Psychology is a fascinating journey into understanding and decoding the human mind, offering valuable insights into behaviour, emotions, and the science behind why we do what we do.

Psychology delves into the complexities of the human mind, examining behaviour, cognition, and emotions.

Studying psychology opens doors to many different career opportunities. From clinical psychologists providing therapeutic support, to industrial-organisational psychologists shaping workplace dynamics, this subject offers the chance for understanding and improving all kinds of aspects of human life.

Psychology is also transferable to other exciting careers such as marketing, human resources, and healthcare, making it a versatile foundation for personal and professional growth. Whether you choose to pursue counselling, research, or organisational development, a background in psychology gives you valuable insights into human behaviour and the skills to make a positive impact on both individuals and communities.

The impact you could make
  • Help tackle stigmas, such as mental health, by completing research that influences effective interventions.
  • Promote individual wellbeing and develop enhanced self-awareness.
  • Influence workplace dynamics or educational settings to promote healthier and more productive environments.
What you could study
  • Applied psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Sport psychology
  • Experimental psychology

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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  2. Find out how easy it was for them to make friends on their course.
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Studying psychology at the University of South Wales

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Example module
"Developmental psychology is fascinating to me – it’s very interesting to see how human behaviour and development changes from in utero right up until death."
Second year psychology student, Goldsmiths, University of London
Example project
"I investigated the impact of social media on self-esteem and body image, analysing survey data and conducting interviews. This project challenged me to think critically and apply research methods to a real-world issue."
First year psychology student, University of Sussex

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some psychology courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

At least one from chemistry, physics, biology or maths
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Enhanced research skills
  • Data and statistical analysis
  • Application of therapeutic techniques
  • Evaluation of cognitive functions
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Attentive and active listening
  • Empathising with others
  • Ability to adapt to new information
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying psychology. The following information is based on a typical clinical psychologist role.

Average salary
Up to £55,779
Available jobs
14,393 vacancies in the past year
6.65% growth over next eight years

What is a… behavioural design consultant?

Imagine stepping into the world of behavioural design where you’d collaborate with businesses and organisations to create user-friendly products, services, and environments. Using psychological principles, you enhance user experiences, improve customer satisfaction, and contribute to the design of spaces that positively influence behaviour. From designing intuitive mobile apps to crafting employee engagement programs, understanding psychology is a key asset in creating solutions that seamlessly align with the way people think and interact.

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study psychology at university or as an apprenticeship. 

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from psychology applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

The expert view

Professor Ann Colley, CPsychol Chief Executive, The British Psychological Society
A degree in psychology offers not only a pathway to becoming a psychologist, but also the knowledge and skills that you can apply in a wide range of careers.

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:
  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around psychology with the following:
  1. The Psychology Podcast

    Listen to inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self-actualised individuals who will give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. 
  2. TED talks – The psychology of your future self

    Hear research on a phenomenon where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.
  3. Keep up-to-date

    You'll find all the latest news and research on the UK’s voice and home of psychology, the British Psychological Society website.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our application advice will help you get ahead in your psychology journey.

Skills, experiences and interests to mention
  • Have you got a curious mind?
  • Are you fascinated by the way people think and behave?
  • Have you studied psychology before or maybe a subject that’s closely linked?
  • Do you consider yourself self-motivated? Demonstrating your ability to study independently is a great skill for psychology students.
  • How are your communication skills and are you good at collaborating with different stakeholders?
  • How passionate are you? Find a way to talk about why you love psychology and the route you’d like explore from a career perspective.

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