing:
We are continually working to gather stories from our alumni so that they can tell us what they are doing, what their typical working day is like, and how their degree enabled them to get where they are. We put these alumni stories on our website http://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/alumni/our_alumni.page.
Employability is about more than just getting a job – we believe in helping our students gain the necessary experience for a future career, along with the skills to identify opportunities and make the most of them.
At Southampton you will have the opportunity to broaden your options by meeting employers, getting involved in volunteering activities, work placements and much more.
We are one of very few Universities in the UK to offer a Voluntary Research Assistant (VRA) scheme. This allows highly motivated students the opportunity to gain psychology-relevant work experience by assisting staff with ongoing research projects. Students may take part in the scheme in term-time or university breaks. The coordinators assign students to projects (which vary depending on current research and availability of staff to supervise) based on research interests and experience. Thus, the VRA scheme allows students flexibility to engage in work-based learning that matches their personal interests and career plans. VRA supervisors and the scheme coordinators have provided references for many VRAs’ job and postgraduate applications, contributing to graduate employability.
The University’s Career Destinations service also offers a wide range of services and support to students at all stages of their university life, and for up to three years after graduation.
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