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.

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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
    • CPIE202 Career and Placement Planning

    • PSYC513 Cognition and Biological Psychology

      This module covers four core areas of psychology each with 2 sub-topics: Perception & Attention; Learning & Memory; Cognition & Language; Neuroscience & Comparative Psychology. The biology of cognition will be covered within each of the four core areas, integrating them. Each core area will be covered in 12 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour integration within/between topics.

    • PSYC514 Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module covers three core areas of psychology - individual differences, social cognition, and human development. 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.

    • PSYC515 Health and Wellbeing

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

    • PSYC516 Applied Psychology

      This module explores the contribution of psychology to success in education and work. It considers different approaches to educational assessment, risk communication, and behaviour change.

    • PSYC519 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.

    • PSYC520 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.

  • 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
    • PSYC750 Personal and Professional Development

      This module will enhance students¿ awareness of the transferable skills they possess, focus thinking about future employment, spur reflection on recent learning, and promote the effective use of feedback to enhance academic performance.

    • PSYC751 Asking Psychological Questions: Epistemology and Strategy for Formulating Psychological research

      This module explores what it means to ask psychological questions, what good research questions look like, the philosophical foundations of scientific enquiry, and how good research questions shape how we produce new knowledge. Practical exercises guide students to identify, critique and refine their own research questions.

    • PSYC752 Advanced Research Design for Psychology

      This module challenges students to engage with advanced concepts in psychological research design, and to critically evaluate current practices in quantitative research. Practical exercises guide students to operationalise their own research questions within a quantitative framework.

    • PSYC753 Data Fluency: Processing, Visualising and Analysing Data for Reproducible Research

      Become fluent with numerical and textual data. Learn practical skills to summarise, visualise, and communicate insights from quantitative data; become familiar with software for working with large datasets; and best practices for reproducibility and transparency in psychological science.

    • PSYC781 Advanced Psychology Research Project

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

    Optional modules
    • PSYC754 Advanced Techniques for Psychological Research

      Advanced coverage of foundational techniques and introductions to specialist techniques for collecting and analyzing psychological data.

    • PSYC755 Advanced Interpretative Methods

      Advanced treatment of interpretative and discursive techniques in psychology, extending students¿ knowledge beyond basic thematic analyses and introducing interpretative phenomenological analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and conversation analysis.

    • PSYC756 Communicating Psychological Research

      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.

    • PSYC771 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 for understanding the mind.

    • PSYC774 Supporting 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.

    • PSYC791 Foundations of Clinical Psychology

      This module provides foundational knowledge in the theory and practice of clinical psychology, and the social, cultural and legal context in which mental health professions operate.

    • PSYC792 Understanding Clinical Interventions: Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy

      This module introduces students to fundamental principles and techniques of the cognitive behavioural approach, and contemporary developments which address individual psychological difficulties within a biopsychosocial framework. Students will be introduced to the importance of understanding individual difficulties within the systemic context of relationship dynamics, family, communities, and wider society, including the impact of social inequalities on mental health outcomes. Core clinical skills, are introduced, including listening, building a therapeutic alliance, communication, group-work, techniques for working with families, collaborative working, and monitoring change.

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 Hons Advanced Psychology 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

A Level: 120–128 points from a minimum of three 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

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 £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
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.

Funding opportunities

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

School of Psychology: undergraduate scholarships for international students 

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

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health and Human Sciences additional costs.


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 – theres 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 about the funding available

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