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BSc (Hons) - Psychology (with integrated foundation year)

Are you fascinated by what makes people tick, the human mind and debating psychological ideas? On this psychology degree with a foundation year, we’ll guide you through a vast range of contexts and lifespans – from the biological basis of behaviour to questioning contemporary issues.

This foundation year will help you on your way to achieving our full BSc (Hons) Psychology, accredited by the British Psychological Society, designed to give you the knowledge and expertise that allows you to kickstart a successful career. What’s more, our psychology courses are ranked 1st in the North West and 11th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2023 Results).


Accredited by:

Accreditation logo

The British Psychological Society

Course Overview

If you are passionate about pursuing a career in psychology but do not have the required qualifications for direct entry, this psychology foundation degree offers a supportive alternative route into higher education.

In years two to four, half of your course will be practical, focusing on research techniques, qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, data handling and analysis skills, laboratory reports and communication skills. You’ll learn from industry-expert tutors through lectures and seminars. You’ll be encouraged to engage in career-enhancing voluntary work, giving you hands-on experience.

You will be eligible to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). The skills, knowledge and understanding you gain from this psychology degree course will help you access a range of rewarding professions.

On this course you will...

  • Study psychology at the University of Cumbria, with the opportunity to explore and apply psychological literature to current issues, contexts and experiences.
  • Be taught and given high-quality support and guidance by our lecturing team, who are active in research and practices.
  • Learn valuable transferrable skills in research, which are highly sought after by employers.
  • Develop your knowledge and build a solid foundation of the core skills needed to progress from your foundation year onto the full psychology degree course.
  • Be able to shape your degree experience to your interests and career goals, allowing us to help you to reach your ideal future career.

Course Structure

What you will learn

In year one, you are encouraged to reflect on your skills development in learning and personal contexts so you develop your ability to make appropriate choices and decisions. Challenging and authentic tasks will be used to stretch your capabilities in real-world learning and assessment resulting in a deeper approach to learning.

In years two to four, you will study five key themes within psychology:

The contextualised bio-psychosocial nature of human development and experience
Ethical decision making and professional values
Gathering and analysing evidence using robust, population relevant and ethical research techniques
The pivotal role of academic, professional and graduate skills
Experiential problem-based learning
The following modules will take you through these themes, allowing you to investigate your independent interests in the curriculum.

Year one

During the integrated foundation year, you will be taught alongside students from a range of programmes within the Institute of Health. During this time, you will be equipped with the essential skills needed to study at university level while undertaking challenging and authentic tasks that aim to test your decision-making skills in a professional environment.

  • Essential University Skills 1
    Develop academic and professional skills.
  • Essential University Skills 2
    Build upon the skills developed in Essential University Skills 1. You will expand your learning in the areas of research, writing structure and reflective learning.
  • Contemporary Issues and the Media
    Explore a range of contemporary issues through the lens of the media that relates to psychology.
  • Families, Communities and the Criminal Justice System
    Gain an understanding into the psychological and societal risk factors and pre-cursors to criminality.
  • Professional Practice in the Community
    Develop your awareness of community groups and activities to help your understanding of society.
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
    Introduction to the concepts of mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan and in different contexts using different psychological approaches and theories.
Year two

In your second year, you will build knowledge in the foundations of psychology as a discipline and develop key skills through lectures, workshops and problem-based learning.

You will build knowledge of the history of the discipline, research methods and analytical techniques and learn about key theories and psychologists.

  • Psychology in Action
    Introduction to a range of theories and models from developmental, cognitive and biological psychology and their application to human contexts.
  • Introduction to Psychological Research Methods
    Introduction to the nature of psychological enquiry and research skills. Exploring quantitative and qualitative research methods, philosophical underpinnings and practical applications.
  • Introduction to Data Analysis
    Introduction to the processes involved in the analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Perspectives in Psychology
    Introduction to a range of perspectives and key debates in psychology that aid in the understanding of individual and social phenomena.
  • Professional and Academic Skills
    Introduction to working with others in a professional setting, employability, and professional practice that includes listening skills and providing constructive feedback.
  • Introduction to Psychopathology
    This will provide a basis for diagnostic classification systems (e.g. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), and give an overview of the various different forms of psychopathology. It'll outline theoretical frameworks which form the basis for assessment and intervention approaches.
Year three

In the third year, you will develop a more in-depth understanding of research, theory, and practice, and develop research and practical skills.

This will include a work experience module, and an opportunity to engage in a negotiated learning project that is individually chosen and tailored to suit your particular interests.

  • Research Methods and Statistics
    Introduction to statistical techniques dealing with more than one independent variable at two or more levels, including within, between, and mixed participant designs.
  • Development, Brain and Cognition
    Explore the potential impact a range of factors have on human development and behaviour.
  • Research Methods in Applied Psychology Settings
    Introduction to a range of research designs used in psychology and social sciences.
  • Work Experience
    The module will give you an opportunity to link your academic study with work experience. This will allow you to enhance your employability and develop your reflective writing skills through writing a report reflecting on your work experience.
  • Negotiated Learning
    This module permits students to independently undertake an agreed piece of work that is relevant to their own interests and/or career plans.
  • Social and Community Psychology
    Study theories of social psychology with the goal of understanding the experiences and behaviours of people within their community.
Year four

In your final year, you will undertake an independent research project that will allow you to explore a topic of interest and pursue your own research question.

You will also be able to further advance your knowledge of psychology and psychological skills.

  • Critical Psychology
    You will engage in a critical debate about the ideological basis of psychological knowledge, methods, and applications.
  • Individual Differences: Abilities, Personalities and measuring differences
    Introduction to the nature of individual differences in human behaviour across a wide spectrum of human development. With a specific focus on ability, personality and the use of Psychological testing to assess difference.
  • Dissertation
    You will pursue an investigation on a topic of your own interest.
  • Psychological Literacy and Careers
    The module will give you an opportunity to apply your psychological knowledge and skills to applied psychology settings. It will invite you to engage in an in-depth exploration of a career within, or allied to, psychology.
  • Counselling and Coaching Psychology
    This module includes the development of basic counselling and coaching skills to complement their developing employability skills and psychological literacy.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.