Psychology with Sociology - BSc (Hons) (-)




University of Nottingham Trent

Psychology with Sociology - BSc (Hons)

About the course

Our students are satisfied. 100% of our BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology full-time students are satisfied with the course overall. (National Student Survey 2016)

The BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology degree is a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited course that combines comprehensive training in psychology with the study of the structure and dynamics of social systems and society as a whole. Our students benefit from weekly research seminars, over 80 academic experts, and they have access to first-class laboratory suites.

The course covers all the core areas of Psychology stipulated by the BPS curriculum. This accounts for two-thirds of the course and includes the workings of the brain; the processes and mechanisms of human thinking, feeling and behaviour; and how psychologists, psychological research and therapy can make a tangible and positive difference to people’s lives and society. The remaining third of the curriculum considers the social structures of society and sociological perspectives on issues such as crime, gender and poverty.

Degree options:

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology C8LH
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology (Sandwich) C8LJ – this is a 4 year course including a work placement year.

Why choose this course?

Teaching and research excellence

Psychology at NTU is ranked 5th out of 112 for the number of final year students who are satisfied with the overall quality of their course, and 6th out of 112 for the number of final year students who are satisfied with the feedback and assessment by lecturers on their course (The Guardian university league table 2016).

  • Learn from enthusiastic and expert staff. 100% of BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology full-time students agree that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching and have made the subject interesting. (National Student Survey 2016)
  • Psychology at NTU is one of the top risers in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 research rankings. The 2014 assessment also showed: 60% of our research outputs were considered to be internationally excellent or world leading; 100% of our research impact is internationally excellent, with 73% described as world leading; Our research impact and output is the highest of any UK psychology department with an equivalent research environment.

Professional skills and recognition

  • The BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology is a BPS accredited degree and will allow you to receive the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, as long as you graduate with at least a 2.2 honours degree.
  • In your final year you'll get the opportunity to take part in our Professional Practice in Psychology module, offering you the chance to experience life as a consultant psychologist, providing psychological solutions to real-world problems.
  • You can gain practical experience between Years Two and Three, as well as undertake a work placement or study abroad at one of our partner institutions.
  • You also have the option of choosing to complete a four-year course that includes a year-long work placement

A personalised experience

  • Tailor your learning experience – with a range of optional modules and pathways, you can pursue your own interests and begin to shape your learning towards further study and / or a particular career.
  • You will have the chance to tailor your studies by choosing options from a unique blend of modules across two subjects.

Expert staff and specialist facilities

  • Study in one of the largest psychology departments in the UK. You will be taught and supervised by over 80 expert psychologists, who have a diverse range of interests and research areas.
  • You'll be able to take full advantage of our excellent teaching laboratory suite. The facilities and equipment are exclusively for our psychology students and will help you carry out your own research and analyse data.

What you will study?

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to our students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

In the first two years of your degree, you'll complete an introduction to psychology and core modules in biological, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and you'll undertake training in research methods and statistics.

In sociology, you'll complete additional modules covering social structure and social life, thinking sociologically, classical sociological theory, and another sociology module of your choice.

In your final year, you'll sit a further core module in psychology, and can tailor your studies (often with a view to future employment opportunities) by choosing from a range of optional psychology and sociology modules. In your final year you'll also complete a research project in psychology, focused on a topic of your choosing under the supervision of a research-active member of staff.

You can also take part in the innovative Professional Practice in Psychology module. Taking on the role of a consultant psychologist, you will work on real-life problem scenarios supplied by external organisations, and provide evidence-based solutions to these organisations.

Four-year placement course

You also have the option of choosing to complete a four-year course that includes a year-long work placement in between Year Two and Year Three. You must apply with the UCAS code C8LJ to be considered for the four-year placement course.

Study abroad

If you are on the three-year full-time course you may also have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Our current partner institutions are located in places such as Australia, the USA, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Poland. You'll decide early on in your first year if you would like to apply to take part in the exchange programme. You would study abroad between Year Two and Year Three, and it would therefore involve extending the course length to four years. The study abroad option is only available for students on the three-year full-time route and therefore you must apply with the UCAS code C8LH.

Year one:

Core modules

Introduction to Psychology

You will examine how psychology research is conducted and interpreted; a range of perspectives in psychology, including comparative psychology, psychopathology and cognition; key studies and theories in psychology; and also review current developments in psychology. You will study in detail historically important approaches to psychology. There is also a practical focus on the levels of analysis at which psychologists work, and the relationship between psychological theories and everyday human behaviour and experience.

Research Methods in Psychology

An introduction to a variety of research methods used in psychology. You have the opportunity to develop and practice report-writing skills, understand experimentation and self-report methods, and gain practical experience. You will run and report on your study in groups. You will be required to formulate hypotheses, search for and review any relevant literature in the library, prepare necessary materials or instruments, select a sample, collect and analyse data using appropriate statistical techniques, interpret the findings, and produce an individual written report of the work undertaken.

Statistics (One)

Study the fundamental concepts and practices of statistical data analysis in psychology. By the end of the module you should be able to design research studies in psychology, and be familiar with a range of descriptive, nonparametric and parametric statistics. The module is assessed by one examination at the end of the module. Continuous feedback throughout the year will help you progress, develop your skills, and act as resource to draw upon when conducting research.

Thinking Sociologically

Engage with basic theoretical concepts, perspectives and debates in sociology. The module will equip you with a useful kitbag of ideas, arguments and sources from which you can construct your own informed choices about the different traditions of theorising. As a foundational theory module, Thinking Sociologically complements the other first year Psychology and Sociology modules to help you make the transition from school or college to university, particularly in terms of the skills needed for success at university.

Social Structure and Social Life

An introduction to the discipline of sociology. The focus is on the interplay between social structures and individual agency in the lives and experiences of individuals. You will explore the "big" sociological themes, such as social structures; institutions; forces; contexts; processes and how they impact upon individuals and groups, locally and globally; and how the issues of identity and belonging and "the sociology of the everyday" illustrate how identities, everyday choices and mundane occupations can be shaped and controlled by wider forces, and how they offer opportunities to develop and present meaningful stories of self. In the context of studying these areas of sociological knowledge, the module aims to develop your skill set with essays, posters, examinations, workshops, and social software (e.g. online discussion groups in NOW). It also incorporates strategically-placed student support opportunities provided by professional services colleagues; for instance, to encourage you to consider your wellbeing at university, and where the study of sociology might lead you after graduation. These classes will also allow you to reflect on the sociological significance of your own experiences.

Year two:

Core modules

Social and Lifespan Developmental Psychology

Examine the major theories and methodological approaches in social and developmental psychology; develop an understanding of the range of development across the lifespan; develop an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of development of individuals and groups across age, time, culture and place; and consider the relationship between theories in social psychology and an everyday understanding of social behaviour.

Cognitive and Biological Psychology

Building upon the module in Year One you will explore in depth, and critically evaluate from a cognitive and biological perspective, concepts and research methodologies in topics such as memory, attention, sensation, and perception. You will also understand of how the evidence from investigations can inform theory about how these processes are organised and how to become a critical reader of the research literature.

Research Methods and Statistics (Two)

An integrated module studying advanced experimental, psychometric, and qualitative research techniques in laboratory practicals. Supporting this are a series of lectures and workshops designed to help you develop your statistical knowledge and skills. Laboratory work will involve one experimental and one regression-based study, and one study involving a free choice of method. All studies will be on an area relevant to psychology. You will be organised into small groups, and each group will have to run and report upon their study. You will also be required to formulate hypotheses, search for and review relevant literature, prepare or select necessary stimuli or scales, select a sample, collect and analyse data appropriately, interpret findings, and produce individual reports of the work undertaken. The module will also build upon the content of Statistics (One). Particular emphasis will be placed on factorial ANOVA and the concept of interaction. You will also consider the theory and statistical techniques associated primarily with non-experimental research. These include multiple regression, Cronbach’s alpha, multiple correlations, and exploratory factor analysis.

Constructing Modern Societies

The module seeks to develop your skills of reflexivity and your critical awareness of – and responsible engagement with – the real world, by introducing you to the fundamental and essential concepts and values of sociological thought and practice. Sociology is often stated to be discussion of modern times (Giddens), and it is in that spirit that this module attempts to help you use a sociological imagination, based upon sound sociological knowledge, to help you navigate the modern world.

Choose an optional module from a range that may include:

Sociology of Education

You will examine the various perspectives and theoretical traditions that have developed through the sociological analysis of formal education and lifelong learning. It will focus on how both formal and informal learning contribute to some of the key processes of identity formation, social and cultural reproduction, and transformation in modern societies.

Gender, Violence and Society

You will explore feminist research and activism into gender inequalities in contemporary societies. It takes as its starting points that: a) women and men still experience gender inequalities in all contemporary societies; b) that the persistence of gender inequalities is toxic for all women and men; and c) that both women and men can and do engage in individual and collective activism – underpinned by feminist sociological research – to challenge gender inequalities. The module focuses upon broad gender themes in Term One (such as school, university, personal relationships, paid and unpaid work, abortion, body image, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery), and it looks at contributions made by contemporary campaigning organisations such as the Fawcett Society and UK Feminista. Then it narrows to consider selected aspects of gendered violence in Terms Two and Three (such as personal safety, stalking, abuse of power by professionals, intimate partner violence, rape, child abuse and sexual exploitation, pornography, and prostitution). The module argues that violence (Term Two and Three material) can only occur because of the taken-for-granted nature of many more everyday instances of gender inequalities (Term One material).

Religion and Society

You will be introduced to some of the major theoretical perspectives within the sociology of religion. You will also explore the diversity of religious life in contemporary society, from institutional affiliation to spiritual seeking. The module will also encourage you to reflect on "religion", in its widest sense, and on how religion impacts upon the lives of believers.

Political Sociology

Study political phenomena, including sociological approaches towards the state and society, globalisation, postmodernism, and cultural politics.

Sociology and Tourism

The module provides you with a critical understanding of some of the ways in which sociologists have studied tourism, and tourists. Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. It engages widely distant peoples and societies in interconnected social relations of work, leisure, and culture. Using classical and contemporary sociological concepts, the module introduces the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of tourism. We will examine how the mass tourism industry emerged from modernity and how contemporary social conditions have changed it. We will examine theories of global mobilities, the rise and decline of the British seaside resort, the local tourismscape of Nottingham, and their global connections.

Year three:

Core modules

Psychology Research Project

A major piece of work in which you will carry out independent research, the topic and design of which is decided upon in consultation with a supervisor. The project will demonstrate that you can conduct an extended research report, as well as show your understanding of the methodological skills and presentational techniques developed throughout the course.

Professional Practice in Psychology

Addressing aspects of professional psychology, you will work on a problem from a set of professional scenarios and form a project team to address it. The first half of the module addresses a single area of professional practice: the theory and application of occupational and organisational psychology. The second half of the module uses problem-based learning methods to give you an experience of professional project work across a broader range of applied areas of interest. Students select a problem from a set of professional scenarios and form a project team to address it. The project team work as a group to produce an executive summary and presentation of their proposed solution to the problem.

Advanced Psychology – choose between the following:

Students select a module in either Advanced Social and Developmental Psychology or Advanced Cognitive and Biological Psychology. These modules involve exploring these core areas of psychology in more depth and will develop your critical analysis skills on these areas.

Advanced Cognitive and Biological Psychology

This advanced psychology module aims to give students further insight into biological and cognitive material, building on the basic knowledge acquired in Year Two. In particular, you will be encouraged to: develop a reflective understanding of the anatomy and physiological processes that underpin psychological experience; develop an understanding of the methodologies used to examine issues in biological psychology; critically examine how contemporary bio-psychological models are developed, and evaluate them as explanations of behaviour; develop a thorough understanding of how various cognitive psychological constructs can be used to theorise mental functioning in a range of domains; develop an in-depth understanding of the cognitive processes that underlie the performance of several different everyday tasks; have an understanding of relevant research evidence, and of how research relates to theory; and to be able to critically evaluate different accounts of cognitive functioning in specific domains.

Advanced Social and Developmental Psychology

This module will build on the Year Two Social and Lifespan Developmental Psychology module. You will further explore child development and its relationship to a child’s genetics and environment, childhood, education and family, attachment and emotional development, adolescence, language development, cognitive processing and development, difficulties in development, social categorisation, social identity, pro-social behaviour, processes of social influence, and intergroup relations. You will also develop knowledge and understanding of social psychological processes, and be able to contextualise the development and use of social and developmental psychological theory and research. You'll build on your understanding of how evidence from investigations can inform theory and practice and provide in-depth discussions of a set of contemporary applied issues in social and developmental psychology. You'll also evaluate the relevance of theory and research in social and developmental psychology to specific areas of application, and you'll become a critical reader of the research literature.

Choose one from a selection of optional Psychology modules that may include:

Criminological Psychology

Study the application of psychology to legal processes and the criminal justice system, as well as to the understanding of offending behaviour.

Gender, Identity and Body Image

Taking a social constructionist stance, you will challenge the taken-for-granted "obviousness" of our assumptions about a number of issues relating to gender, identity and body image.


Study the impact of the Internet and new technologies on our social relationships and the ways we relate to each other, as well as more technical aspects of cyberpsychology and the philosophical issues relating to how we do, might, or should interact within virtual environments.

Health Psychology

Health psychology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the application of psychological knowledge to health, illness and healthcare. Its primary purpose is to understand and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. This module will introduce students to some of the core areas within the field, exploring key concepts used in the study of both healthy and ill populations. The module will cover contemporary psychological theories of health and illness from a number of perspectives, and will draw upon research that has used a variety of methodological approaches. For example, we will explore psychological perspectives on behaviours that pose a risk to health (such as smoking, obesity and exercise), consider what happens when we get ill (e.g. seeking help, medicine-taking behaviour, and adjustment to illness) and explore how psychologists can help people who are dying and suffering from bereavement. Particular focus will be given to how theory can be used to inform practice and the development of interventions.


It has been estimated that mental illness accounts for a third of all illnesses in the UK, and a quarter of the population will be affected at some point in their lifespan. The overarching aim of this module is to develop students’ knowledge of mental disorders and topics relevant to clinical psychology. Specifically, this module aims to: provide students with comprehensive knowledge of psychological disorders in adults and psychological and developmental disorders in children; provide awareness about current clinical practice, such as commonly adopted classification (DSM-V) and recommended treatments (NICE guidelines); develop students’ understanding of theory, research and current issues around clinical psychology and consider their impact; critically evaluate recent psychological research and scrutinise its application to contemporary clinical practice; and encourage the consideration of multiple viewpoints and critically examine different approaches in the field.

Trauma in Children and Adolescents

The aim of the module is to provide theoretical understanding of the impact of childhood trauma on children and adolescents, and to provide an understanding of the role and roots of resilience. The module seeks to provide students with knowledge about the signs and symptoms, behavioural patterns, and underlying psychological and biological changes associated with psychopathology after childhood and adolescent trauma.

The Psychology of Sex

Sexual behaviour is central to our lives, yet its importance to our happiness and well-being often goes unrecognised. In this module, human sexuality will be explored. The origins of international, cross-cultural and religious views on sex will be examined, along with a detailed review of the key methodologies and theories within this area of research. Important applied topics, such as the origins of sexual orientation, sexual coercion and sex education will be covered. Specific issues that will be covered in depth include: historical perspectives on sexuality; international perspectives on sexuality; sex and relationship research methodologies; sexual anatomy and reproductive physiology; sexual arousal and response patterns; and the psychobiological basis of sexual orientation, non-heterosexual sexuality and sex and relationship problems.

Psychology of Religion

Why does religion exist? What function does it serve in society? What’s the difference between a cult and a religion? What is the difference between a psychotic hallucination and a religious vision? What is the role of religion and spirituality in everyday life? How might it contribute to our wellbeing? How might religious practices have something to offer society (e.g. the mindfulness practice of Buddhism). These are the sorts of questions that will be explored in this module. Lectures will typically include: the historical and cultural background to religion and spirituality; the evolutionary, biological, social and cognitive explanations for religion; understanding cults and why people join them; and the psychology of religious and spiritual experiences and practices.

Psychoanalysis: Theory and Practice

This module explores the works of classical themes in psychoanalysis from a practical and clinical perspective: Oedipus Complex, Narcissism, the Unconscious, Splitting and Bonding, Transference and Counter-transference, Good and Bad Objects, Development of the Self, Projection and Projective Identification, Empathy, and Anger and Aggression.

Occupational Psychology

Occupational Psychology is concerned with the application of psychological knowledge for the understanding of individual behaviour in organisations and workplaces.

Choose one from a selection of optional Sociology modules that may include:

Sociology of Interpersonal Abuse

Explore the dynamics of interpersonal abuse, with a particular focus upon rape and domestic violence.

Youth Culture and Society

This module will allow you to critically appraise and evaluate key issues, concepts and debates in the sociology of youth.

Race, Culture and Society

This module considers sociological perspectives on ‘race’ and racism, examines ‘old’ and ‘new’ forms of racism and encourages you to think about how social identities are ‘racialised’.

Technology and Society 

This module is concerned with the impact information and communication technologies have on social change in contemporary society.

Identities and Intimacies

This module is focused on the sociology of intimate life. Throughout the module you will reflect on issues connected to love, family, friend and sexual relationships and practices. You will reflect on the meaning of words such as ‘love’, ‘family’, and ‘friendship’, as well as developing your knowledge of sociological understandings of identity.

The number of places available on some optional modules may be limited. These will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are unable to select their first choice will be offered an alternative from the remaining optional modules. 

How you’re taught

The BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology is taught by experienced staff used to dealing with students from a range of backgrounds and with varying levels of skill and experience.

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you will receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods that include lectures, workshops, and one-on-one supervision.

The smaller group sessions provide opportunities to develop:

  • problem-solving skills
  • group working skills
  • analytical skills
  • debating skills
  • presentation skills
  • research and data analysis skills.

Tutorials with staff

Students are supported throughout the course via a tutorial system. These small group meetings allow the students contact with an individual member of staff who will help them with study skills and advice about the course and curriculum. At these sessions you will also have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances or your university experience.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout the three years of your course, you will develop the skills required to undertake an independent research study in the form of a final year research project. Our final year students conduct research projects in a wide range of areas in psychology, some of which have been successfully published.

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways and on a modular basis – through traditional means such as examinations and essays, but also in more innovative ways such as research reports, oral and poster presentations, and by a final year research project. Our diverse approach to assessment allows students to demonstrate the breadth of their abilities and provides opportunities for everyone to excel.

The range of assessment tools has been acknowledged as one of the strengths of the course by the BPS Accreditation Committee and External Examiners.

In response to student feedback, the University has introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Learning from experts

Our lecturers are highly respected researchers who conduct innovative research in their specialist areas. Research groups include:

  • Addiction and Aberrant Behaviours
  • Wellbeing
  • Development, Interaction and Social Relations
  • Language and Psycholinguistics
  • Cognition.

There are also a range of research units including:

  • The International Gaming Research Unit
  • Emergency Services Research Unit
  • Specific Language Impairment Research Unit
  • Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit.

In addition to the traditional lectures, tutorials and independent study, you will also hear and learn from renowned experts and professionals in related fields. They are regularly invited to come and talk to our students, providing you with an insight into their specialist knowledge and experiences.

You'll get the opportunity to attend the Department of Psychology seminar series that takes place throughout the academic year. The seminars invite experts and professionals to present their publications and research findings. This is an integral part of the research culture in the Psychology Department, and stimulates thinking and debate.

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