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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 2018 / September 2018 / January 2019 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 1 semester (4 months), starting in January (full-time study option; 8 months part-time study option also available for January start.
  • 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 Mon 10.00-12.00

U24130 Biological Psychology – semester 2

  • Lecture Wed 13.00-15.00
  • Seminars/Practicals - Wed 15.00-16.00 or 16.00-17.00

U24132 Social Psychology - semester 1

  • Lecture Mon 17.00-19.00

U24135 Developmental Psychology – semester 1

  • Lecture Thu 14.00-17.00

U24125 Personality and Individual Differences - semester 2

  • Lecture Fri 10.00-12.00

U24101 Foundations of Cognitive Psychology - semester 2

  • Lecture Thursday 14.00-16.00

U24105 Foundation of Biological Psychology –semester 1

  • Lecture Wednesday 13.00-16.00

U24102 Foundations of Social Psychology - semester 1

  • Lecture Tuesday 17.00-19.00

U24104 Foundations of Developmental Psychology – semester 2

  • Lecture Thursday 10.00-12.00

U24107 Learning from Influential Papers in Psychology- semester 2

  • Lecture Monday 17.00-20.00

U24109 Psychology and Contemporary Issues - semester 1

  • Lecture Monday 13.00-17.00

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: 2017/18: £2,700

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £680 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £5,160

International - part time fee : 2017/18: £1,290 per single module

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% 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.

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

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.

Please return your completed application to the following address:

University Admissions Office
Oxford Brookes University
Headington, Oxford OX3 0BP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 483040
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 483983
Email: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

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.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Research highlights

In the 2014  Research Excellence Framework  (REF) 95% of our research was internationally recognised and 60% of the impact of our research was rated internationally excellent.

Prof. Margaret Harris has been awarded a grant of over £315K from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to find out whether technological advances to aid children and babies with hearing loss have had a positive effect on deaf children’s literacy.

Prof. Anna Barnett and her colleague Dr Luci Wiggs have been awarded a grant of £59K from The Waterloo Foundation to examine sleep disturbance in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). This condition is characterised by significant movement difficulty and associated psycho-social and educational problems. Previous work suggests that sleep disturbance may be a relevant factor and this project will examine sleep in DCD with extensive and objective measures in relation to child and parent functioning. 

Dr Kate Wilmut has been awarded a prestigious ESRC grant of over £160k to conduct research into forward planning of movement in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder. It is hoped that furthering our understanding of the mechanisms underlying this condition may lead to the development of effective intervention  programmes.

With funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Prof. Vince Connelly is leading an interdisciplinary project conducting research into the writing problems of children with language difficulties. Embracing psychology, education and linguistics, this ground-breaking project is aimed at bridging the gaps in current knowledge and will help practitioners to develop literacy strategies to help this already disadvantaged group of children.

Dr Clare Rathbone has been awarded a grant from the ESRC to examine the relationship between memory and identity across the lifespan. Memory impairments can lead to more than mere forgetfulness; they can affect our sense of self and identity. This work will explore the changes in memory that take place in both normal ageing and in dementia.

Professor Margaret Harris and Dr Mark Burgess were awarded £640k by the Technology Strategy Board, a public research council that facilitates innovative technological collaboration between businesses and researchers. They are conducting multi-method research into the critical socio-psychological factors that underpin people’s transition from traditional combustion engine cars to ultra low carbon vehicles and are feeding their results back to car manufacturers, energy companies, and the government.

Research areas and clusters

Developmental Psychology Research Group
There are three main strands to research in this group:

  1. Cognitive & Social Development - this includes work on the impact of socio-cultural contexts on human cognition and identity development, children’s evaluation of other people as sources of information, children’s understanding of emotion, the nature of mother-child interactions, children’s interactions with their peers and explanations for school bullying
  2. Language & Literacy - this has a focus on the development of speech, reading, spelling, writing and handwriting
  3. 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.

Adult Cognition Research Group
Research in this group covers the exploration of basic mechanisms as well as higher order processes in normal and atypical populations. A variety of methods are employed (behavioural and psychophysical measures, eye-tracking, movement analysis, and neuropsychological instruments). Specific research interests include: memory processes in ageing, autobiographical memory and identity processes, visual and attentional processing, reading and, perception and action.

Applied Social Psychology
The work of this group involves the application of a variety of different research methods and theoretical perspectives to investigate a range of contemporary issues and social problems. Members of the group share research interests in the psychological processes that underpin significant life transitions, the self and identify, mental and physical health experiences, attitudes, autism and sex differences.