This course attracts a range of students including those who have recently completed an undergraduate degree in a subject other than psychology or a non-accredited degree and also applicants who have come from jobs in the public and private sector, who are looking for a career change.
- MSc Psychology is a 180-credit qualification which requires no previous experience or study of psychology.
- PGDip is a 120-credit qualification which requires that you have already completed 60 credits of study in psychology.
The PG Dip and MSc students are taught together, with the MSc students taking their additional modules from term two onwards. This means that, assuming you meet the entry criteria for both courses, it's easy to transfer from one to the other at any point in the first term.
Accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Successful completion of either qualification confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS. This is the first step towards becoming a chartered Psychologist and provides the basis for further professional training in psychology.
As a Graduate member of the BPS you will also receive additional benefits including:
- using the designated graduate member title MBPsS
- creating contacts and other networking opportunities by joining professional and membership groups
- free online access to the Society's academic journals
- reduced rates for our members for conferences and events.
A supportive and active research environment
Throughout the course you will benefit from research-informed teaching. Find out more about our psychology research, including the Cognition and Perception research group.
Psychology at NTU has an established international research reputation and is one of the top risers in the REF 2014 research rankings. The 2014 Assessment also showed:
- 60% of our research outputs were considered to be internationally excellent or world leading in REF 2014
- 100% of our research impact is internationally excellent with 73% described as world leading
- Our research impact and output is the highest of any UK psychology department with an equivalent research environment.
Find out more about our recent 2014 Research Excellence Framework results.
Contact us for further information
Find out more information by requesting a course brochure. If you would like to speak with a member of the team, you can contact us using the details below.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
Visit the School of Social Sciences website
MSc / PG Dip Psychology course content
Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and experience. As a discipline it is wide-ranging and overlaps with both biological sciences, such as neurology, physiology and genetics, and with social sciences such as sociology and anthropology.
The course is designed to provide dedicated supportive teaching tailored to the particular needs of postgraduate conversion students and to facilitate the development of a strong course identity among students.
- Further support is provided through small group individualised teaching in tutorials and individual supervision of the Research Project and Specialist Essay.
- The Psychology Division is large, with around 50 academic staff covering all areas of the discipline, and thus students on the MSc/PG Dip are able to take options from, and do research projects in areas of particular interest to them. This can be very helpful in preparation for related work or further study after graduation.
MSc Psychology and PG Diploma students complete core modules in:
- Biological Psychology
This module introduces the major structures and functions of the nervous system, with particular emphasis on psychopharmacology. This basic knowledge is then used to explore the role of biology in behaviour, in particular biological accounts of psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, drug addiction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
- Social Psychology
The module introduces a range of key topics within social psychology (e.g. the social self, social cognition, obedience and conformity, and prosocial behaviour). Throughout the module there is a strong emphasis on how social psychology can be applied to the real world and also the value of social psychology.
- Developmental Psychology
This module is concerned with the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of humans across the life span. Throughout this module we will consider the way in which innate mechanism (nature) and life experience (nurture) interact and how they impact on our development.
- Cognitive Psychology
This module approaches the study of cognition (i.e. mental processes such as memory, attention, language, problem solving and perception) from the viewpoint that we need to examine both normal, abnormal, and the applications of cognition within the real world. Lectures will be based around background materials on each subject area and you will be encouraged to find journal articles to support the lectures.
- Individual Differences
This module is concerned with the individual development of people's personality, intelligence, health and emotional wellbeing. You will be encouraged to debate and reflect on the application of individual differences psychology to fields as diverse as occupational, health and educational psychology.
- Historical and Conceptual Issues
This module provides a guide to the main ideas, people and approaches that have shaped the discipline of psychology throughout its history. Teaching will lead from the earliest attempts to establish a modern science of the mind (covering the work of Von Helmholtz, Fechner, and Wundt) through psychoanalysis (Freud), American functionalism (James), behaviourism (Watson; Skinner), humanism (Maslow; Rogers) and on towards the modern discipline and cognitive science.
- Research Methods
Divided into three areas; experimental research, qualitative research and survey methods / psychometrics, you will be guided through the process of research design, data collection, analysis and report writing. You will be taught important theoretical issues such as ethics, sampling, randomisation and other aspects of research design, but the module is primarily focussed on giving you the opportunity to learn by actually doing research.
The module will provide theoretical and practical knowledge of a range of statistical techniques and the skills that are taught will support the Research Methods module. While some mathematical competence is beneficial, we attempt to minimise the mathematical content of the module by teaching you the underlying assumptions and rationale behind the statistical techniques rather than their complex mathematics.
- Psychology Research Project
Your project is an independent piece of work that is supervised by a research active member of staff who will guide and support you as you work towards producing a final report for assessment. This will be the main opportunity for you to carry out an extensive piece of independent research of your own choosing and for you to demonstrate that you have the skills to devise, conduct, analyse, present and report an empirical study to postgraduate level.
In addition, MSc Psychology students complete and extended essay, again under supervision and focused on a topic of their choosing, as well as 20 credits of 'Contemporary Psychology' selected from a list of available option choices.
- Specialist Psychological Essay (MSc only)
This module provides you with the opportunity to comprehensively explore the application of psychology within different occupational, cultural or social settings. The specific topic and setting explored by the essay will be determined by your own interests and can be drawn from any area of psychology.
- Contemporary Psychology (MSc only)
MSc Psychology students will also chose an option module during the second term. These modules are sourced from the BSc (H) Psychology final year options and generally focus on more applied fields of psychology and will reflect the research interests of staff within the Division.
We try to provide a range of option choices for you, so that you are able to tailor your choice to tie in with career plans and specific interests. Examples of modules are provided below, although these vary from year to year.
- Language and Literacy Development in Children
- Advanced Cognitive Psychology
- Psychopathology and Offending Behaviour
- Social Development in Children and Adolescents
- Addictive Behaviours
- Psychology of Trauma
- Psychology of Sex Offending
MSc Psychology students often focus their option choices, essay and project in the same area of psychology with a view to future employment possibilities. It's a good way to target your CV!
All of the core modules on these courses are taught exclusively to MSc and PGDip Psychology students by experienced staff used to working with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and with varying skills and experiences. Further support is provided through a dedicated tutorial system. Tutorials provide an opportunity to discuss the course content, studying methods, careers and assessments in small groups.
Download a detailed module list for the MSc and PGDip .
- provides graduates in other disciplines with a route to becoming a professional psychologist
- covers all of the core knowledge areas within psychology
- deepens students' range of quantitative and qualitative research skills and methods, culminating in an independent research project
- gives students access to, and requires them to make use of, recently developed and well-equipped laboratories
- provides lectures, seminars, tutorials and lab classes that facilitate the development of a course identity among students
- makes full use of the facilities provided by the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Students carry out both an empirical research project with a research active member of staff and an in-depth literature based dissertation. The Division of Psychology has links with several external organisations and some students will be able to make use of these links in carrying out their research project.
You will be assessed thin a variety of ways and on a modular basis; through examination (both seen and unseen exams are used), coursework (including essays, laboratory reports and literature reviews), oral presentation and via your research project.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
Visit the School of Social Sciences website
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Psychology resources and facilities
The BPS-accredited psychology conversion courses at Nottingham Trent University are supported by nearly 50 academic staff and an appropriate level of other support staff (secretarial, clerical, admin and technical).
The University has made significant financial investment in the Psychology Division over recent years upgrading accommodation, facilities and equipment used exclusively for the provision of our psychology courses and for research. We have a state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching laboratory suite, and a second teaching laboratory specifically catering for postgraduate students.
In addition there are specialist suites dedicated to particular areas of interest in psychology, including:
- social interaction, group work and interviewing
- computer gaming and cyberpsychology
- cognitive modelling and visual analysis
Alongside these are new flexible cubicles for student project work, a psychometric test bank library, and a technical workshop.
Your future career in Psychology
With the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS secured, you will be eligible upon graduation to undertake further training as a professional psychologist (in areas such as clinical, forensic, educational, occupational, counselling, or sport psychology).
Alternatively you might choose to pursue an academic and/or research career in various areas of psychology (by working as a research assistant or associate or by completing a dedicated Research Methods Masters or studying for a PhD), or you may choose to exploit the transferable skills you have learned on the course to pursue a career outside of psychology.
Psychology qualifications tend to be very popular with all employers because you have to be able to write essays and reports, you have to have some basic mastery of research and data analysis, and because they assume you know quite a lot about people!
Previous graduates have gone on to pursue careers as:
- Research assistant
- Assistant psychologist
- Mental health recovery worker
- Psychological well-being practitioner
- Learning mentor
- Learning disability key worker
- Information officer at a hospital
- Health support assistant
- Health care worker
- Talking therapies assessor
- Assessment service teacher at a specialist school
- Pastoral manager at a school
- Marketing manager
*Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2009-10 to 2013-14
Careers and job application advice is available to all our postgraduate students and is provided on a one-to-one basis by a subject specialist within the Division, supported by the university-wide careers service. We're very proud of our conversion record and look forward to helping you achieve a successful career in psychology.
Psychologists may work in settings as diverse as:
- community mental health teams
- large blue chip companies
- research laboratories
- government departments
- the armed services
- premiership football clubs.
This course does not currently offer placements.
- Entry on to the MSc Psychology does not require any previous study of Psychology.
- You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) or other recognised equivalent qualification.
- Applicants whose undergraduate degree is a 2.2 or applicants with ordinary degrees and/or alternative equivalent life skills and experiences will also be considered but will be required to demonstrate their motivation and ability to study at the required academic level in their Personal Statement.
Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology
- You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) or other recognised equivalent qualification.
- Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters-level in their Personal Statement.
- Applicants must have a minimum 60 credits of Psychology from prior study at degree level. As part of the application process applicants will be asked to indicate precisely how their previous study meets this criteria.
Applicants who successfully complete 60 credits of MSc Psychology modules on Nottingham Trent University's Multidisciplinary Masters course may be eligible to APL these credits if you choose to enrol of the full MSc Psychology or Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology course.
If you are unsure of your status and / or would like an informal discussion with the course leader, please contact us.
English language entry requirements
See the English language entry requirements for courses at the School of Social Sciences and a full list of all English language qualifications accepted by the University.
International students in psychology can also access additional language and study skills support, as well as help in acclimatising, via our own International Student Support Officer.
If you are unsure about the equivalency of your international qualifications, you can check it on our International Students entry requirements page.
The School of Social Sciences Scholarship scheme provides a number of awards to students on taught Masters Programmes. For further information visit our section.
The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School. To find out more about these events visit the School of Social Sciences website.
Submitting your application
As places are limited you are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The course starts in September 2016 so in order to receive enrolment materials in good time we advise that applications are submitted before the end of July 2016. Please allow additional processing time for international applications from countries that require a visa.
MSc: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time
PG Dip: 9 months full-time or 21 months part-time (two academic years)
Both the MSc Psychology and PGDip Psychology start in late September. A dedicated induction day is provided for all students which introduces you to your course, to your teaching teams and to the university facilities. The day ends with an informal social event.
The MSc Psychology is completed in one year of full-time study (your final piece of coursework is submitted in late August) or two years part-time. The PG Diploma is completed in nine months of full-time study (your final piece of coursework is submitted in late June) or 21 months part-time. Provided you satisfy entry criteria for both awards, it is possible to transfer from one award to the other or from part-time to fill-time study (and vice versa) during your first term. The teaching terms run from late September to Christmas and then from January to Easter. Part-time students attend for two of the three days in the first year.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks (previously CRB checks)
Many students from overseas choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. Disclosure and Barring Service checks (previously CRB checks) only cover students from the UK, so unless you have been resident in the UK for five years or more, we will need a criminal record check from your home country if you plan to work with vulnerable populations. Checks from overseas can sometimes be referred to by a variety of names such as a Police Check or a Good Behaviour Record. To find out what it is called in your home country and how to apply for one, please visit the government website.
If you are an overseas student and are planning to collect data for your research project from vulnerable populations in your home country, you are advised to apply for a home police check to support your research. You will need to demonstrate in your ethics form that you have met all the requirements of your home country to work with vulnerable populations.
If you are unable to obtain a home Police Check and still wish to work with vulnerable populations in your home country, discuss this with your Course Leader in the first instance. It will need to be made clear in your written correspondence with any participants / organisations that the University has been unable to engage with any criminal record checks prior to you undertaking your research.
Once you have obtained your police check, a copy of the documentation (in English) should be passed to the relevant course administrator in the School of Social Sciences Office.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
School of Social Sciences website.
"I had been living in Canada for five years prior to moving to Nottingham. I chose to move to the UK because there was a greater choice of Psychology courses and because it is closer to my family who live in Lebanon. I chose NTU because I heard that Nottingham was a nice city to live in and more importantly because of the MSc Psychology conversion course. I also came across a lot of positive feedback about NTU and my particular course on forums such as The Student Room.
"After completing my undergraduate degree, I spent two years working in a variety of jobs. I worked in a nursery school during the day and as a support worker in the evenings. It was through this experience that I realised that I wanted to pursue postgraduate study in Psychology.
"A lot of my friends had attended university in the UK, so I was quite familiar with what to expect. I was excited to move somewhere new and begin a course that would be an important step in the career that I wanted to achieve.
"I chose the MSc Psychology at NTU because my undergraduate degree was not in Psychology. This course provides the opportunity to convert my degree and gain the credits required for The Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychology Society in just one year.
"I have found the course extremely interesting. The Research Methods module has been particularly useful, as I have had the opportunity to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research and analysis. We received detailed feedback on all our assignments, which is very important because the skills acquired in this module will be highly applicable throughout my career.
"The classes at NTU are much smaller than what I am used to. This is great because it makes for a more comfortable learning environment. The lecturers are approachable and available to attend to any questions and concerns. Moreover, not only do they help with our modules, the lecturers are also very helpful with careers advice.
"The MSc Psychology conversion course is challenging and demanding, but it is definitely interesting and well worth it! Since being on this course I have learned a lot about what specifically interests me in Psychology. Through this my career plans are now definitely geared towards clinical psychology."
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