Welcome to Psychology

The School of Psychology is absolutely delighted to welcome you to the University of Leeds. Although you may be a little overwhelmed by the competing demands of the start of term, please take time to reflect on how well you have done to secure a place here and look forward to an exciting, challenging and life-changing experience; you will not be the same person at the end of your degree programme! Many congratulations.

Independent learning

At the School of Psychology, we take pride in the way our students evolve from ‘pupils’ to ‘Independent scholars’ during the time of their degree. This is not a process that happens quickly, and you will be given guidance and training throughout, but this is one of the most important transitions you will make.

By ‘independent learning’ we certainly don’t just mean ‘working on your own’. Instead, the phrase refers to the way you increasingly shape the way you work, and choose precisely what you want to research. Being an independent learner means taking the initiative in relation to the tuition and guidance you get, seeking out resources that interest you, and finding ways of working, both individually and collaboratively, which allow you to make the most of your passions within the subject. During the first year, we provide a foundation for your independent learning by:

  • Teaching you new techniques of experimental design, data analysis, essay writing and oral presentation skills
  • Introducing you to the rich resources, collections and online databases in the University Library
  • Providing you with frameworks for your independent research, including detailed reading lists, carefully designed Minerva areas for each module, school research seminars and collaborative discussion forums, all of which will enrich your individual scholarship

By the end of your degree, you will have produced an original piece of independent scholarship, your Level 3 dissertation, which you will have designed, outlined and completed according to your own agenda.

Making the grade

Teaching in the School of Psychology takes place in two semesters, each lasting eleven weeks.

In Psychology you’ll find a variety of approaches used to assess your work. Here are a few to start with:

  • Peer assessment
  • Critical reading tasks
  • Long and short essays
  • Problem solving
  • Statistical reports
  • Dissertations (a longer piece of writing)

All marking is done anonymously so the lecturers do not know whose work they’re marking until the process has been completed.

All marked work is then moderated by another person in the department to make sure marking continues to be done fairly and consistently. That means that every time you submit a piece of work, two members of the teaching staff take part in the process that produces your results.

You will learn much more about all of these processes when you join us in September.


The School is committed to producing psychological research of a high quality addressing cutting edge issues in relation to fundamental questions about the determinants of human behaviour and applied questions of contemporary relevance. Our research addresses the Grand Challenges of:

  • Behaviour change
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Successful ageing
  • Successful childhood development
  • The nervous system and its disorders

All our students get involved in research in the School of Psychology and this hands-on research is a key part of your experience at Leeds. As part of your programme you will do three mini-projects in Year 2 and you will of course do a dissertation in your final year.

Visit the staff page on the School of Psychology website to find out more about the staff, including their research interests and contact details.

Discovery modules

As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you can choose something different to your main subject as a discovery module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.