BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders

This BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders degree combines the study of key aspects of psychology with a range of developmental disorders, including dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism. This includes assessment, understanding, intervention, and safeguarding children and young people.

During the Psychology with Developmental Disorders course you will foster a clear understanding of evidence-based practice and you'll complete placements which may include educational settings such as local schools and pupil referral units

Graduates can consider careers in educational psychology after professional experience and postgraduate study, PGCE courses, or further study in special educational needs, occupational therapy, or speech and language therapy.

Psychology at USW is ranked Top In Wales for the student to staff ratio - Guardian League Table 2021


2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
9WQ3 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
9WQ3 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Treforest A

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.

Year One: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

  • Introduction to Developmental Disorders (40 credits)
  • Investigating Methods in Psychology (40 credits)
  • Perspectives in Psychology (20 credits)
  • Critical Readings in Psychology (20 credits)

Year Two: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

  • Screening and Assessment of Developmental Disorders (40 credits)
  • From Cells to Consciousness (20 credits)
  • Lifespan Development in the Social Context (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice and Employability (20 credits)
  • Advanced Methods and Evidence in Psychology (20 credits)

Year Three: Psychology with Developmental Disorders Degree

  • Advanced Research Methods: Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Management and support of individuals with developmental disorders (20 credits)
  • Applying knowledge of developmental disorders to practice (20 credits)

Plus two options from the list below (all 20 credits):

  • Health Psychology Across the Lifespan
  • The Psychology of Education and Work
  • Psychological Disorders and Therapeutic Interventions
  • Applications of Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neuroscience
  • Forensic Psychology


The BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders is delivered through lectures, seminars, workshops, individual/small group supervision and independent study. You will also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures given by academic staff from other institutions and professional psychologists who work in different areas of practise.


You will complete a range of different class activities including group discussions, debates, case studies and in-class projects.

One of the most exciting things about this specialised psychology degree is that you experience a great range of delivery and assessment methods. As part of your course, you will be completing essays, project reports, write ups of case study activities, oral and poster presentations, class tests and other forms of assessment.

In your final year you will complete an independent research project, which will give you an opportunity to study a topic of your choice in depth, and apply your skills in research acquired during years one and two. Finally you will complete placement activities which will enable you to see how individuals with developmental disorders are supported in practice.


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.


As part of this Psychology degree you will complete placements in a variety of settings e.g., special schools, charities that support individuals with developmental disorders. Applied experience is also available through Psychology Plus and through student opportunities with our on campus clinics

Our Behaviour Analysis Clinic specialises in treating the behavioural challenges associated with a wide range of disorders, including autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, and conduct disorder.

Every student is guaranteed, if they want it during their undergraduate studies, a six-week placement in our Behaviour Analysis Clinic based at the Treforest Campus. This clinic offers applied behaviour analytic intervention for children five and under typically with a diagnosis of autism. The clinic is largely run by student volunteers under the supervision of a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.

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. 


Facilities include observation and interview rooms equipped with a two-way mirror, CCTV and audio, which allows research and interview practice sessions to be conducted and recorded. We also have a custom-built air conditioned PC laboratory which provides access to specialist software for running psychology experiments and conducting careers guidance interviews.

The Cognitive Neuropsychology Suite houses specialist psychology equipment such as eye tracking equipment, EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) facilities for recording electrical activity in the heart and scalp and a driving simulator.

The University offers a wide range of psychological services to the general public through our psychology clinics which include autism, behaviour analysis, health and sport psychology interventions.


The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

A DBS may be required depending on your placement.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 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. 


International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

  • Part-time UK:  £700 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS £53.20
A DBS is not obligatory for the course. It will only be required if a specific placement of dissertation project working with children or vulnerable groups is required. This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Placement Costs (Travel etc)
All years of study. Cost is dependent on location

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

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 special educational 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. 

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.