Psychology is a hugely popular academic subject, not just amongst SWAP students but <psych.png> amongst university students from all walks of life. Indeed, the study of psychology is likely to be fascinating to most of us because it helps us better understand ourselves and the people around us, and to make sense of human behaviours that we engage in or encounter in everyday life. 

An undergraduate degree in psychology can be a good foundation for a number of wildly different careers, including sport coaching; business, marketing and sales; health and social services; law enforcement; education and child care -- and many, many more. In fact, virtually anyone who works with people may benefit from having a deeper understanding of the human mind and how it drives human behaviour. 

the Prospects web site for more detailed information on what you can do with a degree in psychology.

Which SWAP programme should I enrol in if I want to study psychology at university?

That's a very good question! And the answer has much to do with what you plan to do with your degree once you've earned it. 

Universities tend to be organised into broad curriculum areas. The terminology varies from university to university, but the majority will split degree courses into "families" or groupings of subjects with similar underpinnings. These tend to be something like: 
  • Arts (e.g. history, languages, philosophy, theatre studies, media studies, etc.) 
  • Social Science (e.g. sociology, politics, business, law, economics, etc.) 
  • Life Science(e.g. biology, chemistry) 
  • STEM (e.g. physics, ICT, engineering, mathematics) 
  • Health (e.g. medicine, nursing, allied health professions) 

Psychology is unique in that it could belong to either the Arts, the Social Science or the Science family. Some universities offer it only as a science subject, or only as a social science subject -- but others offer all three. As you are conducting your research and considering a return to education, it is worthwhile thinking about which "family" you would feel most comfortable in and whether or not taking an undergraduate degree of that type will help you reach your ultimate personal and professional goals. If you're inclined towards the Arts/Social Sciences, then you would undertake the SWAP Access to Humanities; if you're more interested in the biology and chemistry side of things, then you would undertake a SWAP Access to Life Science programme. 

If you're really stumped, consider making an appointment with a careers adviser, or consulting Skills Development Scotland for more information: 

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