Cognitive and Clinical Psychology BSc Honours
Our 2016 undergraduate courses feature some exciting new changes based on student feedback, which include providing more opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills while here. See full details about the changes to our undergraduate courses.
View course-specific entry requirements
TYPICAL OFFER FOR SEPTEMBER 2015
|A Levels||BBB, of which two subjects should be in sciences (including maths and psychology)|
|International Baccalaureate||32 points|
|Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Science||DDM|
|Access to HE Diploma||Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 36 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction plus Maths and English GCSEs at at least grade C|
This exciting interdisciplinary degree course considers how the structure and function of the brain gives rise to mental processes. Cognitive and clinical psychology blends theoretical, experimental and applied aspects of psychology with neuroscience, and overlaps with other psychological disciplines including physiological psychology, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology and psychopharmacology.
This unique course places a particular focus on brain-behaviour relationships, by bringing together evidence from molecular and cellular neuroscience, brain injury studies and neurological illness. It explores a wide range of research-based and clinically relevant methodologies including brain imaging, computational modelling and comparative cognition (considering evolutionary and developmental approaches).
During your degree, you will consider all aspects of cognitive functioning, from learning, memory and language through to concepts such as intelligence, creativity and consciousness. The course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to develop a career across a vast range of highly sought after employment areas, including academic research, clinical psychology, experimental research, IT and neuropsychology. You will also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.
In the ﬁrst year (Level 4) of the degree, you will gain core skills in psychology, as identiﬁed by the British Psychological Association for chartered membership. In the second and third years of the degree (Levels 5 and 6), students enrol on core and option modules from a range of cognitive and clinical disciplines.
Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practical classes and laboratory work, supported by online material and periods of independent study.
Assessment methods may include exams, in-class tests, essays, oral and poster presentations, debates, case studies, and laboratory, practical and technical reports.
Subjects of study
The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Year 1 (Credit Level 4)
Subjects of study include:
- Biological Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Introduction to Psychological Research Methods
- Social Psychology
Year 2 (Credit Level 5)
Subjects of study include:
- Brain and Cognition
- Cognitive & Clinical Research Methods
- Lifespan Development
- Music & The Mind
- Systems Neuroscience
- Work Experience
Work placement year
You may take an additional work placement year between Years 2 and 3, subject to availability. On successful completion you gain a Certiﬁcate in Work-Based Learning in Psychology.
Students have recently worked with researchers carrying out brain activation studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and EEG technology. Other students have become co-researchers in projects ranging from developing artiﬁcial intelligence programs to investigating the cognitive performance of individuals with traumatic brain injury.
Year 3 (Credit Level 6)
Subjects of study include:
- Clinical Applications of Mindfulness
- Clinical Neuropsychology
- Comparative Cognition
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Neuropharmacology of Cognition
- Occupational and Work Psychology
- Projects in Psychology
- Psychology of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Psychology of Education
As part of your course you can take elective modules at Level 5 and Level 6. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, provided the minimum standard of a Lower Second Class Honours is achieved and the project has been passed. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
International Foundation course
We work in partnership with Kaplan International College London to provide Foundation courses for international students who do not meet our Bachelors degree entry requirements. For more information, visit the Kaplan International College website.
The Cognitive Neuroscience BSc Honours course at the University of Westminster offers a comprehensive degree level education that will prepare you for a career in a range psychology related areas such as clinical psychology, neuropsychology and experimental research. It also equips you with many transferable skills that are highly valued by a wide range of employers, such as communication, numeracy, critical thinking and research skills. At Westminster, we very much believe that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life.
Our degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC - provided that a minimum of lower second class honours have been obtained, and the project has been passed). This is an important stage in becoming a Chartered Psychologist since having GBC is an entry requirement for accredited postgraduate training courses in specialisms such as Clinical, Neuropsychological, Forensic, Occupational, Health, and Educational Psychology.
You will learn formally about these chartered routes and the application of cognitive neuroscience and psychology to real world problems through your choice of final year option modules. Similarly, extra-curricular events, such as our popular lunchtime employability talks by practicing psychologists, will assist you in planning your professional development and shape your career aspirations. Options to take a work experience module or a placement year provide you with the opportunity to develop professional skills in a real-world setting.
As a student in the Department of Psychology you will be invited to a series of talks which take place on selected Wednesday afternoons. Students from all years are welcome, as it is never too early to start thinking about your future. Speakers include professional psychologists working in expert roles, and University of Westminster graduates, now working in interesting and varied jobs.
Past speakers have covered topics such as:
- Working with people with mental health problems in the community
- Using experience from the work placement year to become an assistant forensic psychologist
- The training process for clinical psychology
Psychology Placement Year
Choosing to take up the optional Psychology Placement Year would enable you to spend 30 weeks working as an integrated member of an organisation or work setting related to psychology. It provides real work- based experience in an organisation which deals with issues of a psychological nature. Most students work a four-day week, with one day free for study. The Psychology Placement Year is taken after completing the second year (level 5) and before the final year of study (level 6). Taking up this option will change your degree to a four-year sandwich course, and - providing the placement is within certain categories - you are entitled to your usual funding from student finance (visit studentfinance.direct.gov.uk for more information).
The Department of Psychology makes links with suitable organisations and gives you advice about which may be suitable for your particular interests and capabilities. Examples include:
- Research Centres for the Neurosciences
- National Autistic Society
- Special needs schools
- Youth offending teams
- Victim Support
- Courts services
Maria worked as a research assistant in York University, Toronto:
“When I found out my placement year could be taken anywhere in the world, I knew it wasn’t an option to say no. I thought I would try out the research field. This wasn’t my first option since I have always thought I was better at practical jobs. I realised I was wrong. It is such an amazing experience to work among lab members and be a part of the research lab. The experience is 100 per cent worth it, and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance. Whether you are in a placement you like or dislike, it will always add to your experience and tell you which direction to head your career in.”
Ami worked in a prison for a year:
“Finding out that I was going to work in the prison was mind blowing. I was so excited to get hands-on experience as I had been interested in forensic psychology for as long as I could remember. I was assigned to various projects, for example assisting the forensic psychologists in surveys and observing programme interviews. This placement year was fantastic and I wouldn’t have missed out on it for the world. I now have HMP Wormwood Scrubs on my CV; something which most people do not have.”
Work Experience Module
Our optional Work Experience in a Psychological Setting enables you to combine valuable work experience with earning credit towards your degree. This module provides you with the opportunity to work for a minimum of 30 hours in a setting that is related to psychology. The aim is for you to develop professional skills, to apply psychology to a real-world work situation, and to integrate the theory of psychology with practice.
Examples of Work Settings include:
- Working with people with mental health issues, drug or alcohol dependence
- Supporting parents and children with autism
- Befriending people with dementia
Natalia worked in a Crime Prevention Early Intervention Team:
“The experience... has shown me that one of the most important personality traits - key to this job - is persistence. The experience has been a great self-discovery lesson. Not only have I identified necessary skills and familiarised myself with the complex structure of the sector, I’ve also discovered professional opportunities I wasn’t previously aware of... I have discovered a new part of myself.”
Sajel worked with elderly people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression in a Residential Care Home:
“This type of work experience requires you to have good communicational and organisational skills, to be patient, to be respectful... this work experience enhanced all these skills. I found I was much stronger than I thought I was, because I managed to cope with certain situations very well. I felt as if they had welcomed me into their home, and this gave me a sense of comfort...I was quite upset to leave the place.”
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
A unique learning experience
We are committed to understanding the place of psychology in the modern world and our course content is constantly updated to provide a fresh perspective into the human mind. As a student in our department, you’ll have the option of taking modules that cover the full breadth of psychology and that offer you a unique learning experience.
Excellence in teaching
On this course, you will be taught by active researchers who are passionate and knowledgeable about their subject areas. We believe strongly in maintaining close links between our research and teaching, which means that you will be taught by international experts in psychology. As evidence of our innovative teaching, we can point to six of our staff having won prestigious awards for their teaching.
Preparing you for the world of employment
This course is designed to improve your chances of successfully gaining employment once you graduate. Past students have used their eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society to pursue a career in applied psychology. Others have used their degree in related professions, including social work, management, human resources, market research, and public relations.
You will also have the option of taking an additional work placement year between Year 2 and 3, where you gain experience working under supervision in a psychological setting while working toward the supplementary award of Certificate in Work-Based Learning in Psychology. At Westminster, you will have the flexibility to defer your decision on whether to take up the optional placement year until Year 2.
Understanding your needsWe recognise that many students are put off coming to university because of the financial costs involved. At the Department of Psychology, we try to accommodate your needs: our courses are timetabled so that you are able to work part-time while still attending your lectures and seminars.
In addition, the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme is one of the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
Exciting research environment
We carry out world-leading research on a range of topics that have helped shape our understanding of psychology in contemporary society. Some of the research conducted in our department has been rated as internationally excellent and continues to influence public policy both nationally and internationally.
As part of your course, you will have the opportunity to make use of our outstanding research facilities to conduct your own research in psychology. Some of our students have gone on to publish their research in leading international journals.
Have fun while learning
We understand the importance of balancing work with fun. Students in our department are part of a several student societies that host film nights and other social events. Our end-of-year parties, which bring together students and staff, are never short of fun!
We also proudly host Plug In Your Brain, a series of public engagement talks aimed at promoting psychology to a wider audience. In recent years, we have hosted talks with international experts on such topics as body image, paranormal beliefs, music, and happiness.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.