How To Apply
UCP BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies

BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies

The Open University

course overview

Do you ever wonder why people act in the way that they do or what makes you who you are? Would you like to understand the psychological factors and how this links up with broader society?

Do you find yourself wondering what part of human behaviour is explained by nature and what part is down to the society we live in?

If so then the BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies course at University Centre Peterborough may be of interest to you. Psychosocial Studies is a unique subject that addresses both individual experiences and larger social processes. In the course you will be introduced to the core concepts that shape the discipline and the key tools with which to undertake social analysis and research.

You will ponder the big questions relating to identity, wellbeing, ageing as well as broader questions relating to social justice like inequality and discrimination. You will also learn the skills of a social scientist, you will be capable of formulating research questions and investigating them on your own.

You will undertake research independently and as a member of a group and you will gain an insight into the city and the wider region – the problems and challenges it faces and the ingenuity and energy with which it meets these.

Finally you will hone in on your future career path testing your interests and skills working with local organisations and building your professional network for when you graduate.

You will have the opportunity to undertake a live research project with a range of local partners and undertake research that makes a real difference to the life of the city and the broader region. This will enable you to graduate not just with a good degree but a range of real world experience which will help you progress into your desired career

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

Download Course Specification

5 GCSE grades C/4 or above, including English, Maths and 88 UCAS points, which should be from a related subject in one of the following:

  • A Levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE
  • Related work experience
  • Overseas qualifications are judged to be equivalent to the above

Students who do not qualify by any of these qualifications may be offered an interview to discuss equivelant qualifications and previous experience.
We accept A Level General Studies and AS levels when combined with other full qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will require an IELTS score of 6.0 or above or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • Academic and Professional Skills for Social Scientists (30 credits)
  • Foundations in Sociological Theory (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (15 credits)
  • Social Psychology (15 credits)
  • Politics, Ideology and Society (15 credits)
  • Psychosocial Formations of the Self and Identity (15 credits)
  • Globalisation and its Effects (15 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • Research Skills for Social Scientists (30 credits)
  • Contemporary Social Theory (15 credits)
  • Social Policy in Action (15 credits)
  • Intersectional Studies (15 credits)
  • Development Through the Lifespan (15 credits)


  • Sociological Perspectives: Education (15 Credits)
  • Health Psychology (15 credits)
  • Psychology of Education (15 credits)
  • The Body in Society (15 credits)

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Undergraduate Major Project (30 credits)
  • Society Beyond Nature (15 credits)


  • Theories and Concepts in Psychological Therapies (15 credits)
  • The Digital Human (15 credits)
  • Critical Studies in Race and Ethnicity (15 credits)
  • Exploring Feminist Thought (15 credits)
  • Foundations in Clinical Psychology (15 credits)
  • Atypical Child Development (15 credits)
  • Sociology of Sexuality (15 credits)
  • Investigative Psychology (15 credits)
  • Live Research Project (15 credits)
  • Social Movements and Activism (15 credits)

If it is unviable to run an optional module due to student demand, an alternative module will be offered.

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study. A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study. A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
40% Lectures
20% Seminars
40% Workshops
Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
40% Lectures
20% Seminars
40% Workshops
Final year for full-time students (Level 6)
40% Lectures
20% Seminars
40% Workshops
There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 90% Coursework
  • 10% Practical Exams

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 90% Coursework
  • 10% Practical Exams

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 80% Coursework
  • 20% Practical Exams

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback. End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester. In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

70%+ First
60-69% 2:1
50-59% 2:2
40-49% Third

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience to aid their career development.

Claire Bowes

“I am the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies degree at University Centre Peterborough. I joined University Centre Peterborough in January 2011 as a lecturer after completing my undergraduate degree in BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies at University Centre Peterborough. I then became course leader in August 2013 and in that time have introduced a range of innovations to create a successful student experience.

My research interests include research methods, primary research, religion, gender, inequality, class, social psychology, education and feminism. I have a vast amount of experience lecturing on the majority of modules on the Psychosocial Studies and Sociology courses. This experience has given me a detailed insight into the composition and essence of the degrees.

I have a keen interest in pedagogy and evidenced based teaching practice, conducting action research in order to improve practice. I have introduced a mentoring scheme (Bowes, 2015*) utilising evidence based behaviour change intervention to support students. I sit on the Higher Education Board, The School Research Ethics Panel, The Student Engagement Learning & Teaching Committee and the Research & Scholarly Activity Group.

I am very interested in current affairs and politics. I enjoy cultural experiences including reading and visiting historical sites of interest. I also use different forms of social media and engage with digital academic communities.”


MRes Educational and Social Research, University of London
BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies, University Centre Peterborough
Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Anglia Ruskin University

Each year, there are many students who complete the BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies course who go on to study a variety of postgraduate courses.

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

Social Worker
Human Resource Officer
Play Therapist
Advice Worker
Entry to Psychological or Social Policy Careers


Full-time: 3 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)
Part-time: 4 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students will be £8,250 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
See What our Students Have to say
University Centre Peterborough Case Studies

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I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in conservation and joined Stamford College to study Level 3 Animal Studies and then progressed to the HND Animal Management course at UCP.

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I couldn’t have picked a better degree to prepare me for the role! University Centre Peterborough provided me with support during the application process, plus, the class sizes were small, so I got plenty of one-to-one support.

Bethany Reynolds, Former Student

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Being Poet Laureate, for me, means a bigger platform and a louder voice to do the things I am passionate about.

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From the very beginning to the end of my degree I have learnt, experienced and gained so much knowledge, skill and passion for my subject.

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After I presented my final year project at the UCP Computing Conference, which is attended by employers from the IT industry, I was invited to an interview at HIVE Learning who were impressed with my work. That has now led to me getting my dream job in London working on the development of learning technologies.

Maciej Kazimierek, Former Student

University Centre Peterborough currently has 700+ students on over 30 different degree level programmes.


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