Students at Lancaster University

Undergraduate Degrees

We're proud of our teaching standards, innovative research and excellent facilities. We think you will love studying here and move on to rewarding careers or further studies.


Single Honours Degrees

All of our single honours degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Association.

Our Teaching

You are at the centre of our degree programmes. Our lectures, assessments and study support are designed to help you achieve the best result.

The Psychology Employability Programme helps you gain a head start in the workplace.

Employability Programme

We offer you the chance to gain relevant, high-quality work experience. This can help you start a career specialism in professional psychology, such as clinical, forensic, educational or research.

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Your Degree

Your studies in the first year are designed to give you a thorough understanding of psychology and its modern applications. Here are the two core modules you will study in your first year.

Understanding Psychology

You will be given an in-depth overview of the main themes of modern psychology:

  • brain and behaviour
  • cognitive psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • social psychology

As our teaching staff are active researchers, you will learn cutting-edge research from experts to complement your studies. You’ll be taught about different research approaches, learn to assess and evaluate scientific journal articles and construct arguments formally in essays.

The Understanding Psychology module is delivered through two weekly lectures and seminar groups. Seminars are a one-hour session where you will be encouraged to discuss your learnings with a small group of fellow students, under the guidance of a tutor. We encourage you to make the most of these groups by becoming used to speaking out, listening to others and learning to increasingly present yourself with confidence.

Investigating Psychology

You will learn about the important practical skills in conducting research in psychology:

  • the approaches used to collect data/test theories in different areas of psychology
  • the ways in which data may be analysed from lab experiments and field studies
  • the professional skills used in disseminating and evaluating research

This module is delivered through lectures and laboratory classes – two weekly lectures and two weekly lab classes. The labs will provide the experience of practising techniques taught in lectures.

Minor subject of your choice

This allows you the chance to study another subject that interests you and will give you exposure to another part of the University. You are free to choose whatever subject you like but it has to fit in with your timetable. Sociology, criminology and philosophy are often popular choices with our students.

In the second year, you will begin to branch out from the core principles of psychology, into these specialised areas of study.

Brain and Behaviour

  • Exploration of biopsychology
  • Anatomy and physiology of the neuron
  • Somatic and automatic nervous systems and functions
  • Cognitive neuroscience of action and cognitive control
  • Mechanisms of nerve impulse transmission and synaptic transmission
  • Receptors and drug effects
  • Biopsychology of emotion, stress, depression and schizophrenia
  • Neuroscience of language and music

Developmental Psychology

  • How to conduct research with children
  • Communication and learning in infants and children
  • Development of social cognition
  • Face perception in children
  • Children’s understanding of elementary physics
  • Children’s understanding of theory of others’ minds
  • Fetal development

Cognitive Psychology

  • How we perceive, think, talk and behave: human memory, attention, language, perception
  • How we extract and interpret sensory information from multiple modalities to successfully interact with our environment
  • Encoding, retention, recollection, and recall of memories in sensory, working and long-term memory stores
  • How we communicate our thoughts, in speech and text, and what happens when these skills are damaged by brain injury
  • How people make decisions, how people use shortcuts when they make decisions and how decision making can go wrong

Personality and Individual Differences

  • Key theories of personality
  • Debates on personality and individual differences
  • Theoretical and practical insights into psychometric testing
  • Biological, environmental and cultural influences on personality
  • Impact of trait and type on psychological accounts of human behaviour
  • Individual differences in cognition, thinking and development

Research Methods I: experimental methods in psychology

  • Design, evaluate and assess psychological research
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning when presenting, interpreting and evaluating psychological research
  • Carry out empirical studies drawing on a variety of psychological methods
  • Plan, conduct and report empirical research including defining a research problem, formulating testable predictions, choosing appropriate methods, planning and conducting data gathering, demonstrate evaluation of data and producing a professional report

Social Psychology

  • History of social psychology
  • Social beliefs and judgement
  • Intergroup relations
  • Applying social psychology to everyday life
  • Contemporary and empirical developments
  • Develop a range of academic skills

Research Methods II: asking questions, analysing responses

  • Non-experimental methods used to carry out psychological research
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Ethical issues relevant to a range of experimental and non-experimental methods
  • In small groups, design, report and evaluate different forms of psychological research through questionnaires and surveys, in addition to interviewing and qualitative analysis


  • Understand how psychological research findings reported in journals and textbooks have been obtained
  • Carry out your own analysis of data collected during practical classes and report the results
  • Analyse and report the results of your own research project
  • Evaluate the reliability and generalisability of research reported in the media
  • Apply the analysis skills to research in other areas beyond psychology

A series of optional modules complement your research project, allowing you choose your own specialism and work under the guidance of a leading expert. The optional modules change to reflect the latest developments in psychological research. Those shown here are indicative content. You will choose 5 optional modules.

Historical and Conceptual Issues in Psychology

Learning about the history of psychology will help you to understand the context of the discipline. We will introduce you to debates about:

  • what kind of science psychology could be
  • what kinds of objects it should study
  • what effect it has had on how we think of ourselves and others

Research Project

Consistently popular with our students, this module allows you the freedom to choose your own specialism and work under the guidance of a leading expert in that area. You will have ownership of a major piece of work that allows you to demonstrate the breadth and depth of your psychological knowledge and research skills.


Advanced Issues in Neuroscience

You will look at in-depth and up to date coverage of areas of current research interest in neuroscience. We will explain recent developments in research methods in neuroscience and provide you with the skills to evaluate critically the assumptions underlying these techniques. Our experts will deliver in-depth knowledge of selected important real-world disorders, such as schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease.


Hot Topics in Social Psychology

The topics in this module reflect the lecturers’ active interests:  recent examples are the psychology of animal treatment, social media and nostalgia and propaganda/advertising.  You will explore how social psychology may be applied to real-world problems and learn the skills to engage critically but constructively with social psychological research and theory.


Forensic and Investigative Psychology

You will gain an understanding of the predominant theoretical perspectives of forensic psychology and research on specialised topics such as deception, detection and offender profiling. Additionally, you will develop your capacity to think critically about theories and research methodologies and appreciate the implications of the research for professional practice.


Psychology of Art

Explore the role of psychological processes in our understanding and appreciation of art. Different forms of art, such as visual art, music and dance, are all multi-dimensional. They can be analysed, evaluated and experienced from various psychological perspectives.


The Psychology of Attention: from the laboratory to everyday behaviour

Attention is relevant to a wide range of psychological phenomena. This module considers what attention is - and what it isn’t - in more detail than is usually provided. We will discuss various theoretical models of attention, but also examine how concepts have been used in areas that include:

  • atypical development in childhood (autism and ADHD)
  • anxiety states
  • disorders of attention

Prozac Nation: Human Psychopharmacology

You will be introduced to the concepts of human psychopharmacology and discover the theoretical background of drug-induced modification of nervous system function and behaviour respectively. We’ll provide insight into psychoactive drugs and how they act upon the brain to influence behaviour. You will explore why individuals differ in responsiveness to psychoactive drugs and discuss current controversies in the area of psychopharmacology.


The Lying Brain

Examine and explore striking instances of hallucination, delusions and disorders of consciousness in the normal, clinical and pathological population.  You will learn over-arching theoretical concepts which influence neurocognitive theory and our understanding of brain function. You only know what is real because your brain tells you what is real. However, your brain is lying to you, find out how and why in “The Lying Brain”.


Topics in Clinical Psychology

You will discover what clinical psychology is, learn about key theoretical frameworks and treatment approaches, and develop an understanding of how research is related to practice. Covering various populations (including children, adults and older adults), this module will discuss various psychological disorders in terms of their assessment, aetiology, research background and interventions. A series of guest lectures delivered by experienced practitioners will introduce you to issues in professional practice and confer a realistic appreciation of the work of clinical psychologists.


The Developing Mind

You will develop a better understanding of theoretical problems, building on your knowledge from Year 2 Developmental Psychology.

These problems include:

  • the Nativist vs Empiricist account on infant knowledge and reasoning
  • the development of empathy and pro-social behaviour
  • moral reasoning and the emerging understanding of moral rules
  • social and emotional development in adolescence

The Neuroscience of Typical and Atypical Development

This module studies different topics within developmental psychology from a social neuroscience approach. We present you with different aspects of typical and atypical socio-emotional development. You will then look how core principles and methods have helped advance their understanding.  We put an emphasis on how different processes interact during development. You will study how this influences the outcome at different points during their ontogenetic trajectory.

A student enjoys the benefits of studying abroad

Study Abroad

You can spend your second year studying at one of our partner universities. These partner universities span the globe: in Europe, the USA, New Zealand and Australia. Where you choose to study at is up to you, although places are subject to availability.

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Preparing for your Future

Helping you to shape your future is important to us. A psychology degree opens up a variety of career options and we believe in helping you make the right decision about your career path and giving you the chance to develop the right skills.

There are 3 dedicated Careers Advisors in the Psychology Department whose role is to provide information about pathways to various careers in psychology, explain what training and experience you will need for certain fields and advise you on postgraduate study.

In addition to teaching you about the practical skills that psychologists use, our degree programme will keep you focused on the skills that you will need to obtain and sustain for a career in psychology:

  • CV writing
  • introduction to careers
  • teamwork
  • interview skills
  • career planning

We appreciate that not everyone knows what career they want and that you might change your mind as your knowledge of psychology grows. That is why we offer one-to-one careers sessions with a Careers Advisor from the Psychology Department, and your Academic Tutor will likewise be able to provide guidance.

To help you explore all the career opportunities that a psychology degree offers, we encourage students to engage with:

  • one-to-one advice and guidance appointments at any stage and for any career-related issue
  • workshops and webinars on all aspects of the graduate recruitment process, such as CVs, applications, interviews and assessment centres, employer presentations, alumni panels and careers fairs
  • a Career Mentoring Programme, providing students with a mentor from the professional area they are interested in, in order to gain support for entry into that profession
  • The Lancaster Award – to achieve this, students undertake work experience, community and campus activities and engage in careers and employability workshops. Students develop the skills employers are looking for but they also gain recognition for all that they do outside of their academic studies

Our accommodation has won UK’s Best University Halls 7 times since 2010. We offer a wide range of undergraduate accommodation to suit different preferences and budgets.

Lancaster University is situated on beautiful 560-acre parkland campus just 3 miles from Lancaster city centre. The historic and vibrant city of Lancaster is just fifteen minutes away from campus by bus, with over 100 shops, dozens of pubs, and a castle dating back almost 1,000 years.

We are a small department with a low student to staff ratio. Our technicians and support staff are extremely approachable and have many years’ experience helping students achieve success.