Psychology Higher

What is special about this course?

Psychology is best defined as ‘the scientific study of the mind and behaviour’ therefore you should have, aside from a basic interest in human behaviour, a good basic grasp of scientific principles and the ability to analyse and evaluate psychological theories and research studies.

Assessment will involve describing relevant knowledge and, equally importantly, analysing and evaluating this knowledge in terms of its scientific content, practical applications, ethical considerations etc.

There is also a requirement to complete one piece of practical coursework, which will help to develop a knowledge and understanding of how psychology functions as a science.

Entry requirements

A good level of English at Standard Grade or National 5 level.

The course consists of three units which will prepare you for the final exam:

  • Individual Behaviour Unit: One mandatory topic of sleep, sleep disorders and dreams.  Second topic is stress.
  • Research Unit: Covers the research process, experimental and non-experimental methods, descriptive statistics, sampling methods and designs.
  • Social Behaviour Unit: One mandatory topic of conformity and obedience and one other topic such as love and attraction or aggression.

As part of unit 2, students must design an experiment/non-experiment based on SQA candidate briefs and write up a research report.  This is worth 40% of the final mark and is marked externally.

There are also three internal assessments, which must be passed to enable sitting the final exam which is worth 60% of the final mark.  There is a prelim exam to allow students to see the layout of the exam paper and to identify strengths and areas for improvement, these are marked internally and graded.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening
  • Vocational Pathway

How long will my course last?

1 Academic Years

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date





You may be eligible for an Individual Training Account (ITA) from Skills Development Scotland to help pay for this course.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Individual Training Accounts are for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. You must have an income of £22,000 a year or less or be on certain benefits to be eligible to get up to £200 towards the cost of learning or training.

You can apply for an ITA if you are not undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

ITAs are available if you are interested in learning something new or developing an existing skill to support you in work. There is a wide range of courses to choose from and you can study with any ITA approved learning provider, including learning centres, local colleges, universities and private training providers. To find out more or to apply, visit

What can I do on completion of my course?

Higher Psychology provides suitable preparation for entry to higher education courses in psychology or further study in other academic and vocational subjects.  Examples are sciences or Social Science at HNC or degree level.  The varied skills, knowledge and discipline offer students preparation for careers in research, teaching, chartered psychology (forensic, clinical, educational, occupational) or other employment.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Psychology Higher

I want to start in 2018/19

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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