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Department of Psychology
Undergraduate Studies
Department of Psychology
Royal Holloway is widely recognised on the world
stage as one of the UKs leadingteaching and
research universities. One of the larger colleges
of the Universityof London, we are strong across
the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.
Our 8,500 students work with internationally
renowned scholars in 20academic departments.
The University of London degree gained by our
talented, high-achieving graduates isvalued the
world over.
As a cosmopolitan community, with students
from 130 countries, we focus on the support
and development of the individual. Our friendly
campus, just 19 miles west of central London,
provides a unique environment for university
study. Campus life revolves around the Students
Union, which runs over 100 societies and sports
clubs, and we are recognised as Londons best
sporting college.
Department of Psychology
We are one of the top Psychology
departments in the UK with excellent
ratings for both teaching and research.
We ofer a varied and innovative
programme of courses that equip
students with a wide portfolio of
transferable skills. Our research and
teaching enhance one another, and
keep students in touch with the
frontiers of psychological knowledge.
This brochure is designed to complement Royal Holloways Undergraduate
Prospectus and information on the departments website at:
It is also available as a PDF at:
Why study Psychology? 4
Why choose Psychology at Royal Holloway? 5
Admissions and entry requirements 6
Degree programmes and structure 7
Teaching and assessment 8
Your Future Career 9
Other information 11
Contact details
Head of Department
Professor John Wann
General enquiries
Admissions Tutor
Dr Marco Cinnirella
Department of Psychology
T: +44 (0)1784 443526
Department of Psychology
Why study Psychology?
Psychology is the study of how people think, react and interact.
It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts,
feelings and motivations that underlie such behaviour.
It is an important subject, because it relates to the whole range
of human experience, from visual perception to complex social
Studying Psychology involves learning transferable skills
such as critical reading, report writing, interviewing, survey
research, observation, measurement, experimentation
and using statistics to assess the signicance of research
ndings. These skills are relevant to a wide number of
occupational settings.
Department of Psychology
Why choose Psychology at Royal Holloway?
Studying Psychology is a fascinating way to prepare
yourself for a wide variety of careers, both inside
and outside the subject area. At Royal Holloway we
provide our students with expert career information
and advice throughout their degree course and
this is reected in our high record of graduate
employment success.
Coming to Royal Holloway to study will see you
working in an intellectually challenging setting,
but one that is also exceptionally friendly and
supportive. Here, you will work closely with
leading experts in psychological investigation and
research. The Department is well resourced with
equipment and the latest software for student use.
The College library is also extensively stocked with
Psychology books and journals.
Add to this the engaging atmosphere at
Royal Holloway, with its well-equipped campus,
vibrant student community and beautiful
surroundings close to the global city of London,
and you have all the ingredients for an enjoyable
and rewarding experience. I warmly invite you to
visit us and look forward to meeting you at one
of our UCAS and College Open Days held
throughout the year.
Professor John Wann,
Head of Psychology
Excellent ratings for teaching and research. We are in the
top 10 of all major 2013 Psychology league tables and were also
ranked in the top 10 in the last Research Assessment Exercise
A great place to live and learn. Our students obtain a degree
from the University of London, one of the most prestigious in
the world, without the expense of living in the city. The campus
provides easy access both to green countryside and to London
and was recently listed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the 16
most beautiful universities in the world.
We scored particularly well in the most recent National
Student Survey, with 94% of students satised. Our
international research expertise impacts on teaching at all
levels. This is especially advantageous in the nal year research
project, in which students are able to work with one of our staf
on a topic at the cutting-edge of research.
First-class facilities. We have one of the best-equipped
Psychology departments in the country. We have our own on-site
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, for studying brain
structure and activity, and instruments for recording electrical
changes in the brain (EEG). We also have a range of other facilities
including apparatus to stimulate focal areas in the brain (TMS),
technology for tracking eye movements, systems for tracking
precise body movements in very young children and adults, the
ability to create virtual reality environments, CCTV and video
systems for discreet observation of behaviour and a dedicated
baby lab for studying the development of young infants.
Friendly department. The Department is dynamic, welcoming
and engaging. Students appreciate the openness of the
Department and the accessibility of our staf. College-wide
support services help you get the most out of your time here.
Excellent career prospects. The high quality of our teaching
has enabled three-quarters or more of our students to obtain
rst or upper-second class degrees. Our graduates embark on a
wide range of careers and many go on to postgraduate training.
The Department of Psychology has a diverse student body
and welcomes a number of students from overseas each
year. The transferable skills learnt as part of a Psychology
degree mean our graduates are well equipped to work both
in the UK and abroad, and the University of London degree
awarded is recognised the world over.
Department of Psychology
Admissions and entry requirements
Throughout my three years here, I have learnt so
much about Psychology and have also grown as an
individual. Lectures are well organised and encourage
independent thought.
Furthermore, staff are very approachable and offer
as much support as you might need throughout your
time here.
Steph Sampson, BSc Psychology
We welcome applications from candidates with a diverse range
of backgrounds. We admit around 180 undergraduate students
across all our single honours programmes each year (with no
limits on individual programmes). Admission is on the basis of
attainment at A-level or equivalent qualications. Applications
from international students, mature students and candidates
who wish to defer entry are all welcomed.
We consider applicants taking Arts, Humanities, Social Science
or Science subjects, since no previous knowledge of the subject
is required. With the exception of General Studies, all A-level
subjects are acceptable. We also consider applications based
on Access courses, the International Baccalaureate or other
appropriate qualications.
UK-based applicants holding ofers are strongly encouraged
to attend one of our UCAS open days when possible. These
provide an opportunity to gain a full picture of our courses and
facilities, meet academic staf and tour the campus with one of
our current students.
Applications should be made through UCAS. Applicants are
normally required to hold, or attain prior to entry, a grade B or
better in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent).
Typical ofers (for all Psychology degree programmes)
A-level: the equivalent of AAA-AAB (excluding General Studies)
BTEC National Diploma: D*DD in most nal year subjects
International Baccalaureate: 3635 points there may also be
mathematics requirements
Access students: when made, our ofer is usually conditional
on passing the Access Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits
at Distinction level and 15 at Merit level. We also require
some evidence of mathematics competence, either through
possession of grade B or higher at GCE O level/GCSE
Mathematics or AS level Mathematics, or else the successful
completion of mathematics or statistics components of a
suitable standard as part of the Access course. Note that all
Access applications are scrutinised individually and all aspects
of the UCAS application are given weight.
International students
We accept a range of overseas qualications for entry to our
undergraduate degree programmes. For further information,
please see the international pages on the Royal Holloway website
at Students who do not speak
English as their rst language are also usually expected to achieve
an IELTS score of 6.5, or hold an equivalent English language
qualication, unless they have already studied for qualications
in the U.K. or taken qualications such as A levels or I.B. which
are written and assessed in English.
Department of Psychology
Degree programmes and structure
C800 BSc Psychology
C804 BSc Applied Psychology
C805 BSc Psychology, Development
& Developmental Disorders
C806 BSc Psychology, Clinical Psychology & Mental Health
C807 BSc Psychology, Clinical & Cognitive Neuroscience
CL83 BSc Criminology and Psychology
Single honours degrees
Below are details of our Psychology single honours degrees. It
will be possible to change between the diferent single honours
programmes at the end of the rst year of study, subject to
availability. All our single honours degrees are recognised by the
British Psychological Society as the Graduate Basis for Chartered
Membership. This means that they qualify students to undertake
postgraduate study in Psychology once they have graduated.
BSc Psychology will give students a thorough understanding of
how research into human behaviour can be conducted across
diferent core areas of Psychology, without limiting study to
any specic area. During year three students are able to choose
between a wide range of advanced options, covering all the
major areas of experimental Psychology. Additionally, students
may complete an independent theoretical study on a topic of
their choosing.
BSc Applied Psychology focuses on applying psychological
research to real world issues, ofering a broader social and
occupational context. Topics include how we can modify
health and social behaviour, research into psychological
problems and understanding of interventions for children and
adults, and also how Psychology can be used in the work-place,
in education and when exploring criminal behaviour.
BSc Psychology, Clinical Psychology & Mental Health focuses
upon the study of psychological problems in children and
adults, as well as the study of how psychological factors are
related to physical health and the prevention of illness.
BSc Psychology, Development & Developmental Disorders
focuses on issues related to the study of typical and atypical
child development and through the life span, including the
development of cognitive and social skills in infancy and early
childhood, and developmental disorders such as autism, Down
syndrome, dyslexia and attention decit hyperactive disorder.
BSc Psychology, Clinical & Cognitive Neuroscience examines
the relationships between the brain and higher functions such
as decision-making and consciousness, the causes, symptoms
and treatments of common brain disorders such as stroke and
Parkinsons disease, and methods for studying the brain such
as functional MRI.
Course structure
All students take the same courses in the rst and second
year, regardless of their overall degree option. In the nal year,
students on the BSc Psychology course continue to cover a broad
range of elds of Psychology, while students on the specialised
programmes study a more focused set of options relevant to their
degree title.
First year courses
Single Honours students take four courses in each term of the
rst year. One of the courses running all year focuses on how
to design and run research, providing rst year students with
practical experience in carrying out simple experiments and
analysing data, and includes the Psychology Toolkit of essential
transferable and specialist skills. There are also introductory
courses in Lifespan Development, Biological Foundations of
Psychology, Learning and Memory, Abnormal Psychology, Self
and Society, and Sensation and Perception.
Second year courses
Courses in the second year build on the knowledge gained in the
rst year. They are more specialised and give students the chance
to learn about particular topics in greater depth and introduces
new topics such as Individual Diferences and Brain and
Behaviour. Second year students are expected to carry out more
independent reading and to begin to design their own research.
Third year courses
During this year students on the BSc Psychology course can
select between a broad range of modules, including a theoretical
dissertation of their choice, while students on the specialised
programmes focus on options relevant to their degree choice. All
students carry out an empirical research project.
Modules are closely linked to the research interests of members
of staf and are highly specialised such as Cognitive and
Clinical Neuroscience, Criminal and Forensic Psychology and
Developmental Psychology. They give students an opportunity
to learn about the most recent developments in their chosen
areas. We also ofer third year courses with linked work
experience opportunities, for example students have been
placed locally in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy,
designing and conducting surveys.
For full listings of our current courses for all three years, visit: Our
website gives detailed information about the content of all our
courses and modules available on each degree programme as
well as more information about the Department and the staf.
Joint honours degree
BSc Criminology and Psychology is a joint degree with
the Centre for Criminology and Sociology and consists of
equal units in each department in the rst two years, with
some exibility in the nal year. It will give students an
understanding of the biological, social, clinical and cognitive
factors that inuence behaviour alongside the study of crime,
criminality, and the criminal justice system. The Centre
for Criminology and Sociology is the home department for
students choosing to take this programme. To nd out more
about this programme visit:
An application for the accreditation of this joint honours programme has
been submitted to The British Psychological Society.
Department of Psychology
Teaching and assessment
Teaching in the Department of Psychology involves lectures,
workshops, practical classes and small-group tutorials. In the
nal year, students also benet from individual and small-group
supervision of research projects and dissertations by academic
staf members.
Throughout year one and two, students attend tutorials where
they get the chance to discuss topics in small groups with a
member of academic staf or a postgraduate. Students also
regularly meet with their personal adviser, a member of academic
staf, to discuss the students progress and receive advice
throughout all three years of the degree. Personal advisors give
advice on how to prepare coursework, how to develop written
and spoken communication skills and careers.
Students ll out questionnaires to provide us with feedback about
all our teaching. There is also a staf-student committee where
student representatives from each year of the course have an
opportunity to discuss issues with members of the academic staf.
We use a variety of diferent methods of assessment. Most
courses have a coursework component. This might be an essay
about a controversial issue, an analysis of a video, a report of an
experiment or a critical analysis of a recent paper. Some courses
involve oral presentations. Many courses also have a written
examination in May or June. Progression to the next year is
dependent on passing compulsory courses.
Research projects
In the third year of the degree, students carry out a group
research project. This is supervised by a member of academic
staf who works closely with students to develop a research idea,
design an experiment, analyse the results and write a report. The
range of topics for research projects reects the wide research
interests of our academic staf. Recent project themes include:
childrens understanding of emotions
the relation of anxiety, depression and life difculties to the
cognitive capacity of students
the efects of leading questions and line-up format on
eye-witness testimony
factors inuencing the drop-out of young females from
exercise in the school years
investigating the neural mechanisms of working memory
psychological stress, problem-solving skills and alcohol
the inuence of hands-free mobile phones on attention
in drivers
brain imaging
For my third year project, I took the opportunity to
investigate the efect of the Harry Potter stories on
childrens understanding of fantasy.
The process was not only a learning experience,
but it also puts research into a real world context.
Louise Bunce, BSc Psychology
Department of Psychology
Your future career
Graduates from the Department of Psychology work for a wide
variety of organisations, such as:
the NHS
Ipsos Mori
Ernst & Young
local government agencies
schools and universities
mental health charities such as Rethink
media organisations such as the BBC.
Graduates in Psychology from Royal Holloway embark on
professional careers as psychologists in various specialist areas,
such as:
occupational psychology
health psychology
educational psychology
86% of recent graduates from the Department were
in employment or further study within six months
of graduation.
KIS, 2012
Graduate Prole
Alumna: Joanna Swiatek
Subject: Bsc Psychology
Graduated: 2010
Place of Work: ETS plc a HR consultancy
Position: Psychologist
I chose Psychology because I had always been interested
in understanding human behaviour and peoples motives
for doing things.
I was impressed with how highly the Psychology course at
Royal Holloway was rated; it received really high scores in
research, teaching and student satisfaction.
The lecturers seemed extremely passionate about sharing
their knowledge and experience in managing peoples
behaviour at work. There was also easy access to London
and it had all the university facilities in one place.
The College was everything I was looking for.
Graduate Prole
Alumnus: Alex Jansen Birch
Subject: Bsc Psychology
Graduated: 2004
Place of Work: Ipsos MORI
Position: Associate Director
I knew that Royal Holloway had a very good psychology
department and ran one of the best psychology courses in
the country.
I was always inspired by the lecturers knowledge and how
they knew everything about their particular area, I think
thats fantastic.
I enjoy coming back to give career talks to current
students. It is good to give something back. When I was
giving my last talk, there was such a diverse range of
alumni who had gone on to do so many diferent things
with their degrees.
clinical psychology
counselling psychology
forensic psychology
Graduates also venture down a wide range of other career paths,
management training in industry and the public sector
human resources management
work in the nancial sector
management consultancy
recruitment consultancy
university administration.
Many graduates also decide to further their studies with the
department and stay on to study at postgraduate level.
Department of Psychology
Your future career
How marketable is our Psychology degree?
Our Psychology graduates leave with a portfolio of transferable
skills which employers in all sectors look for. These abilities
survey design and interpretation
organising large quantities of information logically
analysing and interpreting numerical data
insight into human behaviour
critical reading
challenging established views
communicating complex detail succinctly
conducting ethical research and managing research projects
speaking to a group and expressing ideas coherently
Careers support from the Department of Psychology
A Psychology degree from Royal Holloway can lead into many
diferent career paths and The Psychology Department takes
the employability of our graduates very seriously. We therefore
provide our students with careers information and advice during
their degree programme via a dedicated online forum and website.
We seek to make connections with local organizations and set
up placement opportunities each year to enable students to gain
valuable work experience. We also have opportunities for students
to work in our research labs. Placements are also recognized by the
college as part of the co-Curricular Passport Scheme.
We endeavour to help students to recognise their own strengths,
skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for
their chosen job or training course. We run a series of lunchtime
careers seminars in which Psychology graduates in a wide range
of jobs tell students about their chosen career, their day-to-day
work and the route for entry to that career.
Some speakers are Royal Holloway Psychology graduates. All
have up-to-date knowledge, experience and information to
share. Speakers also include a representative of the Colleges
Careers Service, who discusses transferable skills and their
application to diferent careers.
The Psychology dedicated careers adviser also provides advice
on CV writing, completing application forms and preparing for
an interview. Once a year, we hold a popular networking event at
which our nal year students meet some of our recent and not-
so-recent graduates, to discuss their developing career paths.
The College Careers Service
As part of The Careers Group, University of London, the
College Careers Service is able to provide a wealth of advice and
information about local, national and international opportunities.
All students have access to the Royal Holloway Careers Service
webpages, which are full of up-to-date information and
opportunities, with links to other useful resources. Students are
reminded of forthcoming careers events through the College
email system. Such events include talks, job fairs and recruitment
rounds by large organisations. Any student can talk to a careers
adviser, or can drop in to consult the comprehensive library of
careers information.

Department of Psychology
Other information
Information services
The Department has its own computer hub and photocopying
facilities for student use. There are extensive computer labs with
a wide range of up-to-date software. The College library is also
extensively stocked with Psychology books and journals.
Postgraduate opportunities
We have a lively community of PhD students working in many
diferent areas of Psychology, all of whom benet from the
extensive supervisory expertise of our academic staf. The
department also ofers postgraduate opportunities in the form of
an MSc in Applied Social Psychology. We also ofer a Doctorate
in Clinical Psychology, approved by the British Psychological
Society. Such a qualication is the rst step to a career as a
Clinical Psychologist.
UCAS and College Open Days
UCAS and Open Days at Royal Holloway ofer a unique
opportunity to come and see the College for yourself. You will
have the chance to meet our students and teaching staf, and
get a taste of what university life is really like. Parents and friends
are very welcome to come with you. Dates of Open Days can
be obtained from our website:
We recognise that students from overseas may not always be
able to visit our campus on one of our Open Days or UCAS
Visit Days. You can take a virtual campus tour here: If you are
visiting the UK, our campus is located just 7 miles from London
Heathrow Airport, making it an ideal stop on your journey into
London. If you do visit, we would be happy to show you around
the campus, and discuss our programmes with you. Staf from
Royal Holloway International also hold information sessions in
various countries overseas, and further information can be found
Psychology Society
Our undergraduate students run a Psychology society, hosting
a variety of talks and workshops. Recent events have included
an end-of-term pantomime put on for students by the
Departments academic staf.
For our current staf list and contact details, visit: and select Staf Directory.
The terms and conditions on which Royal Holloway, University of London
makes ofers of admission to its programmes of study, including those covered
in this booklet, may be found in the Undergraduate Prospectus or Postgraduate
Prospectus, copies of which are available on request from:
The information contained in this brochure is correct at the time of publication but
is subject to change as part of the departments policy of continuous improvement
and development.
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX
T: +44 (0)1784 434455