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Best University for Psychology in UK

If you are interested in either the study of human behaviour or in working in the helping profession, Psychology is a fascinating major to pursue your degree. A degree in psychology enables you to specialise in a variety of areas, ranging from education to criminal psychology, giving you a lot of options. There are a number of universities in the United Kingdom that both provide an excellent education in psychology and carry out pioneering research in the field.

We have compiled a list of the top universities in the UK that offer psychology programmes in order to be of assistance to future students. We have also provided information regarding the duration, eligibility requirements, and tuition for the courses that are provided by these universities.

Keep in mind that a degree in psychology is a science degree, so you should anticipate learning some statistics during the course of your studies.

What is Psychology?

The scientific study of the human mind and behaviour is called psychology. The field of psychology is concerned with the study of phenomena, both conscious and unconscious, such as feelings and thoughts. It is a field of study that encompasses both the natural and social sciences, giving it a broad breadth that is unparalleled in the academic world.

The study of psychology offers a view into the workings of the human mind. It enlightens us as to the thoughts of other individuals as well as the motivations behind their behaviours. To put it another way, psychology is the study of human behaviour and mental processes. 

Psychologists try to explain things like why bright people conceive of themselves as being average, how memory works, and how different types of music can alter your mood. It’s easy to see why so many individuals are interested in the field of psychology.

Psychologists study:

  • how we perceive, think and learn about the world around us
  • the way biological and social factors influence how we behave
  • how interests and abilities differ from person to person
  • how we communicate verbally and non-verbally
  • how and why our mental abilities change across our lives

Different Specializations in Psychology

Interested in the study of human behaviour? Not that not all degrees are called Psychology, and within the field of psychology there are many specialisations, such as the following:

Note: When you get to the Bachelor’s level, you may already have the option to choose a specialisation. You also have the option to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology that is more broad in scope before going on to earn your Master’s degree.

Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Psychology in UK Universities

The following is a list of the requirements that must be met in order to enrol in a master’s programme in psychology at one of the top universities in the UK:

  • A bachelor’s degree with marks between 60 and 70 per cent.
  • a band score on the IELTS between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • To do well on the TOEFL, test takers should aim for a minimum score of 21 in each of the writing and listening sections, as well as scores of 22 and 23 in the reading and speaking sections, respectively. The criteria for scoring can differ from institution to school.
  • In addition to letters of recommendation (LORs), a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) may be requested.
  • Candidate’s Personal Statement

Typical tuition fees for international students

A bachelor’s degree will normally need four years of full-time study, whereas a master’s degree can be completed in just one year. At prestigious educational institutions, the tuition and fees are typically relatively expensive for students coming from other countries.

Prices for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology will range from approximately £18,000 to £26,000 each year at the majority of colleges; however, fees can reach up to approximately £35,000 at world-leading universities such as King’s College, Oxford, and Cambridge.

On the other hand, the price of a postgraduate degree will normally range between £20,000 and £35,000.

Best Ranked UK Universities for Psychology 2022

Let’s start with a local ranking, specifically the one that was compiled by the Guardian – British Newspaper in the United Kingdom. The methodology behind this well-known ranking takes into account the level of student satisfaction as measured by the national student survey.

The following list, compiled by the Guardian, is comprised of the top 10 educational institutions in the UK for the study of Psychology:

RankUniversitiesScoreCourse name & tenure
1University of Cambridge100
2University of Bath93.8
3University of Oxford93.7M.Sc. – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (two years)M.Sc. – Experimental Psychology (three years)
4University of St Andrews93MSc in Psychology for one year 
5University College London90.9MA in Education (Psychology) for one year /MSc in Health Psychology for one year 
6King’s College London89.5MSc – Health Psychology
7Cardiff University88.7MSc in Psychology for one year 
8University of York86.4
9University of Edinburgh86.2MSc – Psychological Research for one year MSc – Social Psychology for one year 
10University of Warwick86.1MA in Psychology and Education for one year / MSc in Psychological Research for one year

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge’s psychological and behavioural science programme provides instruction in cognitive, social, developmental, and biological psychology within the broader setting of the behavioural sciences.

Undergraduate students have the opportunity of conducting laboratory work from their second year onwards to supplement their coursework and seminar learning.

There will be options for students to further specialise in their studies as they advance through the course.

Statistics, neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, neuroimaging, developmental psychology, psychopathology, cognitive psychology, language, gender, familial interactions and effects, personality, and group social behaviour are all possible fields of research.

Because Cambridge is widely regarded as one of the top colleges in the UK, you have the flexibility to specialise in any subfield of the psychology of your choice.

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Psychology at Cambridge University is a full-time research programme that lasts for one year. This indicates that you will devote all of your time and energy over the course of a year to conducting research and drafting a thesis on a subject related to psychology.

You will be given the opportunity to do research in any subfield of the psychology of your choosing, and a dedicated supervisor will be appointed to guide your work. Whenever you find yourself in a bind, your supervisor will be there to guide and assist you.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time (24 months, part-time)
  • Eligibility – A 3.5 out of 4 GPA, IELTS (7 out of 9) or TOEFL (100 out of 120)
  • Documents needed – CV, a brief SOP, Research proposal
  • Tuition – Fully funded

In order to achieve this purpose, the procedure of applying requires that you initially look through a list of possible supervisors. After you have decided on a supervisor, you will have to give them a summary of your area of interest along with your curriculum vitae (CV). If they are willing to support your application, you should go ahead and begin the admissions process. Your application will be considered for acceptance if the admissions committee thinks that the research plan you submitted is both novel and achievable.

2. University of Bath

The University of Bath has quite excellent rankings across the board for graduate employability and overall student happiness. You have a variety of options available to you, such as master’s degrees that focus on teaching or degrees that emphasise research.

You have the option of studying Clinical, Health, or Forensic Psychology, as well as Counselling, Economic Behavior, or even research in Clinical Psychology.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time (24 months, part-time)
  • Eligibility – A 2:1 Honors degree in psychology, TOEFL (90 out of 120) or IELTS (6.5 out of 9) 
  • Documents needed – Personal statement
  • Tuition –£17,400 to £19,400
  • Living cost – £310.00 per week

A degree in psychology from the University of Bath will provide you with the information and skills necessary to pursue a wide variety of roles within the health service industry and in research. It has the potential to serve as the basis for additional postgraduate training or research in the field of psychology. The degree will even prepare you for a job as an assistant psychologist if you choose to pursue that career path.

3. University of Oxford

Undergraduate psychology course program at Oxford University is taught in a scientific manner and covers the core research areas of abnormal, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology in an intellectually stimulating manner. This is done in order to prepare students for graduate study in psychology. Oxford University is currently rated first in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022. This is the sixth year in a row that Oxford has ranked first, making it one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world.

At the University of Oxford, you can get your master’s degree within a year by completing the MSc in Psychological Research. Throughout the duration of this class, you will receive practical instruction in the fundamental areas of study linked with psychology.

These research training programmes encompass a range of disciplines, including social psychology, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, and developmental science.

Program duration: Full-time commitment for one-year

Eligibility, tuition, and document requirements include:

  • A 1st or 2nd class bachelor’s degree in psychology or an area closely connected to it.
  • Transcripts, a curriculum vitae, a personal statement, and two to three letters of recommendation.
  • The annual cost of tuition is £23,505.
  • The cost of living is somewhere from £1135 to £1650 per month.

While doing so, you will get a comprehensive understanding of a variety of topics, such as statistical methods, emotions, language, and the brain and cognition. After receiving your bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a doctoral degree at Oxford or one of many other universities. Alternatively, you could pursue a career in psychology in consulting or the public sector.

4. University of St. Andrews

St. Andrews University is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious universities for psychology students in the United Kingdom.

At the University of St. Andrews, the School of Psychology and Neuroscience has a long and illustrious history and superb modern facilities. The quality of the research conducted at the School has been ranked as consistently outstanding, and it has been placed in the highest category in each and every research assessment exercise that has been carried out. This is a feat that only three other psychology departments in the UK have been able to accomplish. St. Andrews Institution, which was established in 1413, is currently the top-ranked university in the United Kingdom that is located in Scotland. It is also one of the oldest universities in the world.

There are many different postgraduate research programmes available in the field of psychology. Some of the topics covered in these psychology master’s programmes include health psychology, neuroscience, research methodologies, comparative and evolutionary psychology, and dementia care.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time 
  • Eligibility – A good 2.1 Honors degree in psychology, TOEFL or IELTS 
  • Documents needed – CV, Personal statement, Academic work, 2 references, transcripts
  • Tuition – £23,090
  • Living cost – £9,084 per year

On the other hand, if you enrol in a programme that places an emphasis on research, you will have the opportunity to major in four distinct subject areas. In this category are topics such as social processes, perception, cognition and action, neuroscience, and the origin of the mind! You will become proficient in a wide variety of practical skills linked with different methods for researching the workings of the human mind. Additionally, at the completion of the degree, you will have a comprehensive understanding of advanced research training in a variety of fields that are of interest to you.

5. University College London

UCL was established in 1826 with the goal of providing access to higher education for people who were traditionally denied that opportunity.

The first year of the undergraduate psychology programme provides students with a mix of required and elective coursework to choose from.

Experimental design in psychology, behaviour, individual differences and social psychology are some of the courses that students are required to take. In the second year, there are no elective modules; nonetheless, students will continue to learn about health and clinical psychology, as well as language and cognition, throughout all of their classes.

Students will conduct research that is only partially under their control during their final year of study when they will also be required to take other modules.

A couple of taught master’s degree programmes in psychology are available at UCL. These programmes include psychological sciences and the psychology of education. In addition, a master’s degree in research can be earned in the fields of psychiatry as well as human development and psychiatry.

6. King’s College London

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London is where students obtain one of the best education in psychology. It is the largest centre in Europe for research and instruction in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience combined. Additionally, it is the location of the oldest clinical psychology training programme in the United Kingdom.

There are a variety of psychology courses available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that address topics such as clinical psychology, health psychology, and neuroscience. The course materials are routinely revised to incorporate the most recent findings from studies conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience.

You will have the option to participate in research on a variety of problems affecting both mental and physical health.

The King’s College Department of Psychology excels in the areas of research, teaching, and clinical practice, making it one of the best in the country. There are several different postgraduate programmes from which you can choose.

Master’s degrees in areas such as clinical psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, mental health, and health psychology are among them.

  • Duration – 12 months
  • Eligibility – A 2:2 Honors degree in psychology, IELTS 
  • Documents needed – CV, Personal statement, Transcripts and 2 letters of recommendation
  • Tuition – £17,700 to £30,200
  • Living cost – £1,250 per month

During the course of your studies, you will have the opportunity to carry out research on mental and physical health conditions. In addition to this, you will gain an understanding of how to design and assess novel psychological treatments. Your competence in practical research will be honed during the course, and you will be prepared for academic research or a PhD programme.

7. Cardiff University

Are you looking for a college that will assist you in reaching your professional objectives and achieving your goals? If yes, considered Cardiff University as one of your top options.

Cardiff University’s “Student Futures” team is glad to assist you both throughout your time as a student and after you have completed your education by providing you with career support and courses. The career service offered by Cardiff University was named seventh best in the United Kingdom by Time Higher Education in 2017. In addition, 97% of its graduates are either working or attending additional schooling after graduation.

Cardiff University is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading institutions for the study of psychology. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, Cardiff University’s Psychology programme is ranked fifth best in the United Kingdom and 38th best in the world.

The possibility of participating in a Professional Placement is one of the features that sets it apart from similar programmes. In which you will be able to acquire valuable experience in the field of Psychology. You also have the option of spending a semester at the University of Florida or the University of Hong Kong, both of which are located in other countries.

You may catapult your career to new heights by taking advantage of the tools and experiences that Cardiff University has to offer. Make sure you go and have a look at it!

8. University of York

The University of York is among the top psychology departments in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2022.

The BSc in Psychology covers

  • a scientific and analytical approach to problem-solving
  • an understanding of human behaviour
  • the ability to critically evaluate complex ideas and explain them to other people. And many more.

The psychology department provides research degrees that can be completed either full-time or part-time and lead to an MPhil.

The Department of Psychology at the University of York is well recognised as an outstanding institution for both research and instruction. It was established in 1974. The department comprises more than forty members of the faculty and annually admits ninety students to the postgraduate programme.

Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Neuroscience, Development, Disorders, and Clinical Science are the subjects that are covered in their taught courses. In addition, as part of their involvement in Experimental Psychology, students are given the option to perform their own studies.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time
  • Eligibility – A 2:1 Honors degree in Psychology or a related field, IELTS (7 out of 9) or TOEFL (96 out of 120)
  • Documents needed – Transcripts and one academic reference
  • Tuition – £22,720
  • Living cost – £9,571 to £14,008

After receiving their degrees, students often accept research posts at prestigious universities all around the world.

Other students, depending on the areas of study that they concentrate on, may end up pursuing careers in fields such as forensic psychology, educational psychology, child psychology, market research, social work, management consulting, human resources, or even the media.

9. University of Edinburgh

In 1906, the University of Edinburgh founded a department of psychology, which was later merged into what is now known as the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences in 2003.

It provides instruction for students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as a number of master’s degree programmes, both taught and research-based, as well as doctorate programmes.

Students who successfully complete the University of Edinburgh’s single honours psychology degree as well as the majority of the joint undergraduate psychology degrees receive accreditation from the British Psychological Society. This paves the way for students to pursue additional professional training after graduation.

During the first two years of your undergraduate education, the majority of your coursework will be delivered in the form of lectures and informal gatherings of students called tutorials. Discussions in tutorials, which normally involve a group of no more than ten students, offer the chance to delve more deeply into a subject matter. The third and fourth years of the programme place a greater emphasis on independent study, as well as more specialised, seminar-based coursework.

The psychology department’s teaching facilities include a private library, computer labs, and classrooms that are fully outfitted with the latest educational technology.

About forty members of the academic staff are employed there, and their expertise spans the five most important subfields of academic psychology: cognition, development, individual differences, neuroscience, and social psychology.

4 degrees in Psychology

Duration: 4 years; full-time

10. University of Glasgow

The School of Psychology at Glasgow University conducts a substantial amount of research that contributes to a better understanding of human behaviour. It is widely regarded as one of the leading psychological research institutions in the UK. At this institution, you have the option of either pursuing a taught degree or applying for postgraduate options.

The master’s degree in taught psychology can be earned in one of three different specialisations: philosophy of mind and psychology, brain sciences, or psychological science and research methods. In addition to that, they provide an online course for students who are interested in changing their major to Psychology.

  • Duration – 12 months
  • Eligibility – A Second-class Honors degree in Psychology or a relevant subject, IELTS (6.5 out of 9) or TOEFL (90 out of 120)
  • Documents needed – Degree certificate, Transcripts, and one LOR
  • Tuition – #18,370 to #23,500 for on-campus courses, #15,000 for the online course
  • Living cost – #13,060 per year

Labs for Neuroscience and Neuroimaging are available for use by students at the University of Glasgow who are interested in conducting research. You will also get access to cutting-edge equipment for the research of mental activities and processes that take place in the brain. In addition, the university offers a very conducive atmosphere for the development of a flourishing postgraduate community as well as a multidisciplinary science.

11. University of Bristol

After completing their studies at the School of Psychological Science, graduates have the opportunity to pursue jobs as chartered psychologists.

Two different master’s degree programmes that focus on clinical and applied neuropsychology are available through the School of Psychological Science. Students interested in making a career change can get a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology through the taught programme.

On the other hand, the research programme is primarily concerned with the experimental investigation of cognitive processes, the brain, behaviour and health, as well as decision making and rationality.

  • Duration – 12 months
  • Eligibility – An upper second-class honours degree, IELTS
  • Documents needed – Not mentioned
  • Tuition – £21,400 (taught) £23,200 (research) 
  • Living cost – £9,000 to £15,000 a year

When they graduate from The School of Psychological Science, students have the opportunity to pursue jobs as chartered psychologists and can choose to specialise in a number of different fields. Students have the opportunity to pursue careers in clinical psychology, educational psychology, health psychology, sport psychology, counselling, forensic psychology, occupational psychology, neuropsychology, or research psychology!

12. Lancaster University

You have the option of obtaining a master’s degree in either Developmental Psychology, Disorders, or Research Methods at Lancaster University. The university was established in 1964 in Lancashire, England.

In addition to having excellent rankings for job opportunities, Lancaster University is well-known for the one-of-a-kind Psychology of Advertising course it provides. In addition to that, you also have the option of obtaining a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology, Disorders, or Research Methods.

The goal of each of these lecture-based programmes is to equip you with a comprehensive knowledge of the theories, more sophisticated methods, and practical applications that are used to evaluate psychological processes.

  • Duration – 12 months, full time (24 months, part-time)
  • Eligibility – A 2:1 Honors degree in a related field, IELTS (6.5 out of 9)
  • Documents needed – Not mentioned
  • Tuition – £22,500 
  • Living cost – £12,012

The research that is carried out at Lancaster University is of such quality that it is acknowledged by eminent researchers from all around the world. Early Development, Language and Literacy, Perception and Action, and Various Social Processes are some of the topics of research that are covered. Students are motivated by the most recent results in psychology thanks to the high academic standards that are required of them and the welcoming atmosphere that they study.

13. Durham University

The Department of Psychology at Durham University was established with the purpose of comprehending and bettering the ways in which individuals perceive the world, think, behave, react, and interact with one another. In order to achieve this goal, students at Durham participate in research with renowned professionals from around the world, gain experience with cutting-edge technology, and actively prepare for a future career.

You have the option of taking any one of a number of different lecture-based classes, such as Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychopathology, Behavioural Science, and Research Methods.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time
  • Eligibility – A 2:1 Honors degree in Psychology or a related field, IELTS (6.5 out of 9) or TOEFL (92 out of 120)
  • Documents needed – Transcripts and 2 letters of recommendation
  • Tuition – £25,000 
  • Living cost – £6,355 to £10,078

Students who are interested in research programmes have the opportunity to engage in projects in areas such as social psychology, learning, memory, and cognition, developmental science, perception, action, and awareness.

Therefore, the goal of each of these programmes is to equip you with the fundamental abilities necessary to pursue further education and get a doctoral degree, secure a position in an academic research institution, or begin working full-time.

14. University of Exeter

The field of Psychology at the University of Exeter places it among the top 50 universities in the world. It is widely regarded as one of the leading psychological research institutions in the UK. Its Psychology Department has over 170 persons working for it, and each year it provides instruction to one hundred postgraduate students.

You, as a prospective student, have access to a variety of graduate psychology programmes from which to select. Included in this category are the subfields of Social Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Animal Behavior, and Research Methods. On the other hand, the research programmes concentrate their attention on the research and practise that are relevant to the field of clinical psychology.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time (24 months, part-time)
  • Eligibility – A 2:1 Honors degree or equivalent in Psychology, IELTS or TOEFL
  • Documents needed – Transcripts, one LOR, and a research proposal for a research application
  • Tuition – £22,500 
  • Living cost – £1015 a month

In addition to this, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in cutting-edge research and cover a wide range of topics, including animal behaviour, cognition, neuropsychology, mood disorders, addiction, and many more! Your professional and personal growth will be emphasised throughout the sessions, which will be held in an atmosphere that is both welcoming and intellectually interesting.

Best UK Universities for Psychology 2022 (Global rankings)

It can be challenging to discover a ranking that is all-encompassing and takes into account everything a student might be looking for. The place that a university has in a ranking is determined by a number of elements, including the influence of published research, the employment rates of graduates, the student-to-teacher ratio, the level of student happiness, and a variety of other aspects. 

It is usually important to include other rankings in order to provide a whole picture, and it could be fascinating to compare how various institutions fair in other rankings.

The Shanghai Rankings, the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the U.S. News World University Rankings are a few examples of other psychology rankings that are generally regarded as reliable.

RankShanghaiTHE RankingQS Ranking
1University College LondonUniversity of CambridgeUniversity of Oxford
2University of OxfordUniversity College LondonUniversity of Cambridge
3King’s College LondonKing’s College LondonUniversity College London
4University of CambridgeUniversity of EdinburghKing’s College London
5Cardiff UniversityLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondon School of Economics and Political Science
6University of EdinburghUniversity of KentUniversity of Edinburgh
7University of WarwickCardiff UniversityUniversity of Manchester
8Exeter UniversityUniversity of St AndrewsCardiff University
9University of SussexUniversity of WarwickUniversity of Warwick
10University of YorkUniversity of GlasgowUniversity of Bristol

Rankings can be a useful tool when selecting a university, but you should keep in mind that no ranking system can account for every quality you value in a school or your educational objectives. Different rankings collect and assess their data using various approaches. Some colleges perform well across the board in rankings, while others only do so in some. For this reason, it’s wise to check a range of rankings before picking what to study next.

Benefits of Studying Masters in Psychology in the UK

The UK is a great place to get a master’s degree in psychology. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Some of the most renowned and highly ranked psychological institutions in the world are found in the UK.
  • For trained and qualified psychologists, there are many job opportunities available, especially for those wishing to work independently as well as for public and private healthcare, educational, and governmental organisations in the UK.
  • Over the coming years, psychologists in the UK could see an exponential rise in compensation because of the increased demand for qualified specialists to assist persons dealing with a variety of mental disorders, problems, and illnesses.

Related Best University in the UK

Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of ngjobalerts.com, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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