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Study psychology abroad

An in-depth guide to studying psychology as an international student.

Psychology degrees abroad

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and how it influences our behavior. It helps us better understand what makes us tick, and is one of the most popular university subjects to study at home and abroad.

Choosing to study psychology abroad can open up a huge number of opportunities, and there are plenty of great psychology degree programs available all over the world for international students to choose from.

You can study psychology at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels, and in most cases you will need to study at graduate level in order to become a qualified psychologist.

Psychology program structure

Most psychology degrees are made up of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Some programs also offer a year work placement which let you apply the theory you’ve learned in a working environment. This hands-on experience can help you when it comes to choosing your future career and is a good addition to your CV.

Exactly what you study, and the depth of detail will depend on the degree level you are studying.

The course structure and scope of studying psychology abroad will also vary depending on the country and university you’re studying in. However, common themes and modules you’ll see in a psychology program curriculum include:

Types of psychology degrees

Psychology is a broad topic, and a psychology degree will aim to give you an understanding of all the areas of the subject.

However, there are many options and concentrations you can choose from that offer a more focussed curriculum in a specific area. Some common psychology subdisciplines you could study include:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • Experiment psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Criminal psychology
  • Applied psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Sport psychology

It’s worth exploring one of these programs if there’s an area of psychology you’re most interested in. Psychology can often be studied as a joint degree in combination with another subject, like sociology, education, business or mathematics.

Why study psychology abroad

Successfully completing a psychology degree will not only give you great career prospects, but it will also enhance your understanding of the people and world around you. Psychology is the perfect subject for those with an inquisitive mind, and a passion for helping people.

Choosing to study psychology abroad opens you up the opportunity of studying a much wider range of programs, and will give your studies an international perspective that can give you an edge in your future career.

Where to study psychology abroad

An important factor to remember when deciding where to study psychology is where you want to work after graduating. It will be easier to work as a practicing psychologist in the country you are studying in, provided you can get the correct work visa because you will be accredited in that country.

For example, in the UK, your degree will need to be accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society) to practice. However, you can still work in the UK if your undergraduate and postgraduate education took place abroad, but you will need to contact the BPS and meet certain criteria and potentially do some additional studies.

Consider how long you want to study before you start work. If you want to practice as a psychologist in the US or UK, you’ll need a doctorate, however, in some countries you only need a master’s degree. This means studying and working in these countries would offer a much shorter pathway to your chosen career.

Best countries to study psychology

Europe is regarded as the birthplace of psychology, so many of the best courses are located here.

The UK offers some of the most highly ranked psychology programs in the world, as does the Netherlands. Germany also boasts a number of well respected psychology courses and has the added allure of meaning you’ll be studying in the country where the discipline was born.

The US is at the forefront of modern psychology theory and is home to many of the subject’s top-ranked programs. It’s also a great location if you want to stay and work after graduating, with many psychology related career opportunities available.

Best universities to study psychology

The best university for you to study psychology will offer a program that matches your interests and ambitions and be in a country you want to live in for at least three years.

Take a close look at the program curriculum in detail, and think about what the course offers. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want to study a degree that includes work placement or internship?
  • Do I want a course that offers more practical learning?
  • How long do I want to study?

There are a large number of universities that offer psychology degrees, so take your time to make the right decision. It’s also important to think about what the university offers outside of the classroom.

See all universities offering psychology programs

How to study psychology abroad

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Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
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Psychology study abroad programs

Psychology degrees abroad are offered at several different levels. At undergraduate level you can study a bachelor’s as a BA or BSc. There may be slight differences between the two, for example a BSc may have a stronger focus on scientific study and research, but generally, the curriculums are the same. They usually take three or four years to complete depending on the country you are studying in.

As a graduate, you can study for a master’s as an MA, MS or MSci. An MSci is offered as a four year undergraduate program with an integrated master’s level qualification. Studying a separate master’s after your undergraduate degree will usually take between one and two years.

You can also study for a PhD in psychology, and it’s often necessary to do this if you want to practice as a psychologist. These programs will be largely research based, and can take two or three years to complete.

Psychology undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in psychology

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    Business and Management and Psychology - BA (Hons) Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,455 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,300 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Business and Management and Psychology
  • false

    Humanities: English and Psychology - BA (Hons) Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    12,702 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,500 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Humanities: English and Psychology
  • false

    Sport and Exercise Psychology - BSc (Hons) University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    6 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,087 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • false

    Business and Psychology - BSc (Hons) Buckinghamshire New University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,006 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

    Start date
    September, February
    Show program overview about Business and Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - BA National University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,320 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,320 USD

    Start date
    July, September, January, April
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all bachelor's degrees in psychology

Associate in psychology

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    Psychology (for Transfer) - AA Merritt College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    August, January, June
    Show program overview about Psychology (for Transfer)
  • false

    Psychology - AA College of Alameda, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    January, August, June
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - AA Douglas College, Canada

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,147 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 CAD

    Start date
    September, January, May
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - AA Hesston College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,992 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,992 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology (Transfer Pathway) - AA St. Charles Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    5,520 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 5,520 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Psychology (Transfer Pathway)
See all associate degrees in psychology

Pathway in psychology

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    Criminology & Psychology (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,829 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,900 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Criminology & Psychology (Foundation)
See all undergraduate pathways in psychology

Psychology graduate programs

Master's in psychology

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    Health Psychology - MSc University of Stirling, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    21,699 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,950 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Health Psychology
  • false

    Psychology (Conversion) - MSc Edge Hill University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,026 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,250 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Psychology (Conversion)
  • false

    Psychology: Industrial Organization - MSc California State University, Long Beach, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,604 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,604 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Psychology: Industrial Organization
  • false

    Psychology - MA Long Island University Brooklyn, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,618 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 21,618 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - MSc Liverpool Hope University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    15,509 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,400 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all master's degrees in psychology

Doctorate in psychology

  • false

    Psychology - PhD London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,747 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,780 GBP

    Start date
    January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - PhD University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    5,444 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 4,500 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    6 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,972 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,800 GBP

    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - PhD University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,929 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 37,493 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,703 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 30,720 AUD

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all doctorates in psychology

Certificate in psychology

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    Business Psychology (Exit Award) - PGCert University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    15,578 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,190 AUD

    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Business Psychology (Exit Award)
See all postgraduate certificates in psychology

Pathway in psychology

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    Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Pre-Masters - PGP University of Surrey, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    15,645 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,500 GBP

    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Pre-Masters
See all postgraduate pathways in psychology

Entry requirements to study psychology abroad

The specific entry requirements for each psychology course will depend on the country and university you’re applying to, however there are some requirements you’ll always need to meet:

  • Completion of secondary education in your home country
  • A clear interest in, and passion for, psychology
  • Satisfactory English language proficiency test scores
  • A bachelor’s degree, usually in psychology or a related field, to study at postgraduate level

Check the requirements for your chosen program carefully before you apply, to see what grades you’ll need. The application process will also be unique to the country, university and program you’re applying to, but you can see the general study abroad application requirements here.

Future psychology careers

One of the most attractive things about a degree in psychology is that it opens you up to a huge number of potential new careers - it’s not just for practicing psychologists.

It can give you loads of transferable skills that most employers value, so you’ll have plenty of options after graduation.

Here are some of the most common careers that psychology graduates go into:

  • Psychologist (you can also specialize in a specific area, e.g. clinical, educational, forensic psychology etc.)
  • Counseling
  • Advice work (e.g. careers adviser)
  • Police officer
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Probation officer

Remember that to become a practicing psychologist you will usually need at least a master’s degree, and often a doctorate. However, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is still a valuable asset that many employers look at favorably.