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MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts

Start dates

September 2020



Course length

Full time: MSc: 12 months; PGDip/PGCert: 8 months

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


British Psychological Society

  • The British Psychological Society


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
  • abnormal psychology.

You will receive training in a range of:

  • research paradigms
  • methods and measurement techniques
  • statistical and qualitative analysis. 

So you can 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:

  • 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 either be gained through the Qualifying Certificate in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University or from a recognised institution of higher education.

Please note that applicants with exceptional experience may apply for consideration of their portfolio by the admissions committee. 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.


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


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

Home/EU part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time

International full time

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International / EU full time

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. All students will also be responsible for costs associated with the printing and binding of two copies of their research dissertation (about £40).

Learning and assessment

On this course you will study theoretical and practical elements, and the main research methods used in psychology.

You will gain a grounding in the core areas of psychology, research methods and skills including:

  • literature search and review
  • designing and planning experiments, questionnaires and observational methods
  • recording and presenting data
  • statistical analysis
  • interpretation of data
  • qualitative analysis
  • presentation of work in standard publication format.
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 you with a socio-cultural view of development and how education impacts on development and cognition. Examples of topics covered include paradigms for analysing cognitive developmental theory, reasoning, memory and executive function; culture and cognition, socialisation, and identity; children in schools; gender roles in development; and language development in relation to reading and writing.

Social Psychology (20 credits)

This module considers the major themes in social psychology and how these influence society and social interaction. Discussion will focus on key articles in the literature. Themes include group dynamics, social identification, social influences, attraction, altruism, leadership role, prejudice and attitudes.

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, vision, attention, language, reading and dyslexia and problem solving. Current models and theories will be presented along with topical arguments and experimental studies.

Experimental Method and Statistics for Psychology (20 credits)

This module develops your knowledge of statistical concepts and techniques of analysis. It covers standard and advanced statistical theory and methods, providing an opportunity to develop statistical expertise in descriptive and inferential statistics. This module is also an introduction to multinomial and multivariate analysis, and analysis of data using a statistical computer package (SPSS).

Intelligence and Individual Differences (20 credits)

This module advances your knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods in psychology, with particular reference to cognition, intelligence and individual differences. The syllabus covers qualitative methods, ethnography and case studies in psychological research; the interview as a method of data collection; theoretical and methodological approaches in the analysis of interviews; intelligence and psychological testing; the use of computational models of cognitive processes and psychometric methods; and critical analysis of research papers and methods.

Personality and Psychological Disorders (20 credits)

This module advances your knowledge of theory and research methods in psychology with particular reference to personality, individual differences and psychological disorders. The syllabus has included approaches to personality research and the methods used to measure personality; relationships between personality, health and illness; and mental health and psychological disorders.

Research Design Skills (10 credits)

This module provides a structured framework within which you will identify your dissertation topic, critically review relevant previous research, and develop a workable design for your empirical project. The module ensures that you carry out the theoretical and methodological groundwork for your research-based dissertation and provides milestones for project development and an opportunity to gain tutor and peer feedback.

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.

Learning and teaching

You will be taught through the following methods:

  • lectures
  • research seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • supervised seminar presentations
  • 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 thinking
  • reasoning
  • academic writing
  • data analysis
  • scientific method
  • presentation skills.


Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed in the following ways:

  • essays
  • critical reviews
  • oral presentations, including coursework and exams. 

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



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
  • Burdett trust for nursing
  • Technology Strategy Board
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Leverhulme Trust. 

Psychology research is organised into three main research areas: 

  • developmental psychology
  • adult cognition
  • applied social psychology. 

Our Institute for Research in Child Development draws across the departmental disciplines of psychology, social work and public health and investigates pregnancy and birth, and early childhood through to adolescence and young adulthood.

Psychology researcher watching footage

After you graduate

Career prospects

The department offers advice on future career opportunities including practical help with applications to future training and employment. For many of our students, their MSc is a stepping stone to professional training for careers in psychology (eg educational, occupational or clinical psychology). Some choose to continue their academic studies, progressing to PhD.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Luci Wiggs

Luci teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules and is module leader for Abnormal Psychology and Personality and Psychological Disorders. 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.