School of Psychology

MPsych Advanced Psychology

Want to get to grips with a specialist area of psychology? With our four year flagship programme, you’ll study on one of the first undergraduate masters courses in the UK - putting you ahead of the rest. You’ll build your knowledge of clinical, social, developmental, cognitive and physiological psychology and in your final year you’ll specialise in either behaviour change, cognitive and brain sciences or foundations of clinical psychology. You’ll graduate more than ready for your future career.

You will experience an invaluable placement with a professional psychologist relevant to your chosen pathway as part of your final year. You’ll also have the option of a placement between years two and three. As a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.

Other courses like Advanced Psychology...

Key features

  • Experience an invaluable placement with a professional psychologist relevant to your chosen pathway as part of your final year. You’ll also have the option of a placement between years two and three.
  • Receive funding for your masters year with a student loan. Unlike postgraduate masters courses this course is fully eligible for student loans.
  • Focus on and become an expert in a specialist area of psychology that interests you the most, choosing from behaviour change, foundations of clinical psychology or cognitive brain sciences.
  • Take your first step to becoming a professional in your field – as a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on the ladder to becoming a professional psychologist.
  • Expand your horizons and experience with opportunities for international exchange and a year studying abroad (in Year 2).
  • Develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.
  • Maximise your learning with a personal tutor assigned throughout your studies to provide the support and guidance you need to get the most out of your course.
  • Shape your own study path with an exciting range of topics available through lectures, optional courses and project supervision.
  • Benefit from studying on a course that the Research Assessment Exercise rates as excellent for research and the Quality Assurance Agency praises for its quality of education.
  • Immerse yourself in an innovative and imaginative curriculum that’s continually shaped by the latest developments in psychological research.
  • Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’ve got 22 labs to choose from, including a virtual reality laboratory with 3D modelling software, sound-proof cubicles with a range of stimulus equipment and computer laboratories. You'll be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research.
  • Receive outstanding student support with our award-winning Psychology eBooks scheme – we’ll give you free eBooks when you start, saving you over £1,500 in printed copies. Our Psychology eBooks scheme won the award for Teaching Excellence in The Guardian University Awards (2013).

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll lay the foundations for your studies in psychology, getting to grips with the core theories and developing important intellectual and practical skills. Whether it’s social, developmental, clinical, cognitive or physiological psychology, your work will stretch across the psychology spectrum. You’ll develop your skills in the methods of psychological research, information technology, communication and critical thinking.
    Core modules
    • PSYC101 Psychology: An Introduction

      This module is an introduction to Psychology as a science. It includes elements which expose students to the full scope and richness of psychology as a discipline, including pure and applied content, methodology, and practical work

    • PSYC102 Learning, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      PSYC102 introduces students to theories and applications of conditioning, core disorders of clinical psychology and their treatment, as well as major theoretical perspectives and studies in social and developmental psychology.

    • PSYC103 Cognitive and Biological Psychology

      This module is an introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology and Neuropsychology. The Cognitive Psychology lectures introduce the basic methodologies, key findings and concepts of cognitive psychology. The Neuropsychology and Biopsychology lectures describe the basic structure of the brain, how it controls everyday experience, and how its breakdown can give rise to psychological disorders. Lectures will be supported by practicals/workshops and tutorials.

    • PSYC104 Contemporary Topics in Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module develops students¿ understanding of theories and methods of enquiry in social and developmental psychology, using topics selected to demonstrate how psychological theory can help professional and research psychologists understand human development as well as relationships with other people and the environment.

    • PSYC105 The Psychology of Everyday Experience

      This module introduces students to psychological research into various aspects of everyday experience. Students gain an appreciation of how everyday phenomena are related to psychological knowledge and research. For example, the role of human factors in accidents and disasters, the way children think, and the decisions that we make everyday are all informed by psychology

    • PSYC109PP Psychology for Success

      This module develops skills relevant to (personal and academic) success at University and later employability. These skills are associated with personal development and communicating effectively with others. Lecture material covers relevant psychological theory, which is then followed up by practical and reflective group-work and peer-review activities.

    • PSYC110 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.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll build on your growing knowledge of psychology, developing your understanding of how it is applied in practical, real life settings, as well as in a research environment. As part of your second year, you'll also develop your critical understanding of psychology and put more sophisticated research methods into practice.
    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.

  • Year 3
  • If you choose, you can take an optional work placement after your second year, expanding and applying your knowledge of psychology in a real world context. Apply to spend a year of study honing your skills on a psychological professional/work placement, in areas from adult mental health to children, community, consultation, neuropsychology, forensic, research or education. Gain invaluable experience, make professional contacts and receive a Certificate of Professional/Industrial Placement. Please note some placements may require Occupation Health and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
    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 4
  • In this year you'll take part in academic debates, gaining an advanced understanding of the central areas of psychology. You’ll select advanced topics that reflect your own specialist interests and undertake a comprehensive piece of research as your final year project with the support of your academic supervisor.
    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’ll progress onto one of the three specialist Masters pathways. You’ll choose to focus on either behaviour change, cognitive and brain sciences or foundations of clinical psychology. You’ll then study specific topics to an advanced level and experience an invaluable placement with a professional psychologist relevant to your chosen pathway.
    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.

    • PSY557 Quantitative Analysis of Complex Clinical and Behavioural Data

      This module extends knowledge of statistical techniques to cover discreet data, and nested data structures commonly found in complex interventions, and to introduce more advanced covariance modelling techniques.

    • 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.

    • PSY563 Understanding Risky Behaviour

      This module focuses on risk-taking in individuals, the perception of risk and a range of psychological strategies and techniques for bringing about behavioural change and risk-reduction.

    • 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

128

ABB at A level excluding general studies.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall English accepted within - if Advanced Level = 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B) - If Standard Level = 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B) - Standard Level 4 in maths. If overseas and not studying English within IB – must have IELTS at 7.0 overall with 7.0 in all elements.

All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

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

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

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. Including GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent. 

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,250 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
For more information please see www.plymouth.ac.uk/money

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.



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

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University 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 Plymouth University 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