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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:

  • Foundations of psychology

    This will include a focus on the four main areas of psychology

  • Research methods

    These will cover the quantitative and qualitative research methods you’ll need in order to complete your research project.

  • Conceptual and historical issues

    This covers how psychology theory has changed over time and what factors will affect its development in the future.

  • Individual differences

    This looks at why people have different personalities, how we can measure intelligence and how we treat mental disorders. This is often linked to social psychology.

  • Optional modules

    Depending on the university, you can usually choose some of the modules you study so you can specialize in an area you enjoy. These could include things like forensic psychology, neuropsychiatry or addiction.

  • Research project

    Most psychology degrees will include a year-long research project in the final year of your studies. This will make up a significant part of your final assessment.

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

  1. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application
  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

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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    Psychology - BA Pace University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    44,714 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 44,714 USD

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

    Psychology and Sociology - Dual BSc (Hons) Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    20,911 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,000 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Psychology and Sociology
  • false

    Disability Studies & Psychology - BSW (Hons) University of Windsor, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    27,151 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 33,514 CAD

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

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

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,426 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

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

    Law with Psychology - LLB (Hons) University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    25,791 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,500 GBP

    Start date
    February, November, September, July, April
    Show program overview about Law with Psychology
See all bachelor's degrees in psychology

Associate in psychology

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    Liberal Arts & Sciences: Psychology - ASc Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    6,892 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,892 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Liberal Arts & Sciences: Psychology
  • false

    Psychology - AA Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,323 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 21,383 CAD

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

    Psychology - AA Santiago Canyon College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    8,304 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,304 USD

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

    Psychology - AA College of the Canyons, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,000 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,000 USD

    Start date
    August, June, February
    Show program overview about Psychology
  • 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, June, August
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all associate degrees in psychology

Certificate in psychology

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    Psychology - Cert University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    16 months
    Annual tuition fee
    8,597 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,167 GBP

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all undergraduate certificates 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
    15,196 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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    Addiction Psychology and Counselling - MSc London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,605 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,890 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Addiction Psychology and Counselling
  • false

    Experimental Psychology - MSc University of West Alabama, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,494 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,494 USD

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

    Applications of Psychology - MSc University of Suffolk, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    16,436 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,790 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Applications of Psychology
  • false

    Applied Social and Political Psychology - MSc Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    21,608 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Applied Social and Political Psychology
  • false

    Business Psychology - MBusPsy University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    29,125 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 38,535 AUD

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

Doctorate in psychology

  • false

    Industrial and Organizational Psychology - PhD Central Michigan University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,300 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,300 USD

    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • false

    Counseling: School Psychology - EdS Murray State University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,800 USD

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

    Counselling Psychology - Doctorate London Metropolitan University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,963 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,320 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Counselling Psychology
  • false

    Counselling Psychology - DCounsPsy Teesside University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,193 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,050 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Counselling Psychology
  • false

    Educational Specialist in School Psychology - EdS California State University, Long Beach, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    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 Educational Specialist in School Psychology
See all doctorates in psychology

Diploma in psychology

  • false

    Psychology - PGDip University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    16 months
    Annual tuition fee
    10,431 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,482 GBP

    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all postgraduate diplomas in psychology

Certificate in psychology

  • false

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

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    15,260 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,190 AUD

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Business Psychology (Exit Award)
  • false

    Psychology - PGCert University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    8 months
    Annual tuition fee
    5,215 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 3,741 GBP

    Start date
    January, October, July, April
    Show program overview about Psychology
See all postgraduate certificates in psychology

Pathway in psychology

  • false

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

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    16,032 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,500 GBP

    Start date
    September, February
    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.