MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

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

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

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Find a course



What makes us who we are? How do children learn? And how can we support people with mental health issues? Explore these topics and more on a course that sets you up for a career as a professional psychologist.

If you have little prior knowledge of psychology, our MSc Psychology is the ideal conversion course. You’ll study alongside people looking to make a career change, those interested in the psychology of their industry and psychology students looking for an accredited degree by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

You’ll study core content set by the BPS and put your knowledge into practice in a piece of hands-on, independent research. You’ll learn more about your career possibilities and have opportunities to develop your experiences and skills (e.g. supporting staff working in active research). All on-site learning takes place across 1 or 2 fixed days per week depending on full or part-time studies.

Completing our BPS accredited MSc establishes the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS giving you a strong foundation and gives you access for your next steps.

Attend an open day or webinar Ask a question Order a prospectus

Psychology student with young child

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Teaching and facilities

    Learn from active researchers in purpose-built facilities, including the Baby Lab. You’ll have opportunities to get hands-on experience during the course.

  • Affordability

    We understand the cost of living is a factor so we made competitive pricing a priority.

  • Employability

    Enhance your CV with graduate membership of the British Psychological Society and practical experience. 

  • Location and facilities

    We are close to transport links and lie within an hour’s drive of many major cities across the southern counties and midlands.

  • Fixed teaching timetable

    Balance work and family commitments with a fixed timetable of on-site teaching 2 days per week as a full-time student or 1 day if you study part-time.

  • Accreditation(s)

    British Psychological Society

    • The British Psychological Society

Course details

Course structure

MSc Psychology is a conversion course ideal for students with little prior knowledge of psychology. We follow BPS subject guidelines, so you study the fundamental theories, methods and practice of psychology needed for graduate membership of the Society. These include core areas like development psychology, cognitive psychology, historical and conceptual issues, and psychological health and disorders.

You will also develop the practical skills needed for a professional career, including research paradigms, methods and measurement techniques, and statistical and qualitative analysis. 

We integrate theory, research and practice throughout the course enabling you to gain the knowledge you need for the next stage of your career. Additionally, our teaching staff includes developmental, social, health, biological and cognitive psychology experts so you can find the right advisor for your dissertation.

Psychology students using specialist motion monitoring equipment

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
  • team working and networking abilities


A range of formative and summative assessment methods 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.


Field Trips

Study modules

On-site teaching is two days per week for full-time students or one day for part-time students. Please be aware you'll require additional time for (e.g. for independent study, reading, working on your assessments etc). You'll need to balance this with your other time commitments (e.g. weekends, evenings, daytimes).

The time you devote to your studies may vary over the teaching period (e.g. more time when assessments are due) and may vary from student to student - some students may devote more time than others. As a general guide it is helpful to think of the time you devote to your studies as being Monday to Friday (for full-time students; and half that period for part-time students). This will help you plan how the time you spend on your studies can be scheduled around any other time commitments that you may have.

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 those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


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


Graduate from MSc Psychology with a recognised qualification in psychology and open doors to:

  • Professional training including educational, psychological or clinical psychology.
  • Higher academic study with a research PhD or specialised master’s.
  • Broad workplace opportunities, with alumni using their MSc Psychology skills in hospitality, the charitable sector and the publishing industries.

Your career is important to us, so we offer volunteer opportunities with charities and organisations. You can also attend career talks, an alumni conference and lively research seminars.

One of our strengths at Oxford Brookes is our in-house research which offers hands-on experience for your CV.

Our teaching staff includes many active researchers who need research assistants on a diverse range of projects where you can also learn about the equipment in our labs.

Your academic adviser will meet with you regularly to talk about ways to progress and offer practical help with applications for future training and employment.

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Student profiles

Our Staff

Professor 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

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

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.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

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 are detailed below.

You will need to print a poster of your research plans so that you can present this at a mini-conference (about £10). 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 responsible for any other costs associated with the research dissertation (e.g. 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.

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.