Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree

Develop the scientific, analytical and research skills to become a future psychologist with our British Psychological Society accredited course.



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About your online psychology degree

Kick start your career with this BPS accredited online psychology degree. Our Psychology BSc (Hons) takes you on a journey through the fascinating subject of psychology. Using the latest technology, you'll experience a broad, rich and interactive learning experience, with the flexibility to fit study around other commitments.

Psychology affects everything we do and curiosity about people's thoughts, feelings and behaviour is at the centre of our course. You'll delve into the science of mind and behaviour, covering the breadth of the discipline, from applied, social and clinical psychology to cognitive neuroscience and biological psychology. We'll encourage you to keep asking questions, and develop the scientific, analytical and research skills you need to become a future psychologist.

Course highlights

  • Gain professional recognition with a course that is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Build a foundation for specialising in a range of areas; Forensic, Health, Neuro, Clinical, and Educational psychology, along with Academia, Research and Teaching, Counselling
  • Learn from, and be supported by, experienced and passionate professionals

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course lengthStudy this course over 5 years
Start datesStart in September

Application deadline

Our next deadline is

31st July 2024

UK Quality Assured

Meet your course leader

Hear more about our online Applied and Clinical Psychology undergraduate degree from course leader, Suzanna Forwood.
Suzanne talks about the modules, flexible design, and how this distance learning course is applicable to not just a career in psychology, but also professional life and employability in general.

Meet Psychology course leader Suzanna


Meet Psychology student Arianna

Arianna tells her story of how studying via distance learning is allowing her to gain a qualification that aligns with her passions and long-term goals to switch careers and work as a therapist. She explains how studying flexibly with ARU helps her maintain a healthy balance between work, study and family life.

Meet Psychology BSc student Arianna


Course overview

Psychology is a very broad topic encompassing many sub-disciplines and while this course has a focus on clinical and applied areas, all BPS-accredited degrees share a common core syllabus, ensuring that all graduates have a shared foundation to support the wide range of specialisms that you may go on to pursue. You can find further information on the BPS website: https://careers.bps.org.uk/

Our personal tutor approach ensures that you have regular contact with a tutor who can provide academic guidance to build your confidence as you progress. You’ll be led through the course with regular communication and support to guide your study and give you feedback and encouragement on your progress. You’ll use interactive learning materials and online resources that will help you to grasp the key concepts and give instant feedback, and receive written feedback on your coursework to develop the academic and professional skills that you will need.

To give you the skills you need to succeed in your career, our distance learning course is designed to provide emphasis on practical and applied work. This means you will learn how to conduct research, set up experiments and questionnaires online, collect and analyse data, and write reports to a professional standard. Through our research participation system, you will have the opportunity to act as both a participant in a diverse range of studies, and researcher in your own right.

All BPS-accredited degrees culminate in a final empirical research project which gives you the opportunity to investigate a question that excites you, with the help of an expert supervisor. This project will give you valuable, CV-enhancing skills and experience, as you will be required to make an application to a human research ethics panel, as well as designing and implementing empirical research, and analysing and reporting data.

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Modules

Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Becoming a Researcher

All psychologists require basic skills in understanding, designing, reporting and communicating research and this module will provide a grounding in these areas. As a science, psychology is driven by the empirical analysis of human behaviour. In this module you’ll start with a question of interest and formulate hypotheses to test, design, and implement a study to collect data to be analysed. You will then go on to develop an understanding of how to apply statistical analysis to data in order to draw valid and reliable inferences as to how and why people think and behave in a certain way.

The Psychology of Everyday Life

This module provides specialists and non-specialists with a psychological perspective on various issues of everyday life. We look at topical issues in order to demonstrate how psychology can provide insight into people's behaviour, and how we benefit from a scientific psychological approach.

Clinical and Health Psychology

This module provides an introduction to clinical and health psychology and the application of psychological knowledge to an understanding of health and illness, as well as interventions which can be used to improve health or relieve the symptoms of illness. You will also examine how we define and classify mental ill-health, and the different models that psychologists have used to understand the causes of mental ill-health. You’ll study specific problems, both physical and mental health issues, including eating disorders, stress, trauma, and sexual disorders, and review the different methods that can be used by clinical and health psychologists to enhance people's physical and mental health, on individual, family and population levels. This module will be of real interest to those who would like to pursue a career in clinical or health psychology, or related areas, such as forensic psychology.

Self and Society

Here you will be introduced to social psychology, developmental psychology and individual differences. You’ll explore topics such as social cognition, attribution and group processes, the foundations that make up social psychology and also how language and cognitive and emotional development affect developmental psychology. You will discover how to apply your learning to contemporary and social challenges, and the real world; allowing you to observe how social groups form and function, as well as applying psychological theories to real issues and global challenges.

Mind and Behaviour

Here you will gain an overview of the theoretical, philosophical and historical foundations that underpin the discipline of psychology. You will then learn and analyse the current model used to understand mind and behaviour, specifically cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

Research in Action: Statistical Thinking

This module develops your statistical thinking, enabling you to approach research questions with skill and understanding. You’ll develop a critical understanding of the principles of data collection and analysis in Psychology, and consider the theoretical bases, merits and limitations of various quantitative methods. You will focus on theoretical and conceptual ideas underpinning statistics and research design with an emphasis here on understanding the logic behind the techniques covered, and behind choices that researchers make. You will gain experience with practical and computer-based examples before applying your skills by conducting a formal piece of research.

Social Psychology, Development and Difference

Building on your knowledge from "Self and Society" you will explore the deeper content of this subject, looking at how certain behaviours are shaped through our individual development and through different social contexts. This will challenge you to combine your knowledge across different subject areas and will present a coherent view of a person, where our social and developmental changes are related to the actual, imagined or implied presence of others. You will learn by focusing on an issue (e.g. attraction, relationships) and consider each topic issue from an individual, social and developmental view.

Brain, Body and Mind

Brain, Body and Mind draws heavily on psychology, neuroscience, individual differences, and evolutionary approaches to provide a critical understanding of mind and behaviour. You’ll explore a range of topics that are critical to understanding the biological and evolutionary theory which supports human and animal behaviour before examining cognitive and individual difference models of the mind and behaviour.

Research in Action: Qualitative Methods and Psychology in Practice

This module will include the teaching of qualitative methods in psychology. It will examine the design, collection and analysis of qualitative data. The module will also outline key aspects of a qualitative approach such as reflexivity and epistemology. There will be specific sessions dedicated to particular approaches in qualitative research methods including thematic analysis, grounded theory and discourse analysis. As part of this module, you will analyse qualitative data and utilise your findings to formulate research questions. Through this you will develop an awareness of the ethical and practical implications of conducting professional research, including the application of professional codes of conduct and ethics in research and practice.

Lifespan Development

This module aims to give students an overview of human development across the lifespan, including how childhood experiences affect later development. Different approaches to human development will be discussed and compared, and students will be encouraged to apply theories of development to particular case studies. Some of the different approaches to human and child development to be studied may include attachment theory, Erikson’s psychosocial theory, theories of ageing, and biopsychosocial approaches.

Diagnosis and Formulation in Mental Health

Here you’ll be introduced to diagnosis and formulation in mental health as well as a variety of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders. You’ll focus on developing your knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for mental illness, looking at the diagnostic classification systems, and also establishing an understanding of the current view of mental health problems through formulation.

Atypical Development

We’ll introduce a variety of developmental conditions including Downs' Syndrome, Williams' Syndrome, dyslexia and autism, and analyse the biological, cognitive and social profiles of each. You will gain an insight into the main symptoms of each clinical condition and the prognosis for those diagnosed. We will do this by discussing published literature and studying symptoms of children and adults with these disorders in video demonstrations. We’ll also cover the effects of early brain injury, and problems in the assessment and diagnosis of developmental disorders. You’ll also consider ethical issues and working with clinical populations. This module will be particularly useful for you if you are considering a career related to development, educational or clinical psychology or a career working with typically developing children or children with special needs.

Psychological Therapies

This module provides an introduction to some of the main methods of psychological interventions used by clinical, counselling and health psychologists in therapeutically treating people. These interventions are used to assist people in strengthening their coping capacities and help work through emotional difficulties. The module will cover some of the core theoretical principles and techniques used in various psychological interventions, when working with individuals (both children and adults) as well as with families and groups.

Clinical Psychology

You'll learn what it takes to work in the profession of Clinical Psychology, including an understanding of the historical context, as well as the current political and cultural context of the practice of clinical psychology. Over the course of the module, you will be introduced to the core skills (Assessment, Formulation, Intervention, Evaluation, Communication, Research and Reflection) used by clinical psychologists, and encouraged to critically evaluate their application across a range of settings and with a variety of client groups.

Emotion

Emotions are arguably of central importance to all aspects of human life. Behaviours such as caring for the young, pursuing goals, avoiding danger, defending resources, and maintaining relationships are unimaginable (in humans at least) without the mediating and motivating effects of emotions. Even rationality and reasoning may depend on emotion according to some researchers. The study of emotion has advanced considerably since early theoretical investigations in the beginning of the 20th century until developments in the last decade in many psychology areas. You will discover these exciting developments in theory and practice.

Psychology Project

Your major project gives you the opportunity to develop your own research project, from initial planning through to conducting and collecting your data and then analysing the results. You will evaluate your research, carry out an in-depth literature review of that area, formulate hypotheses based on that review and design a study to test these, whilst at all times ensuring you maintain an ethical approach. This project also gives you the opportunity to explore a topic that is of interest to you at a much deeper level.

Cyberpsychology

The Internet is an essential part of 21st century living. This module will look at psychological explanations of being online and will approach questions such as do we behave differently online? And how is the Internet used to initiate and maintain relationships? This will include theoretical explanations of how people communicate online, including research that looks at positive attributes of Internet use (e.g. developing relationships) and negative outcomes of Internet use (e.g. 'addiction' or ‘trolling’). This module will explore the role of social network sites in our everyday lives, with particular reference to self, identity, social influence, relationships and group dynamics.

Modules are subject to change and availability.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you and your tutors measure your progress. These will include exams, essays, reports and presentations. You’ll write a dissertation in your final year to demonstrate your learning and show us you’ve developed the knowledge and skills to complete the course.

How you'll study

Our Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons) degree is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your online psychology degree remotely, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist psychology tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your online psychology degree, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Gold-standard education

We're proud to have received a Gold award for the quality of our education in a UK-wide review of university teaching standards.

Why we're rated Gold

Our course content and delivery is rated as outstanding with the review citing ‘innovative and highly effective course design and content that inspires students to actively engage and commit to their learning’.

We’re also rated outstanding in the areas of:

  • student engagement in learning
  • learning environment and academic support
  • learning resources
  • student engagement in improvement
  • approaches to supporting student success
  • intended educational gains
  • approaches to supporting educational gains.

What is the Teaching Excellence Framework?

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national scheme run by the Office for Students that focuses on the areas students care most about: teaching, learning, and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.

It has three outcomes: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

This rating was awarded in September 2023, and lasts for four years.

TEF 2023 Gold Award - Teaching Excellence Framework

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo

Accreditation

Professional recognition

Our Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons) is accredited by the British Psychological Society. BPS accreditation is an important hallmark of quality that is extensively acknowledged by employers and an essential stepping-stone for those looking to progress to Chartered Psychologist after graduation.

Upon successful completion of this BPS accredited course you will become eligible for the society’s Graduate Chartered Membership.

The British Psychological Society Accredited LOGO

Careers

What could an Applied & Clinical Psychology BSc do for my career?

Our BPS accredited undergraduate degree gives you the core knowledge required to specialise in the future. Armed with a thorough understanding of theory, as well as the research and analytical skills this degree will teach you, you’ll be well equipped to pursue specialisms of your choosing and flourish in any number of psychology-based careers.

An Applied & Clinical Psychology BSc can lead to a wide range of career opportunities. These include but are not limited to therapy and counselling roles, health and sport psychology, industrial and organisational positions and forensic psychology, amongst others.

Although these are amongst the most common fields for psychology graduates, this degree is highly appealing to employers across industries as it equips you with a number of universally applicable skills, including insight and analytical abilities, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication.

For this reason, it’s a versatile qualification with rich career potential, and with a distance learning degree from ARU, you’ll also master several additional soft skills which are highly useful in the workplace – these include organisation, time management, the ability to work independently and a high level of IT literacy thanks to our online learning platforms.

Those graduating from BPS accredited courses are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the society. 

What job roles can I consider with an online psychology degree?

An Applied & Clinical Psychology degree can lead to a wide range of career opportunities. These are just some of the job roles that Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons) graduates may consider:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counselling Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Occupational Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Health Psychologist

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings see Prospects.ac.uk. It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What skills will I get from an Applied & Clinical Psychology BSc to help my career?

Choosing to study an Applied & Clinical Psychology BSc will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • take account of multiple perspectives on psychological functioning
  • develop scientific reasoning
  • communicate effectively and professionally
  • understand, analyse and Interpret data

What can I study after an Applied & Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons)?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a postgraduate qualification such as Clinical Child Psychology MSc, Applied Positive Psychology MSc or Foundations in Clinical Psychology MSc. A Master’s degree is the most common type of postgraduate qualification and usually focuses on a specific area of a wider subject which may support your future career development. Having a bachelor’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to postgraduate study.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability Service to help you whatever stage your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A Levels (or equivalent), Psychology and Science subjects are preferred.

3 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by ARU.

As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Fees & funding

Fees

The full tuition fee for this course is £15,900.

The tuition fees you pay each year for the Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc (Hons) will be:

Year 1 – £2,650

Year 2 – £2,650

Year 3 – £3,975

Year 4 – £3,312.50

Year 5 – £3,312.50

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.

Funding

Government-backed part time student loans are available to cover the cost of studying your online psychology degree. These are subject to eligibility and terms and conditions.

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.


What our students say

Sophie Haggis - ARU Student

To anyone who is interested in human behaviour, mental health and just people in general, this course is amazing! I strongly believe that we should all be learning constantly throughout our life. No one is too old, too busy, or too inexperienced to learn new things.

Read Sophie's story
Dean - ARU Distance Learning Student

I have left with a newfound confidence, resilience and enthusiasm for distance learning and study in general. The experience has shaped me for future study and given me skills for life, both personally and professionally.

Read Dean's story
Rachael - ARU Student

I found the staff immensely helpful and supportive. Each module provided an opportunity to learn something new, put it into practice, reflect on it and see the positive results.

Read Rachael's story
Farah - ARU Distance Learning Student

I found ARU a welcoming and diverse community. Module tutors were always approachable and the assistance I was given during my studies was fabulous. I'm very career oriented, and was given the opportunity to get involved in research right from day one.


Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

31st July 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

Further reading

Find out more about this course and more on our blog

5 Careers You Can Pursue with a Psychology Degree

5 Careers You Can Pursue with a Psychology Degree

26th April 2022

View Blog