Information about the BA Ordinary degree

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Information about the BA Ordinary degree

BA Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degree

The BA Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degree is a three year, non-Honours degree. It is a possible option if your grades are not good enough to get into the Honours programme.

To qualify for the award of the degree, students must have obtained 360 credits in total, incorporating:

  • 240 credits at SCQF Level 8 (Pre-Honours) or higher
  • 140 credits must be in any one subject of study in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (this is called the ‘major subject’). These should be related and consecutive courses over three years of study, of which 60 credits must be SCQF level 9/10 (courses generally taken in the Honours years)
  • A minimum of 200 credits must come from courses in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • In addition to the major subject, courses in at least two other subjects of study - defined as 40 credits at SCQF levels 7-10 in that subject

Designated Disciplines

It is also possible to be awarded a BA (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) with a Designated Discipline. The requirements are the same as above, with the exception that 160 credits in a major subject are required, with 80 credits required at Honours level (SCQF level 9/10).

The Designated Disciplines available in the School of PPLS are:

  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • English Language
  • Linguistics
  • Linguistics and English Language

Merit and Distinction

Both the BA Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degree and BA Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in a designated discipline are not classified. Instead, the BA degree may be awarded as a pass, or a pass with Merit or Distinction.

  • For Merit, a student must achieve a grade of B or higher at the first attempt, in courses totalling 180 credit points. At least 40 credit points must be at Honours level, and 80 credits must be SCQF Level 8 (Pre-Honours) or higher.
  • For Distinction, a student must achieve a grade of A at first attempt, in courses totalling at least 160 credit points. At least 40 credit points must be at Honours level, and 80 credits must be SCQF Level 8 (Pre-Honours) or higher.

Obtaining BPS accreditation

If you are keen to pursue a career in Psychology, you will need to obtain BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC, or GBR as it was previously known). It is a standard which ensures that, before anyone can start a specialist psychology course, they have already studied psychology in sufficient breadth and depth to provide a sound basis for their postgraduate training. The easiest way to obtain it is to enrol on a one year Conversion Degree in Psychology (MSc or PgDip), during which you will catch up on elements of psychology that you missed out in in your final year. These include more advanced research methods and an empirical research project. There are a lot of institutions that offer Conversion Degrees to Honours graduates outside of Psychology, but there are also a few options you can enrol on with an Ordinary degree. Your enrolment success will depend on the grades you receive in third year, as well as the amount and type of credits you will receive.

Below is a list of Conversion degrees that we currently know are open to BA graduate students:

Glasgow Caledonian University: MSc Psychology (Conversion)

On campus, taught postgraduate course. GCU is accepting entries from students with an unclassified degree.

University of Highlands and Islands: MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Supported online learning with some face to face sessions in Inverness. An ordinary degree with at least 120 credits of masters level study will be considered

Manchester Metropolitan University: Psychology (Conversion)

Online course. Admissions will consider the whole application, with a focus on grades and overall student profile.

University of Derby Online: Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology

Online course. BA applicants will need to complete the first module of the programme, and will continue onto the degree if they pass.

 

You can look for other Conversion degrees through the BPS Accredited Degrees Finder.

 

Working towards a Psychology Career

If you are thinking about a career in Psychology, especially applied psychology (workplace, education, therapy or consultancy), experience is often as important as a degree. A lot of postgraduate degrees require relevant work or volunteering experience, and your third year can be a good time to gather it. Here are some options you can check out to find volunteering opportunities:

https://www.volunteeredinburgh.org.uk/

https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/activities/volunteering/

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20155/volunteer

Key Contacts

If you have questions about the BA (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) degree in the School of PPLS, please contact the PPLS Student Support Office or your Personal Tutor (Dr Eva Murzyn for all BA students).