Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It is about understanding how people think, act, react and interact; and how this understanding can help us, as psychologists, help people on an individual basis but also help address wider societal issues through academic endeavours and professional practice.
The possible pathways a degree in psychology can take you on are endless, such is the value of the graduate and psychological literacy skills you acquire during the degree.
Why study Psychology?
- Psychology at Glasgow is ranked 6th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2021)
- This degree programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), and graduates who complete with at least a 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
- Students studying in the School of Psychology enjoy an active social life, much of which revolves around the Psychology Society. Away days, evening events, and team building exercises are held at various times throughout the year, at different levels
Psychology at Glasgow
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.
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 year 2 and on to Honours 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.
- PSYCHOLOGY 1A: BIOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE
- PSYCHOLOGY 1B: SOCIAL, DEVELOPMENTAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
In the first two years this programme provides a comprehensive introduction to the core areas of psychology including cognitive, social, development and physiological psychology, individual differences and research methods.
We take an open science approach to developing your critical evaluation skills and your understanding of the importance of research and to supporting you in developing essential graduate skills in data handling using programming software for statistical analysis. Lectures, interactive group discussions and practical lab sessions will inspire your passion for the subject and facilitate the development of the fundamental skills and knowledge required for being a psychologist of the future.
You will also study other non-Psychology subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will build on the core foundational skills and knowledge embedded in years 1 and 2 and progress your understanding of statistical models, cognitive neuroscience and clinical approaches.
Single Honours students choose from a large selection of options, including our two new specialised pathways in Neuroscience and Clinical Health. The option courses range from courses in fMRI to those on Autism. The options span a diverse range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and applications from theory to practice.
You will undertake a major piece of research in your final year which can involve lab-based projects (eg using eyetrackers or brain imaging data) or applied settings such as a school or community partner.
- COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 3H
- HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 3H
- INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 3H
- PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY 3H
- PROFESSIONAL SKILLS 3H
- SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 3H
- STATISTICAL MODELS 3H
- PERCEPTION AND VISUAL COGNITION 3H
- PSYCHOMETRICS 3H
- QUALITATIVE PROJECT 3H
- QUANTITATIVE PROJECT 3H
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 study abroad at one of our partner universities as part of your degree. This won’t add any extra time to your studies. Honours students can also apply for course-related summer work placements in Europe. See Study abroad.
for entry in 2021
Summary of entry requirements for Psychology
SQA Higher Entry Requirements
- AABB at S5 will be considered. Typically S6 entrants will have AAAAAA at Higher. B at Advanced Higher is equivalent to A at Higher.
- Additional requirements: National 5 Maths at grade B.
Psychology (BSc): two Higher Science subjects.
Psychology (MA): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.
SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)
- AABB – BBBB
- Additional requirements: National 5 Maths at grade B.
Psychology (BSc): two Higher Science subjects.
Psychology (MA): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.
Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.
A-level Standard Entry Requirements
- AAA – ABB
- Additional requirements: GCSE Mathematics at grade B (or grade 5–6).
Psychology (BSc): two A-level Science subjects.
Psychology (MA): A-level English and A-level Humanities subject.
IB Standard Entry Requirements
- 38 (6,6,6 HL) – 34 (6,5,5 HL)
- Additional requirements: SL4 Mathematics.
Psychology (BSc): Two HL Science subjects.
Psychology (MA)/(MA (SocSci)): HL English and HL Humanities subject.
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.
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 External Relations
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
- UK Border Agency Tier 4 English Language requirements
- UKBA list of approved English language tests [pdf]
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.
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 paths including educational, health, clinical, occupational psychology and counselling. Increasingly graduates are also progressing to successful careers in allied fields such as data skills, teaching, social robotics & artificial intelligence and child & adolescent mental health professions, in addition to research and teaching careers in 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:
- The first and second years provide a broad, general foundation and you should choose subjects from your areas of interest.
- 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.
- 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:
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see 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.
Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 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.
RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry
The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.
RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020
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).
James McCune Smith Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to both current and new applicants to the University.
The Ronald and Rita McAulay Scholarship
Mr Ronald McAulay, alumnus of the University (MA 1965), and his wife Rita wish to establish a Scholarship to support students who are Hong Kong nationals wishing to take up an undergraduate course of study at the University of Glasgow.
The McAulays would like to establish a scholarship which encourages Hong Kong residents to achieve an international education, therefore the award will cover course tuition fees and a living cost stipend.
The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Science and Engineering)
The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.
All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.
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.
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000
The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2020. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Residential Services section on the website.
We are also offering four scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
How to apply
Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also 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
We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.
It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.
- Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college
- Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468
- Apply at commonapp.org (international students)
More information about this programme
MA students in work / study
Subject league tables
UK top 20: Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Psychology]