School of Psychology

MSc Psychology

The MSc Psychology is designed to confer Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). GBC is the form of professional accreditation that is required for many careers that you may pursue with a psychology degree, as well as for advanced professional training in psychology. This is a conversion course. You do not need an undergraduate psychology degree but you'll need an honours degree.

Key features

  • Ensure you have the necessary qualifications for many types of further training in psychology, as well as for licensing as a professional psychologist.
  • Participate in this one-year intensive programme. You’ll become eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which normally requires a three year honours degree in psychology.  
  • Benefit from the expertise of the School of Psychology which has received national recognition for both its teaching and research activities, earning a rating of five in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise and a score of 23 out of 24 in the last Teaching Quality Assessment. These qualities mark Plymouth as one of the top psychology departments in the UK.
  • Obtain a background in the major theoretical approaches in all of the principal areas of psychology - biological, cognitive, social, developmental, and individual differences.
  • Gain an understanding of a wide variety of research paradigms, including research methods and measurement techniques.
  • Explore the newly refurbished laboratory and teaching space including electrophysiology (ERP), Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), virtual reality and eye‑tracking laboratories.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • Drawing on Plymouth's existing British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited programmes, you’ll gain access to the curriculum essential for obtaining GBC, a critical step in becoming a chartered psychologist. The programme includes a number of opportunities for advanced study. You’ll learn through an exciting blend of lectures and regular interaction with staff and fellow students, as well as through independent reading and research. You’re challenged to investigate classic and contemporary issues in the field of psychology at an intensive and analytical level. A unique feature of this MSc is its incorporation of student-directed seminar groups, which employ various learning approaches, for example you may take part in small group discussions where you explore and critically analyse the literature relevant to a current issue of practical significance. You’ll develop and carry out an independent research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

    The MSc dissertation is completed at the end of the academic year (August) and the degree conferred the following November.

    Part-time study
    An option to study part-time over two years is available. Please contact the course coordinator for details.
    Core modules
    • PSYC703 Cognition and Biological Psychology

      This module covers four core areas of psychology: Perception & Attention; Learning & Memory; Cognition & Language; Neuroscience & Comparative Psychology. The biological basis of cognition will be integrative within each of the four core areas. Of the 12 hours of lectures in each area, the first will be devoted to CHIP issues and the on integration within/between topics.

    • PSYC704 Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module covers three core areas of psychology: Individual differences, Social and Developmental: each core area will be covered in 16 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour will focus on integration within/between topics.

    • PSYC705 Health and Wellbeing

      The module explores the multiple factors that determine health and wellbeing related behaviours, introducing professional areas of health, clinical and forensic psychology.

    • PSYC706 Current Topics in Psychology

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • PSYC707 MSc Research Project

      Students, supported by academic supervisors and specialist workshops, are required to conduct a complete piece of research, from establishing a research area, formulating a research question, conducting a literature search, designing and conducting a study that meets appropriate ethical standards, analysing the data and communicating the research verbally and in writing.

    • PSYC708 Psychology Study Skills and Careers

    • PSYC719 Research Skills in Practice 1

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on the association of factors and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report. Methods workshops are also provided.

    • PSYC720 Research Skills in Practice 2

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on group differences and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report means. Methods workshops are also provided.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Psychology programme specification 3371

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You must have successfully completed a first degree (at university level) prior to enrolling on this programme.

The programme is ideal if you’re wishing to make a career change into psychology, or if you have overseas qualifications and wish to convert your psychology degree into one approved by the BPS.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service. 

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £8,500 To be confirmed
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) £472 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Funding opportunities

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

Postgraduate international scholarships from the School of Psychology

International students who have met the conditions of their University of Plymouth offer of study will be eligible to receive the School of Psychology Postgraduate Platinum Scholarship to help towards the cost of tuition fees. You may also be eligible to apply for the University's Postgraduate Taught International Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply


How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

MSc Psychology

Plymouth is one of the top Psychology departments in the UK. The programme will run in conjunction with the School’s existing taught programmes, including its BPS-accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology and MSc in Psychological Research Methods programmes.

These programmes are delivered by over 30 members of staff with a range of expertise in various areas of psychology.

Meet the Programme Manager - Dr Alison Bacon

Alison is the Programme Manager for MSc Psychology. She is a member of the School of Psychology and the Centre for Research in Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.

Find out more about the Programme Manager


Facilities in the School of Psychology

Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’re a well equipped department ready to support your research.

Read more about our facilities

Studentships and funding for psychology

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

Find out more about the funding available

PhD opportunities in the School of Psychology

Your chance to study a topic of your choice over three years with support and supervision from an expert in their field.

Further study and employment opportunities

Many psychology students seek further specialised training in the applied sectors of the field (e.g. forensic psychology, counselling psychology, and organisational psychology). This programme will qualify you for entry into such training programmes.

A recent survey of university graduates in the UK indicated that psychology students enter into a wide variety of professions.

Find out more about the variety of professions available