University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry

Psychology (Experimental)

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Psychology (Experimental)

A BA in 3 years

UCAS code: C830

Course statistics for 2013 entry

Interviewed: 64%

Successful: 27%

Intake: 50

Entrance requirements

A-levels: A*AA

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 39 (including core points) with 766 at HL

Or any other equivalent

It is highly recommended for candidates to have studied one or more science subjects or Mathematics to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent.

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Tests: TSA on 5 November 2014

Written Work: None required

Tuition Fees for 2014

Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

More Information

+44 (0) 1865 271376

Oxford Open days

2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014

What is Psychology?

Psychology has been defined as the science of mental life and its scope includes a wide variety of issues. It addresses such questions as: How do we perceive colours? How do children acquire language? What predisposes two people to get on with each other? What causes schizophrenia?

Psychology at Oxford

Psychology at Oxford is essentially a scientific discipline, involving the rigorous formulation and testing of ideas. It works through experiments and systematic observation rather than introspection.

The Oxford Experimental Psychology Department is widely regarded as one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. The Department’s size and its commitment to research, as well as to excellence in teaching, means there are typically four or five research seminars each week, in addition to undergraduate lectures and classes. At present, there are particularly strong research groups in the fields of human cognitive processes, neuroscience, language, developmental and social psychology.

Fieldwork and international opportunities

A wide choice of research projects is available, including projects based in other departments and outside the University.

A typical weekly timetable

During terms 1 and 2 work is divided between lectures (about six a week) and tutorials (two to three a week). During terms 3 to 9 your time will be divided between attending lectures (about six a week), tutorials (average of 1.5 a week), and practical classes (one afternoon a week). You will also carry out your own research project and be given the opportunity to write a library dissertation.

What are tutors looking for?

In addition to a very good track record of academic achievement, tutors are keen to see whether you appreciate the scope of scientific psychology, can evaluate evidence, are able to consider issues from different perspectives, have a capacity for logical and creative thinking, appreciate the importance of empirical evidence in supporting arguments, and could cope with the quantitative demands of the course.

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider Biomedical Sciences, Human Sciences, or Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics.


Experimental Psychology students go on to follow careers in fields such as professional psychology, teaching and research, as well as finance and industry. Some careers will require additional study and/or training. This degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Since graduating in 1993, Adrian has worked as a market researcher in areas such as banking, government, whisky, and now as Market Research Manager for the Association of Train Operating Companies. He says: ‘The statistical training from a psychology degree is invaluable, as is the curiosity about why people do and think the things they do. Psychologists and researchers share the drive and discipline to approach those questions in an organised manner that leads to robust conclusions.’

Charlotte, who graduated in 2003, now works for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices as a Family Support Practitioner. She continues to use skills of assessment and analysis, developed during her undergraduate degree, to gain a full understanding of the presenting needs of the families she supports. She also uses her research skills to ensure families are offered the most effective evidence-based techniques to help them cope with their loss and grief.

Rachel who graduated in 2006, is now a client consultant at Nunwood. She says: Since graduating I have worked for two large market research companies specialising in brands and advertising research. My degree helped me to develop my analytical skills as well as gaining project management experience which have been invaluable in my chosen career path.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].


Terms 1 and 2


Three courses are taken out of:

  • Psychology

  • Philosophy

  • Linguistics

  • Neurophysiology

  • Statistics


First University examinations: Three written papers

Terms 3–5


Nine courses are taken, including the eight core topics:

  • Cognitive neuroscience

  • Behavioural neuroscience

  • Perception

  • Language and cognition

  • Developmental psychology

  • Social psychology

  • Personality, individual differences and psychological disorders

One course in experimental design and statistics


Final University examinations, Part I: Four written papers

Practical portfolio

Terms 6–9


Three advanced option courses in psychology are taken. One option can be a library dissertation. The courses change each year to reflect advances in psychology.

Research project


Final University examinations, Part II: Research project report

Three written papers (or two written papers and a library dissertation)

PSYCHOLOGY delivers World-Leading Research

Oxford Psychology achieved outstanding results in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

  • 35% of the Department’s work was rated in the highest category 4*, defined as ‘world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour’

  • A further 45% was rated 3*, i.e. ‘internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour’

See for more details.

Student statement

I love the newness of it... everything is at the cutting edge which is really cool. Researchers do interesting talks every week. Geetanjali

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