MSc / PGDip

Psychology

Student using laptop
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: City site
  • Starting: 26 September 2016
  • Course duration: 1 / 2 year(s)

Our British Psychological Society (BPS) conversion courses are designed for graduates of other disciplines who wish to pursue a career in psychology but whose first degree is not recognised by the BPS. Entry on to the MSc Psychology does not require you to have studied any psychology previously.

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. Successful completion of the course provides graduates in other disciplines with a route to becoming a professional psychologist.

  • 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.

Accredited by:

BPS Accreditation Logo2

What you'll study

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

The course curriculum covers all of the core knowledge areas within psychology and will also deepen your range of quantitative and qualitative research skills and methods, culminating in an independent research project.

Research opportunities

You'll 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 you may be able to make use of these links when carrying out your research project.

  • Course modules

    You'll 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

    This module is 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 focused on giving you the opportunity to learn by actually doing research.

    Statistics

    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.

    Support is provided through small group individualised teaching in tutorials and individual supervision of the Research Project and Specialist Essay.

    In addition, MSc Psychology students complete an 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 choose an optional module during the second term. These modules are sourced from the BSc (Hons) 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!

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

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.

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and lab classes. 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. You'll also make full use of the facilities provided by the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

During the course you'll be assessed in 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.

The Psychology Division is large, with around 50 academic staff covering all areas of the discipline, and therefore you are able to take options from, and do research projects in areas of particular interest to you. This can be very helpful in preparation for related work or further study after graduation.

A supportive and active research environment

Throughout the course you'll 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 2014 Research Excellence Framework results.

Core modules are taught exclusively to conversion course students

Careers and employability

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 a:

  • 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 by subject specialists 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
  • prisons
  • schools
  • large blue chip companies
  • research laboratories
  • government departments
  • the armed services
  • hospitals
  • premiership football clubs.

An ideal route for graduates in other disciplines to become a professional psychologist

We have a teaching laboratory specifically for postgraduate psychology students.

Entry requirements

Entry on to the MSc Psychology does not require any previous study of Psychology.

MSc 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 on 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.

Entry on to the MSc Psychology does not require any previous study of Psychology.

MSc 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 on 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.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

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.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page to complete your application. You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

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.

Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application
Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date
After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder. You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Good luck with your application!

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. You may be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check depending on your project topic.

Start dates
The MSc Applied Child Psychology starts 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 course 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 teaching terms run from late September to Christmas and then from January to Easter. Part-time students attend for two of the three days only.

Open days
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.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up to date
After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students from overseas choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. DBS 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 disclosure and barring service 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.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding page will answer your questions.

You may be able to get a competitive scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about postgraduate funding opportunities.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Please visit our postgraduate fees page for further information on course fees.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study on eligible courses at the University.

For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships page.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Prestigious postgraduate scholarships are available for the MSc Psychology. Find out more on our postgraduate scholarships webpage.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460