About the course
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.
Our Department of Psychology is top 20 in the UK for research quality, with 90% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).
“Within a day of being at Essex, I could feel how friendly and welcoming the campus was. In my first year I created SX:TV, our Students’ Union’s very own television station and became station manager. My time at Essex was unforgettable and not only set me up for a great future but also left me with many fond memories.”
Ricardo Clarke, BSc Psychology, 2011
This course is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This is required for graduate psychology courses, and means future employers will understand the value of your course.
If you graduate with at least second-class honours, then you are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). This is essential if you want to go on to practise as a chartered psychologist in areas such as clinical, educational and forensic psychology.
Your education extends beyond our University campus. We support you extending your education by offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend your third year studying abroad or employed on a placement, 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.
We have exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan.
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 BPS accreditation 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 the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics C
IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics or Maths Studies grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.
Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
Applicant Days and interviews
Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.
Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.
If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you plan a visit to the University.
Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.