How do we understand relationships and interpret the behaviour of others? What drives people to act, respond, remember and recognise things in the way they do? Is it possible to predict with complete certainty how someone will behave? At Essex you can satisfy your curiosity about how our mind works and what drives human behaviour.
Psychologists undertake scientific study to try to explain and predict how people work. It is the study of our mind and body, our thoughts and behaviour, feelings and perceptions. We conduct experiments in order to investigate how people develop throughout childhood, the way in which they acquire language, and the behavioural changes that can occur as a result of brain injury, disease, or life experience.
On our course you experiment, explore and research why we think, feel and act the way we do. You cover core areas of psychology including:
- Sensation and perception
- Learning and memory
- Clinical psychology
- Personality and individual differences
- Social and health psychology
We provide one of the most immersive and exciting experience of studying the human mind in the UK. You learn from our researchers and can work together in the same space via our Research Experience Scheme (RES) which gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with a psychologist as their research assistant.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
You can also undertake a placement year in which you gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our placements team.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our psychology lecturers include award-winning teachers and prize-winning researchers who are international experts in their own research areas.
The Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Group work are researching attention, language, decision-making, and memory. Recent projects have investigated the psychology of energy reduction, the enhancement of human memory through technology, and improvements in the usability and design of transport maps.
The Social and Health Psychology Group work on motivations, needs, intercultural contact, and sexual attraction. Recent projects include the impacts of living and studying abroad, and how personal relative deprivation is linked to problem gambling.
The Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group research brain function and human behaviour. Recently they have been working on projects on the neural processes underlying language production, how motivations are communicated through tone of voice, and how the brain performs 3D vision. They previously developed the BioAid mobile phone app that turns an iPhone into a biologically inspired hearing aid.
We are committed to giving you access to state-of-the-art facilities in higher education, housed entirely within our purpose-built psychology building on our Colchester Campus:
- Dedicated laboratories including a virtual reality suite and an observation suite
- Specialist areas to study visual and auditory perception, developmental psychology and social psychology
- Study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants in our Babylab
- Our multimillion pound Centre for Brain Science (CBS) allows staff to investigate brain activity, and to measure eye movements and other physiological responses
Psychology now influences an increasing range of fields, from working with clinical disorders, to managing education and training. Today, it is widely used in industry, sport and employment to improve performance, as well as affecting legal and health matters.
Our students go on to follow diverse career paths. Our degree helps many to pursue careers as clinical, forensic, educational, or occupational psychologists. Others work in related fields such as special educational needs, social work, or mental health care. However, many graduates pursue successful careers further afield, working in areas like management, human resources, financial services, the media, information technology, and market research.
For example, some of our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
- East of England Strategic Health Authority
- The Crown Prosecution Service
- M&G Investments
- NHS Suffolk
- The BBC
We also work with our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- You have unparalleled access to research equipment such as EEG, TMS and eye tracking.
- We have a vibrant Psychology Society offering student-led social events and activities.
- Our Research Experience Scheme (RES) gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with a psychologist as their research assistant.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.