Psychology BSc/MA/MA(SocSci)

Psychology students on campus

Psychology is the scientific study of people: how they think, act, react and interact. It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying such behaviour.

Psychology at Glasgow is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 8th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2019).

  • September start
  • Psychology BSc (Hons): C800 4 year degree
  • Psychology MA (Hons): C801 4 year degree
  • Psychology MA(SocSci) (Hons): C802 4 year degree

Psychology at Glasgow

School of Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind: how we think, act, react and interact. It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and its underlying thoughts, feelings and motivations.

Our School brings together world-leading expertise in experimental psychology, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience in order to advance the understanding of human and animal behaviour.

Competitive degrees

Entry to the course is limited to a class size of 600, with priority given to students who use the Psychology code on their UCAS form in their application to the University of Glasgow.

In order to be guaranteed progress to Level-2 and on to Honours in any subject you must meet College requirements and the grade set by the School (or Schools if it is a joint degree).

Supportive learning, stimulating environment

Our supportive learning environment enables you to develop an in-depth knowledge of Psychology, while gaining a range of transferable skills to support the next step in your chosen career.

Through a combination of lectures, coursework and practical lab classes, we’ll introduce the key theories, literature and experiments in the field: designed to develop your independent research skills, communication and critical thinking.

What our students say

Lampros, Research student at the University of Amsterdam

“It is impossible to put into words the love I have for Glasgow. Professionally, Glasgow allowed me to grow and I am filled with joy when the names of people I’ve worked with pop-up on my reading lists here at the University of Amsterdam.”

EmmaEmma, Graduate

“Something I particularly enjoyed was the opportunity given to me to study abroad for a year in North Carolina, USA. This definitely helped my understanding of Psychology and has been an amazing addition to my CV.”

Angelina, Graduate

“I particularly liked the wide range of topics that we were introduced to as undergraduate students, the multinational composition of the class and the friendly attitude of staff members.”

Ivana, Graduate

“Studying as part of the Psychology department wasn’t easy, because the programme is demanding and competitive, but it was also inspiring and a great learning opportunity.”

IngaInga, Graduate

“My degree has inspired and prepared me to continue the route to becoming a clinical psychologist in the future.”



Programme structure

Years 1 and 2

You will study the way the brain controls behaviour and thought, the role of modern imaging techniques in studying the brain and the psychology of how groups interact. You will learn about the main areas of psychology: developmental, social, cognitive, brain and behaviour, experimental design and statistics, perception and visual cognition, individual differences and applied psychology.

You will also study other non-Psychology subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you meet the requirements for progression to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will take courses in cognition, human development, perception and visual cognition, individual differences, professional skills (employability), social psychology, statistics and physiological psychology.

If you are a single Honours student you will choose from a large number of options ranging from brain imaging techniques to the application of psychology to forensics, therapeutic interventions and educational settings. You will also complete a major piece of research. This research may be lab-based (e.g. using one of our eyetrackers or specialised computer software) or carried out in applied settings, e.g. schools.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. Honours students can also apply for course-related summer work placements in Europe. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2019

About entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

Admissions Policies

BSc (Hons), MA (Hons), MA (SocSci) (Hons)


  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAA.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: ABB.
  • Other mandatory requirementsALL applicants must have a minimum of GCSE Mathematics Grade B (or Grade 5-6). Applicants to BSc: Two A-levels from Mathematics, Psychology or other Science subject. Applicants to MA Arts: At least one Arts/Humanities/Language subject. Applicants to MA SocSci: At least one Arts/Humanities/Language subject.


  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAAA/AAAABB.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAA, including two Advanced Highers at Grades BB (Advanced Higher is considered equivalent to grade A at Higher).
  • Other mandatory requirements: ALL Applicants who do not have Mathematics at Higher Level must have National 5 Mathematics (or Lifeskills Mathematics) at Grade B. Applicants to BSc: Two Higher Science subjects (or Mathematics plus one Science subject) at Grades AB or BA. Applicants to MA Arts: Higher English AND either a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grades AB or BA. Applicants to MA SocSci: Higher English AND either a Humanities or Language subject at Grades AB or BA.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AAABB-BBBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: ALL applicants who do not have Mathematics at Higher Level must have National 5 Mathematics (or Lifeskills Mathematics) at Grade B. Applicants to BSc: Two Higher Science subjects (or Mathematics plus one Science subject): both at Grade B. Applicants to MA Arts: Higher English AND either a Higher Humanities or Language subject: both at Grade B. Applicants to MA SocSci: Higher English AND either a Humanities or Language subject: both at Grade B.

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,6
  • Minimum academic entry requirement: 34 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,6
  • Other mandatory requirements: Applicants to BSc: Three HL subjects should include two Science subjects. SL6 will be considered for one of the required subjects. Where Maths is not one of the two Science subjects then Maths or Maths Studies is required at SL4. Applicants to MA Arts: Three HL subjects should include English and one other Arts, Humanities or Language subject. SL6 will be considered for one of the required subjects. Maths or Maths Studies is required at SL4. Applicants to MA SocSci: 3 HL subjects should include English and one other Arts, Humanities or Language subject. SL6 will be considered for one of the required subjects. Maths or Maths Studies is required at SL4.

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Psychology BSc, MA (Arts), MA (Social Sciences) [pdf]

Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Psychologists are probably best known for their work in the health and education services but psychology graduates can be found in almost any area of life. A psychology degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities, and new growth areas include counselling and health psychology. The main career areas are:

  • clinical psychologists, working in health and care settings
  • counselling psychologists, in private practice and commercial settings
  • educational psychologists, in local education authorities, schools and special schools
  • forensic psychologists, working in penal establishments, special hospitals and with young offenders
  • health psychologists, working in hospitals, health authorities and health research departments
  • neuropsychologists, helping people with brain injury
  • occupational psychologists, in management, personnel, training, selection and careers services
  • research and teaching in institutions of higher education.


This degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Society. Graduates who complete with at least second class Honours in the Psychology component would achieve the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). This is a first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Degrees and UCAS codes

Which Psychology degree?

Psychology is available as three programmes:

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Master of Arts in Social Science (MA (SocSci))
  • Master of Arts (MA)

Although the content and level of the Psychology courses that will be available for you to study will be the same regardless of which of these degree types you choose, the structures of the overall degree programmes are not the same and it is important that you choose the one that best suits your interests and strengths. The choice is important for three main reasons:

  1. The first and second years provide a broad, general foundation and you should choose subjects from your areas of interest.
  2. It is possible that you may not be accepted for entry to Honours in Psychology (this is a competitive process at the end of second year) and you need to have an alternative programme available.
  3. All programmes require a Mathematics qualification for entry but other requirements differ.

The differences between the three programmes are outlined below. This information aims to guide you toward the most appropriate one when you apply to the University.

You study three subjects in your first year. One is Psychology (making up one-third of the programme) and the choice of the other two depends on the pathway that you have chosen. Half of the second year is Psychology and again you have a choice of other courses to complete your curriculum, which depends on your chosen pathway.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

The first year comprises Psychology and two other subjects, which are typically drawn from science: often Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry. Entry requirements include two science subjects.

This is the most common route to Psychology and has a distinct advantage that it allows an alternative path to an accredited honours degree in Psychology if your Level 2 performance is not sufficient to allow you entry into the Psychology honours programme. If this is the case, Science students have the option of taking the Level 3 Designated Degree course in Psychology, graduating at the end of year three and taking a 'conversion' degree route to honours at one of the British Psychological Society courses offered at other universities.

Master of Arts in Social Science (MA SocSci)

This programme's entry requirements include English and either a humanities subject or a language.

An obvious subject to take alongside Psychology in first year is Sociology and you might be interested in Politics as well. Other popular social science choices include Business and Management. Please note that not all combinations of subject choice are possible.

The MA (Social Sciences) degree requires Psychology students to study a minimum of 40 Social Sciences credits in addition to 40 Psychology credits. Therefore, the remaining 40 credits required for a total year's curriculum of 120 credits can be Arts, Social Sciences or Science credits. In exceptional cases, the College permits a student to study 40 Psychology credits and 80 credits of Arts credits on the proviso that the student understands he/she will be required to transfer to the College of Arts on the MA (Master of Arts) degree at the end of the session.

Master of Arts (MA)

This is a more specialised route whose entry requirements include English and either a humanities subject or language.

It has a requirement that at least half of your courses in the first two years of study must be Arts courses (which do not include Psychology itself). This means that a typical first year comprises Psychology and two Arts courses, such as English Language and Philosophy. The second year is typically half Psychology and half Arts courses. This provides a sound foundation if you choose (or are required) to pursue your Honours studies in an Arts subject rather than Psychology.

The MA degree requires Psychology students studying either single or Joint Honours to take the following:

In year 1 a student takes 40 credits of Psychology and 80 credits of Arts subjects like language, literature, history, philosophy, theology, creative and cultural subjects, and archaeology.

In year 2 a student takes 60 credits of psychology at level 2 and 40 credits of one of their level 1 Arts subjects at level 2, and 20 other level 1 credits.

A student, if then qualified, may proceed either to take single Honours in Psychology, taking 120 credits of the subject in each of years 3 and 4, or to take joint Honours in Psychology and their level 2 Arts subject, taking 60 credits of each subject in each of years 3 and 4.

When you apply you will need to know the UCAS code for you chosen subject or subject-combination.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

  • KIS
    Psychology: C800
  • KIS
    Psychology/Computing Science: CG84
  • KIS
    Psychology/Mathematics: CG81
  • KIS
    Psychology/Statistics: CG83

MA (Hons)

  • KIS
    Psychology: C801
  • KIS
    Psychology/Archaeology: CV84
  • KIS
    Psychology/Celtic Civilisation: CQV5
  • KIS
    Psychology/Celtic Studies: CQ85
  • KIS
    Psychology/Classics: CQ88
  • KIS
    Psychology/Digital Media & Information Studies: GC5V
  • KIS
    Psychology/English Language & Linguistics: CQ8J
  • KIS
    Psychology/French: CR81
  • KIS
    Psychology/Gaelic: QC58
  • KIS
    Psychology/German: CR82
  • KIS
    Psychology/History: CV81
  • KIS
    Psychology/History of Art: CVV3
  • KIS
    Psychology/Music: CW83
  • KIS
    Psychology/Philosophy: CVV5
  • KIS
    Psychology/Portuguese: 3H2N
  • KIS
    Psychology/Scottish History: CVW2
  • KIS
    Psychology/Scottish Literature: CQ82
  • KIS
    Psychology/Spanish: 8U9K
  • KIS
    Psychology/Theatre Studies: CW84
  • KIS
    Psychology/Theology & Religious Studies: CV86

MA(SocSci) (Hons)

  • KIS
    Psychology: C802
  • KIS
    Psychology/Business & Management: CN82
  • KIS
    Psychology/Business Economics: LC18
  • KIS
    Psychology/Central & East European Studies: RG68
  • KIS
    Psychology/Economic & Social History: CV83
  • KIS
    Psychology/Economics: CL81
  • KIS
    Psychology/Politics: CL82
  • KIS
    Psychology/Social & Public Policy: LC48
  • KIS
    Psychology/Sociology: LC38

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see 2019/20 Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award

The College of Science and Engineering is offering ten scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

More Information

RUK Access Bursary 2019 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2019-20 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2019

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

More Information

African Excellence Scholarship (IE Abroad)

The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either South Africa or Zimbabwe who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – IE Abroad.  The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake an undergraduate programme excluding Medicine or Dentistry.

More Information

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2019 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

UCAS deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

UCAS tariff points

The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Will I be interviewed?

An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

University Transfers

Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
  2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

Widening participation

We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

More information about this programme


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