Psychology BSc (Hons) (with Foundation Year)UCAS Code: C801|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Accredited|Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
We provide a number of programmes of study in Psychology. As well as two Single Honours programmes - BSc Psychology, BSc Sports Psychology - we offer a suite of Combined Honours programmes. Combined Honours programmes allow students to combine a core curriculum on Psychology with the core curriculum of many other subject taught at Liverpool Hope (e.g. Psychology and Criminology, Psychology and Education: see the list below for the full range of Psychology Combined honours courses). Giving students a choice of studying Psychology alone or Psychology in alongside any of close to thirty other disciplines. It is important to us that students can choose to study Psychology in a way that matches their interests.
Ethical practice and working within a shared set of values is also important to us; our University is deeply committed to serving the common good. We see Psychology as a discipline with the capacity, and responsibility, to make a positive contribution to how people live in everyday life. Through our teaching of Psychology, we strive to enable our students to grow into constructive citizens who are curious about people, and motivated to make a positive difference to the lives of others. Beyond classroom learning, there are opportunities to enrich your chosen programme of study in a way that will help you in developing your psychological thinking. They include going on a placement year, working as a research assistant in a laboratory, travelling to another country as part of Global Hope, or studying abroad.
Our enthusiasm for the discipline is reflected in our consistently high ratings of teaching quality. If our departmental narrative matches with what you aspire to be, then come and study with us at Liverpool Hope University.
Teaching on our degree programmes is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars/workshops of smaller groups of around 20-30 students, and tutorials which typically have around 10 students.
If you are studying Psychology as a single major degree, then in the first year of study there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, and around 10 hours of taught classes in your second and third years.
If you are studying Psychology as a double major degree (you combine the core part of our Psychology programme with the core part of a second programme), then in your first year of study there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which becomes approximately 5 teaching hours in your second and third years for Psychology.
In addition to in-class hours, you will read relevant texts, and prepare assignments, both on your own, and sometimes in groups. Engage in specific enrichment-related activities include our Global Hope programme, special interest groups, Volunteering, and research internships.
Assessment and feedback
Students complete a number of assessments, including written exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and assessed laboratory work, both as individuals and in teams, leading to an individual research dissertation.
Written feedback is provided for all coursework, along with the opportunity to discuss this with a tutor in more detail.
The Psychology curriculum for Combined and Single Honours students is accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS) and confers eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC*) of the BPS. The content orientates students to historical and conceptual issues, the core domains - biological, cognitive, social, developmental, individual differences, research design and analysis, and a final year empirical project, in psychology. The learning experience is underpinned by research-informed teaching developed from the expertise of the staff, in a supportive and enabling environment. There is an emphasis on student choice to explore their interests. Students also develop skills in communication, problem-solving/critical thinking, adaptability, initiative, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence/empathy, resilience, curiosity, social and cultural awareness, and leadership. The programmes offered by Psychology are founded on a commitment to equality and a belief that education can be individually and socially transformative. They are motivated by the deepening of an understanding of the fundamental challenges in society.
*GBC is conditional on attaining at least an average mark of 50 (2:2) and passing the empirical project (dissertation).
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
Your first year introduces key questions in psychology and the debates that surround them. It is the starting point for engaging in the curriculum standards indicated by the BPS. You will study:
What is Psychology
The course develops an understanding of the historical and conceptual issues related to psychology as a scientific discipline and considers related questions and debates (e.g., reproducibility, artificiality). The question format (e.g., what is psychology, what questions should we ask, what is science, should we be compared to others, can we be too controlling) indicates that the basis of psychology is to ask questions and look for ways to find answers to them. The questions lead to a final position about whether we are more than a set of psychological processes, and students can move forward into understanding the future of psychology from the conclusion of the debate. Importantly, the course includes an introduction to the Open Science Framework.
Individual and Group Perspectives
Following on from understanding the position of the discipline of Psychology today, students gain an understanding of key theories that develop from an awareness of historical and conceptual issues in social psychology and individual differences (e.g., personality). The content is related to important topics in society (e.g., racism, populism, environmental pressures) and you are encouraged to delve deeper into your own interests. The focus of the first topic (e.g., racism) is on the relative strengths of theories from personality (e.g., trait approaches, motivation and mood, culture, evolution, psychodynamic approaches, world views) and social psychology (e.g., self-concept, identity, conflict, attitudes, attributions, aggression, altruism and prosocial behaviour, prejudice and discrimination, social influence) in explaining relevant real-world issues.
Research Design and Analysis 1
An understanding of research design and analysis (RDA) is important for laying the foundations of the critical awareness skills required to examine the scientific and empirical basis of support for the philosophical and conceptual questions raised across our programmes. You learn about the practicalities of engaging in research and develop key skills around ethical issues (e.g., informed consent, the right to withdraw, respect, power relations, debriefing), different forms of research design (e.g., correlation, between and within-participants) and methods of analysis (e.g., Pearson product moment correlation, t test]. Online materials, face-to-face workshops, and clinics for RDA support with dedicated staff members across the weekly timetable are part of the multiple structured opportunities we offer students to practise their skills.
Developing a Psychological Imagination
One of the main themes that underpins our Psychology programmes is learning to communicate responsibly, fairly and with integrity. To accomplish this, we ask you to focus on two primary introductory skills (i.e., academic writing – reports and essays) and peer to peer learning (i.e., group work). They run alongside other communication competencies (i.e., development and analysis of argument, structure and coherence, presentation format, accessing and using resources, reading academic texts). To complement them, further skills are developed including organisation of time, planning the writing of an assignment, or delivering a presentation, academic style of report writing and referencing for Psychology students (i.e.., APA). Importantly, autonomy in learning is encouraged and you are supported in deciding on a topic of your own interest to pursue for your assessment.
Research Practical Social and Personality Psychology
Students collaborate in small groups to develop a research project. The project provides an opportunity to integrate ideas and findings across social psychology and individual differences to present a rationale for a study. The methods used to collect data and analyse it are determined by that rationale. The project provides an opportunity to recognise the distinctiveness of psychological approaches to relevant issues. In doing so, prepares you for the greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the contested nature of Psychology in Year 2.
For the Psychology Single Honours degree, you also study:
Ethical Dilemmas in Psychology
The focus of attention for learning on this course is an understanding of psychology and ethics within the context of relative morality. It builds on concepts, such as, conscience formation, and considers ideas and challenges associated with the rights and dignity of the individual, and society more generally. Students gain an understanding of ethics and morality within historical contexts and consider future ethical challenges for Psychology (e.g., through advances in the use of technology).
Psychology and Globalisation
Psychology can play an important role across global contexts. There is an opportunity to explore issues related to cultural identity, migration, acculturation, and refugee crises. You can find out more about interaction and integration between cultures, changes in cognition that occur through cultural exposure, variation in behavioural scripts across cultures, group decision-making and shared responsibility in the Middle East, collective and individualistic societies, hierarchical vs flat, high context vs low context cultures, and physical and psychological health outcomes through various case studies. To enhance learning from different communities, there are guest speakers (e.g., Asylum Link, Merseyside Family Refugee Support Project) as well as an opportunity for visits (e.g., Synagogue or Mosque).
Science, Data, Facts and Truths
This strand of learning aims to inspire curiosity and assists you to use your burgeoning evidence-based psychological knowledge and understanding gained though real-world experiences to make informed contributions to ideas which promote responses to solving complex problems in society. There is a key emphasis on understanding bias and reflecting on where this comes from to be able to interrogate and make informed decisions about the data that is available on issues that matter most to you.
Experimental Programme Design
Workshops provide you with an introduction to technological advances in programming software (PsychoPy, E-Prime) for experimental tasks that seek to uncover some of the basic processes involved in human functioning. The activities are very hands-on and will lead you through the building of an experiment to test out choice reaction time. That is an experiment where the key element is for the participant to make a decision about the stimuli that is presented on screen and respond accordingly. Reaction time tasks can be used to measure attention, vigilance, or an ability to inhibit a response.
Reflective Learner in Psychology
Two of the main academic skills that you develop through this course are  how to reflect on other voices and opinions – therefore there are opportunities for you to listen and respond to different perspectives and topics across the Psychology programmes. Views are guided by your own experiences, but we also encourage you to be receptive to hearing from other people too and valuating what they say; and  considering your stance on issues - this is an important factor for the questions that are considered during the course, and through the discussions that occur based on video materials and articles. We all have our own stance on issues that we feel are important to us, and our sense of self-identity plays a role here. However, you are encouraged to develop an appreciation that this is not crystallised forever; it changes and develops as we gain different experiences. Moving to university is one of the formative steps along that journey and we recognise this.
The second year includes discussion of historical and conceptual issues related to the core domains of cognitive and developmental psychology and provides the knowledge to explore complex psychological phenomena and human experiences. There is an expectation of a greater depth of critical analysis from students across the different perspectives in psychology.
Vision and Cognition
Students are encouraged to develop robust theoretical arguments through a range of topic areas, including, visual and motor perception, short -and long-memory, working memory, face and object processing, creativity and decision making, attention, and language production and comprehension. Beyond this there is the opportunity for you to consider the influence of biological and individual difference factors on vision and cognition.
Students explore concepts related to biological, cognitive, social, and emotional factors associated with individual and group differences in maturational and environmental changes through the lifespan. Topics include, normative approaches and individual experiences of psychosocial development, neural development and sensitive periods, development of memory and executive function, language acquisition and the development of literacy, development of emotions and emotion regulation, basic processes for building relationships and understanding perspectives in infancy, attachment, bonding, affiliation and relationship with psychopathology, family structure, parenting style and development, psychological development across the life trajectory including life expectancy.
Research Design and Analysis 2
At this level of study you are introduced to a more complex exploration of research designs and hypotheses in quantitative methods (e.g., ANOVA, Regression Analysis). You gain experience of qualitative methods and analysis, for example, interviews, observation, focus groups, thematic and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Thus, there is an opportunity to develop a clear understanding of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches, appropriate analysis techniques, and psychometrics in association with analysis techniques. Integral to this is a critical awareness of the role of ethics plays in more detailed investigations. You also gain experience in mixed methods approaches in which proposals for research emphasise multiple approaches to questions regarding human behaviour.
Research Practical Experimental and Interview
Students carry out two research projects.  An experiment (quantitative design) building on an understanding of vision and cognition; you can explore, for example, whether the number of times exposure to a face influences how well it is recognised, alternatively; whether the distinctiveness of the face influences how well the face is recalled. Students draw upon cognitive psychology and neuropsychology to provide explanations for the phenomena. Importantly, you gain experience of writing for different audiences when explaining the impact of the research in real-life  An interview project (qualitative design) that allows you to draw from different perspectives in psychology to develop a rationale for understanding a topic related to engagement in the social world (e.g., through social media). Students carry out semi-structured interviews with participants to gain a greater insight into their experiences and analyse them using coding strategies for thematic analysis. Leading to a theoretical interpretation of those experiences.
For the Psychology Single Honours degree, you also have the opportunity to understand how academic psychology is translated into action in real world settings to improve individual and population health, life chances and quality of life by studying the following:
Students explore the principles of promoting health including the role of work and technology. Health issues related to stress and coping, and the concept of healthy work (e.g., management standards, ergonomics, shift working) are discussed in detail through theoretical and methodological perspectives appropriate to the study of health behaviours. Therefore, there is a particular focus on evaluating how a psychological perspective can be used to inform health interventions in the workplace.
You are introduced to the main principles of educational psychology and explore psychological theories and evidence across a range of topics and through various case studies (e.g., classroom behaviour and young people considered to be at risk in education, learning and social communication disabilities, inattention, impulsivity and ADHD, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Informed Treatment Programmes, civic engagement and thriving neighbourhoods). At the end of the course, you are encouraged to analyse the lifelong consequences of issues relating to equality and wellbeing; and furthermore, evaluate how Educational Psychologists can work with Local Authorities and communities to contribute to improving life chances across generations.
During the course you actively explore mental health illnesses, and link them to psychological models, assessments, and practices applied on clinical settings. Therefore, the curriculum covers the history, theories and origins of mental health, diagnosis and classification, assessment and treatments, as well as focusing on specific diagnoses, such as, anxiety, trauma, stress, PTSD, mood and eating disorders, depression, addiction, psychosis and schizophrenia. We also provide you with an opportunity to explore career paths in Clinical Psychology.
The course encourages students to explore risk and protective factors associated with mental, behavioural, social problems. Psychologists are often asked to intervene to solve problematic behaviours (e.g., bullying, coercion) and/or to promote desirable outcomes (e.g., wellbeing). It provides an opportunity to develop a proposal for a scientifically-sound intervention in an area of your choice. It can be for individuals, an organisation or a community. You are supported through the process of identifying problems to be addressed, building the intervention, pilot testing, implementing and evaluating the programme. An important aspect of the course is developing skills in disseminating information to wider audiences who may have a stake in the intervention. Therefore, students have the chance to design a booklet about the intervention with the intention of communicating effectively with that wider audience.
Applied Psychology Research
You have the opportunity to design a research proposal that closely aligns to the process that is undertaken to secure funding for research. You can choose a topic that is related to current societal issues. We will work closely with you to develop your psychological knowledge and build up skills for translating your ideas about research into action in real-world settings. In particular, helping you to understand who the beneficiaries in society and communities might be for solutions proposed by psychologists.
The final year of study there is a focus on understanding the complexity of human phenomena and processes across different functions of human behaviour.
Students explore the biological basis of the mind and behaviour. Therefore, there are explanations of psychological phenomena, cognitive and affective functions from evolutionary, genetic, neurodevelopmental and physiological perspectives during the course. In particular, there is a focus on the anatomy of the nervous system, the structure and function of the brain, and the physiological processes associated with sensory systems, sensorimotor behaviour and language. You will explore the biopsychology of motivation in relation to sleep, drug addiction and appetite and eating, and have the opportunity to consider how social and environmental factors influence these behaviours. Finally, the course addresses the biopsychology of disorders of cognition and emotion, in particular, the split brain, stress and health, and psychiatric conditions.
Motivation and Emotion
The course introduces you to the principles and processes associated with motivation and emotion. You have the opportunity to consider psychological and social perspectives across different contexts. They include, attitudes, self-concept, social cognition, aggression, environmental context, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, goal setting and growth mindsets, social-emotional intelligence, socio-cultural constructs of situations, community-based influences, interventions and treatments that take into account wellbeing and the ability to thrive.
The sessions on this course support the development of advanced research knowledge and skills that help you to develop and produce an independent research dissertation (e.g., research proposal, ethics application process). Workshops develop the skills needed for implementing the study you wish to conduct. Depending on the avenue you wish to explore, they can include advanced skills in building experimental laboratory studies, questionnaire design and analysis, and quantitative methods and analysis, data extraction and management. The course dovetails with the supervision sessions for each student dissertation. Added to this, there are opportunities for students to come together on a weekly basis to extend skills in critical thinking in a journal club, by exploring papers across the core domains of Psychology. The sessions also prepare students for writing different sections of the dissertation. At the end of the course, students showcase their own research in a conference.
The Research Project: Dissertation
All students are required to plan and carry out an empirical project related to Psychology. You are guided by a supervisor in Psychology to produce a single 30-credit dissertation. This part of the curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge of research and inquiry developed in Year 2, as well as student curiosity and choice. The dissertation is completed following the principles of the Open Science Framework. Completing the dissertation enables you to apply and further develop knowledge and understanding of the research process. The process increases understanding of the practical and ethical issues that can arise when undertaking research in Psychology. It includes, formulating testable hypotheses/research questions, planning and carrying out a study efficiently, evaluating methodologies and analyses employed, and where appropriate collaborating effectively with colleagues, participants and external agencies. This final ‘capstone’ piece of work is a synthesis of the skills, values, and philosophy of the degree programmes. It is also designed to prepare you for postgraduate study and employment.
In Year 3 Single Honours students have the opportunity to study the following and choose two topics from a range of option courses*:
Future Challenges for Psychology and Society
Psychology will change in the coming years in response to the conditions in which people find themselves. Challenges to identity and wellbeing will arise from an aging population, an increasingly globalized and warming world, and the place of people alongside technology. On this course, we pick up some important themes previously explored in the curriculum and re-examine them in light of forthcoming challenges. The learning programme is divided into four blocks.
You will be able to select two courses from the following*:
Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts
Our everyday perception of the world, both natural and built, typically involves the experience of beauty and ugliness and the formation of preferences and dislikes which often reflect our identity and determine our choices. At the intersection of Science and Art, the formulates a journey across theories and empirical work on the psychological processes involved in the aesthetic experience of visual art and design, music and dance, natural and urban settings. The course is organised in themes addressing the role of objects, contexts, states and individual differences on aesthetic experience. It is accompanied by a series of short experimental demonstrations in which you will take part. Grounded on previous across all years of study, the course is an opportunity for you to reflect on the relevance of the psychological function of aesthetic appreciation for the individual and the society.
Counselling Theory and Practice
This course introduces students to a range of different counselling theories and tools that can be adapted as appropriate to meet a client’s needs. You learn two key approaches to counselling; person centred and cognitive behavioural therapy. Person-centred theory (PCT) provides the foundation for counselling skills that are tailored to the individual to facilitate empowerment and growth. You have the opportunity to learn and apply basic counselling skills informed by PCT and explore the ethical, legal and diversity frameworks which informs current practice. Students are encouraged to keep a reflective journal and apply theory to their own experiences to help promote self-awareness and personal development.
Psychology of Religion
The course offers a critical scientific approach to the study of the psychology of religion, including the origins of religious belief, religious dimensions and orientations, the relationship between religion and physical and mental well-being, religion as a mechanism for coping with stress and trauma, and the relationship between religion and political violence / terrorism. Therefore, you consider the application of a variety of psychological theories to the area of religion.
Psychology of Peace and Conflict
The course explores how psychologists have contributed both conceptually and empirically to the understanding of war, peace and conflict resolution. In addition, students are introduced to a range of peace making strategies and given the opportunity to apply these to conflict situations.
The course builds on the knowledge students have developed at 2nd Year and is divided into two sections. The first half of the course explores the underlying processes of human memory in more detail. The second half of the course expands on these processes across specialist areas, such as, how it influences eyewitness performance, how memory interacts with technology, how memory changes through aging, and how memory can explain individual differences in the acquisition of literacy skills. The course is an opportunity for you to deepen their understanding of memory function and how these processes are affected by different contexts.
Communicative Development in Educational Settings
The course builds on students’ knowledge of communication skill development from developmental, educational and clinical psychology in seond year. It allows students to examine the challenges for communicative success and implications for success in education at different time points in more detail. In particular, it enables you to explore the ambiguities and uncertainties of knowledge within an applied context. We cover topics, such as, why communication matters, basic skills of communication, the home learning environment, child directed speech, shared reading, bilingualism, developmental language disorders, story telling, and the role of peers. You also have the opportunity for an immersive experience of psychometric measures that are typically administered by researchers and psychologists who are HCPC registered (e.g., Educational and Clinical Psychologists).
[Cognitive Neuroscience explores the structural and functional brain mechanisms associated with information processing during high-level cognitive functions, such as, attention, decision making and consciousness. The course builds on content delivered in the biological psychology and cognitive psychology blocks and extends it by investigating in more depth the neural processes underlying high-level cognitive abilities. The course explores how different techniques in Cognitive Neuroscience, especially electrophysiology, contribute to our understanding of the neural basis of cognition. A key focus of the course is the functional role of large-scale brain networks in cognition.
*Subject to change
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Successful Psychology graduates are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (subject to conditions). This is a prerequisite for professional training programmes in Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sport and Exercise Psychology or Forensic Psychology.
In addition, Liverpool Hope Psychology graduates have professional transferrable skills that mean you can gain employment in a wide range of careers, in addition to traditional Psychology careers.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
On top of your tuition fees, you need approximately £250 for the purchasing of key textbooks. There may also be a cost for any fieldtrips; details of costs will be given to you with plenty of notice.
There is a small cost for student BPS membership, and once you graduate, there is a registration fee and annual fee thereafter for Graduate Membership – full details of costs can be found on the BPS website.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2022/23 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: