Why Study Psychology in the UK? - Dr Ryan Scott


5. How does studying Psychology in the UK differ from in other countries?

I can’t comment on many other countries’ Psychology courses but I can offer a side-by-side comparison with the USA. In the UK, a Psychology course is 3 years long, whereas in America a Psychology degree typically takes 4 years. In the UK the main focus is on the subject of psychology itself, while in America psychology forms a much smaller proportion of the total material covered. Finally, the UK places much more focus on hands-on research experience with the research project forming a very substantial part of the overall degree.

6. What should students look for when choosing a university to study Psychology at in the UK?

There are a number of things you should look for in a prospective institution:

  • A large faculty with diverse research interests – A small faculty, or one with little diversity in research interests, will restrict the number of options and elective courses available. It will also make it more difficult to find project supervision from a faculty member whose research interests match your own.
  • Research-active faculty - It is important that the people teaching you are up to speed with the latest developments in the field (and even better if they are the ones making those developments)
  • Flexibility of course structure - A course with a large number of electives and fewer compulsory modules will allow you to tailor the course to your interests, even if these change as you progress through your degree.
  • Environment - Finally, you’ll want to have a nice environment (preferably on a campus) in a city where there is a lot going on and that suits your personality.

Why Studying Psychology in Australia? 

7. Which is the most popular of your Psychology courses at Sussex and which are the most popular non-compulsory modules in Psychology?

Our most popular course is actually the straight Psychology BSc. I think a lot of students want to study as much psychology as they can before choosing to specialise later down the line. There are number of popular modules but a top 4 that stand out are:

  • The Psychology of Forensic Analysis and Investigation
  • Clinical Psychology and Mental Health
  • Self-regulation: The psychology of achieving your goals
  • The Biological Basis of Mental Disorders

8. Have you got any success stories about former students who have gone on great things?

One of our students, Molly, came to Sussex as an exchange student from the University of Michigan. She liked it so much that she transferred to complete her full undergraduate degree here. She is now studying aPhD here, after receiving a Chancellor’s International Research Scholarship.


Find out more about studying Psychology at the University of Sussex on http://www.sussex.ac.uk/psychology.

Dr Ryan Scott is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sussex and is a Research Fellow at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He is also the Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the School of Psychology. View his staff profile for more information and his contact details.