Reasons to study psychology

student sitting down and reading a book in the library

Psychology is a branch of social science that focuses on the study of the mind and behaviour. The role of a psychologist is to study brain functions, mental processes and behaviour patterns to better understand the way in which humans think and develop.

Why study psychology? 

There are many reasons why you should study psychology. It is a fascinating subject that will help you understand mental processes and human behaviour to better understand why we think, act and feel the way we do. 

Understand human diversity and development

One of the best reasons to study psychology is to gain a better understanding of how humans think and develop. During your study, you will learn about different personality types and how they affect the way we think and feel. This knowledge will help you understand and empathise with different perspectives. 

You will also gain an understanding of the main developmental stages of humans and what individuals need at each stage. Knowledge in this area will allow you to better understand the world around you and effectively evaluate the mental state of clients and the challenges they are facing.

Develop conceptual reasoning

Conceptual reasoning is a type of critical thinking that includes problem-solving, analysing and developing new ideas through reflecting on past and present experiences. When using conceptual reasoning, you see things from a different perspective and accept that there is not just one truth to how things work. The ability to use conceptual reasoning is very important in psychology when implementing new concepts and understanding different world views.

Have a positive impact: help those around you 

One of the biggest benefits of psychology is the positive impact it has on the day-to-day lives of society. Psychology allows us to understand why people behave in certain ways. Through psychological research, society has gained a better understanding of mental illnesses and how people can manage their emotions and behaviours to lead a healthier life. Having the ability to make the world a better place is an excellent reason to study psychology.

Gain excellent communication skills

Another benefit of studying psychology is the development of communication skills through psychological theories and English language improvement. 

Having excellent communication skills will be invaluable when it comes to your future career in psychology. The ability to effectively get your point across in a concise and careful manner is important when communicating with clients and colleagues. 

Job opportunities in psychology

A degree in psychology will put you in a great position for many exciting job opportunities in varying sectors. Many Sheffield graduates go on to work in social work, nursing, teaching and human resources. After further postgraduate training, graduates can enter professions such as clinical, health or occupational psychology. Other career opportunities in psychology include: 

  • Psychologist 
  • Social worker 
  • Human resource manager 
  • Researcher 
  • Teacher
  • Psychotherapist
  • Counsellor.

Study psychology at the University of Sheffield

The Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield is ranked in the world top 150 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023) and its undergraduate degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society. Here, students have access to the technology they need to undertake world-class research. The department’s specialist research facilities include:

  • A dedicated child development laboratory 
  • Eye-tracking technology 
  • TMS and TDCS equipment for experiments involving brain stimulation 
  • A state-of-the-art EEG suite for measuring brain activity 
  • Biomimetic robots 
  • Motion capture equipment 
  • A virtual reality suite.

To begin your psychology study, choose a pathway programme at the University of Sheffield International College. Here you will find pathway programmes designed to develop your academic knowledge and English language skills in preparation for a psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

The successful completion of a pathway programme at the International College, with the required grades, will allow you to progress to your chosen psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities is a pathway programme designed to prepare you for your chosen undergraduate psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

The International Foundation Year is taught over 1.5 or 2 semesters and has been created in collaboration with the University. Core modules in English language and academic skills development will equip you with everything you need to succeed in an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Sheffield. 


If you wish to further your knowledge by continuing with higher education, choose a Pre-Masters at the University of Sheffield International College. The programme is perfect for international students who have already achieved an undergraduate degree in their home country. 

The Pre-Masters in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities is designed to prepare international students for postgraduate degree study at the University of Sheffield. The pathway programme will introduce you to key elements relating to your chosen psychology degree and will improve your skills in areas such as analytical thinking and problem-solving. It also has core modules in academic skills and English language development to ensure you have everything you need to succeed at masters level.

Join us 

Entry requirements and fees

The entry requirements and fees for your chosen programme at the International College will vary depending on the level of study you require. There are minimum academic and English language levels required for each programme. 

To study in the UK, you will need a Student Visa. Our Student Enrolment Advisors can you help you with this process if needed. You can also read our page on visa information to get you started.

How to apply

The process to join us at the University of Sheffield International College is fast and simple. To apply, simply fill out our online application form. If you don’t have everything you need right now, you can save your application and return to it later.

Once you have submitted your application, a Student Enrolment Advisor will contact you to let you know what your next steps are. They may also advise you on the documents they need to process your application if you did not submit them with your online application. 

Find out more about how to apply to your chosen programme.


What skills can you gain from studying psychology?

One of the benefits of studying psychology is the many valuable skills you will learn that can be applied to all areas of your career, making psychology graduates highly employable. Some of the skills you will gain are:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Analytical thinking
  • Conceptual reasoning
  • Active listening skills.

Is a psychology degree good for my future?

Graduates with a psychology degree are highly employable in many different industries due to their excellent transferrable skills and adaptability. Having a degree in the subject is useful for any job that requires an understanding of human behaviour and development. 

How long does it take to get a psychology degree?

The typical psychology degree takes three to four years to complete at undergraduate level. You can also choose to further your study with a postgraduate degree for an additional one or two years. Once you have completed a Masters, you can apply for the PhD opportunities available at the University of Sheffield. 

Department of Psychology rankings

World Top 150 for Psychology

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023


of the University's research is rated in the highest two categories in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021