BSc Computational Psychology


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Degree of Bachelor of Science



A-Level typical
AAB (2020/1 entry) See All Requirements
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The BSc Computational Psychology degree is designed for tomorrow’s world.

This pathway provides a rigorous approach to psychology, complemented by the application of computational principles to understand the brain and behaviour.

The fusion of psychological knowledge with experience in programming and machine learning means you'll be well placed to progress into the many occupational routes which psychology students seek.

You'll have the additional benefit of acquiring skills and knowledge to explore jobs in technical fields such as artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and data analytics.

Overview

The degree programme has a central core of psychology, giving you exposure to a range of theoretical ideas and research evidence from a variety of fields, such as developmental psychology, social psychology and biological psychology. This ensures you have a grounding in the fundamental ideas which underpin psychology.

The computational elements reflect the flourishing interface between psychology, neuroscience and computing. Through combining your psychological knowledge with modules in programming, maths and machine learning you'll be able to explore the analysis and modelling of a range of psychological phenomena. You will develop an understanding of the mechanisms, structures, and processes of cognition, and how they may be modelled mathematically, and a set of skills that enable you to explore analysis and modelling in a range of psychological areas such as artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and the analysis of Big Data. By bridging these exciting disciplines you'll be the first of a new generation of formally trained Computational Psychologists.

The programme meets the requirements for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as conferring eligibility for the graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC) of the Society.

The academic year consists of two semesters. A typical module is taught through two lectures and about one seminar per week with workshops covering the computational skills aspects.

Course Structure

Year 1

In your first year you'll study four compulsory modules which make up your core learning, providing you with a platform upon which you can develop your psychological knowledge. You will encounter a wide variety of topics, from child development to the study of the individual in society. The research module will introduce you to subject specific methods in the study of psychology, as you begin developing research skills and a critical perspective. You'll join modules in Programming and Maths for Computing to build a foundation for understanding the interplay between computing and cognition.

Year 2

The second year follows a similar structure to the first year, with compulsory modules designed to develop your understanding of different branches of psychology. An advanced module in research methods aims to consolidate your knowledge of research design, qualitative analysis and statistics. In addition you'll take a specialist module in computational psychology which will introduce you to modelling cognitive processes and the architecture of the mind.

Year 3

In the third year you'll complete a substantial research project, reflecting the computational approach to cognition. You will be supported by a supervisor with expertise in your area of research, helping you to use your research skills to plan and produce a research project drawing on a specific form of data gathering and analysis. You will take modules which further advance your specialist knowledge both in computational techniques and applied areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, signal processing and computer vision. A key strength of the programme is the opportunity to experience and explore an exciting interdisciplinary subject which will build skills that are valued in a range of contemporary employment areas.

Teaching and Learning

The BSc in Computational Psychology has as its primary educational aim the scientific study of the mind, brain, and human behaviour. It combines compulsory core disciplinary learning, optional studies on specialist topics and a scientific training to reflect current knowledge of how the brain and mind work, co-developed by researchers in psychology, neuroscience and computing. While lectures are attended by all students taking a specific module, seminars are held in smaller groups where you can interact more directly with the tutor and your peers to address and discuss different topics. Workshops to develop computing skills are also an important aspect of the programme. The approach to teaching and learning is designed to enable students to graduate with: A comprehensive and robust knowledge of the mind, brain, behaviour, experience and social relationships and how core knowledge informs and relates to specialist contemporary fields of psychology. A command of the scientific method, proficiency in evaluating empirical evidence and competence in employing a range of research methodologies to answer psychological questions. The ability to describe and discuss the place of psychology in society, its relationship to cognate disciplines, and the capability to apply a range of psychological theory and empirical evidence to contemporary issues. Subject specific and generic skills in critical thinking, communication, numeracy, information technology and personal reflection which engender an enduring enthusiasm for learning and the resources to adapt to and succeed in a diverse and changing work environment.

Assessment

A range of assessment methods are used to monitor your progress, including coursework, reports, essays, projects, presentations, timed tests and examinations. There are both compulsory and optional elements to promote a combination of breadth and depth, core knowledge and creativity.

Career destinations

Recent graduates have entered a number of fields, including:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Artificial Intelligence Scientist
  • Human-computer interface designer
  • Neuro-marketing

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Accreditation

The programme meets the requirements for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as conferring eligibility for the graduate basis for chartered membership, (GBC) of the Society.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

MATHEMATICS FOR COMPUTING B

This module is designed for you if you have an A level (or equivalent) in Mathematics. It will provide you with an introduction to the mathematics of counting and arrangements, a further development of the theory and practice of calculus, an introduction to linear algebra and its computing applications and a further development of the principles and computing applications of probability theory. In addition, 3D Vectors are introduced and complex numbers are studied.

CMP-4005Y

20

PROGRAMMING 1

In taking this module you will gain a solid grounding in the essential features of object-oriented programming, using a modern programming language such as Java. The module is designed such that you are not expected to have previously studied programming, although it is recognized that many students taking the module will have done so in some measure.

CMP-4008Y

20

PSYCHOLOGY OF THE INDIVIDUAL: Development, Personality, Brain and Cognition

The overall aim of the module is to provide you with an introduction to the knowledge base and research issues underpinning how psychologists understand both normative processes and how people are different. From developmental psychology, you will cover a range of issues such as the contributions of nature and nurture. From personality psychology, you will look at areas such as the measurement and major controversies of personality. In semester 2, the module provides you with an introduction to evolutionary, biological and cognitive psychology enabling you to develop an understanding on a range of subjects including the basics of evolutionary theory, the anatomy and physiology of the central nervous system, the computational metaphor of the mind and how this is used to comprehend processes such as memory and perception. You will begin to develop effective study skills, such as searching for literature, research and essay writing.

PSY-4003Y

40

RESEARCH DESIGN AND ANALYSIS I

In this module you are introduced to the principles of research methods in psychology. You will be expected to think about the meaning of research and the philosophical underpinnings of scientific method. You will be provided with an introduction to the intellectual and practical process of scientific discovery, and will be taught how to use and evaluate some common research techniques and to produce properly organised research reports.

PSY-4001Y

40

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

COGNITIVE AND BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

You will cover a wide range of core psychological topics on this module which are arranged into two distinct themes: Cognitive Psychology and Biological Psychology. Cognitive Psychology Theme: -Critically evaluate theories and discuss conflicting evidence within cognitive psychology. -Understand the practical implications of research in cognitive psychology. -Critically discuss recent progress in cognitive psychology. Biological Psychology Theme: -Describe and evaluate a range of methodological techniques which underpin the study of the human brain. -Demonstrate an understanding of the neurobiolocial basis of behaviour including vision, movement, language, learning, memory and emotion. -Critically discuss the neurobiological of some psychopathologies. By the end of this module you will have acquired advanced knowledge about how the mind is thought to be organised and how it operates (cognitive) and the neural systems that underpin the mind (biological).

PSY-5017B

20

CONCEPTUAL AND HISTORICAL ISSUES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

This module firstly provides a guide to the main ideas, people, approaches and methods that have shaped the discipline of psychology throughout its history. It will also help you to better understand contemporary psychology, its relationship to the sciences and humanities, as well as providing a context for the other modules that make up your psychology degree. The major schools of psychology and some of the key themes and debates that characterise the discipline will also be discussed (for example, the freewill-determinism debate, reductionism and the nature and limitations of scientific enquiry in psychology). We then move onto the consideration of individual differences and will explore and evaluate theories and findings, in the following area of differential psychology: scientific foundations of personality and intelligence, measurement and psychometrics.

PSY-5015Y

20

RESEARCH DESIGN AND ANALYSIS II

You'll develop your understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The module will enhance your understanding of statistical methods for drawing valid conclusions from numerical data through examination of (i) techniques for data screening and exploration; (ii) statistical significance, power and effect size (iii) parametric and nonparametric tests; (iv) analysis of variance models; (v) multiple regression. It aims to develop your skills and confidence in using SPSS for the analysis of data. You'll also be offers the opportunity to develop your skills in relation to qualitative research design and analysis. You will become familiar with the theoretical, philosophical and methodological dimensions of qualitative psychology, building interviewing skills and exploring meaning through the analytical processes of grounded theory, narrative and discourse analysis.

PSY-5003Y

40

SOCIAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

The module runs across two core themes of psychology, Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. The Social Psychology theme will consolidate and expand your knowledge of core areas of social psychological theory and research, namely; Social Perception (including person perception, attitudes, attribution), Inter-group Processes (including prejudice, inter-group conflict, social identification), Small Group Processes (including norms, leadership, decision-making, productivity), Social Influence (including conformity, obedience, majority and minority influence, the bystander effect), Close Relationships (including interpersonal attraction, relationships). The Developmental Theme will consider a range of concepts, issues and debates concerning social, emotional and cognitive development during infancy, childhood and adolescence. You will be encouraged to think critically about some key theoretical and methodological approaches. Recurrent themes include the influences of genes and environment; thought and language; typical and atypical development; social context and communication with children; and the relative roles of the individual and culture in development.

PSY-5016A

20

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This module will introduce you to core techniques in Artificial Intelligence. Topics covered may include state space representation and search algorithms, knowledge representation, expert systems, Bayesian networks, Markov Models, Neural networks, Deep learning, and an Introduction to Robotics and Drone.

CMP-6040A

20

AUDIOVISUAL PROCESSING

This module explores how computers process audio and video signals. In the audio component, the focus is on understanding how humans produce speech and how this can be processed by computer for speech recognition and enhancement. Similarly, the visual component considers the human eye and camera, and how video is processed by computer. The theoretical material covered in lectures is reinforced with practical laboratory sessions. The module is coursework only and requires you to build a speech recogniser capable of recognising the names of students studying the module using both audio and visual speech information.

CMP-6026A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

BEING HUMAN: Evolutionary and Comparative Approaches in Psychology

By considering the development of the human mind and behaviour from an evolutionary perspective and by comparing humans with other animals this module will explore how the biological underpinnings of 'human nature' relate to thinking, motivation and social relationships. Everyday aspects of being human such as attraction, mate choice, parenting, emotion, cooperation and conflict will be used to investigate how behaviours have developed in response to the problems of survival. The comparison of human and animal cognition and behaviours will raise questions about the uniqueness of human characteristics, the connections between psychological functioning across species and the relationship between people and animals. Your understanding of evolutionary and comparative psychology developed through the module will be shown to be related to many 'real-world' concerns ranging from sex and gender, through emotion and motivation to mental health issues.

PSY-6026A

20

BRAIN AND COGNITION

In this module, you will undertake an extensive examination of various experimental approaches used in Cognitive Neuroscience. Using the examples of commonly studied cognitive functions, we will examine how they develop in infancy, how they are modified as we age, to which brain networks they are associated with, and how they are impaired by focal brain lesions. The goal of the course is to develop your critical thinking, research and presentation skills, enabling you to synthesize, evaluate, and debate current theory and data in the field.

PSY-6009A

20

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

How do infants learn to think? How does language develop? How do we get data from young children, and how can we understand them? In this module you'll learn about how children's thinking changes from infancy through adolescence using examples from, for instance, perceptual development, language development, and higher-level cognitive development. This will enable you to learn how to think like a developmental scientist. You'll also acquire an understanding of theories of development, the research tools used, and how to study change over time. You'll approach these topics with a mix of lectures, seminars and practical classes that introduce you to different research techniques and guide you towards being able to understand and design developmental research.

PSY-6003A

20

DECODING THE REAL-WORLD: from Light to Neurons to Experience

The world we live and act in is a creation of our mind. Our brain takes small samples of light and sound and cobbles together the rich world we experience. This module will develop your understanding of how we make sense of our visual and auditory world, how we put information together, and what we often miss. Throughout the module you'll focus on both the behaviours (how do we remember an environment, recognise a friend's emotions, etc.) and the underlying neural activity that make these experiences possible, including how various brain regions interact and the type of information passed along neural pathways. In addition, you'll cover the methods researchers use for empirical investigations (fMRI, clinical populations, eye tracking, etc.). You'll be encouraged to critically evaluate current perspectives and design a study to help reveal how we understand our visual and auditory world.

PSY-6018A

20

PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING THROUGH THE LIFESPAN

What is psychological health and wellbeing? How might it change as we get older? How might it affect and be affected by the other areas of our lives? Throughout this module you will explore psychological health and wellbeing across the lifespan. You will consider a number of psychological perspectives, including critical and positive psychology approaches, to take a broad look at what we mean by psychological health and wellbeing, paying attention to cultural and historical context. You'll start by discussing different theories and components of psychological wellbeing, and then link this knowledge to examples of functioning and application at different life stages. Past examples of this have included psychological health programmes in schools, the workplace, therapeutic interventions, and positive approaches to ageing and later life.

PSY-6020A

20

PSYCHOLOGY OF MENTAL HEALTH

This module is about the study of mental health from a biopsychosocial perspective. By the end of the module you will learn about: - Historical approaches to defining abnormality; - The biological, psychological and social treatments for psychiatric disorders; - The methods to assess and diagnosis abnormality and psychiatric disorders; - The research strategies used to gain knowledge of abnormality and psychiatric disorders.

PSY-6024A

20

PSYCHOLOGY OF RISK

Assessing risk has always been of great importance as individuals attempt to avoid negative outcomes under conditions of uncertainty. More recently there has been an attempt to make this assessment objective as a foundation for government policies and public information. However, there is often a gap between expert objective opinion and individuals' opinions, which can be problematic, for example when attempting to persuade people to reduce their carbon footprint or cut down on unhealthy behaviours. This module examines ongoing research which seeks to explain the phenomena and theories that underlie the individual's ability to gather and assess information about potential risks and their subsequent decisions. This includes defining risk, considering individual differences in risk perception and the influence of sources of risk information.

PSY-6004A

20

PSYCHOSOCIAL PERSPECTIVES ON RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY LIFE

In this module, you will consider the science of relationships and identify some of the critical factors that make and shape 'family' life. You will begin by deconstructing the concepts of 'relationships' and 'family' within their historical and cultural contexts. You will consider the different theoretical approaches utilised to understand and research relationships and family life. You will then explore specific topics such as relationships, parenting, marriage and divorce, before concluding with a consideration and evaluation of family and relationship research and policy. Please note, this module is reserved for psychology students.

PSY-6001A

20

SOCIAL PERCEPTION AND BEHAVIOUR: From Individuals to Relationships to Groups

The module aims to enable students to comprehend, evaluate and compare the core topics and major perspectives in social psychological theory and research. The module will: - Introduce you to topic areas related to social perception in the context of individual, interpersonal, and intergroup processes, and highlight how these topics relate to everyday behaviour. - Assist you in formulating an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of key theoretical approaches discussed in this class. - Encourage you to adopt a constructively critical and creative approach. - Nurture intellectual enthusiasm for the subject matter within a supportive learning environment.

PSY-6014A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

APPLIED NEUROPSYCHOLOGY

This module is suitable for students who aspire to utilise their psychological knowledge within careers which may involve contact with patients, carers, clinicians and people who experience neuropsychological deficits in adulthood. The module will enable you to apply fundamental knowledge from the fields of Neuropsychology, Neuroscience and Neuro-rehabilitation about biological and cognitive brain processes (such as perception, action, attention and memory) to neurological conditions. You will also develop evidence-based knowledge of symptoms and interventions for neurological conditions (such as head injury, dementia or stroke). Building from your knowledge of the brain and cognition you will extend your understanding of how basic neuroscience research can inform diagnosis, assessment and effective rehabilitation of neurological patients and people with neurological conditions.

PSY-6025B

20

COMPUTER VISION

Computer Vision is about "teaching machines how to see". You will study methods for acquiring, analysing and understanding images in both lectures and laboratories. The practical exercises and projects that you undertake in the laboratory will support the underpinning theory and enable you to implement contemporary computer vision algorithms.

CMP-6035B

20

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY

In this module we will explore areas of current interest and debate in the psychology of criminality, and in the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system. We will consider the roles that psychologists play in understanding, detecting and treating criminal behaviour, and we will discuss the issues, methods, findings and implications of research in areas such as crime statistics, psychopathy, sex offending, serial murder, terrorism, offender profiling, eyewitness testimony, and the assessment and rehabilitation of offenders.

PSY-6023B

20

MACHINE LEARNING

This module covers the core topics that dominate machine learning research: classification, clustering and reinforcement learning. We describe a variety of classification algorithms (e.g. Neural Networks, Decision Trees and Learning Classifier Systems) and clustering algorithms (e.g. k-NN and PAM) and discuss the practical implications of their application to real world problems. We then introduce reinforcement learning and the Q-learning problem and describe its application to control problems such as maze solving.

CMP-6002B

20

NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

This module will develop your understanding of both typical and atypical development through a detailed introduction to theory and empirical research related to neurodevelopmental disorders. It will highlight how genetic, environmental, biological and cognitive factors interact to shape development and behaviour over time. You will be encouraged to critically evaluate classical and contemporary perspectives on the subject and invited to consider practical issues related to the identification of, and provision for, children demonstrating an atypical developmental trajectory.

PSY-6022B

20

PSYCHOLOGY OF GOOD AND EVIL

You will consider the psychological aspects of destructive and benevolent behaviour. Classic and contemporary research will inform the understanding of the psychological processes that underpin extreme detrimental and beneficial behaviours. You will examine empathy, altruism, anti-social and criminal behaviour on both the individual and group level, integrating social psychological theory with historical examples. 'Evil' elements such as cults, killing, power and control will be balanced by the second strand of the module concerning virtuous behaviour, compassion, empathy, solidarity and social change. Situational and personal factors that drive these behaviours will be considered.

PSY-6019B

20

PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

This module will survey psychological approaches to language, featuring discussions of experimental methods in psycholinguistic research and theoretical approaches to both language comprehension and production. More specifically, you will gain an understanding of the main theories of language comprehension and production, and how psycholinguistic research develops and tests theoretical questions concerning the nature of underlying representations and the mechanisms associated with language *processing*. Emphasis will be placed on a full understanding of the mapping between theoretical research questions, and the experimental methodologies and techniques used to advance our understanding of how language is processed in the adult human brain.

PSY-6015B

20

SOCIAL AND AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE

In this module, you will cover contemporary research and theoretical debates in the related fields of Social Neuroscience and Affective Neuroscience. Your learning objectives of this module will be to: 1) Understand the methodological and conceptual underpinnings of social and affective neuroscience, 2) Understand the state of research in a variety of topics, 3) Understand why key debates in these topics are important for the discipline more broadly. By the end of this module you will have a mastery of the key topics and issues in social and affective neuroscience. You will understand and be able to give an individual account of the important theoretical and empirical work. You will develop an understanding of the neuroscientific techniques available to social and affective neuroscientists and the importance and limitations of these techniques. Please note this module is reserved for psychology students.

PSY-6010B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • A Level AAB including Mathematics and one Science
  • International Baccalaureate 33 points including HL 5 in Mathematics and one other science subject
  • Scottish Highers AAAAA including Mathematics and one Science
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BBC including Mathematics and one Science
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 4 subjects at H2, 2 subjects at H3 including Mathematics and one Science
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 36 credits at level 3 and Merit in 9 credits at Level 3 including 12 credits in Mathematics and 12 credits in Science
  • BTEC DDD acceptable in a Science-based subject alongside A-level Mathematics grade B. Excluding BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 80% overall including at least 85% and 70% in Mathematics and one Science

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading): 

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in all components) 

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list

INTO University of East Anglia  

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study: 

 

Interviews

Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a time. 

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry on your UCAS application. 

Intakes

The annual intake is in September each year. 

Alternative Qualifications

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level. 

GCSE Offer

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE. 

Course Open To

UK and overseas applicants. 

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support 

Tuition Fees 

Information on tuition fees can be found here: 

 

 

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds.  

 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates. 

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option. 

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The application allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it is sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges. 

The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14. 

FURTHER INFORMATION 

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University.  

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515 

 

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515