Department of Psychology

Undergraduate study

Professor Silke Paulmann with a psychology student

Unravel the complexities of human behaviour

The greatest understanding we can have is of ourselves and others.

To truly make positive contributions to communities and the wider world, we first need to understand what drives people to think, feel and act in the ways they do. This understanding is even more important when our society faces increasing uncertainty and challenge. Psychological science can provide innovative insights on every topic imaginable from social inequality and climate change to our romantic relationships and healthy living.

Studying Psychology at Essex means embarking on a journey into the thoughts, feelings and actions of individuals. Our research and teaching spans three overlapping areas: thinking about the world, interacting with the world, and experiencing the world. These three themes feed through in to our modules. You can study areas such as memory and attention, emotional behaviour, or the impact of culture on ourselves and on group behaviour.

Satisfy your curiosity by learning from researchers at the cutting edge of psychological science – discover how fascinating techniques and intriguing theories allow us to answer questions such as:

  • Why don’t some people comply with health interventions or engage with recycling schemes – can we change that?
  • Why are social relationships so important – how do we make and break them – and what can we do to improve our relationships?
  • What can neuroscience tell us about the function of consciousness and our sense of self – how can we use these insights to understand disorders such as autism and schizophrenia?
  • How do parenting choices in the earliest weeks of a baby’s life impact them for years to come?
  • How does our cultural background affect thinking, motivations, personality, interpersonal behaviours and group processes?

Join us to learn from world-renowned experts, benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities, and pursue your intellectual passion. By studying your degree in our Department of Psychology, you will take the first steps towards understanding yourself and the people around you. Whatever the future holds, we will give you the experience and skills needed to flourish.

Explore our undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • 91% of our psychology graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)
  • 21st in the UK for overall student satisfaction for Psychology (National Student Survey 2022)
  • Our Research Experience Scheme lets students assist with academic research projects, enhancing research skills and giving an insight in to how academic research is carried out.

"I have been an Intervention Co-ordinator for the past 5 years. I support children with autism and associated learning difficulties, who also have specific sensory, behavioural, medical, social or emotional needs. In Psychology, I learned about memory and different learning styles. This helped me recognise different learners and allowed me to adapt teaching strategies as a result. It has been rewarding to see the progress children have made, from being able to communicate better to being able to play with others."
Luis Salinas Herrera BSc Psychology 2015

What can we offer you?

Alice Sherlock, Department of Psychology graduate, standing outside with a city in the background.
"I work for the Chatteris Educational Foundation, a registered charity in Hong Kong. We work in collaboration with local schools by placing native-English tutors into underprivileged schools to develop the proficiency, confidence, and soft skills in Hong Kong students. Hong Kong has a big gap in English proficiency and students attending lower banding schools will often struggle to get a job or into university with little to no English. It’s great to see the students develop and pick up on your accent and idioms. I also absolutely love managing the tutors and seeing their progression and development throughout their time with us!"
Alice Sherlock BSc Psychology 2016
Get in touch
Psychology undergraduate enquiries