School of Psychology

MPsych (Hons) Advanced Psychology

With our flagship four year programme you'll stand out with a masters level qualification in advanced psychology tailored to your chosen career. Building on foundations of clinical, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, the specialist advanced modules offered in the fourth year will put you on the ladder to your chosen career in professional psychology.

Careers with this subject

Our Psychology students have tremendous opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a variety of work settings, from professional psychology, management and teaching, to social services, health services, probation and marketing. The MPsych extends this by giving you specialist knowledge and practical skills in your chosen career pathway, improving your competitiveness in the job market and preparing you for postgraduate research courses.

Key features

  • Receive funding for your masters year with a student loan.
  • Build the foundations of a thorough knowledge of psychology through the first three years of our BSc course, but then extend it with an additional year of masters level study. Specialist modules provide the knowledge, skills, and practical experience tailored to your chosen pathway to professional psychology.
  • Guided research using our extensive range of specialist facilities and laboratories, including neuroimaging, observation, virtual reality, and the Plymouth Babylab, allow you to make an original contribution to your chosen area of specialism. 
  • Free e-books, saving you over £1,500.
  • Hands-on learning in our psychology experiential learning lab. We embedded practical activities throughout the course, so you can put new knowledge into practice. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Your first-year modules provide a foundation of knowledge and skills across the breadth of psychology. Immersive modules integrate theory and practical workshops to provide a deeper exploration and of the psychology of learning and relationships. You will learn about the current debates in psychology, and how our knowledge connects and informs other disciplines.
    Core modules
    • PSYC411 Learning

      This module explores how we gather information, with an emphasis on the scientific method. The module will introduce students to different perspectives on learning, including how to learn effectively, the biological and cognitive basis of learning, and social learning.

    • PSYC412 Psychological Science

      This module will provide an introduction into a broad range of fundamental topics in psychology. Across eight independent topics, from across the entire breadth of psychology, students will learn key theories. Students will also learn how those theories have been applied to real-world situations and will be asked to explore these theories in practice in Labplus activities.

    • PSYC413 Debates in Psychology

      This module covers both current and historical debates in topics drawn from across the breadth of psychology, involving discussion of theoretical issues and application and practice. The module will involve independent study sessions exploring some of the empirical differences seen in the literature and practice, and tutorial sessions will support extended writing development.

    • PSYC414 Relationships

      This immersive module focuses on the Psychology of Social Relationships across the lifespan. This topic is introduced and analysed from different disciplines in Psychology, including Developmental, Social, Biological, Clinical and Individual Differences perspectives. Lectures introduce methodologies, key findings and concepts for understanding Social Relationships. Lectures will be supported by workshops and tutorials.

    • PSYC415 Topics in Psychology

      This module will provide an in-depth exploration of four topics from core areas of psychology. Each of the topics will run for four weeks with interspersed group-based linked Labplus activities. These will allow students to get involved in a continued project, within the scope of a particular topic, which might involve data collection and subsequent statistical analysis of that data.

    • PSYC416 Connecting Psychology

      This module will link psychology to other disciplines by exploring how the study of human and animal behaviour is investigated in collaboration with scientists and practitioners in a variety of other fields. A series of topics will be interspersed with independent study activities that allow students to get involved in a continued project, involving data collection and analysis.

  • Year 2
  • With a focus on developing research and practical skills. You will get additional hands-on experience in designing and testing your own experiments and get to grips with key concepts in cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology.
    Core modules
    • PSYC201 Conducting Psychological Research A

      This module extends the treatment of research methods and statistics to more advanced topics and introduces the student to the principal concepts in the history and philosophy of psychology.

    • PSYC202 Individual Differences, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module examines four areas of psychology: individual differences in abilities and personality and their influence on behaviour, clinical approaches to psychological disorders and their treatment, contemporary approaches to social cognition, social interaction, and group behaviour, and the development of cognitive and social abilities in infants and children.

    • PSYC203 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

      This module covers several core areas of psychology: psychobiology (basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain function); neuropsychology (the functional architecture of the brain); perception (visual and auditory processing) and language (language comprehension and production).

    • PSYC204 Applied Topics in Health and Cognition

      This module explores applications of basic research and psychological theory in two areas: health psychology and cognitive psychology. (This module is subject to availability)

    • PSYC205 Workplace Learning and Skills Development

      This module aims to allow students to learn about specific areas of psychological practice. Students will gain an understanding of how psychology is applied to specific problems, and will learn about the relevant theory and practice, developing relevant skills where appropriate. Learning about psychology in practice will encourage the student to explore their own vocational self-concept

    • PSYC206 Conducting Psychological Research B

      This module extends training in research methods and gives students practice in translating research questions into feasible studies and their design, execution, analysis and interpretation. Other elements develop students¿ understanding of statistical methods and give practice in relating psychological theory to applied problems

    • PSYC210 Personal and Professional Development

      This zero-credit module is home to a range of personal and professional development activities that focus on development through practice and reflection. Some activities are timetabled, such as tutorials and careers talks. In addition, this module is designed to assist Stage 2 students with their search and preparation for a work placement.

  • Optional placement year
  • If you choose, you can take an optional work placement after your second year, applying your knowledge of psychology in a variety of real-world contexts offered through our established partners.
    Core modules
    • PSYC310 Personal and Professional Development

      During this 36 week placement, students will begin to apply their psychological knowledge in the workplace and develop the range of skills required to work within the specific placement setting. This zero-credit module is also home to timetabled careers talks and information for Stage 3 students who are away on placement.

  • Year 3
  • You can explore the areas of psychology that interest and benefit you the most, with complete freedom of choice across a wide range of current psychology topics, allowing you to shape the psychologist you want to become. You will also work on a research question of your own choosing in a supervised research project.
    Core modules
    • PSYC401 Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module has two elements. In the social psychology element, students will examine advanced topics in social cognition, social influence and persuasion, group behaviour, intergroup behaviour and sociological social psychology. In the developmental psychology element, students will focus on language development, theories of children's mind and the development of socialisation.

    • PSYC402 Psychobiology and Cognition

      This module provides advanced coverage in the core areas of psychobiology and cognition. In psychobiology, the module deals with evolutionary and comparative approaches to understanding human perception, emotion and self-awareness, goal-directed behaviour and social engagement. In cognition, the module deals with three key topics in higher cognition: language, memory, and thinking and reasoning

    • PSYC403 Current Topics in Psychology A

      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).

    • PSYC404 Current Topics in Psychology B

      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).

    • PSYC405 Psychology Dissertation

      This module aims to consolidate and put into practice the research training carried out in earlier stages by exploring a particular research problem. Students 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 the study, analysing the data, through to writing up a report of the project

    • PSYC410 Personal and Professional Development

      This zero-credit module is home to timetabled tutorials and careers talks. Tutorials include group and reflective work which tutors provide feedback for.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, having completed three years to at least a second-class degree standard, you will progress to the study of masters level topics in psychology. These advanced studies build upon the specialist knowledge gained in the previous year, providing a greater depth of experience designed to prepare you for a future career in professional psychology or research.
    Core modules
    • PSY556 Statistical Methods for Experimental and Clinical Research

      A Masters-level module covering multiple regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. The module is intended to provide coverage of the techniques most likely to be applied by students in their own research.

    • PSY559 Experimental Research Design

      A series of lectures and workshops discussing the major issues involved in experimental designs including internal and external validity, statistical power and ethics.

    • PSY575 Advanced Applied Skills

      This module provides skills experience either in a lab or the work place that is relevant to the topic of the student's chosen master's pathway (Clinical psychology, Behaviour Change, Cognitive Neuroscience). Students will work under supervision on material which will extend their understanding of the application of knowledge in their chosen area of specialism.

    • PSY576 Advanced Research Project

      This module requires students to undertake an original project in an area associated with their specialist pathway and related to their placement experience. It comprises an independent piece of research work conducted by the student and written up as a research report.

    Optional modules
    • PSY555 Communication of Research for Psychology

      This module teaches students to communicate their research, both in writing and orally by introducing the skills required to write journal articles, present conference papers and posters, review journal articles and write grant applications.

    • PSY558 Evaluating Complex Interventions

      This module provides the background rationale for and training in the design of trials for evaluating complex interventions for behaviour change and psychological health.

    • PSY560 Qualitative Research Methods for Psychology

      This module will examine different qualitative approaches relevant to the human sciences. These approaches will cover the range of approaches from discourse-as-a-resource-for to discourse-as-the-topic-of investigation. Along the way we will critique the standard view of discourse as a route to 'things in the head'.

    • PSY561 Skills and Techniques in Psychological Research 1

      This module will focus on the development of practical skills in the implementation of a range of methods and techniques currently employed in advanced research paradigms within the areas of psychology and neuroscience.

    • PSY562 Skills and Techniques in Psychological Research 2

      This module will focus on the development of practical skills in the implementation of a range of methods and techniques currently employed in advanced research paradigms within the areas of psychology and neuroscience.

    • PSY564 Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

      This module introduces students to fundamental principles and techniques of the cognitive behavioural approach to addressing psychological difficulties.

    • PSY566 Issues in Behaviour Change

      This module covers contemporary issues in behaviour change, focusing on a topical problem behaviours and the theoretical and ethical issues of behaviour change that they raise. Based on this, students will examine and seek to change their own behaviour.

    • PSY567 Designing for Behaviour Change

      What makes a psychologically based intervention effective? This module covers a range of contemporary interventions for clinical psychological and behavioural problems, focusing on a critical analysis of the psychological mechanisms underlying interventions and explores how laboratory research can be translated into new interventions.

    • PSY568 Issues in Clinical Psychology

      This module introduces students to contemporary issues in clinical psychology and the evaluation of therapies aiming to address psychological difficulties.

    • PSY569 The Brain and its Disorders

      This module teaches students advanced functional neuroanatomy by studying the biological, psychological and social aspects of various common neurological disorders. This module will cover congenital/ developmental as well as acquired neurology.

    • PSY570 Issues in Cognitive and Brain Science

      This module focuses on how cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience approaches and techniques can be combined to provide convergent evidence about contemporary issues in understanding how the mind works.

    • PSY577 Foundations in Clinical Psychology: Children and Families

      This module introduces core concepts in clinical child psychology that underpin clinical practice. It will cover topics including early attachment relationships as predictors of psychological vulnerability and resilience; an introduction to systems theory and family relationships; a formulation approach to understanding psychological difficulties in children, and consideration of vulnerable children such as those with learning difficulties and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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

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

MPsych Programme Specification 4661

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120 - 128

120-128 points from three or four A levels from any subjects (excluding General Studies). GCSE: English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent.

BTEC 18 Unit National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM – any subject.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall.
English – Advanced 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B); Standard 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B). Maths – Standard 4.

Other international qualifications considered – please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Access courses: Pass Access to HE Science/Combined Science/Humanities/Social Sciences course with 60 credits overall, to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at distinction and 15 credits at merit or higher.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.
For more information please see www.plymouth.ac.uk/money

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

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

We've redesigned the way we teach psychology

We have listened to our students' feedback and created a new curriculum, where the focus is on active learning instead of attending lectures.

We are building a brand new learning resource for our students, the Psychology Experiential Learning Lab or PsychEL, where you will get first hand experience of psychology. In PsychEL, and in tutorials, you'll work with other students, collaborating to apply your knowledge to solve problems.

You can read more about our new first year modules here.

Find out more by watching the short video, or get more detail from our web pages.

School of Psychology – ask a student!

Want to know more about living in Plymouth and studying with us in the School of Psychology?

Ask a current student a question

MPsych Advanced Psychology specialist pathways

In your final year you will choose to focus on one of three specialist pathways; Behaviour Change, Cognitive and Brain Sciences or Foundations in Clinical Psychology

More information about your specialist pathways

Psychology at Plymouth – find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe – there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

Find out about the psychology course

Staff insight - Dr Caroline Floccia

...I was in my twenties, and I went to a party and I met somebody who told me for the first time about the existence of a field called cognitive psychology… a field in which people study how the brain and mind work… it was a revelation…

Find out why Dr Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

Read more about Dr Caroline Floccia’s teaching and research interests

Free e-Books

To give you a great start, if you are studying psychology as your only or major subject, we'll give you a free set of eBooks when you start your first year.

The complete set of eBooks is worth over £1500 – your main recommended reading for your core psychology lectures covered at no cost to you!

Free eBooks from the School of Psychology

Study abroad year in the USA

I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!

Simge Engelkiran spent a year in Nebraska

A challenge year in​ the USA

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

One of the experiments I was helping with got published in the scientific journal and... my name got mentioned!

Every year around 60-70 first and second year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'

School of Psychology Research Apprentice Scheme

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

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how University of Plymouth is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Team GB Olympic Swimmer Antony James to achieve his sporting and academic goals

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how University of Plymouth is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Welsh rugby player Molly Humphreys to achieve her sporting and academic goals

Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

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

Psychology staff - qualified to teach

80 per cent of staff in the School of Psychology have teaching qualifications, and many are Higher Education Academy Fellows. All new staff are required to qualify for a fellowship of the HEA.

Nationally only 38 per cent of university academics are qualified to teach - you deserve better than that.

Find out what qualifications our staff have

People