• Psychology Pre-Qual.jpg

Psychology Qualifying Certificate

Qualifying certificate

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

The Qualifying Certificate in Psychology is designed to enable students with no previous experience of psychology in higher education to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to study at FHEQ level 5/6 (second or third year of full-time study) at a UK university. 
It is is offered as an entry qualification for the Oxford Brookes MSc Psychology which is needed for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership to the British Psychological Society, and also meets the entry requirements for other universities' psychology conversion courses.

The course is available from September for part-time students, and from January for full-time and part-time students.

Available start dates

January 2019 / September 2019 / January 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 1 semester (4 months), starting in September 2019 or January 2020.
  • Part time: 2 semesters (8 months), starting in September (part-time study option only for September entry)

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Oxford Brookes has one of the largest groups of developmental psychologists in the UK along with expertise in cognitive neuroscience and qualitative methods.
  • Excellent opportunities for progression into courses across psychology, education and health.
  • State-of-the-art facilities including a video observation lab, Babylab, action research lab and perception lab.
  • Strong connections through joint research projects with partners in health, education and industry.
  • A comprehensive programme of research seminars offered by the department as well as specialist seminars organised by individual research groups.

To pass with a Qualifying Certificate in Psychology you must pass four modules in psychology. This must include at least one module from Level 5.

The alternative compulsory modules are:
1 module from:

U24127 Cognitive Psychology - level 5
U24130 Biological Psychology - level 5
U24132 Social Psychology - level 5
U24135 Developmental Psychology - level 5
U24125 Personality and Individual Differences - level 5

Min 1, Max 2 modules from: Cognitive/Biological psychology at level 4 or 5:
U24101 Foundations of Cognitive Psychology - level 4
U24127 Cognitive Psychology - level 5
U24105 Foundation of Biological Psychology –level 4
U24130 Biological Psychology – level 5

Min 1, Max 2 modules from: Social/Developmental/Personality at level 4 or 5:
U24102 Foundations of Social Psychology - level 4
U24132 Social Psychology – level 5
U24104 Foundations of Developmental Psychology – level 4
U24135 Developmental Psychology – level 5
U24125 Personality and Individual Differences – level 5

Other Acceptable Modules:
U24107 Learning from Influential Papers in Psychology - level 4
U24109 Psychology and Contemporary Issues - level 4

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Teaching and learning

Our department has a thriving community of research-active staff and research scholars. We include aspects of our research in all our courses, teach specialist modules in our areas of expertise and supervise dissertations in our specialist subjects. Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, seminars and practical work.

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, each involving approximately 150 hours of student effort and approximately 36 hours of staff contact.

Each course module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written work. Assessment methods may include essays, formal written examinations or in-class tests.

Specialist facilities

The Psychology Department boasts state-of-the-art facilities including a video observation lab, Babylab, action research lab and perception lab. In addition, postgraduate students have a dedicated study and social working space to facilitate group projects and provide a venue for our research seminar series.

Attendance pattern

Timetabling information:

U24127 Cognitive Psychology - semester 1

  • Lecture Monday 11.00-13.00

U24130 Biological Psychology – semester 2

  • Lecture Friday 13.00-15.00
  • Seminars/Practicals - Friday 15.00-16.00

U24132 Social Psychology - semester 1

  • Lecture Wednesday 15.00-17.00

U24135 Developmental Psychology – semester 1

  • Lecture Monday 15.00-17.00

U24125 Personality and Individual Differences - semester 2

  • Lecture Friday 09.00-11.00

U24101 Foundations of Cognitive Psychology - semester 2

  • Lecture Thursday 14.00-16.00

U24105 Foundation of Biological Psychology –semester 1

  • Lecture Thursday 11.00-13.00

U24102 Foundations of Social Psychology - semester 1

  • Lecture Tuesday 17.00-19.00

U24104 Foundations of Developmental Psychology – semester 2

  • Lecture Thursday 11.00-13.00

U24107 Learning from Influential Papers in Psychology- semester 2

  • Lecture Monday 17.00-20.00

U24109 Psychology and Contemporary Issues - semester 1

  • Lecture Thursday 15.00-17.00


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.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £2,805 2020/21: to be confirmed

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £710 per single module 2020/21: to be confirmed

International - full time: 2019/20: £5,365 20/21: to be confirmed

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline. The admission requirement is a university degree typically at a 2:2 classification

English language requirements

You should have English as your first language, or GCSE or O-level English Language, or an IELTS score of 7.0, or equivalent evidence of proficiency in English.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

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.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Applications for the Qualifying Certificate in Psychology only should be made direct to the University.

Application check list

Your completed application should consist of:

  • Application form, fully completed and signed
  • Personal statement (section 10 of application form)
  • One recent academic reference
  • Second reference (academic, employer or character reference)
  • Copy of degree certificate(s) and/or course transcripts
  • English Language Certificate.

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.


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

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We make extensive use of our intranet pages to provide you with detailed, relevant information and resources for your course. This will include materials ranging from course handouts through to research ethics guidelines, experiments, statistics packages and student handbooks. We also have an online booking system so you can make appointments to see your academic advisor/ module leader.

Our psychology student support co-ordinator can give advice on your course, finance, accommodation or personal issues which may be affecting your study and will also regularly update you with information on visiting speakers, careers advice and course announcements. They can also help you to access other support services in the University such as Upgrade, which offers confidential advice on study skills, and English language support through the international centre.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

The Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development at Oxford Brookes has a thriving community of research active staff and research scholars. In the UK government's latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) 95% of our research was internationally recognised and 60% of the impact of our research was rated internationally excellent.

We collaborate across disciplines and work with health and education professionals as well as partners in industry to develop knowledge and understanding that informs policy and improves people's lives. 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 continue to attract significant funding awards from bodies including the ESRC and MRC, Burdett Trust for Nursing, Technology Strategy Board, National Institute for Health Research and the Leverhulme Trust as well as many charities and commercial test publishers.

Psychology research is organised into three main research areas: Developmental Psychology, Adult Cognition and Applied Social Psychology. In addition, our Institute for Research in Child Development draws across the departmental disciplines of psychology, social work and public health and investigates pregnancy and birth, early childhood right through to adolescence and young adulthood.

Research areas and clusters

Developmental Psychology Research Group

There are three main strands to research in this group:

Cognitive and social development - this includes work on the impact of socio-cultural contexts on human cognition and identity development, children's understanding of emotion, the nature of mother-child interactions and children's interactions with their peers.

Language and literacy - this has a focus on the development of speech, reading, spelling, writing and handwriting.

Developmental disorders - this includes research on children with hearing impairment, specific language impairment, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, autism and sleep disorders.

Some of our research focuses on the description of typical development and explanation of developmental processes in different domains. Other work is concerned with understanding the mechanisms underlying atypical development and an examination of ways to support children and their families. Several staff in this research group work with professionals from other disciplines including health and education and are concerned with the production of practical assessment tools and the evaluation of intervention approaches to help children achieve their full potential.

Much of our work is conducted in schools and family homes. Research conducted on site at Oxford Brookes usually takes place in one of our specialist labs. We have a BabyLab with special facilities including an eye-tracker and observation room. We also have a Perception and Motion Analysis (PuMA) Lab with equipment for the detailed analysis of movement.


Adult Cognition Research Group

There are three dominant research strands in this group: (1) Visual Cognition - exploring mechanisms of selective attention, attentional orienting, object formation, and the representation of information in visual short term memory (2) Perception and Action - looking at the cognitive processes associated with processing of stimuli containing action possibilities (affordances), and with the preparation and execution of everyday actions such as reaching & grasping towards objects and walking; (3) Remembering Past & Imagining Future Events - research looks at the way that memory supports our identity, and in the way that ideas about the future (e.g. prospective memory) are related to health and behaviour change.

A variety of methods and techniques are employed in exploring these areas. These include psychophysical techniques such as masking, eye-tracking technology, movement analysis equipment, use of Neuropsychological instruments, as well as Cognitive Neuroscience techniques such as Event Related Potentials (ERPs) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Our research includes work in healthy adult populations, as well as in certain clinical groups such as dementia, autism, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Some members of the Adult Cognition Group work alongside clinicians at local hospitals and have collaborators at other academic institutions both nationally and internationally.


Applied Social Psychology Research Group

The members of this research group investigate the way that individuals' beliefs, actions and aspirations are intertwined with both the immediate social groups and also the wider culture in which they are embedded. Unpicking the fascinating way in which personal and socio-cultural factors are interwoven (and sometimes rebelled against) has enabled our researchers to apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge to many areas of contemporary concern.

Our recent research has enabled us to: advise manufacturers and policy makers of the key factors that determine whether people adapt to innovative green technologies successfully; advise international military officers on the fundamental psychological and socio-cultural influences leading to violent insurgency; advise the British Army on the integration of full and part time members; inform the debate surrounding the possible introduction of a minimum-pricing policy to address alcohol misuse; understand the way in which people use music to express their personal and social identities; explore the use of social media to instigate social connection in individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC); highlight personal and cultural differences in the determinants of organ donation; conduct a new evaluation of programmes designed to enhance children's safety.

Course downloads

  • Psychology (SQC) brochure
  • Related courses

  • Psychology MSc