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Key information

BSc Psychology at Heriot-Watt University is accredited by the British Psychological Society - an accreditation required for anyone who wishes to pursue a career as a professional psychologist.

UCAS code
Degree qualification
BSc (Hons)
4 years

Our complex world needs professionals who can understand human development and experiences. Psychology uses scientific methods to gain insights into a person's motivations, perceptions, and behaviour. It can make a significant contribution to society across many different areas of life, from education and health to the economy and crime. 

The BSc (Hons) Psychology programme at Heriot-Watt University is a four-year undergraduate degree that will equip you with a broad-based understanding of this dynamic field. The programme is structured to provide foundational knowledge in core areas of psychology, as well as opportunities to develop skills in research methods and analysis. 

Our Psychology degree focuses on problems in the real world, considering how an understanding of people and their behaviours can help us to address them. As a career-focused university, our BSc in Psychology is designed to provide you with practical skills that you can apply in professional roles. This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), providing the necessary undergraduate training if you are considering becoming a professional psychologist. 

Heriot-Watt is highly regarded for its psychology degrees, and you will be taught by a passionate community of research-active academics, gaining advanced skills in research, data gathering and analysis, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership. 

You’ll benefit from the industry relevance of the programme, which will set you up for life after graduation. Upon completion, you’ll have the relevant knowledge and skills to apply to a range of careers, including those in the field of psychology. 

Your student experience

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active academics whose work in the Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences covers three key areas: 

  • Cognition, brain, and behaviour 

  • Lifespan health and wellbeing 

  • Work, society, and environment 

Go Global

With Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme, you can carry your studies to new places and experience new cultures, expanding your horizons on the way. You'll discover what it means to be a true global citizen and emerge prepared for wherever your career journey will take you.

Inter-Campus Transfer: Malaysia

Discover new friends and places with an inter-campus transfer to Malaysia.

Inter-Campus Transfer: Dubai

Discover new friends and places with an inter-campus transfer to Dubai.

Course content

September intake - Edinburgh

Introduction to Psychology 1 and 2 will bring you to the frontline of the current knowledge on the human mind, by introducing to core concepts and theories of Psychology. Developed skills: scientific terminology, critical thinking for applied research.

Research methods and analysis 1 and 2 introduces students to Psychology as a science; why, and how, we use scientific methods including statistical analyses. Developed skills: transferable data processing, ethical and methodological approaches, descriptive statistics.

Academic skills for Psychology develops skills, which will help maximise your performance and knowledge-acquisition. Developed skills: general research and information searching, digesting and appraising written information, presenting and time-management.

Mandatory September

  • Introduction to Psychology 1
  • Research Methods and Analysis 1
  • Academic Skills in Psychology

Optional September

  • Introductory Biology 1
  • Management in a Global Context
  • Introductory Economics
  • British Sign Language Beginners Elective 1
  • French Post-Beginners Elective 1
  • German Beginners Elective 1
  • Spanish Beginners Elective 1

Mandatory January

  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • Research Methods and Analysis 2
  • Becoming a Professional

Optional January

  • Introductory Biology 2
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • The Economy
  • British Sign Language Beginners Elective 2
  • French Post-Beginners Elective 2
  • German Beginners Elective 2
  • Spanish Beginners Elective 2
  • Discovering Business

Programme Video

The Heriot-Watt experience

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

Standard entry requirements

Highers AABB (over two sittings)
A-Levels BBC - ABB
Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
BTEC DDM (Health and Social Sciences preferred)
HNC B in graded unit Social Sciences (Psychology, Research Methods/Statistics required modules)

• Please check that you meet our University-wide National 5/GCSE (or equivalent) English and Maths requirements.

Minimum entry requirements *

Highers BBBC
A-Levels BBC - ABB

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

• live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20)
• or are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements.

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Psychology students are doing 15 months after graduating:
are working
are studying
are studying and working


The average salary of students 15 months after graduating
The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course

Potential career paths

  • Clinical psychology
  • Counselling
  • Educational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health and occupational psychologists
  • Business and public service associate professionals
  • Welfare and housing associate professionals
  • And more

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