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The University of Manchester, established in 1824.

Student Handbook

BSc Psychology degree programme


This document contains important information, please read it carefully.

What is this handbook? It is produced by the Psychology programme in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and provides general information essential to undergraduates reading psychology. This handbook should be read in conjunction with other documents produced by the Psychology programme and the University. You will find it useful to refer to this handbook throughout your degree. You are advised to re-familiarise yourself with this information at the start of every year of study, and to make use of it as a first point of reference if you have questions about policies and procedures at any point in your degree. You are free to download or print copies of this handbook. However, as with all University documents, certain details may become out-of-date (e.g. aspects of assessment may change). As such, we advise that you always refer to the electronic version stored in the BSc Psychology community space on Blackboard, which will always be current. This version was revised in SEPTEMBER 2021.


Welcome Statement from the Head of the School of Health Sciences, Professor Kay Marshall

Congratulations on securing your place to study at the University of Manchester. We know that you have worked very hard, and for many of you under rather unique conditions, to achieve the standards needed to gain your place. We are delighted that you share our interest in the enormously varied and intellectually stimulating topic of psychology, and that you have chosen to study here with us at Manchester. At the current time your chosen discipline has perhaps never been more important as the impact of Covid-19 will extend long after the infection itself. Please rest assured the University has and is working hard to keep our community safe, however, we all have to exercise personal responsibility regarding our behaviours in attempting to slow the spread of Cv-19.

We are very pleased to welcome you to the School of Health Sciences, which is located within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. You can read more about your degree’s place within the University in the next section. Our staff are committed to delivering excellent teaching that is informed by the latest research in the field of psychology, including cutting-edge research carried out at Manchester itself. Since Spring 2020 we have invested in more technology (and staff) to ensure that how we deliver your course draws on a range of delivery approaches so that the teaching we deliver is varied, accessible and suited to the different types of learning delivered across our degree.  We want your time at university to be hugely enjoyable and that you  are stretched intellectually; it is our aim to support and guide you through this exciting phase of your life as you acquire both the knowledge base and the skills set to not just develop but thrive, both here and in the future.

We recognise that working in partnership with our students is the best way to ensure an outstanding learning experience. As an independent adult learner, you need to be aware that the success of your university experience is largely in your own hands. For our part, we will strive to offer the best possible learning experience for all our students; the feedback that you give us will help us to enhance the programme and we value opportunities to hear your views. We also understand that students sometimes encounter difficulties, and I am proud to say that we offer excellent student support within the School and University to cover any academic or personal issues that may arise.  Please remember that we do want to hear from you and to help whenever necessary, so please never hesitate to contact us.

Finally I would urge you to make the most of Manchester and all the exciting opportunities that being at a world leading and exciting University has to offer offer. I offer you a warm welcome to Manchester and our thriving School, and I wish you every success in this next stage of your academic life.

Professor Kay Marshall B.Pharm., FRPharm.S., PhD., MBA., FHEA, FBPhS.
Head of the School of Health Sciences, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health.

Our Place in the University

The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the UK, with the biggest student community and more than 11,000 staff. We are a leading research intensive university and are committed to delivering an outstanding teaching and learning experience, whilst contributing to the social and economic success of the local, national and international community by using our expertise and knowledge to find solutions to the major challenges of the 21st century and by producing graduates who exercise social leadership and responsibility.

The Psychology BSc sits in the School of Health Sciences, though the degree is delivered by staff from three separate groupings within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health; the Division of Psychology and Mental Health, the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, and the Division of Human Communication, Development and Hearing. Drawing on the contribution of staff across these three groups ensures that your degree has input from experts spanning the range of our very diverse discipline.

British Psychological Society: Accreditation

BPS Logo The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the regulatory body for professional psychologists in the UK and is responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate degrees in Psychology. Our BSc Psychology degrees (including 4 year Study Abroad and Placement pathways) are accredited by the BPS, as are the BSc and MSci Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology degrees, where students undertake their Final Year Project in Psychology. This means we award degrees which confer eligibility to apply for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). GBC is a prerequisite for further professional training in psychology which is accredited by the BPS. For example, GBC is an entry requirement for many BPS accredited Postgraduate training courses and is required for entry to all Doctoral programmes, as part of the route to becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Please note that you must satisfy certain academic standards in order for your degree to confer the British Psychological Society’s Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status (section 7.3.1).

As a student registered on our programme, you are eligible to apply for Student Membership of the BPS. Student members receive a range of benefits, including the monthly The Psychologist magazine, access to the Society’s Student Members Pages, and the opportunity to transfer to graduate membership free of charge following graduation. Please note that joining the Society is optional for students and, if you choose not to join, you will still be eligible to apply to join as a Graduate Member at the end of your degree.

Please see BPS website for further information:

Health and Safety

Online health and safety course

We want to make sure that you stay safe during their studies. This is why we ask you to take a short online health and safety course. You must complete this course by the end of October; it should take around one hour. If you have any queries or problems completing it, contact the Administrative Office. The course will be available on Blackboard, your online learning environment, which can be accessed via

Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the University’s guidelines on staying safe in relation to Covid-19:

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. Members of staff, students, contractors, and visitors have a legal and moral obligation to assist the University to provide a healthy and safe working environment.

The University and the School have Health and Safety Policies in place and you can access these on the intranet.

  • University of Manchester Health and Safety Policy


If you discover a fire, raise the alarm by activating the fire alarm push buttons and leave the building as soon as possible. The alarm (a continuous electronic siren) will sound throughout the building. If you hear the alarm, leave the building by the nearest exit (signs will indicate the nearest emergency exit) and assemble outside at the sign-posted assembly point. Fire doors must not be wedged open. Corridors, stairs and access/escape routes should never be obstructed.


All accidents/incidents/near misses must be reported by means of an accident form. In case of minor accidents seek help from the School office, where first-aid boxes may be found. In more serious cases help may be summoned by phoning Security on internal phone 69966, Student Health on (ext) 275-2858 or (int) 52858, or the Emergency Services on (ext) 999 or (int) 9999. In an emergency you should ALWAYS telephone the appropriate emergency service Fire/Police/Ambulance by dialing (ext) 999 or (int) 9999.


The University has 24 hour security in place and in an emergency security can be contacted from any internal phone by dialing 69966.


You should register with a local GP. If you are under medication or treatment that may affect your work or attendance you must inform the Administration Team who will take details in confidence.

Conduct and Discipline of Students

As a student of the University, you are required to behave in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct. This code applies both when you are on campus, and when you are off campus for reasons linked to your studies (for example, working with an external organisation as part of a work placement which forms part of your degree).

Regulation XVII ‘Conduct and Discipline of Students’ outlines the code of conduct and the disciplinary procedures that will result where a student is found to be in breach of the code ( As a student in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, you are also required to familiarise yourself and comply with the Faculty’s policies on communication and dress code ( and drugs and alcohol ( The Faculty also provides advice and guidance to its students relating to their use of social media (


Key Contacts

Head of School of Health Sciences: Professor Kay Marshall

Head of School Administration: Mrs Gabrielle Brennan

BSc Psychology Programme Director: Dr Joanna Brooks

Title Name E-mail Address
Programme Director Dr Joanna Brooks
1st year Tutors Dr Matthew Checketts and Dr Elizabeth McManus
2nd year Tutor Dr Louisa Shirley
Final Year Tutor and Project Coordinator Dr Lee Wickham
Examinations Officer Dr Johan Hulleman
Student Experience Lead Vacant
Senior Academic Advisor Dr Rebecca Champion
Student Support Officer Ryan Hurst
Undergraduate Programme Manager Saira Jackson
Undergraduate Assessment and Quality Assurance Administrator Nicola Bailey
Examinations Administrator Kamar Hussain
Placement Administrator Team
SEPS Administrators Team

Programme Director

Joanna Brooks’ role as Programme Director is to ensure the smooth running of the BSc Psychology degree programme, and to oversee the welfare, conduct and progress of the students on it.

Administrative Staff

The administrative staff can be found in room G15, in the Zochonis Building for any enquiry relating to your studies.

Student Support Officer

The Student Support Officer provides advice and guidance to students and staff in the school. The Student Support Officer offers assistance which complements and underpins the support provided by academic departments and can work with you to identify support options available to you within the School and the wider University (see Student Support section 8 for details).

Receiving Communications

At various times we will need to contact you with important information about your studies (for example; to tell you about opportunities or events which may be of interest, to announce last-minute timetable changes, to inform you of coursework submission instructions). You are provided with a University e-mail address and, in the majority of circumstances, this is how we will pass important information to you.

You must ensure that you regularly check your University e-mail and carefully read any messages or announcements sent from staff; failure to read e-mails will not be accepted as a reason for late work or non-attendance, where those messages were sent to students with reasonable notice.

To set up access to University emails on your mobile devices, see: Under certain circumstances staff may contact you via your home address. For this reason it is important that you keep us informed if either your term-time or vacation-time addresses change.

Communicating with staff

The flowchart below outlines the channels through which you should direct questions, concerns or feedback regarding the BSc Psychology. Issues can be addressed more efficiently if you initially seek help from the first point of contact outlined below. However, if you feel that the issue has not been resolved, please forward the matter to the next appointed contact. Please note, additional sources of support for students are outlined in Section 8.

Most staff will indicate how they prefer students to contact them during their first lecture (e.g. Online Discussion Board or e-mail). Where possible, staff will respond to queries within 3 working days. If you haven’t received a reply after this time please re-direct your query to the next point of contact indicated in the flow-chart below. Please note; there may occasionally be times when staff are not available, however, such absences will be indicated using auto-reply e-mails.

Requesting References

Your Academic Advisor is the most appropriate person to ask to provide you with an academic reference. If you need more than one reference, you should contact another member of staff who you feel you have had good opportunity to interact with. Please request permission from the member of staff before providing their details as a referee. This is important to ensure they feel able to provide a reference, to give them the opportunity to ask you for information about the position you are applying for, and to check their availability if the reference is required within a fixed time period.

E-mail Standards and Etiquette

When e-mailing staff you should always use your University of Manchester e-mail account. Many staff teach on multiple course units, and even across different degrees, so it is important to check that you have included all relevant information, such as your year of study or the course unit your email relates to (e.g. do not assume they will know which ‘essay’ you are talking about).

Please bear in mind that your e-mails to staff may need a different style and tone to those you would address to a friend. While some members of staff are comfortable communicating in an informal style, you should not assume that this will be the case for all staff. The following tips are intended to ensure your e-mails are positively received:

  • Use a formal tone when you initially contact a member of staff, if they respond informally you can assume that your future e-mails to them can match this tone.
    • Pay attention to the spelling of the recipient’s name and their title (e.g. Prof, Dr, Mr, Miss / Ms; Mrs). These details are easy to check via the University website.
    • Don’t address someone by their first name unless you are on quite familiar terms with them. If they sign off with just their first name in their reply, they are probably inviting you to call them by their first name, but if in any doubt, use the more formal form of address.
    • Open with a polite address, i.e. ‘Dear Dr Smith’, ‘Dear John’, etc. and avoid overly familiar or bizarre-sounding openers, e.g. ‘Hey John’, ‘Hiya’, etc.
    • Similarly, don’t sign off in an overly familiar way, e.g. ‘Laters!, Jonno’, ‘Jonno xx’, etc.
  • Be polite and respectful in your communications.
  • Don’t send e-mails that sound curt, abusive, or demanding, or make unnecessarily personal remarks.
  • Be patient and allow around three working days for a response (any urgent matters may well require a phone call to the Psychology Office); vacation periods may require more time, although staff continue to work full time during the vacations with their research and administrative commitments.
  • When someone has responded to answer your question, address your concerns or provide guidance, it’s a good idea to send a quick mail to say thank-you. This helps build positive relationships and fosters a collaborative and supportive culture, meaning people will be more likely to help again in the future.


Aims of the Programme

We operate within the mission of the University in its aim to provide international excellence in learning and teaching. In particular, the BSc Psychology programme aims to:

  • attract students who will benefit from studying in a research-enriched environment
  • provide the environment that will allow students to explore the core topics of the discipline of Psychology as outlined by the British Psychological Society, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
  • provide recent and advanced knowledge and research evidence coming from four themes that represent the modern discipline of Psychology: Evolution and Development; Mind and Brain; Psychology in Society; and Adaptability and Wellbeing; and to demonstrate the complex interactions between them
  • provide the opportunity to study a range of research-led, specialist topics in Psychology
  • focus on the contested nature of knowledge in Psychology, and provide an opportunity for students to develop skills in integrating ideas and evidence from different perspectives
  • enable students to evaluate research critically and to provide them with the opportunity to develop basic skills in research
  • deliver course units in ways that will encourage students to become independent, active learners
  • widen participation within the body of students studying Psychology
  • provide students with a skills-set that will enhance their future employability

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the undergraduate programme in Psychology, it is expected that you will:

  • Knowledge & Understanding
    • be able to apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues, recognising that psychology involves a range of research methods, theories, evidence and applications
    • be able to integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology
    • recognise distinctive psychological approaches to relevant issues
    • demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a coherent and developing scientific discipline
  • Intellectual Skills
    • be able to generate and explore hypotheses and research questions, design and conduct empirical studies, analyse data, and interpret findings
    • be able to synthesise and critically assess information in a systematic, analytic and comprehensive way and clearly communicate findings and conclusions
    • be able to employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a coherent and developing scientific discipline
    • interpret and analyse data with appropriate software and within a relevant theoretical framework
  • Practical Skills
    • be able to carry out empirical studies involving a variety of methods of data collection, including experiments, observation, psychometric tests, questionnaires, interviews and field studies and to do this safely, ethically and competently
    • be able to analyse data using both quantitative and qualitative methods
    • be computer literate, with competence in word-processing, statistical software, and accessing electronic resources
    • be able to access, use and correctly cite, acknowledge and reference diverse information sources
  • Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities
    • be able to communicate effectively, by developing a cogent argument supported by relevant evidence, and tailoring the communication to the audience’s needs
    • be able to independently gather, sift, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and to critically evaluate its significance
    • be able both to make written presentations using appropriate language for a target population and to collect and integrate evidence to formulate and test a hypothesis
    • be able to maintain independence of thought and be self-reliant

Programme Structure

The Credit Rating System

Every course unit contributing to a degree is assigned a number of credits. A normal workload in one year for a full-time honours student involves the completion of course units totalling 120 credits; 10 credits represent a student workload of approximately 100 hours. This workload may include teaching time, group work, directed reading, independent study, assignment or presentation preparation, revision and examinations. Not only does the credit weighting of a course unit tell you how much work you are expected to do in completing it, it also tells you the weighting of the course unit in the calculation of your year average and degree classification. Course units are weighted in exact proportion to their credit rating so that, for example, course units of 20 credits are weighted twice as heavily as course units of 10 credits (see Student Progression for more detail about credits).

To meet the requirements of the honours degree programme, all students must complete course units totalling 120 credits in each year, totalling 360 credits over the three years of the degree.

There are 4 themes that run through the programme: Evolution & Development, Psychology in Society, Mind & Brain, and Adaptability & Wellbeing. These themes represent the current discipline of Psychology, and map onto the research expertise of the staff contributing to the degree. In Years 1 and 2, you will complete course units from each of the four themes, alongside units covering essential training in research methods and statistics, the study of psychology’s conceptual roots, and units designed to support your academic and professional development. In the final year you will complete a research project and your own selection of four courses from any of the four themes. Details of Final Year course units are made available toward the end of your 2nd year.

In Year 1 you have the opportunity to replace one of your Semester 2 Psychology course units (PSYC11402 Group Dynamics and Team Building) with a 10 credit unit from the University’s Language Centre. In year 1, language units taken can be at any level. All other Year 1 units are compulsory.

In Year 2 you can elect to replace 20 credits of Psychology units with external units from University College of Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) or the University’s Language Centre. Language units taken in year 2 must be at Level 2 or above.

In your Final Year you can replace a further 20 credits of Psychology units with external units from UCIL, the University’s Language Centre, Business and Management for all Programmes (BMaP) or the Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC). Again, there are restrictions on which Psychology units can be dropped and which external units they can be replaced with (see Section 3.4).



External Unit Options

While your main academic focus for the course of your degree will be Psychology, we offer the opportunity to swap some Psychology units for external units in each year of study. We encourage students to take external course units because this is a great way of broadening your academic experience and adding a distinctive element to your degree, which ultimately can enhance your employability.

Students registered on BSc Psychology are able to substitute Psychology units for external units, worth a maximum of 50 credits over the course of the degree:

  • In Year 1, up to 10 credits
  • In Year 2, up to 20 credits
  • In Final Year, up to 20 credits

The grade that you achieve for assessed work on the non-Psychology elective will be used to calculate your final year average or degree classification in the same way that a grade obtained from a psychology course unit would be.

Optional Psychology Units

Because your degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, certain Psychology units are compulsory

  • In Year 1 you have the option to drop:
    • Group Dymamics and Dynamics
  • In Year 2 you have the option to drop up to two units from the following list:
    • Topics & Issues in Developmental Psychology OR Evolution of Behaviour & Cognition (Semester 1)
    • Conceptual & Historical Issues in Psychology (Semester 1)
    • Topics & Issues in Social Psychology (Semester 1)
    • Forensic Psychology (Semester 2)
    • Cognitive Neuroscience (Semester 2)
    • Perception & Action (Semester 2)
  • In your Final Year you can drop any one 20 credit Psychology unit

Permitted External Units

A list of permitted external course units will be made available to students in advance of the application process. In the meantime, you can find out more by visiting the scheme websites (linked below).

In Year 2 and Final Year, please note that you may only select language units at level 2 or above.


Staff and Students: A partnership

A crucial aspect of the University experience is that you, as an undergraduate student, are required to take responsibility for your own learning. Success on any university degree course requires a great deal of commitment and sustained effort on your part. You will become familiar with the term ‘independent learner’, which reflects the expectation that you will be the driving force behind your own learning. As an independent learner, you are expected to (i) be motivated to learn, (ii) manage your own learning, and (iii) reflect on your learning. As staff, our role is to act as sources of expert knowledge and academic support, which you can make use of to achieve your educational goals.

The Student Charter

Our Student Charter, developed jointly by the University and the Students’ Union, is an important part of how we establish and maintain clear mutual expectations for the experience of all students: undergraduate and postgraduate. It sets out what we can expect from each other as partners in a learning community. The Charter establishes staff and student commitments under the following headings:

  • Our learning experience
  • Personal and academic development
  • Communicating and interacting with each other
  • Respecting and valuing each other
  • Being part of our community

Please familiarise yourself with the Student Charter, which is accessible here:

Modes of Study

Lecture delivery

For most course units on the programme, lectures are the starting point for learning about a subject. The type of content will vary according to the topic area; some will provide a broad introduction, while others will have a narrower focus and present a more detailed overview. Lectures are primarily focused on providing information rather than interaction. As such, lectures may be provided through recorded online content (giving you the opportunity to work through the materials at your own pace and refer back to at any time through the unit). Lecture sessions more focused on review of content previously delivered to ensure understanding or more interactive sessions may be delivered live.

A copy of the slides/ the recordings for online lectures will be provided on Blackboard in advance of all lectures. The level of detail provided in lecture slides varies between course units and you will usually want to make additional notes (note that effective note-taking does not mean transcribing the lecture content – effective note-taking is a skill you are expected to develop as an independent learner). Please do not be afraid to ask questions. There are multiple opportunities available to do this during lectures/ about the content of online lectures during the live online teaching sessions associated with a lecture/ via the unit discussion board; you can ask for clarification if you have found something difficult to understand or for a point to be repeated or exapanded upon. If you are uncomfortable doing this during the lecture/ in the online live classes you can approach the lecturer at the end of the class or contact her/him by e-mail or post questions on the online discussion board associated with each unit.

After the lecture you are expected to build your knowledge and understanding of the lecture content with independent reading and study. Alternatively, some students find it useful to attend lectures already having done relevant reading on the topic and, in some course units; preparatory reading is a specific requirement. Recommended texts are usually listed in the course unit outlines, but individual lectures will often direct you to extra, and usually more specific, reading. It is most important that you keep up with this reading, rather than leaving too much to do around coursework deadlines, or for the examination period.

Lab Classes

Lab classes enable you to gain practical experience of, and develop expertise in, the techniques of empirical work and report writing. In these classes you will learn how to develop research hypotheses, design studies which can address those hypotheses, gain an understanding of the practicalities of data collection, analyse your own data and draw inferences from them. You will also be given guidance on how to write up the results of empirical work in the form of research reports. Over the course of the degree you will produce a number of assessed research reports and will receive written feedback on this work. Additionally you will participate in studies as a ‘participant’ (see Section 4.4: Student Experiment Participation Scheme).

Seminars/ live online support classes/ reading groups

Some course units in Years 1 and 2, and the majority in Final Year, have a seminar/ live support class programme to accompany the lectures. The aim of these is to provide an opportunity for you to actively engage with the content of the lectures in different ways (for example, taking part in a variety of activities in seminars, designed to give you the chance to discuss, evaluate, apply and consolidate your understanding of the learning material. In some final year course units, reading groups support you to understand and evaluate journal articles that are particularly relevant to the related course unit. You will be provided with the references for the articles in advance, and are expected to have located and read these articles before the group meets. Because these reading groups focus on key journal articles associated with the course lectures, they act as supported revision and are particularly useful preparation for Final Year assessments


Tutorials, running as part of the Professional Development unit in Year 1, are designed to support you in the transition to Higher Education and to encourage you to think about planning for your future beyond the degree. These small group sessions, supported by a tutor, focus on academic skill development in Semester 1 and early career preparation in Semester 2.

Practical Classes

Statistics practical classes complement the lectures on statistics in Years 1 and 2, and provide opportunities to practice your skills while having staff and demonstrators on hand to answer questions and clarify difficulties.

Work and Attendance

Attendance at scheduled teaching sessions is not viewed by the University as a matter of choice and you are normally expected to attend all the classes for which you are enrolled. There is plenty of evidence to show that students who do not attend do not perform as well as those that do and the teaching and learning on each unit has been designed with your participation in mind.

How attendance is monitored

We are required to monitor attendance for all students and registers may be taken in small group sessions (seminars, reading groups, tutorials and labs). If you are not present for a session where attendance is monitored you will be recorded as absent. If you have informed us of your absence, using the procedures set out below, this will be recorded as ‘notified absence’; if you have not informed us, this will be recorded as ‘unnotified absence’.

You will be invited for regular meetings with your academic advisor in years 1 and 2. in your final year, your project supervisor also acts as your academic advisor. If you do not respond when your advisor contacts you to attend a meeting or if you fail to attend the meeting, then this will be recorded and reported to and followed up by the year tutor/ senior Academic Advisor.

Reporting absence

You must report all foreseeable absences in advance of the session(s) to be missed, by sending an email to the following address: Your email must include your name, your student number, a list of the sessions you will miss (e.g. PSYC10711 Seminar Week 3, PSYC10211 Lecture Week 11) and the reason you are missing the session. If you are unable to inform us prior to your absence, you must email as soon as possible after it (to avoid the absence being recorded as unexcused).

  • Absence for a single session: send one email containing the details of that session
  • Absence for a full day (missing multiple sessions): send one email including the details of each session missed
  • Absence lasting between 2 and 4 days: send a new email on each separate day of absence, detailing the sessions you will be missing that day
  • Absence lasting 5 days or more: send one email detailing the period of absence and submit mitigating circumstances supported by appropriate evidence (see Section 6)

You may also want to contact your Academic Advisor if you are absent for an extended period, for guidance and advice. However, please be aware that it is your responsibility to catch up with any work you have missed as a result of absence.

Procedures for dealing with absence

If you are identified as having a high level of unnotified absences, you be contacted by the administration office in the first instance, to provide a justification. If you fail to respond, or are recorded as having further unnotified absences, your Academic Advisor will be informed. We will also inform your Academic Advisor if you accumulate multiple notified absences. Your Academic Advisor will contact you to establish the reasons for your poor attendance, to provide support if you are experiencing difficulties and to establish a strategy for improving your attendance. If this intervention is not successful (for example, if you do not engage with your Advisor, or if your attendance does not improve), they will refer you to the Work and Attendance Committee.

Unsatisfactory work

As an independent learner, you are responsible for monitoring your learning and achievement on the course. If you are concerned about your progress, you can contact your Academic Advisor or Year Tutor for support at any time. Your Academic Advisor will also prompt you to reflect on your achievement during one-to-one meetings, presenting a good opportunity to share any concerns you have. We review the performance of students after each examination period. If we identify that your performance puts you at risk of failing to meet the standards for progression, you will be invited to attend a meeting a Work and Attendance meeting.

The Work and Attendance Committee

The committee consists of the Programme Director, Examinations Officer, Year Tutors and the Teaching and Learning Manager. Its remit is to review the work and attendance of students and to make recommendations to the Exam Board which may impact on the student’s progression. Students referred to this committee will be required to attend a meeting to review their attendance and/or academic achievement. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the standard of your work, to identify any barriers to your achievement and to establish a strategy for improving the standard of your work. Based on the outcome of this meeting, you may be issued with a formal warning for poor work and/or attendance. If your work and/or attendance remains unsatisfactory following this warning, the committee can recommend that you are refused the right to resit failed assessments, which may prevent you from obtaining the credit necessary for progression and result in you being withdrawn from the programme (see Undergraduate Degree Regulations, section F22.).

If you are studying under a Tier 4 visa permission, you should note that once a withdrawal has been completed on the University’s Student System, you will be reported to the UKVI and will be required to leave the UK within 60 days of the withdrawal date.

Attendance at examinations

You are expected to sit ALL examinations and online assessments for your degree programme and to submit ALL coursework assignments by the deadline specified. Absence from examinations must be reported and will need to be supported by a Mitigating Circumstances Form and supporting evidence.

Further information about work and attendance of students is given in Regulation XX – Work and Attendance of Students, which is available from the following website:

Student Experiment Participation Scheme (SEPS)

The Student Experiment Participation Scheme (SEPS) is well established in our programme and is similar to schemes adopted by Undergraduate Psychology courses in other universities. SEPS aims to provide an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience of participating in psychological research. It is envisaged that students will apply what they have learnt to their own research during lab classes in 1st and 2nd year, and ultimately to their final year project. In addition, SEPS ensures that Final Year students have access to a pool of research participants, something that all students will benefit from upon reaching their final year.

SEPS is an assessed element of the Professional Development unit in Year 1 and the Career Management/Short Work Placement units in Year 2. Students are required to collect a specified number of SEPS credits in Years 1 and 2 to pass this assessment component (please refer to the relevant unit outline, which can be found in your syllabus booklet or on the unit Blackboard space).

Please note: SEPS credits are distinct from course credits (see section 7.1.1 for details about course credits).

SEPS credits are assigned to research studies run by Final Year students, research staff or postgraduate students. Each study is allocated SEPS credits based on the length of time required for participation, with 15 minutes of participation equating to 1 SEPS credit. All research studies have been scrutinised for adherence to the BPS ethical guidelines, and will have an ‘ethics code’ showing that it has been deemed suitable. All studies will be advertised using the SONA system and students should access SONA to book a participation slot via the following link Please be aware that if you volunteer for a study without going through the SONA system, you will not receive SEPS credits for your participation.

If you are unable to attend a study which you have signed-up for, it is your responsibility to contact the researcher to cancel your participation (see the SONA Participant Handbook for guidance). If you fail to attend or cancel a study which you have signed up for this will be classed as an unexcused no-show and you will receive a 4 credit penalty. Following 4 unexcused no-shows you will be blocked from the SONA system, meaning that you will not be able to sign-up for further studies. Students who are blocked before collecting the required credits will fail this component of the course. If you are unable to attend or cancel a pre-booked study for unavoidable reasons, you should complete and submit a SEPS Mitigating Circumstances Form (available from the Psychology Office) as soon as possible. Based on the evidence provided, a decision will be taken about whether to allow such students access to the SONA system in order to sign-up for further studies.

An alternative coursework assignment will be available for students not wishing to participate in research studies. You must confirm your decision to opt-out and you will be told how to do this as part of the teaching on the Professional Development unit in Year 1 and the Career Management/Short Work Placement units in Year 2. Please contact the unit lead (Dr Alison Fisher for Professional Development; Dr Doron Cohen for Career Management/Short Work Placement) for further information.

Passing the SEPS scheme is a requirement of the relevant course units. If you fail to earn the required SEPS credits (or complete the alternative assignment), you will fail the course unit. Students who fail the scheme, but who qualify for resit assessment (see section 5.7.3), will be given an opportunity to complete a ‘resit’ assignment during the summer examination period, in order to obtain the required course credits for progression to the next year of study. If you have achieved fewer than 50% of the required SEPS credits, in addition to being required to pass a resit assignment, your grade for the relevant unit will be capped at 40%.

For students who have opted out of research participation by the relevant deadline, failing to complete the alternative assignment will result in failing the course unit. You will be required to complete a resit assignment and your mark for the unit will be capped at 40%.

The guidelines for SEPS will be outlined in the Professional Development unit lectures for 1st year students and instructions will be available on Blackboard. There is also a dedicated e-mail address for all queries relating to this scheme:


Please note that this section is a more accessible version of the various University Regulations governing assessment. Where there is a discrepancy, the University Regulations take precedence.

Your academic work will be graded using several different modes of assessment, including but not limited to: examinations (Multiple Choice Questions MCQ, short answer and essay questions), coursework essays, lab reports, short arguments, research proposals, posters and oral presentations. You will be given instructions for each piece of work via the relevant course unit.


There are three examination periods each academic year. The dates for 2021/22 are:

Semester 1 Examinations 17th – 28th January 2022

Semester 2 Examinations 23rd May – 10th June 2022

Resit Examinations 22nd August – 2nd September 2022

You must ensure that you are available during all examination periods. Exams can fall at any point within an examination period, so avoid booking holidays that overlap. Information on the exact dates, times, and locations of your individual examinations is provided directly to students by the Examinations Office. You are responsible for checking your exam timetable and ensuring that you attend the correct exams.

Exam Timetable

The examination schedule is produced by a central University team using dedicated software for which the overarching factor is the production of a timetable with no, or as few as possible, student clashes. While attempts are made to ensure that students have a spread of examination dates throughout the examination period, in many cases this is not possible given the institutional constraints on the numbers of examination venues that are available, the number of examinations that are scheduled to take place and the options available to students on any particular programme of study. Therefore you should expect to have some exams on consecutive days where this is unavoidable.


The University’s standard pass grade is 40. While grades are typically presented as percentages, the scale used is actually categorical (i.e. a pass grade of 40% does not indicate 40% correct).

Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Examinations and Quizzes

Some examinations assess performance using multiple choice questions (MCQs). The raw score (percentage of points obtained) is converted to an exam grade using a standardised scale. This scaling provides a correction for guessing and is common practice in education. The standardised scale sets a 50% pass criterion for MCQ examinations, meaning that a raw score of 50% is converted to a grade of 40 (the University’s standard pass grade). The table below outlines the conversion of raw scores (percentage of points obtained) to exam grades. Please note the same scaling is applied to all Blackboard term time quizzes.

Raw score (Percentage of points obtained) Grade awarded
0 0
10% 8
20% 16
30% 24
40% 32
50% 40
60% 48
70% 58
80% 68
90% 84
100% 100


Different marking criteria exist for each type of coursework assessment you will be asked to complete on the degree (e.g., essays, lab reports, posters). Markers will refer to those criteria when deciding what grade your work should be awarded. The criteria outline the different elements that markers will be considering when assessing your work (e.g. structure, argument, style) and provide qualitative descriptors for the award of grades in each band. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these criteria before submitting assessed work. You can find the marking criteria via Blackboard (on the BSc Psychology community space and in Blackboard spaces linked to individual units).

The grades applied to individual pieces of work are based on a categorical marking scheme, which was originally based on a lettering system (e.g. B+, B, B-). This means that we do not use all the possible numbers between 0 and 100, but (in most cases) restrict grades to a 17-point scale. This scale is applied across the University and helps to ensure consistency across markers. The table below details the 17 grades it is possible to be awarded using this scale.

Degree Classification Grade Letter-based Equivalent
First Class 100 A++
90 A+
80 A
74 A-
Upper Second Class 68 B+
65 B
62 B-
Lower Second Class 58 C+
55 C
52 C –
Third Class 48 D +
45 D
42 D –
Fail 38 F +
32 F
20 F –
0 X

Coursework Submission

The main coursework deadlines are issued at the beginning of each semester and are published in the Syllabus booklet, on Blackboard and reminders and instructions for submission are sent by e-mail. Unit leads will also make you aware of specific deadlines relating to the submission of smaller pieces of assessment (for example online quizzes). Please ensure that you make a note of these dates and times, as we have strict rules for the submission of all assessed coursework. The majority of coursework will be submitted electronically via the relevant course unit space on Blackboard.

Coursework must be submitted to Blackboard by 3pm on the day of the submission deadline. Instructions on how to submit your work on Blackboard will be available within each submission area. All work is submitted to Blackboard via Turnitin and once you have submitted your work, you should immediately receive a Turnitin electronic receipt. If you do not receive a receipt please follow the instructions within each submission area for downloading your Turnitin receipt manually. Please keep this receipt safe as it is the only valid form of proof of having successfully submitted your work, without this we will not be able to prove that you submitted your work. If you are certain that you have submitted your work, but you are unable to obtain a receipt, please contact Kamar Hussain ( before the end of the submission deadline.

Electronically submitted coursework must be prepared using either Microsoft (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Excel) or Adobe software. Documents submitted using any other packages (including those created using Apple software) cannot be read once uploaded to Blackboard. Submitting work in any format other than Microsoft or Adobe will result in a mark of zero.

The title page or first page of your script must appear as follows (and should not contain any other info:

YOUR NAME MUST NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE on the coursework, as it will be marked anonymously. Your Student ID is the number that appears on the front of your library card. All pages should be numbered, starting from this title page.

For some units, you may be asked to submit hard copies of coursework assignments. In such instances, you will be notified of the procedures for this in advance via e-mail.

Please be aware that we do not read drafts of assessed work. However, you will have opportunities to ask for guidance via dedicated Discussion Boards and/or Drop-In Sessions. You should also take the opportunity to raise any queries or concerns about specific assessments during class time, particularly seminars and lab classes.

Page Limits

All assessed coursework is subject to strict page limits, specified along with the individual assignment details.

A penalty of 20 marks will be applied for every page or part thereof that exceeds the page limit.

There are several reasons for this policy. (1) One of our objectives is to encourage you to acquire the skill of expressing ideas in clear and concise written prose. Writing within a page limit imposes a discipline on your work. (2) For any given type of work we can only apply fair and consistent marking standards when everyone is writing within the same constraints. If we were to allow over-length work then people who had kept to the page-limit would be disadvantaged. (3) Imposing page limits communicates clear expectations (4) page limits are commonly encountered in the world you enter following graduation, so this is preparation for real-world tasks.

To ensure page limits can be applied consistently and fairly, all assessed work MUST adhere to the following formatting rules:

  • Page layout is A4 portrait with margins of at least 2.54 cm on all four sides of the text
  • Arial text, 10 point in size
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • All supporting materials (figures, tables, text boxes, etc.) must be included in the main body of the text and be sufficient in size to allow for ease of reading. Any such materials are included in the page limit. The only items excluded from the page limit are the title page, the reference list (which should start on a new page), the abstract (for lab reports and final year reports) and any appendices (e.g. for raw data, rough notes, transcripts, or similar), which are necessitated by the nature of the assignment.

The marker will alert the moderator if they suspect that any of these formatting rules have been breached and this will be investigated before the release of marks. The appropriate penalty (20 marks for every page or part thereof that exceeds the page limit) will be applied to your work, at this time, if it is found that using the correct formatting rules results in your work exceeding the set page limit.

There are no penalties for ‘under-length work’ (much shorter than the specified page limit). However, it is reasonable to expect that such work would be unlikely to gain high marks for other reasons.

For the final year project, you are expected to write a report that is of an appropriate length for the investigation reported and which is concise and well-focussed. The page-limit is 16 pages for both quantitative and qualitative reports. However, project reports may be significantly shorter than this, and writing a concise report is an important part of the marking criteria, so shorter reports can receive higher grades. You should discuss the appropriate length for your project report with your supervisor.

Late Submission

If mitigating circumstances prevent you from submitting a piece of coursework by the published deadline, you should follow the procedures for requesting an extension outlined in Section 6.2.1. Please allow adequate time to submit your work online: computer issues or problems getting online will not be accepted as grounds for mitigation. If you miss a deadline where mitigating circumstances do not apply, you should complete and submit the work at the earliest opportunity. However, please note that the latest possible time point for submission of coursework, even with mitigating circumstances, is 3pm on the coursework handback date (published along with submission deadlines). Work submitted after 3pm on the handback date will not be marked.

Late work will initially be assessed without regard to its lateness, receiving a grade and feedback which reflects the quality of the work. However, a note will be kept on file, recording the delay to submission, and the relevant penalties will be applied prior to the Exam Board (though please see section 6 regarding mitigating circumstances).

Penalties will be applied to late work as follows; your grade will be reduced by 10 marks for each day that it is late, for up to 10 days, after which a grade of zero will be awarded. For example, a piece of work which would have been awarded 100%, if submitted on time, would be reduced as follows:

Number of Days Late Mark Awarded
1 90%
2 80%
3 70%
4 60%
5 50%
6 40%
7 30%
8 20%
9 10%
10 0%

Work submitted more than 10 calendar days late is considered as a non-submission and you will be deemed to have failed the assignment, in which case, normal rules for failing an assignment would apply.

Please note that the lateness of your submission is determined by the timestamp given by Blackboard (not the clock on your own computer). For a 3pm deadline, your submission is still on time when the timestamp reads 3:00PM. Your submission will be considered late when the timestamp reads 3:01PM. This means that even when you miss the deadline by 1 minute, your coursework will be considered 1 day late and your coursework will lose 10 points.

Please be aware that the consequences of late penalties on your grade for a course unit will depend on the weighting of the individual component of assessment within the unit: the higher the weighting of the assessment to the overall unit grade, the greater the impact of late penalties.

More crucially, it is important to realise that the impact of late penalties on your final degree result will vary according to your Year of study. This is because Final Year units are typically worth more credits than units in Years 1 and 2, and because Final Year makes a larger contribution to your final degree grade calculation. The following examples serve to illustrate this variation in impact:

  1. You are 1 minute late to submit a piece of coursework in Year 2 (which counts as 1 day late), incurring a 10 point reduction in grade for that coursework. The coursework is weighted at 70% and the unit is worth 10 credits. Because Year 2 contributes 33% to your final degree grade, the impact is a drop of .1925 points.
  2. You are 1 minute late to submit a piece of coursework in Final Year (which counts as 1 day late), incurring a 10 point reduction in grade for that coursework. The coursework is weighted at 33% and the unit is worth 20 credits. Because Final Year contributes 67% to your final degree grade, the impact is a drop of .3685 points.
  3. You are 1 minute late to submit your Final Year Project report in Final Year (which counts as 1 day late), incurring a 10 point reduction in grade for your project. The report is weighted at 70% and the Final Year Project unit is worth 40 credits. Because Final Year contributes 67% to your final degree grade, the impact is a drop of 1.563 points.

You should note that submitting your Final Year Project just 1 minute late (as illustrated in example 3) could mean the difference between a final degree grade of 70.1 (awarded as a 1st class) and a final degree grade of 68.5 (awarded a 2.1).

It is your responsibility to ensure that you allow yourself adequate time to complete and submit coursework. If you are aware of a future circumstance that will result in absence before a submission deadline, you should make plans to submit your coursework in advance of your absence. If this is not possible (for example, if the coursework details have not been released to students), you should contact your Year Lead to make alternative arrangements.

Academic Malpractice, Including Plagiarism

As a student, you are expected to cooperate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments, of various formats, that are the product of your own study or research. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit what is known as plagiarism or some other form of academic malpractice when carrying out assessment. This may come about because students have been used to different conventions in their prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected of them.

This section is designed to help you understand what we regard as academic malpractice and hence to help you to avoid committing it. You should read it carefully, because academic malpractice is regarded as a serious offence and students found to have committed it will be penalised.

What is academic malpractice?

Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve.


Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. It also includes self-plagiarism (which occurs where, for example, you submit work that you have presented for assessment on a previous occasion), and the submission of material from ‘essay banks’ (even if the authors of such material appear to be giving you permission to use it in this way). Obviously, the most blatant example of plagiarism would be to copy another student’s work (see Collusion, below). Hence it is essential to make clear in your assignments the distinction between: the ideas and work of other people that you may have quite legitimately exploited and developed, and the ideas or material that you have personally contributed. The appropriate way to do this is to include a reference which clearly acknowledges the source of any material you have consulted to inform your points. Crucially, when drawing from source material, you are still expected to express the information conveyed or the ideas this has generated in your own words; paraphrasing too closely from source material, even when accompanied by a reference, can constitute plagiarism. On occasion, you may want to make use of a computer program, a diagram, a graph, an illustration, etc. taken from another source. Again, the use of this material must be appropriately acknowledged.

There are a number of referencing systems; the BSc Psychology programme requires that you follow the American Psychological Association (APA) conventions. Further details about this referencing system are available in the following guide:

Year 1 students will be required to review online materials relating to academic malpractice and plagiarism as part of the Professional Development unit. However, students in all years of study are encouraged to revisit this guide, accessible here: Students can also seek further support from staff on the programme, including their Academic Advisor.


Collusion is any agreement to hide someone else’s individual input to collaborative work with the intention of securing a mark higher than either you or another student might deserve. Where proved, it will be subject to penalties similar to those for plagiarism. It is also collusion to allow someone to copy your work when you know that they intend to submit it as though it were their own, doing so will lay both you and the other student open to a charge of academic malpractice.

Please note that collaboration is a perfectly legitimate academic activity and you will be required to work in groups in the preparation of some assignments (e.g. joint research projects). If you are asked to carry out such group work and to collaborate in specified activities, it will always be made clear how your individual input to the joint work is to be assessed and graded. Sometimes, for example, all members of a team may receive the same mark for a joint piece of work, whereas on other occasions team members will receive individual marks that reflect their individual input. If it is not clear on what basis your work is to be assessed, to avoid any risk of unwitting collusion, you should always ask for clarification before submission.

Turnitin plagiarism detection software

The majority of your assessed coursework will be submitted via TurnitinUK, an electronic system for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice. This system provides the first check for plagiarism, but further checks can be made where deemed necessary. The University also reserves the right to submit other work you have submitted for formative or summative assessment to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University. Please note that when work is submitted to the relevant electronic systems, it will be copied and stored in a database to allow appropriate checks to be made.

Fabrication or falsification of results

For many students, a major part of their studies involves laboratory or other forms of practical work, and they often find themselves undertaking such activity without close academic supervision. If you are in this situation, you are expected to behave in a responsible manner, as in other aspects of your academic life, and to show proper integrity in the reporting of results or other data. Hence you should ensure that you always document clearly and fully any research programme or survey that you undertake, whether working by yourself or as part of a group. Results or data that you or your group submit must be capable of verification, so that those assessing the work can follow the processes by which you obtained them. Under no circumstances should you seek to present results or data that were not properly obtained and documented as part of your practical learning experience. Otherwise, you lay yourself open to the charge of fabrication or falsification of results.

Open book online examinations

Some of your examinations may be online and ‘open book’ (i.e. you are able to access and use your teaching and other materials to complete these assessments). Please note that this still means you must complete these assessments independently: you must not work with anyone whilst you complete the exam, and you are not allowed to ask anyone for help, advice, or support with the content of the exam at any point during the period that the exam is open for. You are also not permitted to discuss questions or strategies, or communicate with anyone else about an exam during the time window in which the exam is open, and are not allowed to offer help to others. Giving or receiving any kind of help with an exam would be considered as collusion, which is a serious academic offence that carries significant academic penalties

You are also not permitted to make or share copies of any material from exam papers. This applies to all types of copies, including written, digital, screen-shots, or photographs. Again, doing this would be considered a serious academic offence. Any students found to be in breach of these University regulations for any of their exams will be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee (

In the event of evidence that the integrity of any assessment had been compromised severely, it is possible that the assessment will be discounted, and the full year is required to resit the assessment in the August resit exam period. When considering the extent to which an exam has been compromised, the programme will consider both what has been shared or colluded on, and the reach of that collusion. Please act conscientiously and with respect for other students on the course.

Penalties for plagiarism and academic malpractice

If you are found to have committed academic malpractice the penalties can be very severe. The most severe penalty will result in you being excluded from study at the university. The penalties differ according to the year of study, the extent of the malpractice and the number of offences. The University follows a very strict set of regulations to deal with accusations of academic malpractice and, if the accusation is upheld, a clear set of regulations governing the award of penalties is followed.

It is your responsibility to take steps to avoid plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice. As a starting place, you should read the University’s guidance to students:

Understanding and avoiding academic malpractice will also be covered in the First Year Tutorials. You are also encouraged to seek advice from a member of staff, at any point in your degree, if you would like further guidance on this matter.

Marking and Return of Assessed Work

Responsibility for Marking

With the exception of MCQ examinations, which are marked automatically, all the work you submit for assessment will be marked by a member of staff. In Years 1 and 2, this may be a PhD student, employed as a Teaching Assistant. In Final Year, the marker will always be a Lecturer or Postdoctoral Tutor. Given the large student numbers on the Psychology programme, multiple markers will be involved in most pieces of assessment. In all cases, the member of staff responsible for setting the assessment (typically the Unit or Lab Lead) will coordinate and provide guidance to the markers, and has overall responsibility for marking. Staff new to the programme, including all Teaching Assistants, are also given general training on how to apply grades and provide high quality feedback.

Return of assessed work

Marked coursework will typically be returned to you via Blackboard. Dates for the return of marked work are published alongside coursework submission deadlines. However, coursework which is submitted late may be returned to students after this.

For most assessed coursework, you will receive written feedback in addition to your grade (see the relevant unit specification, available in the Syllabus booklet, for details). Reading and reflecting on this feedback is crucial for your academic development. Although you will not be asked to submit the same coursework in the future, the feedback will provide guidance on more general elements of the work, which will be applicable to future assessments (for example, how to structure essays or present the results of research). If you do not understand your feedback, or struggle to see how to apply the advice in future assignments, you should contact the Unit Lead for further guidance.

Please note that individual marks are provisional and only become final after the Examination Boards, which are held twice a year (Semester 1: January/February; Semeser 2: June/July). The Examination Boards may decide that the marks for a particular assessment or unit need to be increased or reduced to ensure the integrity of the marking process. Please also note that the June/July Examination Board holds a higher authority so, in exceptional cases, it might revisit decisions made in the January/February Board.

Finalised marks are published via the Student Self Service System in February for Semester 1 and June/July for Semester 2. If you are required to take any exams during the resit examination period, you will be notified via email, so please ensure you check your emails regularly.

In addition to your grade, you can request further feedback on your examination performance by contacting the Unit Lead or the Psychology Office, following the release of results. The feedback provided on written examination scripts will be less extensive than the feedback provided on your coursework, but you may still find it useful for planning your approach to future examinations.

Due to Data Protection requirements, Examination results will not be given by telephone or by e-mail.

Course Unit Grades

For some units, there will be a single component of assessment, weighted 100%, and the grade you receive for that assessment will be your unit grade. For other units, there will be multiple components of assessment and your unit grade will be calculated by combining the grades you achieved for each component, according to their weighted value.

Your course unit grades will be used to determine whether you can progress to the next year of study and to calculate your final degree result (see Section 7).

The pass mark for course units is 40%. If your grade on an individual piece of assessment falls below 40%, but your combined unit grade is higher than 40%, you will have passed the unit. That is, you do not need to pass each individual component of assessment in order to pass the course unit. The only exception to this rule relates to assessment marked on a pass/fail basis. For such assessments, you must pass that individual piece of work in order to pass the course unit. Further details about pass/fail assessments is provided in the relevant Unit Specifications, available in the Syllabus booklet.

What happens if I fail a course unit?*

This section refers to situations where a student fails to pass a course unit (or units) and there are no mitigating circumstances (e.g. illness) which can account for this failure. Where students do not pass a course unit (or units) as a result of such mitigating circumstances, this is not considered a fail (see Section 6 on Mitigating Circumstances).

Please note that there are no resit opportunities for Final Year course units and so any reference below to resit assessment applies only to the 1st and 2nd years of the degree programme.

The pass mark for all course units is 40%. Where unit marks fall below 40%, the unit has been failed (though see Section 6 for details of the Mitigating Circumstances policy).

Compensation of Failed Units

If you fail an individual course unit, but the mark falls between 30-39%, the credits for this course unit may be compensated. This is referred to as a ‘compensatable fail’. A maximum of 40 credits can be compensated in any year of study. Compensated units will keep the original mark and this will be recorded on the transcript and used in the weighted average for the calculation of the final classification.

Qualifying for Resits

If you fail a course unit and the mark is not compensatable (either because the grade achieved was less than 30%, or because you have exceeded the compensation limit), you may be given an opportunity to resit the unit. Crucially, and irrespective of mitigating circumstances, you must pass course units worth a total of at least 40 credits, at first attempt and excluding compensated units, in order to be offered the opportunity to resit (i.e. you can resit a maximum of 80 credits in any year of study). If you fail to obtain the required 40 credits at first attempt, you will be withdrawn from the programme (see Section 7).

Resit Assessment

To pass a course unit on resit, you will need to obtain a mark of at least 40% for the unit. If your unit mark falls below 40%, the unit has been failed and no further resit opportunities will be available (though see Section 6 for details of the Mitigating Circumstances policy). Please note that the mark for a resit unit is capped at 30% (unless the original unit mark was between 30 and 39%, in which case the original mark will stand).

As noted above, some course units are made up of multiple components of assessment. If you fail such units (and qualify for a resit attempt), you will only be required to resit those individual assessment components where your original grade fell below 40%. In determining whether you have passed such units at resit, we recalculate your unit grade by combining the grades you have obtained for the individual assessment components (replacing grades for components which were originally failed with the grades you have achieved at resit).

You will be contacted after the July Examination Board with details of any resit assessments you are required to complete. If you have failed any course units, you should look out for the email communicating this information. Resit attempts for both coursework and examinations take place over the summer examination period, regardless of whether the course unit fell in Semester 1 or 2. For this reason, it is crucial that you check you will be available to complete coursework or attend exams during this period.

Quality Assurance of the Assessment Process


Moderation is a quality assurance process, which takes place at two points in the assessment process. An internal moderator is assigned to each course unit and is responsible for working with the unit lead to ensure that the assessment is appropriate and fair.

Before any coursework task or exam script is set as assessment, the moderator reviews it to ensure that it addresses the learning outcomes for the unit, allows students’ fair opportunity to meet the marking criteria and is free from error.

Marking takes place anonymously for both coursework and exams. The marker applies the marking criteria to assign a grade and as a guide to appropriate feedback. At this stage the scripts are moderated. The moderator reviews a sample of the marking, which includes scripts from each marker falling within every grade band, plus all scripts awarded a fail. The moderators responsibility is to ensure that:

  • the level of assessment was appropriate
  • the grades applied have resulted in an appropriate ranking of scripts
  • the grade boundaries have been set in accordance with the marking criteria
  • each individual marker has correctly applied the grade boundaries
  • feedback is provided for each attribute set out in the marking criteria (e.g. SQUAWK for essays)
  • the level of feedback given is adequate

The moderator cannot change individual grades. If a problem with the marking is identified, the moderator can recommend one of two actions to the Unit Lead: where the ranking of scripts is appropriate but the grades applied are too high or too low, the grades can be ‘scaled’ (i.e. all scripts are given a higher/lower grade); where the ranking of scripts is not appropriate, the scripts must be re-marked.

Following the release of results to students, the Unit Lead will publish the mean and standard deviation of the grades awarded by each of the markers.

All assessment results remain provisional until ratified by an Examination Board. Although moderation typically takes place before scripts are released to students, in exceptional circumstances it may not be possible to complete moderation in time for the handback deadline, and in this situation grades are subject to adjustment. Please note that Examination Board acts as moderator for the MCQ assessments and that the Examination Board may decide to adjust the marks for a particular MCQ assessment. In general, any grades should be considered provisional until they have been ratified by the Examination Boards which sit in January/February (Semester 1) and June/July (Semester 2). As mentioned before, in exceptional cases, the June/July Board may revisit the marks ratified by the January/February Board.

External Examination

External Examiners are individuals from another institution or organisation who monitor the assessment processes of the University to ensure fairness and academic standards. They ensure that assessment and examination procedures have been fairly and properly implemented and that decisions have been made after appropriate deliberation. They also ensure that standards of awards and levels of student performance are comparable with those in equivalent higher education institutions.

The External Examiners for the BSc Psychology are Dr Melanie Burke (University of Leeds) and Dr Kate Reid (University of Glasgow).

Please note that it is inappropriate for students to make direct contact with External Examiners under any circumstances, in particular with regards to a student’s individual performance in assessments.  Other appropriate mechanisms are available for students, including the University’s appeals or complaints procedures and the UMSU Advice Centre. In cases where a student does contact an External Examiner directly, External Examiners have been requested not to respond to direct queries. Instead, External Examiners should report the matter to the School contact who will then contact the student to remind them of the other methods available for students. If students have any queries concerning this, they should contact the Psychology Office.

External Examiners’ reports relating to the degree programme are shared with student Reps at the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC), where details of any actions carried out by the programme team/School in response to the External Examiners’ comments will be discussed. Students should contact their student Reps if they require any further information about External Examiners’ reports or the process for considering them.


Please note that this section is a more accessible version of the various University Regulations governing mitigating circumstances. Where there is a discrepancy, the University Regulations take precedence.

Sometimes, factors beyond your control may interfere with your ability to attend to your academic studies. The University’s mitigating circumstances procedures exist to try to mitigate against the impact that this could have on your grades.

The full mitigating circumstances policy can be accessed via the following link:

We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a member of staff before submitting any claim for mitigating circumstances. The most appropriate person to contact is your Year Tutor (see key contacts) as they are fully aware of the rules relating to mitigating circumstances. However, you are also encouraged to inform your Academic Advisor if you are experiencing difficulties, so that they can provide you with further pastoral support.

Grounds for mitigation

Grounds for mitigation are unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances that could

have, or did have, a significant adverse effect on your academic performance.

Possible mitigating circumstances include:

  • significant illness or injury
  • the death or critical/significant illness of a close family member/dependant
  • significant family crises or major financial problems leading to acute stress
  • absence for public service e.g., jury service

Circumstances that will not normally be regarded as grounds for mitigation include:

  • holidays, moving house and events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected
  • assessments that are scheduled close together
  • misreading the timetable or misunderstanding the requirements for assessments
  • inadequate planning and time management
  • failure, loss or theft of a computer or printer that prevents submission of work on time (it is important to back up work regularly and allow enough time before your deadline to find another computer)
  • consequences of paid employment
  • exam stress or panic attacks not diagnosed as illness or supported by medical evidence
  • disruption in an examination room during the course of an assessment which has not been recorded by the invigilators

Applying for mitigation

The procedure for applying for mitigation will depend on how these circumstances will impact your work and/or attendance. If you experience difficulties that will prevent you from submitting assessed coursework work on time, you should request an extension using the procedures outlined in Section 6.2.1. In all other cases, you should request mitigation by submitting a Mitigating Circumstances Form as detailed below.

You should inform us if you experience difficulties that may negatively affect your performance on assessed work, result in you missing assessed coursework or an examination, or mean that you cannot attend classes for a period of 5 days or more. You can inform us of such difficulties by submitting an online Mitigating Circumstances Form. The form must be completed by you. It will ask you to provide details of your difficult circumstances and to list the assessments affected. It is important that you list each separate assessment, giving details of the course unit and the nature of the assessment (e.g. PSYC10711 Essay or PSYC10100 Week 4 Quiz); mitigating circumstances cannot be considered for assessments which are not specifically listed on this form. Your form should also be supported with evidence, which is independent and time-specific (for example, a doctor’s note which confirms that you were ill and indicates the period affected). Ryan Hurst, our Student Support Officer, can advise you on the information required on the form.

You should inform us of mitigating circumstances as soon as you become aware that they might affect your performance. Typically, mitigating circumstances must be submitted prior to the assessment taking place. In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to inform us in advance, you should submit your Mitigating Circumstances application as soon as possible after deadline or scheduled examination, supported by a credible and compelling explanation of why your claim could not be submitted in advance. All requests for mitigation must be received by the following deadlines:

  • Semester 1 Mitigating Circumstances applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 4th February 2022
  • Semester 2 Mitigating Circumstances applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 10th June 2022
  • Resit Mitigating Circumstances applications must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 7th September 2022

The Mitigating Circumstances Panel is not able to consider any circumstances without the submission of a Mitigating Circumstances Form by these final deadlines. Any claims for mitigation after these deadlines would need to be processed via Appeal (see Section 7) and supported by clear and compelling reasons for the failure to follow the procedures outlined here. Please note, not informing the University of circumstances due to personal feelings, e.g., shame, embarrassment and pride, or having concerns over the confidential treatment of requests for mitigation, are not considered to be credible and compelling explanations as to why the circumstances could not be made known or shown by these deadlines. If the details of the mitigating circumstances are considered to be highly confidential, you should submit them in a sealed envelope. The committee handle all requests for mitigation with sensitivity and due regard for confidentiality (please speak to your Year Tutor if you are particularly concerned about this).

Extension Requests

If you experience difficulties that will prevent you from submitting assessed coursework work on time, you can request an extension of up to one week. Extension requests should be made using an Extension Request Form, available from the Assessment Information folder on the BSc Psychology community space on Blackboard. This form must detail the reasons for the request and be emailed to by 10am on the day prior to the set deadline (for Monday deadlines, the form must be emailed by 10am on the previous Friday). All extension requests need to be supported with documentary evidence (e.g. medical letters, certificates or other appropriate evidence), which should be attached to, and submitted with, the same email.

Extensions will only be granted where requests are received by the stated deadline and supported with appropriate evidence. In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to provide evidence at the time of making a request, an extension may be granted on the provision that the required evidence is submitted within one week (the extension will be revoked, and late penalites will apply, if appropriate evidence is not received). The Student Support Office will email you to confirm the outcome of your request before the published assessment deadline; it is your responsibility to make sure this approval has been received (please contact the Office if you have not received a response by the assignment deadline).

Please note, it is not possible to award extensions to Blackboard Quizzes. If unforeseen mitigating circumstances prevent you from submitting such assessments by the set deadline, you should submit a mitigating circumstances form.

If you are a DASS registered student you may be entitled to an automatic extension (please refer to your individual support plan). If so, you do not need to use this procedure to access an extension. Please note, you cannot use this procedure to extend your automatically granted extension further.

If mitigating circumstances prevent you from submitting an extension request in advance, or mean that you miss the extended deadline that has been awarded, you should submit mitigating circumstances following the procedures outlined in Section 6. Please note, such requests for mitigation will only be considered where students provide a clear justification for failing to follow the normal extension request procedure.

Missing examinations

If you experience difficulties that will prevent you from attending a scheduled examination, you must inform the Student Support Office in advance of the examination, or as soon as possible after it. You can contact the Student Support Office by email or phone 0161 275 7332. You must also complete and submit a Mitigating Circumstances application following the procedures outlined above. Please be aware that if you miss an examination and your mitigating circumstances are rejected, you will be awarded a grade of zero. It is therefore important to understand that you should attend examinations whenever possible. If the difficulties you are experiencing do not prevent you from attending the examination, but may negatively impact your performance, you should attend and submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form. If you are not sure whether it is more appropriate to attempt or miss an examination, please contact your Year Tutor for guidance (in situations where you need urgent advice and your Year Tutor is not available, you should contact any Year Tutor, the Programme Director or the Examinations Officer).

How mitigation is considered and applied

Evidence for personal and medical mitigating circumstances is considered by a mitigating circumstances committee, which sits immediately prior to each meeting of the Board of Examiners, in February, June and September. It is this committee’s role to determine whether there is evidence of mitigating circumstances, whether those circumstances could have had an effect on your performance, and the likely impact. The committee will consider all submissions and, where there is evidence that circumstances have been serious enough to have an effect on one or more elements of assessment, the committee will make recommendations to the exam board. In considering each case, the committee refers to the guidelines which are widely used across the university (available here:

The exam board, at the recommendation of the mitigating circumstances committee, can take a limited number of actions to apply mitigation (for a complete list of available actions, see In most cases, acceptance of the mitigation will involve revoking any late submission penalties or allowing for the missed or failed coursework/exam to be taken again as a first sit. There are no circumstances where individual marks can be changed although, in exceptional circumstances, the board may award a unit grade based on the other grades within a unit or even exclude a unit grade from the final degree classification.

A claim for mitigating circumstances may be turned down for several reasons:

  • The circumstances detailed by the student are not regarded as grounds for mitigation under the Policy on Mitigating Circumstances
  • The supporting evidence does not cover the relevant period
  • The supporting evidence is not supplied by an appropriate (independent) source
  • The supporting evidence is deemed insufficient to support the student’s claim of the seriousness of impact on their assessment performance
  • The wording of the evidence supplied does not support the student’s claim e.g. the material does not provide a medical diagnosis
  • No evidence is provided, and the student has not given any explanation as to the reasons why nor indicated when evidence could be available
  • The evidence relates to a chronic condition which the student is already in receipt of support from the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). This does not include instances where the student has an acute flare up of a pre-existing condition which may be accepted if properly evidenced and confirmed by DASS
  • The deadline for submitting mitigating circumstances has been missed, without a credible and compelling reason
  • The claim relates to an ongoing condition or circumstance previously used to claim mitigation where the Panel, on the earlier occasion, instructed the student that this mitigation could not be used again and may have instructed the student to access support from the Disability Advisory and Support Service

Mitigating Circumstances resulting in a further assessment attempt.

Where the application of mitigating circumstances results in a further ‘first-sit’ assessment attempt, this assessment (coursework and/or examination) must be completed during the summer examination period, regardless of whether the course unit fell in Semester 1 or 2 (see Appendix 1 for specific dates). It is therefore crucial that you check you will be available to complete coursework or attend exams during this period. Final Year students should note that the award of a further ‘first-sit’ assessment attempt would necessarily delay their graduation until December. For this reason, the award of a first sit attempt in the final year will only happen in exceptional circumstances.

Mitigating Circumstances resulting in the exclusion of grades.

As noted above, in exceptional circumstances, mitigation may involve excluding affected grades from the calculation of your degree result. This outcome is only possible if the affected grade demonstrates clear evidence of underperformance in relation to your other grades. In such circumstances, the affected grade would not be used to calculate your Year average or final degree result.

It is important that you appreciate that the exclusion of grades simply removes the impact of assessment affected by mitigating circumstances. The examination board do not have the authority to change a student’s grades (e.g. to award an additional 10% to an assessment result). As such, you cannot assume that mitigating circumstances will result in the award of the grade that you could have achieved if mitigating circumstances had not affected your performance.

Please note that the exclusion of grades in this way will be indicated on your degree transcript. Where full unit grades have been excluded from the calculation of your Year average and final degree result, a ‘P’ (indicating a Pass) will be entered in place of the unit grade.


The following guidance is based on the University’s Undergraduate Degree Regulations. You can access a full copy of these regulations at the following link:


What is required to pass the year?

Each year of your psychology degree consists of course units worth a total of 120 credits, with each course unit being associated with a certain number of course credits (as specified in your Syllabus booklet). To obtain the credits associated with each course unit, you must pass that course unit (i.e. obtain an overall pass based on grades for coursework and/or exam components; the weighting of these elements is specified in the course unit outline, published in the Syllabus booklet). You must obtain 120 credits to pass the year. That is, you must obtain pass marks in all your course units. Students who do not obtain the required 120 credits will have failed the year.

What happens if I fail the year?

Decisions about progression are taken during the Semester 2 examination board, held in June/ July, and the Resit examination board, held in September. If you do not pass the required 120 credits in a given year of study, following allowable compensation and resit attempts, you may not be permitted to progress to the next year of study and may be withdrawn from the degree programme. Students withdrawn before completion of the degree programme may qualify for an Exit Award (please see the Undergraduate Degree Regulations, linked above for further details).

Carrying forward failed credit to the subsequent year of study

If you pass a minimum of 100 of the required 120 credits, the examination board may permit you to carry forward failed credits to the next year of study. The decision to allow a student to carry forward credit, up to a maximum of 20 credits, is at the examination boards discretion. Carrying forward credits in this way results in a higher workload in the subsequent year of study. For example, if you carried 20 credits from Year 1 to Year 2, you would need to pass 140 rather than 120 credits in Year 2. In recognition of this additional burden, the decision would be based on your academic standing (judged by your performance in other units).

Grades for ‘carried credits’ are capped at 30% and students have only one attempt to regain credit which has been carried over to the next year of study. Failing carried credits would result in withdrawal from the programme, as the requirements for progression have not been satisfied.

Repeating the Year

In exceptional circumstances, where a student has failed the year and carrying forward credits is not appropriate, the examination board may permit the student to repeat the year. This decision is taken on academic grounds; a student who has failed to demonstrate the academic potential to pass the year (judged by assessment grades obtained) would not be permitted to repeat the year. If you were granted the opportunity to repeat the year, all grades for your first attempt at the year would be erased (i.e. you cannot carry forward any grades from your original attempt). Full course fees are payable for the repeated year.

Please note, students cannot opt to repeat the year if they have satisfied the progression requirements. For example, if you pass Year 2 but are unhappy with your grades, you cannot be permitted to re-take Year 2 in order to improve those grades.

Voluntary withdrawal from a programme of study

Occasionally, for a variety of reasons, a student may decide to withdraw from the degree before completing it. This is obviously a major decision and, if you are considering withdrawing from your degree programme, you should talk things over with your Academic Advisor or Year Tutor before coming to a final decision. If, on reflection, you do decide to withdraw, you will be asked to fill in a form to confirm your intention to withdraw. You will also be asked to state your reasons for withdrawing. This is not to make things difficult or unpleasant for you, but so that we can monitor whether or not there are problems with the degree programme that may induce some students to withdraw. If there are, we may be able to do something about it that will benefit future students. It is very important that, if you do decide to withdraw, you do so formally by going through the above procedures. Do not simply stop coming to University without letting us know that you are withdrawing. As far the University is concerned, you will still be registered as a student and will still be liable for tuition fees.

Failing the Year as a Result of Mitigating Circumstances

We recognise that, in rare cases, failure to pass the year may result from mitigating circumstances (e.g. significant illness which has resulted in extended periods of absence). If you find yourself in a situation where such circumstances threaten your ability to pass the year, you should contact your Year Tutor for support at the earliest opportunity. Your Year Tutor will work closely with you to devise an appropriate plan and to ensure you are receiving all available support. In most cases, such circumstances can be managed with support (see section 8), and/or by applying mitigating circumstances procedures at the level of individual pieces of assessment (see Section 6). Wherever possible, we seek to avoid a situation where a student gets to the end of the year without having reasonable opportunity to pass the required credits (i.e. after exhausting all opportunities to apply mitigating circumstances procedures). If it becomes apparent that your circumstances are likely to prevent you from passing the year, your Year Tutor will recommend an interruption to your studies.

If you do get to the end of the Year without meeting the requirements for progression, and have evidence of mitigating circumstances which can account for this, you would be offered the opportunity to repeat the year. As outlined in section 7.1.4, all grades from your affected attempt at the year would be erased (i.e. you cannot carry forward any grades from your original attempt). Where students repeat the year as a result of mitigating circumstances, course fees for the repeated year would not be payable, although all other costs associated with completing an additional year of study would apply.

Interruption of studies

Although most students will complete their degree programme in a continuous three year period, some students may need to interrupt their programme of study and to complete it at a later date. Permission to interrupt is only granted in cases where extremely adverse circumstances, such as prolonged illness or serious personal problems, have had a major impact on your studies. The period of interruption is to allow you to recover from these problems. Permission to interrupt is not an automatic right, but has to be applied for. Each case is considered on its merits. Applications for interruption should be made by completing the appropriate request form (available from Ryan Hurst, based in the Student Support Office).

It is important to realise the wider implications of interruption. If you interrupt you will not, for the period of the interruption, be registered as a student of the University. That means that you cannot use University facilities, such as the Library, and cannot live in University halls of residence. The University will not charge tuition fees during such a period. If, however, there is a rise in tuition fees during the period of interruption, you will have to pay the new, higher tuition fees upon recommencing your programme of study.

Interruption, then, is not something to be taken lightly: it is only approved in the most serious of circumstances and it can have major financial impacts as well as delaying your graduation. If, however, you feel that you may have to interrupt your studies, it is important that you discuss the matter with your Year Tutor before applying for permission to interrupt. If you know beforehand that you may have to interrupt your studies (due, for example, to pregnancy or to planned medical treatment), you should apply for permission before you actually have to stop attending University.

Detailed guidelines on the University’s policy on interruption of programmes of study can be found at the following web site:

Guidelines for the Award of Degree Classifications

At the end of each year of study, your ‘Year Average’ mark will be calculated. This mark is the average of the marks achieved for each of your course units (including both examination and coursework components), weighted by their credit ratings. Your final ‘Weighted Average’ mark is then calculated by combining the average of the second year marks and that of the third year marks in the ratio 33:67.

To obtain an Honours degree, you must obtain 360 credits. This means that you must pass all course units (either by gaining a pass mark or by compensation).

In general terms, the degree class you are awarded corresponds to your Weighted Average mark as follows:

Class I 70 or above

Class II (I) 60-69.9

Class II (ii) 50-59.9

Class III 40-49.9

If a student has a Weighted Average mark that falls within the 2% ‘boundary zone’ below the higher classification threshold, they will be promoted to the higher degree classification IF two thirds of their unit credits in the Final Year are equal to or higher than the higher classification. For example if your Weighted Average mark was 69.3% (which falls within the 2% boundary zone below a 1st Class), and 80 out of 120 of your Final Year Unit grades were 70% or higher, you would be awarded a 1st Class degree.

The Examination Board can also apply a further stage of ‘Classification Review’ if a student’s Weighted Average mark falls within the 2% boundary zone of the higher claissification threshold, but the student has not satisfied the rule that two thirds of their Final Year Unit credits fall within the higher classification. This review involves examining the assessed work of that student across the 2nd and Final Year of the degree to determine whether promotion to the higher classification is warranted. The decision to promote a student in this way must be supported by an External Examiner.

Upon Graduation, final year students will be able to access an official transcript of their results online, via the Digitary core system. Digitary Core (previously called eDocs Digitary) provides digital access to your transcript and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). Transcripts are available from the day of your graduation ceremony. HEARs are usually available from the end of the month following your graduation ceremony. This service is free of charge.The Digitary core system can be accessed here:

British Psychological Society: Accreditation Requirements

In order to gain a degree that confers the British Psychological Society’s Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status, you must pass the Final Year Project* (achieving a minimum of 40% for this unit) and obtain an overall degree classification of lower second class honours (2.2) or higher.

* Please note in the case of the Joint Honours Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology degree, the BPS requirements stipulate a minimum number of Psychology course credits and that the Final Year Project is undertaken in Psychology. If students do not (and will not in the future) have any intention of applying for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), they need not take this constraint into consideration.

Academic Appeals

Academic Appeals Procedure:

A basic guide to Academic Appeals:

Students can appeal final decisions of the examination board (for example, the award of a particular degree classification, or the decision to withdraw the student from the degree). If you are thinking of submitting an appeal, you should first contact the Exams Officer who will attempt to resolve the matter informally. If you still wish to proceed to a formal appeal, it is strongly advised that you familiarise yourself with the Appeals Procedure (linked above). This sets out the possible grounds for appeal, the evidence you will be required to submit in support, how appeals will be considered and the possible outcomes. You are welcome to contact a member of staff (e.g. your Academic Advisor or Year Tutor) for support and guidance with this procedure. Advice on appeals is also available from the Students Union or from the Information, Advice and Guidance Service located in the Atrium.

Please be aware that appeals must be submitted within 20 working days of notification of the result or decision. Details are as follows:


Postal Address: Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL

You may seek advice and guidance in preparing the appeal from the Students’ Union Advice Service

(, or from the School Office, or from the

Information, Advice and Guidance Service in the Atrium; (

A quick guide to Academic Appeals is also available online;


The Formal Appeals document can be found at the following link:



Support from the Psychology Programme

Academic Advisors

What is an Academic Advisor?

Your Academic Advisor is a member of academic staff who will be assigned to you as a source of support for your academic and personal development. You will be appointed an Academic Advisor in your first year of study and this person will typically be your advisor in your first and second year (with the exception of staff leaving/illness etc.). In your final year you will be allocated to a project supervisor who will also be your Academic Advisor.

Why do I have an Advisor?

Our aim is that by engaging with their advisor, students:

  • will know that their advisor cares about their progression, academic success and future plans
  • will feel that they belong and are valued regardless of their background, personal strengths and weaknesses
  • will know who to contact if they experience difficulties either personally or academically
  • will achieve positive changes in their academic and personal confidence as a result of setting & achieving goals and reflecting on their experiences
  • will gain and grow in confidence and skills in developing professional relationships

Our model of Advising

Advisors are here for the routine, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ times. Most students are at least ‘OK’ or ‘good’ most of their time at university, but we are still here to support you. We want you to flourish and that is why we adopt a coaching model of advising. That might mean working out where you can push yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone, or to improve your performance on something you’re not quite happy with. We recognise that ‘people’ in general set themselves goals but often fail to do the things required to achieve those goals so your advisor will be there to give you that nudge to act and to help you reflect when you have done something.

Advisors are also here if you have ‘not so good’ and ‘bad’ times. Your advisor is there to meet with you and to listen in order to identify the best avenue for further support. We have many sources of expert support across the University and your advisor will help you to find the best place to turn if you need it.

We refer to the advisor-advisee relationship as a ‘professional’ one: this does not mean that they cannot be friendly in tone and approach, and equally it does not mean that you should not share personal issues if you want to. In the world of work for example, employees have professional relationships with colleagues and managers, and often, managers in particular will need to know and understand an individual’s personal circumstances to support them in the work place: university life is no different.

How often do I meet my Advisor?

Each semester you will have some compulsory individual meetings with your Advisor, and they will also keep regular email contact. Most crucially, you can request additional, one-to-one meetings at any time if you would like further support or guidance.

Good conduct in advisor-advisee communication

The advisor-advisee relationship is a professional relationship. Most students respond promptly and appropriately to their advisor and of course staff appreciate this and find it easier to establish a good relationship with those students. However, a few students do ignore some or all emails and attempts at contact. We worry about those students but we also, as normal human beings, can’t help finding being ignored unprofessional and discourteous. It is our policy as academic staff to respond to you within 48 hours (during the working week) and it is therefore good practice to take the same approach to reciprocal contact. If you can’t make a meeting time that is offered please inform them of this and arrange an alternative time. When your advisor emails to ‘check-in’ with you mid-semester to ask how things are going – it is good practice to respond – even if only briefly.

Please let us know if you feel that this good conduct is not typically followed by your Advisor. We all need to have the same standards.

What will happen if I miss my meetings or I don’t respond to my Advisor?

If your advisor is unable to make contact with you, they will ask the Year Lead/ Senior Academic Advisor to ensure that everything is ok and you are engaging with the programme. This may involve you being required to attend a Work & Attendance meeting.

What will happen in the Advisor meetings?

You and your Advisor will work together to prioritise actions that will help you make the most of your time at university.

In Psychology, we adopt a ‘coaching’ style model of academic advising. Your advisor will not have a standardised set of questions that they ask you, because you are all individuals and bring your own set of expectations, ways of working and challenges. Your advisor will help you to identify what you want to talk about and what is important for you. They will help you to work out your priorities for a period of time and will support you in setting your goals (however big or small) and finding ways to implement them.

If you think that this sounds terrifying or awkward, that’s ok, many students do at first. Give it a go and try to help your advisor get to know you. For example, if they get to know that you are quite shy and find the process difficult, that’s fine! They will find a way to work with you (some might even tell you they are quite shy too).

What if things are not going well with my advisor or I have questions or concerns about advising more generally?

Your Senior Academic Advisor is Dr Rebecca Champion ( If you have any issues with your Academic Advisor you should email Beckyand she will meet with you to discuss it. It is our policy to help you to engage effectively with your advisor but should you feel, for any reason, that you would like to be allocated to a different person, please email her.

Student Support Officer

The Student Support Officer provides advice and guidance to students and staff in the school. The Student Support Officer offers assistance which complements and underpins the support provided by academic departments and can work with you to explore what options are available to you within the School and the wider University.

The Student Support Officer can talk through with you issues such as interrupting your studies and progression, financial issues, the submission of details of mitigating circumstances, work and attendance problems and any personal concerns that are affecting your ability to study and engage fully with your course. It is important to point out that Student Support is not a counselling service; it is a practical problem solving service.

The Student Support Officer is based in Room G15, Zochonis Building on the following days: –Monday, Thursday and Friday, however is available all working week via the email address below.

Contact details: Tel: 0161 275 7332 E-mail:

Peer Mentoring

The Psychology programme has a mentoring scheme in place which en sures that all Year 1 students are assigned a mentor. Mentors are 2nd and Final Year students who provide support and guidance to new students on personal and social issues, or issues related to study. Year 1 students will be assigned to a mentor during Welcome Week, and will have an opportunity to meet their mentor and raise any questions or concerns. Following that, there will be regular opportunities to meet which are organised by the mentoring team throughout the academic year. At the end of the 1st year of study, students will have the opportunity to train as a mentor, and use their experiences to support new students and further develop the scheme.

Psychology Society

Students on the Psychology degree run the Psychology Society, which arranges social events and is a great way to make links with your peers on the course. The Society will be in touch to tell you about their activities in the first few weeks of the year.

Support from the University

As a student at the University of Manchester, you have access to a huge range of support services and resources. This includes, but is not limited to, support relating to your studies, finances, health and wellbeing, settling in and making friends, personal safety and planning for your future beyond University. The Support and Advice section on your ‘My Manchester’ home tab ( is the easiest way to learn about and access this wealth of support. You can navigate the site easily according to the issue you are concerned about. It also includes details of who you should contact in a crisis.

Students’ Union Advice Centre

The Students’ Union has advisers who can help with any matter ranging from finances to housing and beyond. On the South Campus, the Advice Centre is on the first floor in the Student Union Building, and is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm, term time and vacation. See

Support of care experienced and estranged students

The University of Manchester recognises that Care Experienced Students, and those that become estranged from their families often require additional support. This may take the form of, amongst other things, financial support, help with accommodation, provision of quiet study areas and general support.  Each undergraduate programme across the Faculty will have staff designated as named, dedicated and local contacts. These named contacts will provide support for care leavers and estranged students, advocate hard for individual students and help make them aware of academic and pastoral support services at the University. In Psychology, the named contact is Louise Egan (

Support for Students with Disability and Long-Term Health Problems

If you have a disability, or an ongoing physical or mental health problem, we strongly advise that you register with the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). They can offer a range of services to help you make the most of your University experience. Where appropriate, they will work with you to develop a support plan which will put in place any support you require for exams, from the library or from teaching staff.

Registering with DASS is particularly important for students where ongoing or recurring difficulties may negatively impact their academic performance. The University’s Policy on Mitigating Circumstances (see section 6) does not allow students to make repeated claims for the same condition, because to qualify for mitigation, the circumstance must be ‘unforeseeable’. However, the Mitigating Circumstances Committee can award further mitigation where DASS support your claim; for example, by advising the committee that your condition is associated with ‘flare-ups’ (which are unforseeable).

The Psychology programme also has a Disability Support Co-ordinator, Ryan Hurst, who co-ordinates support arrangements for all students. Ryan is available to discuss support needs with individual students.

His contact details are 0161 275 7332; e-mail:

Support for International Students

Manchester has a thriving International student community and you will have lots of opportunities to engage with students from all over the world. The International Society (, based on Oxford Road, organises trips, events, activities and community projects which are open to both International and British students. The Language Centre also provides support to International students who have concerns about their English skills (


As students of Psychology at Manchester, we invite you to act as partners in your educational experience and to input to the development of our shared degree programme. At the most basic level this will involve providing feedback on your course units, but it can also involve representing your peers on committees, meeting with external agencies who visit to evaluate the standards of the programme, or working alongside staff to design parts of the curriculum. For example, the Career Development Unit you can choose to complete in Year 2 was designed by four student interns working alongside a member of staff

Student Experience Lead

The Student Experience Lead is the member of staff with responsibility for ensuring that the student voice is heard and valued. They review student feedback provided via all channels and are responsible for ensuring that the programme responds. They input to the strategic development of the programme, ensuring that student feedback informs decisions made about the programme. Their role involves overseeing the development and implementation of the Student Experience Action Plan (SEAP), which sets actions the programme commits to taking to enhance student experience.The Student Experience Lead is available to you throughout the year and will be happy to meet to talk about your experience of the degree.

In the event that the Student Experience Lead is not available, this role will be assumed by the Programme Director.

Providing Feedback

Your feedback allows us to identify areas of strength and weakness in our programme. We take it very seriously and use it to guide changes to the degree. By giving us feedback, you can ensure that your voice is heard.

Unit Evaluation Questionnaire (UEQ)

You will asked to provide anonymous feedback on your course units at the end of each semester. This involves completing online questionnaires which ask you to rate various aspects of the unit and to provide comments about what worked well and what could be improved.

National Student Survey (NSS)

Undergraduate students from all publicly funded Universities in the UK are asked to complete the NSS in their Final Year. This independently administered survey asks for your feedback on the whole degree, as well as your broader University experience. The results are published to help prosepective students make informed decisions about where and what to study. The NSS also provides us with useful data for benchmarking ourselves against other universities..

Informal Feedback Opportunities

While UEQs and the NSS provide formal and structured opportunities for student feedback, you are welcome to give us feedback at any point during your studies. You can do so via your lecturers, your Academic Advisor, your Year Tutor, the Student Experience Lead, the Programme Director or your Student Reps (see below).

Student Representation

Student Representatives (Reps)

You will nominate fellow students to represent your Year group on various programme and University level groups. The Reps act as a formal channel of communication between you and the teaching and administrative staff. Reps make a crucial contribution to the quality assurance and enhancement procedures for the Programme, School and greater University.

We hope you will consider taking on the role of Rep during your studies. You will be invited to nominate yourself as a Rep for your year group at the start of each academic year by submitting a brief manifesto. The manifestos are posted online and all students have the opportunity to review these and vote for their year’s Rep. The Reps (typically 2-3 for each year group) are expected to act as spokespersons, collecting the views and opinions of students in their year and representing them at meetings where student’s opinions are represented (see below).

Staff-Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLC provides a forum for staff and students to discuss any issues or problems relating to the degree, and to consider proposed changes. It forms the basis for the representation of students’ views within the School and is a formal means of gauging student opinion on academic matters, including degree programmes and syllabuses. The SSLC meets to discuss day-to-day problems concerning degree programmes and course units, and to advise the School Board on student-related matters. It usually meets twice each Semester.

One job of the SSLC is to review the Student Experience Action Plan (see section 9.1). Together, staff and students agree to the actions set out in this plan and monitor progress towards those actions.

Programme Committee

A Final Year Rep is asked to sit on the BSc Psychology Programme Committee. This committee oversees the organisation and implementation of the degree and acts as its decision-making body. The Programme Committee meets every month to review the programme and plan its development. The Rep ensures that student feedback inputs to these discussions. The Programme Committee reports to the Faculty Quality Assurance Committee.

School Board

The School Board is the official body for monitoring academic activities. It is responsible for advising the Head of School on academic matters such as changes to degree programmes. A range of other matters affecting life in the School are also discussed. The School Board usually meets four times a year and student Reps may be invited to participate.

Student Representation at Quality Assurance Meetings

The degree programme is reviewed under processes internal and external to the University. Some of these will involve a group of reviewers visiting the programme to talk to its staff and students. One example is British Psychological Society partnership visits, which take place as part of the BPS accreditation process. You may be invited to contribute to such process by attending meetings to talk to reviewers.


As outlined above, there are various routes for raising complaints about the degree. The majority of issues are resolved at programme level. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome you can pursue this further by submitting a formal complaint. The details of this procedure are set out in The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents can be found at:

Formal complaints should be sent, along with relevant evidence, to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail: Complaints must be submitted within 40 working days from the issue that prompted the complaint.


BSc Psychology Resources


Blackboard is a web-based system that complements and builds upon traditional learning methods used at The University of Manchester. Every course unit you study on the Psychology degree has a dedicated Blackboard space where, depending on the nature of the course, you will be able to download lecture notes, enter discussions, view lecture podcasts, access additional course-relevant resources and submit assessments.

It is important that you log-on and view the blackboard pages for the course units you are taking on a regular basis in order to keep up to date with announcements, discussions and newly uploaded content.

For further information and help with accessing Bb you should go to:

Coupland PC Cluster

A small number of computers are available in the Coupland 1 building which are exclusively for use by Psychology students.

Student Hub

The School has a student hub/common room situated in the Zochonis Building, where you can socialise, relax, or work. This room has a café and vending machines.


Psychology at Manchester has its own twitter feed:

This will be used to communicate news of what is happening in the School, including upcoming talks, social events etc. If you have any news that you would like tweeted then please e-mail Dr Beccy White (

Please bear in mind that this twitter feed is viewable by the outside public and that you should keep in mind the usual rules of conduct when engaging in social media.

University-wide learning resources

In addition to the support and resources provided on the Psychology degree, you have access to the range of resources provided by the wider university. For details, please see:

University of Manchester Library

You have access to excellent resources, including the University of Manchester Library (UML), which has the most extensive range of electronic resources of any UK higher education library:

Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state of the art study and learning centre in the heart of the Oxford Road campus boasting an onsite café, an impressive atrium providing a social meeting space with WiFi access and flexible study spaces and environments throughout the building.

Central PC Clusters

Students can access PCs in ‘central’ clusters provided by IT Services. You can check the availability of PCs in these spaces at the following site:

IT Services

Students can access support for any IT issue via the IT Services website, or by visiting an IT Service HelpDesk.

Using University Computers

Students must abide by the following Code of Practice when using University computers:

1. The software provided for your use on the computers in the university are commercial products which we use under licence. It is illegal to make copies of these programs to take away and use on other machines. The University regards unauthorised copying (and other illegal activities such as hacking) as a serious breach of its regulations, and any student who copies programs or tries to gain unauthorised access to a computer will automatically be reported to the Registrar. It is usually possible for students to obtain legitimate copies of programs either free or at very low cost; please ask any member of the Computer Users Committee, or view the ITS webpages at

2. Keeping the computer facilities working properly is a complex and expensive job and it is very important that only authorised programs are installed. You are not allowed to install your own programs on the computers under any circumstances. If you know of programs which might be generally useful, please let a member of the Computer Users Committee know. The playing of games, even when run off disks or sticks, is forbidden.

3. Computer viruses, as you may know, are destructive programs which are generally transmitted from infected machines by file transfers. Once a machine is infected it can cause serious problems for users, including the destruction of data files. It is usually very difficult to know if a disk or memory stick carries a virus and although our computers have some protection this is never 100% effective. To minimise problems with viruses, take these sensible precautions:

(a) Don’t borrow other people’s disks or memory sticks, buy your own.

(b) As far as possible use them only on the University machines, or your own computer. Avoid passing them from one strange computer to another!

(c) Use the virus scanning program on the fileserver regularly to ensure that your disk or memory stick hasn’t picked up something nasty.

(d) Indiscriminate printing causes a very great waste of paper, so please try to follow these suggestions:

  • Before you send a file to be printed, check how busy the printers are. Don’t print a file if you can’t wait until it is finished. Save the file, and come back when you have more time.
  • When you are writing essays, don’t print out more draft copies than is necessary.
  • When using the word processors, use the ‘print preview’ facility to check that everything looks right before you print.

If you realise that you have sent a large job to the printer, but you don’t want it, or cannot wait until it is printed, please delete the job from the print queue. Instructions on how to do this are displayed on the noticeboard. DO NOT walk away leaving matters to take their course.

4. There is always a demand for computers, especially around the times of deadlines for assessed work. It is very selfish to leave a machine for more than a minute or two with your books scattered around and your work on the screen as though once you have logged on it is ‘yours’. Users who do this will be logged off by a member of staff if they are absent for more than five minutes and there are people waiting.

5. We try to keep the computer rooms as pleasant places to work, but if the people who use it don’t keep it tidy it rapidly looks like a pigsty. When you finish your work please clear up any rubbish and put it in the bins. Computer keyboards react very badly to having things spilt on them, or getting crumbs between the keys – think what happens when they go mouldy! So we ask that you don’t eat anything while working at a computer, and please keep drinks at a safe distance.

6. It is very important that you logoff when you have finished using a computer. If you fail to do this then the next person to sit down may inadvertently or even deliberately alter or delete your files. There have even been recent cases of abusive and obscene messages sent as ‘practical jokes’ by people finding a computer that was still logged on, these messages of course appear to originate from the person who failed to logoff.

The following link outlines a number of regulations and guidelines covering the use of University IT systems and services:

Working with your own computer

Many students may have their own computer, laptop or tablet, or have access to one at home during the vacation. If you have such facilities then you should check that your system is compatible with the university system. This will help avoid problems when you try to transfer documents from your machine to ours.

If you are thinking of buying a computer or computer related peripherals and would like advice of any sort please see the IT Services website:

Please note mitigating circumstances will not cover computer failures so please remember to save a backup version of all work.


There are strict rules about the photocopying of copyright material, and you should make sure you understand these and abide by them. Certain copiers within the University are licensed for such copying, and there is an explanatory notice about the rules next to each of them. Much of your photocopying will probably be done in the library.

Appendix 1

Key Dates: Structure of your Academic Year 2021-22

Semester One
Welcome Week 20 -24 September 2021
Teaching week 1 27 September – 1 October 2021
Teaching week 2 4 – 8 October 2021
Teaching week 3 11 – 15 October 2021
Teaching week 4 18 – 22 October 2021
Teaching week 5 25 – 29 October 2021
Reading week (‘TW6’) 1 – 5 November 2021 No classes for undergraduates
Teaching week 7 8 – 12 November 2021
Teaching week 8 15 – 19 November 2021
Teaching week 9 22 – 26 November 2021
Teaching week 10 29 November – 3 December 2021
Teaching week 11 6 – 10 December 2021
Teaching Week 12 13 – 17 December 2021
Christmas/New Year vacation 20 December – 7 January 2022 No teaching
Revision period 10 – 14 January 2022 No teaching
Semester 1 examination period 17 – 28 January 2022 Exam period (no teaching)
Break 31 January – 4 February 2022 No teaching
Semester Two
Teaching week 1 7 – 11 February 2022
Teaching week 2 14 – 18 February 2022
Teaching week 3 21 – 25 February 2022
Teaching week 4 28 February – 4 March 2022
Teaching week 5 7 – 11 March 2022
Teaching week 6 14 – 18 March 2022
Teaching week 7 21 – 25 March 2022
Teaching week 8 28 March – 1 April 2022
Easter Vacation 4 April – 22 April 2022 No teaching
Teaching Week 9 25 – 29 April 2022
Teaching Week 10 2 – 6 May 2022 2nd May is a Bank Holiday: no teaching
Teaching Week 11 9 – 13 May 2022
Teaching Week 12 16 – 20 May 2022
Semester 2 Examination period 23 May – 10 June 2022
Re-sit examination period, for assessments falling in both the January and May-June examination period 22 August – 2 September 2022 (note that re-sit coursework may have hand-in dates before this)

Semester dates for future years are available on the internet if you need them: Specification

What are Programme Specifications?

Programme specifications focus on single programmes of study (or courses), and outline the intended knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes of a student completing that course. A programme specification also gives details of teaching and assessment methods as well as linking the course to the framework for HE qualifications and any subsequent professional qualification and career path. The University of Manchester has programme specifications for the courses that it offers.

  1. General Information
Award UCAS Code Programme Title Duration Mode of Study
BSc (Hons) C800 Psychology 3 years Full-time
BSc (Hons) C800 Psychology with International Study 4 years Full-time
BSc (Hons) C800 Psychology with Work Placement Year 4 Years Full-time
School Health Sciences
Faculty Biology, Medicine and Health
Awarding Institution The University of Manchester
Programme Accreditation The British Psychological Society
Relevant QAA benchmark(s)


For more information on the Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmarks see

Level of Programme within the FHEQ

Bachelor’s Degree with Honours (6)

For more information on the QAA’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications see

  1. Aims of the Programme

The School operates within the mission of the University in its aim to provide international excellence in learning and teaching. In particular, the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme aims to:

  1. attract students who will benefit from studying in a research-enriched environment
  1. provide the environment that will allow students to explore the core topics of the discipline of Psychology as outlined by the British Psychological Society, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
  1. provide recent and advanced knowledge and research evidence coming from four themes that represent the modern discipline of Psychology: Evolution and Development; Mind and Brain; Psychology in Society; and Adaptability and Wellbeing; and to demonstrate the complex interactions between them
  1. provide the opportunity to study a range of research-led, specialist topics in Psychology
  1. focus on the contested nature of knowledge in Psychology, and provide an opportunity for students to develop skills in integrating ideas and evidence from different perspectives
  1. enable students to evaluate research critically and to provide them with the opportunity to develop basic skills in research
  1. deliver course units in ways that will encourage students to become independent, active learners
  1. widen participation within the body of students studying Psychology
  1. provide students with a skills-set that will enhance their future employability
  1. Intended Learning Outcomes of the Programme

At the end of the undergraduate programme in Psychology, it is expected that students will:

A. Knowledge & Understanding
A1. be able to apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues, recognising that psychology involves a range of research methods, theories, evidence and applications

A2. be able to integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology and

recognise distinctive psychological approaches to relevant issues

A3. demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a coherent and developing scientific discipline

Learning & Teaching Processes (to allow

students to achieve intended learning


Assessment (of intended learning outcomes)
Lectures with theoretical, practical and applied components where applicable Written examinations/ assignments/ MCQs
Laboratory classes Laboratory reports
Small group work, including seminars, study skills tutorials and reading groups Assessed Coursework
Exposure to recent, peer-reviewed primary sources Assessed presentations
Formative feedback
Project Supervision Project
B. Intellectual Skills
B1. be able to generate and explore hypotheses and research questions, design and conduct empirical studies, analyse data, and interpret findings

B2. Be able to synthesise and critically assess information in a systematic, analytic and

comprehensive way and clearly communicate findings and conclusions

B3. Be able to employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a coherent and developing scientific discipline

B4. interpret and analyse data with appropriate software and within a relevant

theoretical framework

Learning & Teaching Processes (to allow

students to achieve intended learning


Assessment (of intended learning outcomes)
Lectures with theoretical, practical and applied components where applicable Written examinations (including essays that require critical analysis)
Laboratory classes Laboratory reports
Small group work, including seminars, study skills seminars and reading groups Assessed Coursework (including essays that require critical analysis)
Exposure to recent, peer-reviewed primary sources Assessed presentations
Formative feedback
Project Supervision Project
C. Practical Skills

C1. be able to carry out empirical studies involving a variety of methods of data collection,

including experiments, observation, psychometric tests, questionnaires, interviews and field studies and to do this safely, ethically and competently

C2. be able to analyse data using both quantitative and qualitative methods
C3. be computer literate, with competence in word-processing, statistical software, and accessing electronic resources
C4. be able to access, use and correctly cite, acknowledge and reference diverse information sources

Learning & Teaching Processes (to allow

students to achieve intended learning


Assessment (of intended learning outcomes)
Lectures with theoretical, practical and applied components where applicable Written examinations (including essays that require critical analysis)
Laboratory classes Laboratory reports
Small group work, including seminars, study skills seminars and reading groups Assessed Coursework (including essays that require critical analysis)
Exposure to recent, peer-reviewed primary sources Assessed presentations
Formative feedback
Project Supervision Project
D. Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities
D1. be able to communicate effectively, by developing a cogent argument supported by relevant evidence, and tailoring the communication to the audience’s needs
D2. be able to independently gather, sift, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and to critically evaluate its significance
D3. be able both to make written presentations using appropriate language for a target population and to collect and integrate evidence to formulate and test a hypothesis
D4. be able to maintain independence of thought and be self-reliant

Learning & Teaching Processes (to allow

students to achieve intended learning


Assessment (of intended learning outcomes)
Lectures with theoretical, practical and applied components where applicable Written examinations (including essays that require critical analysis)
Laboratory classes Laboratory reports
Small group work, including seminars, study skills seminars and reading groups Assessed Coursework (including essays that require critical analysis)
Exposure to recent, peer-reviewed primary sources Assessed presentations
Formative feedback
Project Supervision Project
  1. The Structure of the Programme
Programme Structure and Credits Credits

To meet the requirements of the BSc (Hons) programme, all students must complete course units totalling 120 credits in each year, totalling 360 credits over the three years of the degree.

Year 1 course units are compulsory with the exception of PSYC11402 Group Dynamics, which can be replaced with one 10-credit course unit from the University Language Centre.

The following course units are compulsory in Year 2: PSYC21061 Statistics & Data Analysis, PSYC21081 Cognition, PSYC21032 Interventions to Improve Mental Health & Wellbeing, and PSYC21042 Individual Differences in Mental Health & Wellbeing. Students must also complete at least one of PSYC21021 Topics & Issues in Developmental Psychology and PSYC21031 Evolution of Behaviour & Cognition; and either PSYC21000 Career Management OR PSYC22000 Short Work Placement. For the remaining five 10 credit units, students can opt to swap up to two of these for permitted non-Psychology course units.

Year 3 comprises four 20 credit option choices plus the compulsory final year project (40 credits). Students can opt to swap one of the 20 credit option choices for permitted non-Psychology course units (earning a maximum of 40 credits from permitted external course units across Years 2 and 3).

There are four themes that run across all years of the programme: Evolution & Development, Psychology in Society, Mind & Brain, and Adaptability & Wellbeing. These themes represent the current discipline of Psychology, and map onto the research expertise of the staff teaching on the degree. Students study course units from each theme in Years 1 and 2, and can choose options from all four themes in Year 3.

Year 1
PSYC10100 *Research Methods and Statistics 20
PSYC10460 *Professional Development 10
Evolution & Development Theme
PSYC10211 *Introduction to Developmental Psychology 10
PSYC10311 *Lifespan & Ageing 10
Psychology in Society Theme
PSYC11402 Group Dynamics 10
PSYC10711 *Introduction to Social Psychology 10
Mind & Brain Theme
PSYC10421 *Introduction to Cognition 10
PSYC11212 *Brain & Behaviour 10
PSYC11312 *Sensation & Perception 10
Adaptability & Wellbeing Theme
PSYC11412 *Foundations of Mental Health and Distress 10
PSYC11512 *Foundations of Health Psychology 10

*Compulsory course units

For the remaining 10 credit course unit, students can replace this with a course unit from the University Language Centre (

Year 2
PSYC21061 *Statistics & Data Analysis 10
PSYC21151 Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology 10
PSYC21000 †Career Management 10
PSYC22000 †Short Work Placement 10
Evolution & Development Theme
PSYC21021 ‡Topics and Issues in Developmental Psychology 10
PSYC21031 ‡Evolution of Behaviour and Cognition 10
Psychology in Society Theme
PSYC21701 Topics and Issues in Social Psychology 10
PSYC21072 Forensic Psychology 10
Mind & Brain Theme
PSYC21081 *Cognition 10
PSYC21022 Cognitive Neuroscience 10
PSYC21012 Perception & Action 10
Adaptability & Wellbeing Theme
PSYC21042 *Personality & Individual Differences 10
PSYC21032 *Interventions to Improve Mental Health & Wellbeing 10

*Compulsory course units


‡One or both

Students can replace a maximum of two optional course units for permitted units from University College for Interdisciplinary Learning ( and/or the University Language Centre (

Final Year
Option Course Unit 1 20
Option Course Unit 2 20
Option Course Unit 3 20
Option Course Unit 4 20
PSYC30920 *Project 40

*Compulsory course unit

Students can replace a maximum of one optional course units for permitted units from University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (, Business and Management for all Programmes (, Manchester Enterprise Centre ( and/or the University Language Centre (

Exit Awards

Award of the Certificate of Higher Education requires 120 credits, with at least 100 credits at level 1 or above (level 4 in the FHEQ*).

Award of the Diploma of Higher Education requires 240 credits, with at least 100 credits at level 2 or above (level 5 in the FHEQ).

Award of the Ordinary Degree of Bachelor for a programme of standard length (three years full-time study) requires 300 credits, with at least 60 credits at level 3 or above (level 6 in the FHEQ).

Award of the Degree of Bachelor with Honours for a programme of standard length (three years full-time study) requires 360 credits, with at least 100 credits at level 3 or above (level 6 in the FHEQ).

For more information about the University’s degree regulations see

  1. Student Induction, Support and Development

A. Student Induction

Information regarding induction activities and registration processes is available to prospective students electronically before the start of the first semester. The information can also be sent to students by post as a preregistration pack. Before the delivery of the programme’s course units begins, students undergo a weeklong period of induction. In the first week of induction, students attend orientation lectures by those responsible for the delivery of the programme in which the expectations and aims of the programme are explained. Also in this first week, students attend introductory sessions to the University’s library, careers, sport and computer facilities. The programme team also put on sessions concerning academic matters – more details are in section B below. Students receive a copy of the programme handbook, in which all aspects of the programme are comprehensively outlined, in their first week in the School. In the orientation lecture, the importance of the programme handbook (as a point of reference throughout their time on the programme) is underlined to students. The programme handbook is also made available electronically on the School’s virtual learning environment (Blackboard) throughout the year.

B. Student Support

Each student meets their Academic Adviser within welcome week. Academic advisers can offer support and advice on academic and pastoral matters, and are key to the School’s student support structure. Academic Advisors meet with their advisees for one-to-one meetings through the semester to discuss academic progress, steps taken towards career planning and their professional and personal development.

All first year students are assigned a peer-mentor in welcome week, who is a current second or third year student who has been trained to offer support and guidance to first year students on academic and non-academic matters.

The School has a dedicated Student Support Officer, who is available to see Psychology students without appointment, and who can offer advice and support on all aspects of academic and pastoral matters. The Student Support Officer has excellent links with University level support services, including the Disability Support Office (DSO) and can refer students on for extra support if need be.

Psychology students are able to attend essay-writing and statistics drop-in clinics, which are run by staff and postgraduate students for those who would like extra support in these areas.

C. Teaching, learning and assessment methods

A range of different types of teaching delivery are used across the degree programme. Core first and second year courses are typically delivered by large lectures containing demonstrations and interactive elements, which are each supported by small group teaching in the form of seminars or practical classes, and by discussions, quizzes and other material on the virtual learning environment (Blackboard). Seminars offer opportunities for students to discuss particular relevant papers, theories, ideas and applications in small groups to consolidate learning of the lecture material. Practical classes allow students to plan, execute and write up a piece of research relevant to the lecture content. These classes take a problem-based learning approach, and students work through different research problems in small groups, facilitated by teaching assistants and lecturing staff to offer a more personalised learning experience. Third year option courses typically involve smaller lectures, and these are supported by seminars and reading groups, as well as by the virtual learning environment. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to think about the lecture material and discuss ideas and theories and present papers, and the reading groups allow students to engage with a small number of key journal articles from each lecture.

All course units are supported by Blackboard, which is a virtual learning environment. Course materials including lecture slides, journal articles, webcasts, podcasts, quizzes and web-links are posted onto the site, and each unit has a discussion board where students are encouraged to post and answer questions, but which are also monitored by staff.

IT support is available on the IT Services web site. The training materials cover many of the popular IT applications used at the University. They can be accessed from:

Psychology students have access to dedicated PC clusters with 35 PCs and printing facilities, with access to a further 1300 machines across campus, available weekdays 8:30 – 5:00. 10% of these available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in term-time.

Student representatives are chosen at the beginning of the academic year. The representatives are invited to the Staff Student Liaison Committee where they can feed back to staff any issues or problems that have arisen. The Programme Team then respond to these, and these responses and any action taken are fed back to staff and students via a newsletter.

  1. Mechanisms for Programme Revision
The Psychology programme is annually monitored through both the Faculty Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Committee (UTLC) and the Programme Committee. The annual review of programmes is a regular agenda item. In addition, students complete course unit questionnaires (a detailed evaluation form for each of the course units delivered). The results of these questionnaires are reviewed by the Programme Director and, when required, action is taken based on the evaluation results. Additionally the programme is reviewed by the British Psychological Society every 5 years (last review 2016) and goes through the University’s Periodic Review process every 5 years (last review 2014).
  1. Criteria for Admission

Entry requirements for the Psychology degree are as follows:


We require grades AAB including a science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology). General Studies is welcomed but not included as part of the standard offer.

You are required to obtain a pass in the practical element of any science A-level taken.



We require at least five GCSEs at minimum grade B/6, including English Language and Mathematics

Applications from returners to education are encouraged and considered on an individual basis.

  1. Progression and Assessment Regulations

Full details of assessment and compensation arrangements are outlined in detail in the programme handbook. The School operates standard University degree regulations for the awards of Bachelor’s degrees. The University’s degree regulations can be

found online at:

Classification Criteria (as per programme handbook)

The board may take into account any information (for example concerning illness or personal factors) which might have possible led to under-achievement.

In general terms your calculated final overall average mark corresponds to your degree class as follows:

Class I 70 or above

Class II(i) 60-69.9

Class II(ii) 50-59.9

Class III 40-49.9

Date of original production January 2012
Date of current version September 2021