The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: BSc (Hons) Indicative duration: 4 years
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

Want to understand why people differ from one another? Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), our BSc (Hons) Psychology is a thought-provoking and stimulating course which explores the mind, brain and human behaviour. Not only that, an undergraduate psychology degree is versatile and can open the door to various careers such as counselling, therapy, social work, research and teaching.  

On this course, you’ll learn about fascinating scientific theories and delve into specialised areas of psychology. You can also tailor your course with optional modules, giving you the opportunity to study areas you’re interested in or those you want to pursue a future career in. Study a range of exciting topics, including:  

  • the ethical principles of research set by the British Psychological Society 
  • analysing how we process, store and use information about ourselves and others  
  • the history and science behind cognitive psychology  
  • explore mood and motivation to learn how those constructs influence behaviour  

And in your final project, you’ll demonstrate the research skills you’ve developed while exploring a psychology topic of your choice. 

For aspiring psychologists, our course content meets the BPS’s requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Member Curriculum (GBC), which is essential to becoming a Chartered Member of the Society. If you hope to continue to study psychology after your degree, it’s recommended that you choose an accredited course so that you can leave your options open for your future career. Graduate membership is an essential starting point for your career as a qualified psychologist and is a prerequisite for many BPS accredited postgraduate and doctoral programmes. Without eligibility for the GBC, you’ll be unable to complete society-accredited postgraduate and professional study.

Why we’re great

  • The course is one of the few 100% online programmes accredited by the British Psychological Society.
  • Optional modules throughout your degree allow you to tailor your studies to your specific interests and future career path.
  • Our dedicated and passionate tutors are specialists in different sectors within the scope of psychology. 
  • You’ll develop several transferable skills including critical thinking, communication and evidence-based reasoning.

The BSc (Hons) Psychology is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 360 credits.

Optional modules: choose one at Level 5.

This engaging module encourages you to develop the competencies required for higher online education learning, such as academic styles of writing. You’ll also critically reflect on your personal development while learning about key psychological areas including cognitive psychology’s theory of learning styles.  

This defining module provides you with the toolkit to analyse how we process, store and use information about ourselves and others. You’ll learn about the role of social psychologists and explore the ethical principles of research and conduct set by the British Psychological Society.  

By studying this thought-provoking module, you’ll understand why people are different from each other and explore the avenues to critically evaluate and measure these differences. You'll learn fundamentals of psychometrics and take the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and present a theory-based personality assessment.   

Ready to discover more about brain behaviour, human memory and cognition? This exciting module will broaden your knowledge by introducing you to the history and science behind cognitive psychology. You’ll learn how to apply cognitive psychology to other disciplines and find out more about relevant research and theories within this fascinating field. 

What makes you unique? Could it be your behaviours and attitudes? Find out in this exciting module. You’ll explore individual differences to help you identify how attitudes are formed and changed in relation to topics such as climate change, politics and equality. 

Mental health is becoming more prominent in everyday life, especially after the pandemic. That’s why it’s important to identify the root cause and understand how to treat various mental health conditions. This insightful module will help you examine scientific principles behind a spectrum of mental health disorders and assess treatment options for different needs. 

Gain hands-on and transferable research skills, and strengthen your knowledge of data collection and analysis. In this valuable module, you’ll develop a capacity to select appropriate analytical techniques and test hypotheses. You’ll also conduct a literary review to further deepen your understanding of relevant theory within social science research.  

Biological psychology is an intricately complex area, covering functions of the human brain and physiological processes. In this exciting module, you’ll explore breakthrough advances and current debates within the field, as well as gain an understanding of the science behind human thoughts, feeling and behaviour.  

Have you ever wondered why people differ from one another? Discover the answers in this thought-provoking module. You’ll start by studying personality and intelligence, and explore the topics of mood, motivation and how those constructs influence behaviour. Throughout the module youll also build a strong understanding of the principles of psychometrics. 

If you’re a curious individual, this module’s for you. Get ready to explore the processes involved in reasoning, decision-making and critical thinking. Uncover the answers to questions such as what is the impact of emotion in our thinking processes, and what role does commercialisation play in compromising our thinking? 

Statistics are at the heart of psychology, as they help us to summarise data and quickly identify trends. In fact, psychologists use data for objective, systematic description and interpretation of research results. This defining module teaches you about the most commonly used statistical techniques, allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge in future practice. 

Ready to explore major developmental milestones from a variety of theoretical perspectives? On this fascinating module, you'll examine the principles of cognitive, social, biological, and emotional psychology, with the aim of understanding the impact of developmental stages on human behaviour. 

Have you considered how offenders with mental health disorders are managed and assessed? This module will help you investigate the role of forensic psychology within the criminal justice system – including the origins of criminal behaviour, psychopathology and regulations set under the current Mental Health Act. By the end, you’ll be able to apply your theoretical knowledge to offending behaviour in multiple settings.  

What psychological factors affect our health? Find out in this exciting module. You’ll discuss the role of psychology in promoting various health behaviours – including diet, physical activity and sleep. The module also helps you to understand the common issues that health psychologists face within the workplace and how to overcome them.

Build on your critical thinking and research skills in this helpful module. You’ll explore a range of paradigms used within applied psychologies and analyse key debates within educational psychology. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the different stakeholders which education psychologists may work with. 

What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods? Find out in this fascinating module, which builds on your understanding of how qualitative data can be collected and analysed using a variety of approaches. It’s an ideal progression from the research methods module, helping you expand your knowledge and develop your key research skills. 

The field of cognitive neuropsychology gives you an exciting opportunity to further explore the biological processes which determine human behaviour. In this in-depth module, you’ll make links between the history of cognitive psychology, your previous studies, and our current understanding of the mechanisms concerning brain dysfunction and mental processes.  

Like many subjects, psychology has its critics. In this insightful module, you’ll discover how taking psychological research and studies at face value could lead to false assumptions and flawed understanding. You'll explore how viewing psychology as a political tool that serves some more than others makes critical social psychology integral to a real-world view of this fascinating subject.  

What are the unique abilities humans have? Find out in this stimulating module. You’ll discover the fascinating areas of human development – including neuroscience, perception, cognition, emotion and social interaction. That way, you’ll be confident in evaluating human development from multiple perspectives. 

Does the working environment affect performance? Throughout this engaging module, you’ll discover how organisations, individuals and groups of people learn, perform, function and thrive. You’ll then have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to your own workplace performance and that of others. 

Psychology even extends into sport and exercise – and in this exciting module, you’ll examine the cognitive and emotional influences on performance management in these areas. From motivation, self-regulation and goal setting to personal development and recovery after injury, you’ll explore a range of topics to understand the psychological factors which influence them. 

Interested in the investigative aspects of offending behaviour? This thought-provoking module will introduce you to common psychological principles, and geographical principles and interviewing techniques used in the criminal justice system. On completion, you’ll understand how psychological and social factors impact on criminal behaviour, while having strong knowledge of the practical applications of investigative psychology. 

When people face mental health challenges, talking with others can often be the best way to manage their problems. In this thought-provoking module, you’ll examine the problems faced by those with mental ill health and begin to critically evaluate interventions designed to increase mental wellbeing. 

This defining module allows you to demonstrate the skills you’ve learned throughout your studies. With the support of your supervisor, you’ll conduct a final project on a topic of your interest – providing an ideal opportunity for you to expand on your key research skills and apply the research, knowledge and analysis skills you already possess. 

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 



You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 


Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing and completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment 

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 


Study duration 

Our BSc (Hons) Psychology has an indicative study duration of 4 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 


Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 


Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online is a recognised member of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and registered with the Office for Students (OfS).    

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

Provided you gain at least a Lower Second-Class (2.2) Honours degree overall – as well as passing your Final Psychology Project with a minimum grade of 40% – you’ll be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with BPS. And with additional training at postgraduate level, you’ll be able to qualify as a Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol). Find out more about the BPS accreditation here.

The BSc (Hons) Psychology opens up a whole range of career paths. You could choose to specialise in clinical, educational, forensic, health or occupational psychology – or enter related sectors such as counselling, research, healthcare, security, education, business or the civil sector.

Gaining an undergraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed:

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%

We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.

Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within the first three weeks of the course in order to continue with your studies.


Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our BSc (Hons) Psychology, you must have the following qualifications as a minimum:

  • three A-levels or equivalent


Work experience entry route

In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our BSc (Hons) Psychology, you must meet the following criteria:

  • GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above, or equivalent
  • three years’ relevant work experience


English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0.

Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Full tuition fee: 

£18,500 UK / £19,425 International (2023-24) Δ
£18,500 UK / £20,396 International (2024-25) Δ

  • Designated for undergraduate student loans in England. 
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Regional scholarship available for international students based overseas in eligible countries. 
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us.   

Please note, a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our BSc (Hons) Psychology are experts in the field of psychology.

What our students say


Michelle Franklin -CertHE Psychology

Take a breath and go for it, don’t be disheartened or held back by age or self-doubt.

My husband and I started our own business 13 years ago and we now employ a team of 20 employees and deliver training to over 400 clients. I’m really proud of what we've achieved. Away from work, I love spending time with family and friends, go horse riding when I have the time and read a lot. If it’s not a murder mystery or thriller, then it’s a book on psychology.  I’ve always been fascinated by psychology and hopefully once I’ve completed my CertHE Psychology with the University of Essex Online, I’ll be accepted to study the BSc (Hons) Psychology. I needed an online course as...

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