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BSc/BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

Who are we, and how do we shape our world? On this course you will explore the nature of the individual and society. You will learn the critical thinking skills that discerning employers are looking for in a variety of fields including business, health, media, education, social care and management.

Studying psychology and sociology will allow you to explore a large and fascinating world, the fundamental nature of human beings and how that nature shapes our social environment. You will engage with debates about the practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis applied in each of the disciplines, and their relevance and value for different communities and publics.

Why QMU?

  • The course is taught by an experienced and dedicated team who are driven by a student-centred approach to learning and teaching.

About the course

Are you fascinated by human nature, by who we are and how we interact? Do you want to understand what impacts the shape of society around us and how it could be changed for the better? Then you will enjoy our joint course in psychology and sociology as it provides a challenging and stimulating environment for exploring these questions around the individual and society.

In this course you will learn to use social scientific methods and evidence to make sense of human behaviour. You will learn how to think and write critically, giving you skills that can be valuable in many fields. You will be given opportunities to go into communities and apply your skills and knowledge in a real-world context and reflect upon the ways that psychological and sociological knowledge can effect real change in people’s everyday lives.

The modules in Years One and Two will give you a thorough grounding in the key concepts, theories and schools of thought in psychology and sociology. You will look at the historical development and contemporary applications of psychological and sociological knowledge as well as explore the very latest debates in both disciplines. We know how important it is that you develop a wide range of transferable talents, so you will also focus on improving your interpersonal and presentation skills, effective reading and writing, analytical thinking and critical reflection, as well as your research skills.

In Years Three and Four you will develop an in-depth understanding of a broad range of substantive debates within the disciplines of psychology and sociology: the psychology of risk, the origins and structure of memory and eyewitness testimony, the sociology of gender and sexuality, sociologies of liberation, and social interaction and social order. Working closely with a member of academic staff, you will conduct your own independent research project in Year Four, in which you will be encouraged to bring together your knowledge of academic theories and concepts, as well as refining your research skills.

Your ability to understand the relationship between complex academic theory and practical research will certainly enhance your employability on completion of this course.


You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and laboratories. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. Your work will be assessed using a number of techniques, including essay writing, presentations, report writing, critical reflections and examinations. 

Below you can read about Teaching and Learning Activities and Assessment Activities. We believe this will give you a good indication of what the course will be like, but the exact balance of activities may differ depending on the academic year and on the modules you choose.

Teaching and learning activities

Our Teaching and Learning Activities are focused on building your confidence, developing your problem-solving skills and preparing you for a successful career. Here you can read about how much time you should expect to spend undertaking these activities for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and in some cases practical workshops or laboratories. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

Independent Learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the Learning Resource Centre, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. You independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the Learning Resource Centre and the Hub.


Courses with placements give you the opportunity to put what you are learning into practice and to observe and work with a wide range of individuals and groups of people in diverse settings. Some courses offer placement opportunities in the UK and overseas.

Assessment Activities

Assessment Activities provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject and receive feedback on your performance. Here you can read about how much of your final mark is based on each type of formal assessment for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


Assessment by written examinations normally takes place at the end of each module or semester, but they may also happen during modules.


Coursework assessments take place in a variety of ways, including assignments, essays, reports, portfolios, project output and your level 4 Honours project. We aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 20 working days of the submission date.


Practical assessments can include oral presentations, performance, practical skills assessment, costume design and construction, film making, lab work or clinical practical skills depending on the nature of the course.






Year One

  • Introduction to Psychology 1
  • Foundations of Psychology: Core Concepts and Practices
  • Introduction to Academia
  • The Sociological Imagination 1 – Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theories and Concepts
  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • The Sociological Imagination 2 – Diversity, Identity and Wellbeing

Year Two

  • Social and Psychological Inquiry – Philosophy and Design
  • Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Current Debates in Sociology
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Self and Identity
  • Individual Difference, Wellbeing and Ethical Practice

Year Three

  • Sociology of Knowledge & Science
  • Research Design: Theory and Practice
  • Interaction and Social Order
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology and Social Movements

Year Four

  • Dissertation (in Psychology, Sociology or both)
  • two Sociology option modules
  • two psychology option modules

Sociology option modules:

  • Sociology of Liberation
  • European Policy and Politics
  • Queer Theory, Gender and Sexual Politics
  • Gender Justice and Violence
  • Feminist Approaches

Psychology option modules:

  • Eyewitness Testimony
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Volunteering and Community Engagement
  • Psychology of Pain

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (April 2021) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2022. Please check back here for any updates.



Exchange opportunities

In Year Two or Three you have the opportunity (where available) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see Exchanges and Study Abroad.

On December 24th 2020, the UK Government announced that as an outcome of Brexit negotiations, the United Kingdom would not be seeking to participate in the Erasmus+ successor programme.

From 2022/23 Queen Margaret University will no longer operate under the Erasmus+ scheme. Over the coming year we will be working with new and existing partners on study abroad and exchange opportunities for the 2022/23 academic year and beyond.


You’ll graduate with a wide range of skills, knowledge and aptitudes. You’ll be ready to step out into a wide range of careers, to develop yourself in even greater ways. Our alumni are pursuing careers in social and community work, consumer and social research, public policy development, teaching, academia, marketing and human resource management. 

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard - BBCC, Minimum - BCCC

A Level: CCD

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required: English required at Nat 5/ GCSE

Mature/Access: See our website at: www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see: www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/college-leavers-and-mature-students/

Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at Newbattle Abbey College or West Lothian College. For more information, see Associate Student Scheme.

Professional registration/ accreditation

Successful completion of this degree does not confer Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) that enables access to professional training as a Chartered Psychologist.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

View Open Day presentation

Please note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate)

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding