Behavioural Sciences BSc(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Sociology at Huddersfield, Psychology at Huddersfield, Eye Tracker Technology, Oculus Rift Technology, EEG Technology, Polygraph Technology

About the course

Behavioural scientists try to understand how individual and social processes help shape our complex world. By combining the disciplines of psychology and sociology, this course presents a fascinating area of study, exploring the behaviour of individuals and society as a whole.

The tutors on this course aim to make sure that your studies are stimulating and engaging through thematic teaching, a method in which you'll often study both sociology and psychology at the same time in the context of real-life examples and situations. By choosing to study Behavioural Sciences, you'll be helping to prepare yourself for a future career in sectors such as the civil service, public service and charities (amongst others).

Why study Behavioural Sciences at Huddersfield?

  • In the 2015 National Student Survey, sociology studies at Huddersfield received a 100% satisfaction score.

  • By studying this course, you'll become eligible for student membership of the British Sociological Association (BSA).

  • In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. This will help to increase your future employability prospects and give you the chance to make useful contacts in industry.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

Course type:

Full Time


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

This course introduces you to a wide range of issues and phenomena affecting individuals and social situations.

Through the 'Exploring Work and Careers' module in year 2, you'll have the opportunity to apply your learning and knowledge in a professional setting, via a practical work-based experience.

Throughout your three years, you'll be supported develop a range of analytical tools beneficial to your future career prospects.

Read on for details of each core and option module.

Year 1

Core modules:

Exploring the Social Sciences

This module guides you through the process of exploring social science subjects at university and develops your ability to be a successful student. You’ll have the opportunity to strengthen your academic study skills, as well as your knowledge of research approaches and methods, using subject-specific topics and case studies. You’ll explore ways to assess your learning needs, set learning goals, develop learning action plans and produce effective academic assignments. You’ll also be introduced to the philosophies, methods and ethics of social research processes. Assessment on this module is through coursework.

Introduction to Sociology - Society and Culture

You'll explore the founding concepts and origins of sociology in the 19th and early 20th Century, and be introduced to key perspectives and approaches within humanist and scientific traditions. You'll also examine different approaches to culture and cultural texts, before going on to study themes within contemporary culture such as cultural identity, the body and consumption, and the self. Assessment on this module will be through coursework, which may be based on the sociological element of the module and on the cultural studies aspect. The coursework will include essays and an annotated bibliography.

Psychology and Lifecourse

On this intriguing module, you will explore a number of psychological perspectives within the context of the individual lifecourse, which will form the foundation for further study. You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, where you will produce two individual workbooks (each worth 50% of module marks). The module encourages you to engage with theories in social constructivism and social and psychological development to begin to develop an understanding and explain issues that may arise during a person’s lifecourse.

Year 2

Core modules:

Sociological Imagination

You'll be supported to develop an understanding of contemporary sociological theories and concepts and how these are used to inform knowledge concerning the ‘individual-society’ relationship, and also social and cultural identities. You'll have the chance to explore sociological debates concerning structure and agency, realism and social constructionism. You'll also examine a number of social theories, including social interactionism, structuration theory, post-structuralism, feminism, queer theory and theories of intersectionality. A range of social and cultural identities will be explored within the module, such as race and ethnicity, social class, sexuality, religion, age, gender, work, the body and disability. Your learning will be assessed through coursework.

Exploring Work and Careers

You’ll have the opportunity to plan and complete a practical work based experience related to your course. This will give you the chance to apply your theoretical subject knowledge to a professional setting, helping to develop your employability skills in preparation for your future career. You’ll be assessed on your reflection upon the skills you have developed through coursework.

Culture and Society

In this module you’ll study the relationship between culture and society and consider how culture is presented in social theory. Through written coursework (an annotated bibliography and a case study) you’ll have the opportunity to explore the ways in which culture is evidenced within contemporary society.

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

You'll explore a number of topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, including race and ethnicity, sexuality, health and wellbeing, psychiatric disorder, education and other topics that you may choose study in more detail in your final year. Assessment on this module is through three pieces of coursework. These include an interdisciplinary theory based essay, an individual research proposal and a research report. The module encourages you to utilise (typically but not exclusively) sociological and psychological theories to construct an interdisciplinary approach to a number of topics that will be presented to you in lectures as a series of case studies. You will engage with issues of research ethics, methodology, data analysis and report writing to develop and produce (with supervision) an interdisciplinary research proposal and report.

Year 3

Core modules:

Final Year Project for the Social Sciences

You'll research a topic of your choice in depth, giving you the opportunity to develop your own research interests. Drawing on the area you have chosen to study, you'll engage with issues of project design and research methods. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly through an oral presentation (worth 10% of module marks) you'll discuss your project proposal. You'll then produce a dissertation (worth 90% of module marks) about your research topic. You’ll receive individual support from a dedicated staff member in supervision sessions, which will include providing feedback on up to 25% of the final draft of the project (if submitted by an agreed date)

Sociology option modules. Choose two from a list which may include:

Representing the Social: Culture and Society

In this module you'll consider that the way we see the world is strongly influenced by social representations, in terms of ideas and images created by the media and broader society that make claims to truth and engender power relations in society. Through written coursework you'll explore the ways in which a contemporary social issue is represented in images and ideas today. This will take a multidisciplinary approach, examining how social representations, ideas and images are created and the implications they have both for the individual and society.

The Body and Society

This module gives you the opportunity to look at the body in historic and contemporary society and challenge the idea that how we perceive the body is ‘natural’. You'll be introduced to a range of perspectives within which you'll investigate how the body is gendered, classified, judged, regulated, inscribed and ‘read’. You'll also look at how the body can be seen as a ‘project to be worked on’ and explore the relationship between self identity and the body. This module is assessed through coursework on a topic of your choice, involving a presentation of your ideas (worth 20% of module marks) and an essay (worth 80% of module marks).

Race; Ethnicity and Difference

In this module you'll consider contemporary British society in relation to issues of race, ethnicity and difference. You'll explore the extent to which race and ethnicity continue to shape contemporary society, in relation to education, health, employment, government policies and popular culture such as films and music. The module is assessed through written coursework on topics such as multiculturalism, race and sport, and the representation of racialised groups.

Psychology option modules. Choose two from a list which may include:

Behaviourism and Positive Behaviour Change

You'll study the subject of behaviourism, which is useful if you intend to pursue a career in clinical or applied psychology. This includes the principles of behaviour analysis and the philosophy of behaviourism that you'll apply to real life situations including the learning of new skills and reducing self-harm. You'll be assessed through two written pieces of coursework, one piece will focus on experimental and philosophical issues and the other will be based on applied behaviour analysis.

Forensic Psychology

This module studies the key approaches, concepts and issues within the field of forensic psychology through a series of lectures and online facilities. You'll explore a range of psychological explanations for criminal activity relating to two main themes. Firstly, you'll critically consider various research areas within forensic psychology including prison treatment programmes, eyewitness and expert testimony, investigative interviews, crime and mentally disordered offenders. Secondly, you'll study a range of crimes such as murder, sexual crimes, arson, acquisitive and white collar crime.

Profiling and investigating Serious Crime

You'll be introduced to the field of serious crime (for example murder, serial murder and sex offences), offender profiling and the associated police investigation process in the UK. You'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of offender profiling by producing written coursework and the criminal investigation process through an unseen exam.

The Neuroscience of Cognition

You'll cover key concepts within Neuroscience and link Neuroscientific evidence that underpin core cognitive theory. Through a series of themed lectures, case studies and examples will be used to demonstrate the links between neuroscience, cognition and behaviour. Lecture themes include: Atypical and Abnormal (effects of specific damage or traumatic brain injury), Typical and Functional (underlying mechanisms and neural correlates for typical function and Cognitive abilities) and Issues in Neuroscience (practical, ethical and workplace/professional application). You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework including an electronic case study portfolio and essay exploring a particular topic in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Psychology of Health and Wellbeing

You'll be introduced to the critical issues related to health, illness and disability in clinical and health psychology. The module challenges some of the preconceptions of ill-health from mainstream perspectives and considers how health and illness can be influenced by factors including culture, poverty, gender and sexuality. You'll be encouraged to consider how these factors impact on wellbeing and the experience and treatment of physical and mental illness and disability. Multiple perspectives will be considered in the critical, applied and research oriented module design. You'll complete one piece of coursework, in the form of an essay demonstrating a comprehensive and critical understanding of theoretical and applied approaches to the psychology of health and wellbeing.

Psychology of Education

The complex factors which interact to construct learning will be explored, using a mix of psychological theories and their influence on educational policy in schools and on further and higher education. You'll be supported to develop an understanding of how different people are enabled and disabled, in participating in learning and education. You'll also use qualitative research methods to explore the educational narrative of an individual, through coursework involving a written report and a presentation.

Investigative Psychology

You'll explore the field of Investigative Psychology and cover a wide range of areas, including the work of Professor David Canter, Offender Profiling, Geographic Profiling, Investigative Interviewing and the Detection of Deception. You'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of Investigative Psychology by producing two pieces of written coursework.

States of Consciousness

This module investigates states of consciousness, and starts by asking what consciousness is and how we should study it. You'll then explore altered states of consciousness such as sleep, dreaming, meditation, religious and mystical experience, and the effects of psychedelic drugs. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly, a portfolio of your experiences, integrated with the literature. Secondly, an essay on a key research topic in consciousness studies.

Exploring Clinical Psychology

The module explores how clinical psychologists make use of psychological theory and research in the real world. The teaching is delivered by both practising clinical psychologists and University tutors and will take place via lectures and online learning. Both the face-to-face and the virtual teaching are designed to enable you to discuss contemporary clinical practice with practitioners. The single assignment will require you to select an area of health or social care that clinical psychologists work within (e.g. learning disability or eating disorder services) and evaluate the contribution that clinical psychologists can make to this service.

Work and Organisational Psychology

This module focuses on the application of psychological expertise in work settings. You'll be provided with an overview of the range of tasks psychologists are expected to undertake when working in organisations and learn about evidence-based methods for improving life at work. Assessment will involve completing two pieces of coursework; a problem-focused case study and a MCQ open-book class test.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


This course includes a compulsory work placement module in the second year. You will be expected to undertake at least 30 hours of work placement during that year. The module is designed to enhance your academic and personal development through work experience that shapes your key skills and increases your confidence for future employability.

Previous placement providers have included schools, colleges, charities, law firms, community organisations and commercial businesses.

Career opportunities

90% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Previous Huddersfield Behavioural Sciences graduates have gone on to roles relating to consulting, education, human resources, healthcare, marketing and business development in organisations including ASDA, the NSPCC, the NHS, local councils and universities.*

*Source: LinkedIn

Professional links and accreditations

By studying this course, you'll become eligible for student membership of the British Sociological Association (BSA). This gives you access to resources, events, and networking opportunities via the BSA community.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through seminars, group work, practical experience, lectures, workshops, Blackboard and Work placement. Student-centred learning is used where appropriate and its role generally increases throughout the course. Modules are designed to embed transferable skills and to allow students to progressively increase their knowledge and confidence.

Assessment will include coursework, practice/ competency based learning and examination. The nature of the assessment varies from module to module, and mirrors the modes of communication expected of graduates in this field, for example, report writing, presentations and essays

15.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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