Psychology (the study of the mind and behaviour) is a popular degree at universities in the UK. It’s actually the fourth most popular subject to study at university in Britain, with thousands of students applying each year. But which are the best universities to apply to if you want to study psychology in the UK in 2024? Well, we’ve got that answer. Here’s our pick of 15 of the best universities for studying psychology to apply to in the UK, depending on what you prioritise most.

1. University of Cambridge

Source: Mike B, Pexels

Employability after university is crucial to consider when picking your course. Ranked as the overall top UK university to study psychology in 2024, The University of Cambridge has a graduate prospects rating of 88%. Although this university is notorious for its gruelling entry process (having a 92% entry standard rating), graduates of this university do not struggle to find work post-graduation, making the University of Cambridge the best university for studying psychology in the UK. That is, if you’re thinking about your career post-uni.

2. University of Oxford

oxford university is the best of the psychology universities in the uk
Oxford University

The University of Oxford offers an internationally recognised psychology program. The department’s key strengths include its multidisciplinary approach, robust research opportunities, and exceptional faculty. Oxford’s psychology students are among the most employable in the world, thanks to the university’s strong industry links and focus on career development. It’s actually a little more difficult to get into than Cambridge, despite being in second place for top universities for psychology in the UK and not first, but it’s still worth the effort to try and get in.

3. LSE

The London School of Economics and Politics is really good for understanding how psychological concepts can be used in the real world. Sometimes when you go to uni, you learn about a lot of theories and then you never think about them again in jobs afterwards. However, the psychology courses at LSE are designed to be more applicable, so you feel like those thousands spent on uni fees are actually teaching you something worthwhile. Another reason why LSE is one of the top universities for psychology in the UK is that 100% of students feel supported by staff, which as you know, goes a long way to a good experience overall and typically helps with better grades!

4. University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews
Source: University of St Andrews

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the UK. The institution offers a flexible curriculum, cutting-edge research facilities, and a high level of student support. Plus, they’ve got one of the prettiest campuses in the UK, just to keep your mind visually-relaxed.

5. University of Bath

The Best Universities for psychology in the UK
Source: University of Bath

The University of Bath’s Department of Psychology is renowned for its research output and high student satisfaction rates. The department provides a blend of theoretical learning and practical exposure to ensure students acquire the skills required in the professional world.

6. UCL (University College London)

UCL

Another well-rounded university for studying psychology in the UK is University College London. UCL ranks as the 6th overall university for psychology, with its lowest rating being student satisfaction at 79%. However, the research quality and graduate prospects are some of the best in the rankings, at 89% and 88% respectively. UCL offers five courses in psychology which gives prospective students plenty of choices for undergraduate degrees in this area.

7. Loughborough University

loughborough university - top universities for psychology UK
Source: Loughborough University

Like many of the top UK universities for psychology, Loughborough University’s psychology course is accredited by the BPS. It’s also great because it gives students the option to extend the length of the degree from 3 to 4 years to include a year placement. This is such a good way to kickstart a career in psychology, as you’ll already have some work experience and contacts in the industry. Or, you can use this extra year to study abroad, which is such a fun thing to do while you can.

8. University of Glasgow

top universities for psychology UK
Source: University of Glasgow Facebook

The University of Glasgow claim that entry onto their psychology courses are competitive, which is because they have a limited number of students. But this does mean that you’ll be able to benefit from smaller student bodies if you get on the course as teaching will be more personalised and you’ll probably be pushed more. You’ll have lectures and practical lab classes, which offer a nice mix of passive and active learning, keeping things interested.

9. Cardiff University

Cardiff’s School of Psychology is one of the most successful research departments in the UK, particularly when it comes to the field of neuroscience. The university offers a broad curriculum, state-of-the-art research facilities, and a supportive learning environment. Like many of the best universities for psychology in the UK, all their courses are accredited by the BPS.

10. University of Bristol

The vast majority of psychology students at The University of Bristol claimed that staff were great at explaining things, contributing to it being one of the top universities for psychology in the UK. In addition, the uni’s School of Psychological Science is known for its world-leading research, high-quality teaching, and strong links with industry. The curriculum is designed to equip students with a solid foundation in the field, and lets you choose from different courses to specialise in.

11. King’s College London

king's college london school of psychology
Source: King’s College London Facebook

Accredited by the esteemed British Psychological Society (BPS), this course boasts several notable strengths that have been acknowledged by the BPS, including a strong emphasis on research-led teaching and unparalleled opportunities for students to harness the extensive research expertise housed within the globally renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). King’s College London offers different psychology programmes, where you can go on to specialise – such as Mental Health and Psychology.

12. The University of York

Source: Mike B, Pexels

Next on our list of the best universities for studying psychology in the UK is the University of York. For a university experience that is well-rounded in its student satisfaction, entry requirements, and graduate prospects, the University of York may be the university for you. Psychology courses at the university scored over 80% in both student satisfaction and research quality according to the Complete University Guide. They hold high entry standards at 73% but this coincides with a high rating on their graduate’s prospects, which stands at 67%.

13. Durham University

durham university
Source: Durham University

Durham University’s Psychology department is renowned for its innovative teaching methods and strong focus on research. The department offers a balanced mix of theoretical and practical learning experiences. Students can expect an authentic, research-oriented learning experience. Beyond mastering the fundamental principles of psychology, they’ll actively engage in research via seminars, conferences, and research assistantship programs. Access to cutting-edge clinical and experimental facilities is a notable feature of the program, with resources such as motion capture technology, eye-tracking systems, and biophysical recording labs at their disposal.

14. University of Exeter

This comprehensive and adaptable program permits students to delve deeper into their interests via an extensive array of elective modules. The program is supported by state-of-the-art learning and research amenities, encompassing the Mood Disorders Centre and labs dedicated to the study of animal learning, alongside tools for tracking eye movement and brain activity. Students will have the opportunity to investigate various specialised research domains, including social and organisational psychology, psychopathology, human cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and animal behaviour. The curriculum is crafted and delivered by globally recognised academicians, fostering a research-intensive environment that encourages close collaboration between students and faculty.

15. University of Warwick

Psychology at Warwick - top universities for psychology UK
Source: Psychology at Warwick Facebook

If you want to make a difference through psychological research, you’ll probably be impressed by the University of Warwick’s 100% rating for world-leading impact. This is a pretty impressive stat, meaning that their research is really changing things up. When it comes to choosing courses, they have lots of different areas for undergrads, such as psychology and linguistics, PPE, psychology and global sustainable development, and more, so it’s pretty diverse.

When looking at the top universities for studying psychology in the UK in 2024, it’s important to explore different universities for the right course and the best uni for you. Although each prospective student has different priorities, your university course is a crucial considering factor. Each university will have different strengths and weaknesses for similar courses.

Once you’ve decided where to go, you need to get started on writing your personal statement. We’ve got the best tips on how to write a psychology personal statement here.

For more university rankings to help you weigh up your options, visit The Complete University Guide.

Last Updated on March 20, 2024

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