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 2023? Well, we’ve got that answer. Here’s our pick of 13 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 university to study psychology, The University of Cambridge has a graduate prospects rating of 74%. Although this university is notorious for its gruelling entry process (having a 100% 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.

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.

3. UCL (University College London)

UCL

Another well-rounded university for studying psychology in the UK is University College London. UCL ranks as the third 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. University of Bristol

The vast majority of psychology students at The University of Bristol claimed that staff were great at explaining things. 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. Like others in this list of the best universities for psychology in the UK, they have a range of different courses for you to specialise in.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Plymouth Marjon University

Plymouth Marjon University

For those who value student satisfaction rates, Plymouth Marjon University is one of the best universities for studying psychology in the UK. Psychology courses at this university have a student satisfaction rate of a whopping 91%. Plymouth Marjon University offers courses such as Criminology and Psychology, Psychology with Education, and Sport and Exercise Psychology. Plenty of course choices alongside a high student satisfaction rate indicate that this is a great university option for students studying psychology for 2023.

12. The University of Edinburgh

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When choosing your university course, it is important to consider the research that you will be learning from and potentially undertaking yourself throughout your university career. In 2023, at The University of Edinburgh, the research quality was rated 91% by the Complete University Guide. With over seven courses in the psychology bracket, Edinburgh has many different options to choose from, making it one of the best universities for studying psychology in the UK.

13. The University of York

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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%.

When looking at the best universities for studying psychology 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.

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