BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders


Our unique BPS-accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders degree combines the study of key aspects of psychology with a focus on neurodiversity including Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. You will learn through immersive hands-on learning experiences, with a focus on real world application.

This degree will help you start forming specialist knowledge in developmental disorders and neurodiversity with a psychological underpinning. The BSc Psychology with Developmental disorders degree is ideal for students wanting to apply psychological understanding to help create change in a world designed for neurotypical individuals within settings such as education, the social sector, or the third sector.

Typical A-Level Offer
CCC to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and CC at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Merit Merit Merit (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

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Entry Requirements

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here

A DBS may be required depending on your placement.


You will complete modules covering all core areas in psychology necessary to gain British Psychological Society accreditation. This includes research methods, cognitive, social, biological and developmental psychology as well as the study of individual differences and historical issues in psychology. You will also complete a final year dissertation, which will allow you to explore a topic of your choice in more depth by undertaking a research project. Additionally, you will learn about a range of developmental disorders; including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia (or Developmental Coordination Disorder), Speech and Language Impairment and ADHD. This will include issues relating to understanding, assessment, and intervention and will be complemented by placement and classroom related activities.

You can also undertake a sandwich year placement, which provides you with the opportunity to spend a year working in a professional setting between the second and third year of your degree. This provides you with a fantastic opportunity to develop your employability skills while engaging with the community and building on the knowledge and experience of your degree.

Year One: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

In Year One, you will study the core disciplines in Psychology (Developmental, Social, Cognitive and Biological), learn how we design research and analyse data in Psychology, and be introduced to the neurodiversity movement, with a focus on Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Developmental Language Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Critical Perspectives in Psychology 

This module enables a deep appreciation of key research that has shaped our current understanding of Psychology as a science, introducing the core BPS areas of cognitive, biological, social, and developmental Psychology. 

Investigating Methods and Evidence in Psychology*

You will be introduced to the process of conducting research in Psychology, including design, data analysis, and presentation of results, learning about both qualitative and quantitative approaches. 

Introduction to Developmental Disorders 

An introduction to the theory and research associated with a range of Developmental Disorders, specifically ADHD, ASC, DCD, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, and Developmental Coordination Disorder. 

*This module is available to study fully in Welsh

Year Two: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

In Year Two, you will deepen your understanding of the core disciplines in psychology, learn advanced research methods used in Psychology, and have the opportunity to complete a placement and reflect on your professional development. In addition, you will learn the approaches used in screening and assessment of developmental disorders, with a focus on real-world application, including an immersive simulation activity in the Hydra Suite.

Screening and Assessment of Developmental Disorders 

We will look at the screening and assessment process for different Developmental Disorders, considering the collaborative work of different agencies and organisations to support this process for children and adults. 

Professional Practice and Employability 

The chance to obtain sector specific work-related experience and/or transferable employability skills linked to theory and research covered in other course modules, reflecting on the ethical and practical issues associated. 

Advanced Methods and Evidence in Psychology 

We will build on the knowledge from the first year of your course relating to research methodology, statistics, qualitative analysis, and ethics.    

From Cells to Consciousness 

You will develop a critical understanding of how behaviour relates to bodily processes and how the brain influences behaviour, contextualising this with reference to individual differences and historical debates. 

Lifespan Development in the Social Context 

You will develop a critical understanding of key theory and research in social and developmental Psychology, deepening your critical appraisal of the role that conceptual and historical issues play in current thinking. 

Year Three: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

In Year Three, you will complete your research dissertation project, bringing together the knowledge and skills developed over your degree. Alongside this you will be able to choose two optional modules in those areas that most spark your interest, choosing from a range of applied modules. Finally, you will consider approaches to intervention and support when working with neurodivergent people, considering both changes to the wider environment, and support for the individual. This will include an immersive simulation activity, through participation in a mock multi-disciplinary meeting.

Psychology Dissertation 

An original piece of research where you will have the opportunity to collect and analyse data, assess the ethical issues of research, explore research methods, and report your findings. 

Health Psychology across the Lifespan (Optional) 

You will develop a systematic knowledge and critical understanding of a range of topics and issues in Health Psychology, placed in the context of lifespan development. 

The Psychology of Education and Work (Optional) 

You will learn to critically reflect on the theoretical and research perspectives that underpin educational and occupational psychology. 

Psychological Disorders and Therapeutic Interventions (Optional) 

We will evaluate theoretical models of psychological disorders and critically assess the efficacy of different therapeutic interventions. 

Applications of Social Psychology (Optional) 

You will develop a systematic critical appreciation of how social psychology can be applied in the real world; including the role that social identity plays in this process. 

Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neuroscience (Optional) 

We will look at the cognitive consequences of brain damage and disease and explore the current methods of investigating the structure and function of brain systems and regions. 

Forensic Psychology (Optional) 

We will explore the role that Psychology plays in all aspects of the criminal and civil justice systems and develop a critical appraisal of this. 

Applying Knowledge of Developmental Disorders to Practice 

We will look at real world application, using methods such as problem-based learning, to consider a range of perspectives when working with individuals with Developmental Disorders, building a range of key skills for employability. 

Management and Support of Individuals with Developmental Disorders 

We will critically consider the theory and research associated with different approaches to management and support of a range of Developmental Disorders, looking at the ethical and policy frameworks within the field.


Your course is delivered through lectures, seminars, workshops, and a range of group and independent study, with further opportunities to attend guest lectures given by academic staff from other institutions and psychologists from various fields of practise. Class activities are widely varied, and you will be supported to apply for a placement in your second year, enabling you to see how individuals with developmental disorders are supported in practice.


This specialised psychology degree allows you to experience a range of assessment methods, including essays, project reports, write ups of case study activities, and oral and poster presentations. You will also complete an independent research project in your final year, giving you an opportunity to research a topic that you are passionate about within the field.


Our psychology degrees are fully accredited by the British Psychological Society for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and will enhance your CV.

Through the Professional Practice and Employability module in your second year, you will have the opportunity to apply for placements in a variety of settings, such as special schools and charities that support individuals with developmental disorders. You will also be supported to apply for further placement opportunities through our Psychology Plus scheme and at our on-campus Behaviour Analysis Clinic.

If you want it, you are guaranteed a six-week placement in our on-campus clinic that offers applied behaviour analytic intervention for children five and under, typically with a diagnosis of autism.

There is also an opportunity to study abroad at a partner university in Europe on an Erasmus exchange, or at a university in the USA or Australia.

The Psychology facilities at USW are invaluable in helping us understand human behaviour and helping you to develop your practical psychology skills.

Our purpose-built psychology lab is filled with industry standard equipment that you will use throughout your studies, as well as interview and observation rooms that allow you, as a researcher, to observe human behaviour in a natural manner through a one-way screen.

Some of the equipment that you will use includes eye-tracking equipment, Electroencephalography (EEG) machines, and BIOPAC systems. As part of our dedicated Psychology space, you will also be able to book a space for quiet study and access the dedicated social learning space with computers and psychology textbooks.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


You’ll be well equipped for careers in the third sector, social care settings and education sectors but could also consider careers in the healthcare or criminal justice sectors, working with those who have developmental disorders. With further study and training you could consider a career in Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Psychology or Educational Psychology. You could opt to undertake a PGCE qualification to continue your studies focusing on additional learning needs. Whatever you decide, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to help enhance your future career prospects and to make an impression on a future employer.

Possible Career Paths
This BPS Accredited degree is the first step towards becoming a professional psychologist, with it being a prerequisite for the professional postgraduate training required if you want to work as a psychologist. The research skills developed within this degree provides a strong platform for an academic career or working in a research and evaluation in a variety of sectors. The unique focus of this degree on developmental disorders alongside psychology, makes it a good platform for working in education, health and social settings, and for with further postgraduate study, in professions such as Speech and Language Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.

Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW psychology student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the “Ask a Question” service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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