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Psychology

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts


Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: MSc: 12 months; for PGDip/PGCert: please contact us

Part time: MSc: 24 months; for PGDip/PGCert, please contact us

Accreditation(s)

British Psychological Society

  • The British Psychological Society

Overview


We have designed this conversion course for students who want to become professional psychologists. Our Psychology MSc is ideal if you are a graduate of a subject other than psychology, or a psychology graduate whose undergraduate degree is not professionally recognised. You will gain a qualification in psychology that:

  • confers eligibility for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • establishes the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

You will develop a grounding in key theories, methods and the practice of psychology in the core areas of:

  • development psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • biological psychology 
  • individual differences
  • social psychology
  • historical and conceptual issues
  • psychological health and disorders
  • research paradigms
  • methods and measurement techniques
  • statistical and qualitative analysis. 

The intergration of theory, research and practice, apparent throughout the course, will enable you to put your knowledge into practice to conduct a piece of hands-on, independent research.

Psychology student with young child

How to apply


Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

You must normally have the following qualifications and evidence of being engaged in recent study:

  • an upper second-class or first-class honours degree awarded by a recognised institution of higher education in the UK or overseas.

Students will also be considered with:

  • a lower second class honours degree AND
  • 60 CATS (Credit Accumulative Transfer Scheme) credits in Psychology. You must have achieved an average of 60% in these credits. Credits can be gained from a recognised institution of higher education.

Applicants who, as a result of qualifications or experience or both, can demonstrate knowledge and capabilities equivalent to those possessed by holders of the qualifications listed above, may in exceptional circumstances be admitted with dispensation from the requirement to possess those qualifications and may apply for consideration of their portfolio by the admissions committee. 

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.5 in Reading and Writing, and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£7,500

Home/EU part time
£3,750 (new students) £3,770 (continuing students)

International full time
£14,200

Home (UK) full time
£8,200

Home (UK) part time
£4,100 (new students), £3,825 (continuing students)

International / EU full time
£14,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£7,500

Home/EU part time
£3,750 (new students) £3,770 (continuing students)

International full time
£14,200

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£8,200

Home (UK) part time
£4,100 (new students), £3,825 (continuing students)

International / EU full time
£14,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Most recommended reading material takes the form of papers available from the library however you should expect to incur additional costs if printing materials or purchasing optional textbooks (likely to be about £40 per book). Whilst much equipment is available from the department at no charge, you are also responsible for any other costs associated with the research dissertation (eg printing questionnaires or materials for participants, your travel costs etc). The extent of these costs will vary depending on the nature of the research project. 

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment


On this course you will gain a grounding and engage with theoretical and practical elements in the core areas of psychology, including the main research methods, used in psychology, developing skills including:

  • literature search and review
  • designing and planning experiments, questionnaires, interviews and observational methods
  • recording and presenting data
  • statistical analysis
  • interpretation of data
  • qualitative analysis
  • presentation of work in standard publication format.

Skills learnt during this degree will have application for many future careers, as psychologists or in other roles. For example, in addition to specific psychological knowledge, the course encourages employability in its graduates by fostering a range of transferable skills such as good communication skills, literacy and numeracy skills, problem solving, critical thinking, reflective thinking, team and individual working, time management and organisational skills. 

Psychology students using specialist motion monitoring equipment

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip and PGCert awards your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Cognitive and Social Aspects of Development (20 credits)

This module provides an overview of some key theories and research paradigms in the field of developmental psychology, including social and cognitive development and considering the impact of culture upon development. Topics are tackled by examining research papers and theories using a critical approach. The module aims to encourage basic academic/research skills relevant to Psychology such as reading research papers, critically evaluating research and writing skills.

Conceptual issues and Social Psychology (20 credits)

This module offers an introduction to some of the conceptual aspects of psychology (ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics) and also a general overview of the major themes in social psychology including contemporary theories of morality, the virtual self, love and attraction, behaviour change, altruism and prejudice.

Brain and Cognition (20 credits)

This module introduces the core aspects of the organisation and function of the brain and its associated sensory and motor systems. It also looks at cognitive processing and research into the relationship between cognition and brain processing as found in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Topics include basic neuroanatomy, methods in neuroscience and cognitive research, and some core topics in cognition and cognitive neuroscience, e.g. vision, attention, language, problem solving and decision making. Current models and theories will be presented along with topical arguments and experimental studies.

Data Analysis and Statistics for Psychology (20 credits)

The main aim of this module is for you to become comfortable with core statistical concepts as practised in psychological science. It aims to increase your depth of understanding of statistical concepts and data analysis in psychology and to provide insight into the practice of quantitative data analysis. The module prepares you for planning your own quantitative data analysis when designing your own research.

Intelligence, Personality and Individual Differences (20 credits)

This module will advance your knowledge of theory and research methods in the fields of intelligence, personality and individual differences. It will provide the opportunity for development of research skills, reflection on the nature of scientific inquiry and the advancement of psychological science in these fields. It will also develop basic academic/research skills relevant to Psychology such as reading research papers, critically evaluating research and writing skills.

Psychological Health and Disorders (20 credits)

This module advances your knowledge of theory and research methods in the field of psychological health and mental health conditions. Content will include how we conceptualise mental health conditions, special considerations of conducting research related to clinical psychology and psychological health, consideration of factors related to psychological health (e.g. stress, sleep, health behaviours) and selected mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety disorders, personality disorders). These topics will be considered within the context of current psychological research and theories to develop understanding of the processes (e.g. biological, psychological) that may play a causal or maintaining role.

Qualitative Methods and Research Skills (10 credits)

This module aims to develop your knowledge of qualitative methods and research skills in Psychology. In addition, it is intended to provide a structured framework within which you develop your research skills, including research ethics, data collection, qualitative data analysis and data reporting and presentation skills. The module also supports you to carry out the theoretical and methodological groundwork for your research-based dissertation and provides an opportunity to gain tutor and peer feedback on your research plans.

Final project

Compulsory modules

Research Based Dissertation (50 credits)

This research-based dissertation is 6-8,000 words long. It is an extended and supervised piece of work reporting new empirical data. It is always grounded in a thorough review of the relevant scientific literature and normally requires experimental data collection. The aim of the dissertation is to allow you to develop your own ideas in a specific domain of psychology and to provide you with experience in research design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. You will also have the opportunity to work alongside an experienced academic from the Psychology team. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You will be taught through the following methods:

  • Lectures
  • Interactive sessions, including debates and oral/poster presentations
  • Research seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Supervised seminar presentations
  • Collaborative learning
  • Learning from providing peer feedback
  • Problem based learning
  • Laboratory classes, seminars/workshops, computer-based exercises
  • Research projects
  • Use of online resources (Moodle)
  • Reflecting on learning and application of learning 
  • Independent reading and research.

Diverse teaching methods are employed to aid the quality of learning opportunities for your understanding of psychology. 

You will also gain a number of transferable intellectual and practical skills valued by employers, such as:

  • critical analysis and thinking
  • reflective thinking and writing
  • reasoning and problem solving
  • refined writing abilities
  • numeracy and data analysis
  • scientific method
  • presentation and public speaking skills
  • teamworking and networking abilities

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

A range of formative and summative assessment menthods are used including

  • unseen written exams
  • coursework essays
  • individual and group presentations
  • critical reviews
  • statistical analysis
  • qualitative reports
  • reflective writing

You will also complete a research-based dissertation, an extended and supervised piece of work reporting on new empirical data.


 

Research


95% of our research is of internationally recognised standard (Research Excellence Framework 2014). Our research has led to improved practice guidelines in both health and education, the development of valuable assessment tools and the adoption of new policies and practices.  We develop knowledge and understanding that informs policy and improves people’s lives. 

We continue to attract significant funding awards from bodies including:

  • ESRC 
  • MRC
  • UKRI
  • Cancer Research
  • Technology Strategy Board
  • Ministry of Defence
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Leverhulme Trust. 

Working within the Centre for Psychological Research, Oxford Brookes Psychology staff are actively involved in their own research programmes, as members of our four key research groups: Developmental Psychology; Applied Social and Health Psychology; Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience; and Prevention Science. Research interests are woven into teaching across all the MSc modules, integrating theoretical content and applied research methods.

Psychology researcher watching footage

After you graduate


Career prospects

For many of our students, their MSc is a stepping-stone to professional training for careers in psychology (e.g. educational, occupational or clinical psychology). Some choose to continue their academic studies, progressing to specialised masters courses or PhD research. Others have told us they have applied the skills and knowledge they have learnt in varied settings including the hospitality industry, the charitable sector and publishing. In addition to the development of broad psychological literacy in terms of knowledge and skills as required by the BPS, successful graduates of this course are equipped with interpersonal, practical, communication and analytical skills which are indispensable for many careers, within or outside of psychology.

The Psychology Team offer many opportunities for students to enhance their experience and knowledge of career/training possibilities in order to refine and support their future choices. For example, students have the opportunity to work as research assistants with one of the academic researchers on a diverse range of research projects, learn about the ongoing research and research equipment used in our research labs, get involved with volunteering for local charities and organisations with which we have links or attend our regular careers talks and lively research seminars. In regular meetings with their Academic Adviser, students are encouraged to think about their skill sets (including transferable skills developed from the course), career plans and training/experience needs, advised about ways to progress and offered practical help with applications for future training and employment.

Student profiles


Our Staff


Dr Luci Wiggs

Luci teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules and is module leader for Psychology of Mental Health Conditions, Psychological Health and Disorders and the Dissertation module. Luci is also the Subject Coordinator for the MSc Psychology degree course.

Read more about Luci

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.