Introduction to Psychology

Psychology is described as the scientific study of the mind and how it affects behaviour. Simply put, by exploring psychology, we aim to understand why we think, feel, and act in certain ways. 

It’s a complex field that touches almost every aspect of human life – and like any rich, nuanced subject, it needs to be approached from different perspectives. This is where you come in. 

For example, companies and government bodies are showing a growing interest in predicting and influencing the behaviour of collaborators, competitors, and the public. It’s essential that people in such positions of power have experts who can train and advise them on ethical means of doing so. 

Alternatively, your interests may lie in being able to help people with their wellbeing. The exacerbation of mental health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic means that more and more individuals require support from qualified professionals. 

Wherever you see yourself driving change in the future, your journey begins here, with your MSc Psychology degree. 

Note: Application for accreditation of this course has been submitted to The British Psychological Society (BPS). 

Course details

MSc Psychology 

3 start dates per year: January, May and September

Next welcome week: 19 September 2022

Next course start date: 26 September 2022

Application deadline: 12 September 2022

Duration: 2 years (part time)

Format: Online, with optional face-to-face events. 

Total course fees: £7,200 (including a £250 acceptance fee). Please note that the total fee will be changed to £9,400 following course accreditation. Applications received before this time will not be required to pay the increased amount. Speak to a course adviser for more information.

Tailored support: Contact our course adviser team today for application advice

Application form: Start your application for September 2022 now

Application process

Why this MSc in Psychology?

Through taking this course, you’ll learn how to study a person’s mind and behaviour by examining their cultural environment, upbringing, mental processes, and personality.  

Each of these perspectives use a variety of research methods, some being scientific and objective, and others being experiential and subjective. You’ll gain hands on experience with the most relevant and influential of these, and further your skills by conducting your own research studies as well. 

You’ll be supported by our distinguished Psychology Department, which follows a philosophy of research-led teaching. The content you receive will have been designed by research-active members of staff who are working at the forefront of their fields, meaning you can look forward to receiving a truly exceptional education. 

As a conversion course, our programme is open to people from all industries and careers. We know how common it is to only discover your interests after spending some time in the real world, which is why we welcome applicants regardless of what they studied as undergraduates. 

Our commitment to your growth is further evidenced by our Teaching Excellence Framework gold award and by our Research Excellence Framework results, where 67% of our psychology research outputs were given the highest classifications of world leading and internationally excellent. 

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What you’ll study

This conversion course will equip you with a wide range of specialist skills in a welcoming, flexible environment. You can look forward to learning: 

  • Core principles of a range of perspectives within psychology, including social, biological, abnormal psychology, positive psychology, individual differences, and developmental psychology 

  • The ethical and sociocultural issues that are relevant to evaluating theories and research findings, and how to use said theories and findings to address real-world needs 

  • A range of research skills and methods for investigating experience and behaviour, strengthening your ability to conduct research independently 

Along with the above, we’ll help you gain valuable practical expertise that will prove essential for entering this field. 

  • Remotely access and use a range of specialist tools, including JASP statistical software and the Gorilla Experiment Builder 

  • Learn how to carry out empirical studies involving a variety of data collection methods, including experiments, interviews and focus groups 

  • Master how to analyse, present, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data, as well as final research findings 

All course materials are available on demand and can be accessed from wherever you are in the world. Find out more about how you'll learn with us. 

How you'll learn

Modules

This first module will give you all the skills and contexts, both historical and contemporary, to begin your transition to the field of psychology. 

We’ll begin by discussing the different perspectives (such as behavioural, cognitive, clinical, etc.) that dominate the field. Through this, you’ll understand what it means to be a psychologist in current times, as well as the impact psychologists have on our day-to-day lives. 

Following this, the module will equip you with the fundamental skills needed to conduct scientific research within psychology – which you’ll build on throughout your degree. 

During this module, you can look forward to examining the biological mechanisms underlying human behaviours. 

Your studies will have you explore both biological and cognitive explanations of processes associated with perception, learning, language, memory, and emotions. 

At this point of the course, we’ll look at two key sub-domains of psychology: social psychology and developmental psychology. 

You’ll learn about changes in theoretical approaches, as well as the concepts and values that have influenced methodology and discussion in each domain. 

This module will introduce you to major classical theories on the development and nature of individual differences, using personality as an example. 

We’ll discuss the application of these theories to contemporary research, and explore theoretical issues in intelligence and personality assessment, along with the practical application of psychometric tests. 

Your studies here will also be supplemented with drop-in surgeries (optional tutorials). 

The MSc Psychology research project will challenge you to draw upon the research methods you’ve learnt to address a specific psychological issue or question. 

This final phase of your course will have you present the rationale for your study, the adopted research methodology and your findings as an extended report. You’ll also share a verbal justification for your study and approach adopted in the form of a project interview assessment. 

You’ll be allocated a project supervisor at the very start of the course to support you via regular meetings. This module also contains an integrated personal tutorial system. 

How you're assessed

All assessments for this course are based on coursework submitted online. Your performance is assessed through projects such as: 

  • Academic essays 

  • Research reports 

  • Case studies 

  • Narrated presentations 

  • An independent research project 

  • Writing for alternative audiences, such as in popular science articles 

You can also test your skills and knowledge informally before assessments via formative (non-graded) assessments (available during your first module only), online quizzes, group discussions, peer review activities and virtual seminars. 

In your first module, tutors will provide feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve your work for the future. 

MSc Psychology professionals

Dr Tom Lockhart 

Course Leader

I’m a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology. My research work tests and applies the principles of a neurological theory of personality called Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory. My interests also include decision making, anxiety, personality, and behavioural prediction. 

What's a conversion course?

Find out more about conversion courses and how this MSc can change your career.

Find out more

MSc Psychology glossary

Discover the key terms professionals in the field need to know:

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Entry requirements

Our MSc Psychology is a conversion course, which means that it was designed to train you in this subject regardless of what you studied at undergraduate level.  

To join this course, you must have: 

  • An upper second-class honours degree, master’s degree, or equivalent (in any academic subject) 
  • English language proficiency at IELTS level 6.5 with no component score below 6.5 (or other acceptable proof), if English is not your first language 

Applicants with relevant professional experience in psychology or a related field will also be considered. Aspiring students with non-standard qualifications may be asked to interview with our Admissions team.

When applying, you will also be required to submit:

  • Two references

  • A personal statement

Not sure if you meet certain requirements? We’re happy to help you check if your current qualifications meet the above criteria. Please phone us on +44 (0)23 9400 3692, or email info@study-online.port.ac.uk 

Career prospects and opportunities

Earning your MSc in Psychology is your start to a brand-new career path. Psychologists are employed across a multitude of areas – including healthcare, policy making, education, criminal justice, animal welfare, sports and coaching, design, marketing, and many more. 

To help establish yourself in the field that matters to you, this conversion course will empower you to develop a range of versatile skills. From knowledge of statistical software to data analysis, teamwork, critical thinking, and presentation skills, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed. 

These capabilities, coupled with the support you can receive from our excellent Careers and Employability Service, will help position you as a valuable hire to employers across the world. 

Following the course’s BPS accreditation, graduates of the programme will be able to explore a number of exciting roles, such as: 

  • Health psychologist 

  • Clinical psychologist 

  • Educational psychologist 

  • Academia and research psychologist 

  • Occupational psychologist 

  • Counselling psychologist 

  • Neuropsychologist 

  • Sport and exercise psychologist 

  • Forensic psychologist 

To learn more about the paths of progression available to you after graduation, visit our Careers and opportunities page: 

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Want to start in September 2022?

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Male Psychology student