How to Get a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (UK)

Is the process of getting a Bachelor degree confusing to you? A psychology graduate has a lot of options available to them after they graduate. A lot of psychology graduates attain good jobs outside of the field of psychology because they have quality transferable skills. This article will guide you through the steps necessary to attain a B.Sc. Psychology degree in the UK.


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    Sit university entrance exams. These can include A levels or Scottish Highers. Some universities allow BTEC courses. Students typically work towards their university entrance exams between the ages of 16- 18 years old at a sixth form school or college after they have completed their GCSE’s. But there are options for adults to sit entrance exams externally with a tutor or distance learning courses such as ICS and they can even apply for a maintenance loan via Student Finance. Most universities require you to have a minimum of 240 UCAS points. However, some higher- tier universities may specify higher grades (e.g. AAB in your A levels) and exclude some form of exams which other universities may accept. Course information for specific universities can be found through a simple google search for the university. Calculating what grades you need to get into certain universities can be calculated in the UCAS calculator linked below. Subjects you may want to consider studying which would later be relevant to a Psychology degree include Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, English Language and of course Psychology. However, it is not compulsory that you study these subjects. It is probably more important that you study subjects that you enjoy because this will mean you will be motivated to work harder and therefore achieve higher grades.
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    Apply to universities through UCAS. It’s very important when looking at BSc Psychology degrees that you picked one that is approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS). They usually have the course code C800 and they have defined modules that Psychology undergraduates need to be taught in case they want to become a Charted Psychologist after they graduate. Students who graduate with a Psychology degree that is not approved have to do a one year conversion course if they want to go onto post- graduate training.
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    Apply to five universities–– it’s a good idea to apply to a variety. If you want to go to a university that requires you to have high grades, it would be wise to also apply to universities with lower grade requirements in case you don’t get the grades you were expecting. Later in the application process, UCAS will ask you to narrow your choices from five universities to two. These are called a “firm choice” and an “insurance choice.” Typically a student will make their desired university their firm choice and another university that they would not mind going to their insurance choice. Universities will let you know if you have been accepted onto their course the day you get your results from your sixth form exams.
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    Sort out student finance. It costs £9000 tuition per annum to attend university and unless you can pay for it straight out of your pocket, you need to get this organised. You may also need a maintenance loan to cover living costs. Although the idea of a loan might be scary, it is not your typical bank loan where you have to pay back interest. You only pay back amounts once you’re on £21,000 a year. In fact, most people will never pay off their student loan. It is a payment based on financial success in later life. There is a link to student finance below.
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    Once you have the grades to get into university and your student finance sorted, you are good to go. The university you are accepted into will usually ask if you want to apply for a place in halls. If this is what you want, apply as soon as possible. However, a lot of first year student choose to live in their parental home or in shared housing with other students.
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    Enrol and study for your degree! BSc psychology degree in the UK are usually three years long unless there is a foundation year for people who did not quite get the grades to get straight onto their degree or if there is a placement year in the middle of the course. So, first year does not count towards you’re final degree classification at all, second year will count for 30% towards your final classification and your third year will count towards 70% of your final degree classification. Most people have a lot of fun in first year but remember to at least pass your exam with 40%: you need this in order to enrol onto second year! Also, no matter how tempting it is to stay in bed, attend all of your lectures.
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    Get work experience in the summer. You get three glorious months off in the summer. But it is a good idea to get an experience of a job. Although any kind of experience is good, work experience in a hospital is very valuable for a psychology undergraduate.


  • Going to university is not solely about getting a degree. It’s about modelling yourself to become the individual in a career you want to do after you graduate. Join societies, have fun, learn a second language, learn a musical instrument, get some work experience. Do anything that makes you a better and happier person.
  • Aim to graduate with a 2:1. A lot graduate jobs or post- graduate courses require you to have a 2:1.
  • Most employers agree it is better to have a graduate with a 2:1 and relevant work experience and skills rather than a graduate with a 1st who has done nothing but study for the past three years.
  • Course content in BSc Psychology degrees in the UK are very similar. Because of this they are very standardised so you should not worry about getting your degree from a high ranking university. A 2:1 BSc Psychology degree from one university is very comparable to a 2:1 BSc Psychology degree from any other UK university. Pick a university you would be happy attending which has nice accommodation and societies.


  • Don’t slack off in third year. This is the time where you make it or break it. You had time to slack off in first year!
  • Meet deadlines. You get capped at 40% for late work. Even if you are not happy with your work, it is probably better than 40%.

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Categories: College University and Postgraduate