MSc/PgDip Psychology (Conversion)

Is gossip good for us? How are our identities constructed? Why can we remember events from our childhood?

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Overview

Explore the history of modern psychology, the influence of our biology on behaviour, and the workings of the human brain. Develop a critical understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods. And, apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Designed for students who have a degree without accreditation from The British Psychological Society (BPS), our course allows you to qualify for the further professional training you’ll need to become a chartered psychologist in the UK.

We teach this course entirely online, covering each unit over a series of topic weeks. You’ll usually learn through ‘mini lectures’ (available as short podcasts), online discussions, readings from core texts (you will normally receive these as free e-books), and learning activities such as workbook exercises.

Some of the topics you’ll explore include how we remember things, how our identities are constructed, and how our perceptions change as we age. You’ll also have the opportunity to choose option units. Previous units include educational psychology, forensic psychology, and counselling.

Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and, when you graduate, you can apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Once you have GBC, you can continue with further study in a specialist area and become a chartered psychologist.

Features and Benefits

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

Career Prospects

When you graduate, you’re eligible to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

This is the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist in the UK and means that you can continue with further study to specialise in a particular field of psychology.

Depending upon the field of psychology you choose to specialise in the future, some of the places you might work in are local authorities, social services, prisons, sports clubs, the NHS or private hospitals, schools and rehabilitation centres.

For further information about Psychology careers, please consult the British Psychological Society.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

In accordance with the British Psychological Society's requirements, applicants are required to hold a minimum of a lower second class (2:2) UK honours degree (or international equivalent).

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Applicants to the MSc route need not have studied any Psychology before.

Applicants to the PgDip route must have studied 60 credits of Psychology at Level 4 or above.

What to Include in Your Personal Statement

Below is a list of twelve personal qualities possessed by successful online distance learners. It is important you address and evidence each of them when composing your personal statement. You should also alert your referees to the skills required of a successful distance learning student.


Commitment and Motivation
1. You are a conscientious 'self-starter' with high levels of motivation and independence.
2. You are eminently capable of working on your own with the course resources, with the support of tutor-led instruction.
3. You have excellent self-management skills and can organise your work-life balance effectively. You can cope with a number of deadlines at the same time.
4. When you seek help, you do so by taking a range of potential solutions to the person you are seeking help from


Information Technology Skills
5. You have good IT and computing skills:
a) You know how to download and install software. It is a course requirement that you are comfortable using (or learning to use) spreadsheet-based software packages (e.g. Microsoft Excel or IBM SPSS).
b) You are comfortable using (or learning how to use) multimedia (such as viewing and creating PowerPoint, video and audio files).
c) You have and can use equipment such as speakers/headphones and microphones.
6. You are adept at using social media to engage with others and to nurture online relationships. You recognise that online relationships demand considerable efforts of commitment and reciprocity to be rewarding.
7. You are proficient with using email to communicate, and can do so in a professional and courteous manner.
8. You are comfortable with using (or learning how to use) online communication software such as Skype.

Academic and Independent Study Skills
9. You recognise that a post-graduate student is assumed to possess a broader and deeper skill-set compared to an undergraduate student:

10. You can multi-task and work on several projects at once, advancing them all towards completion simultaneously.
11. You understand what it means to say that Psychology is both a quantitative and a qualitative discipline; that it involves both number-crunching and statistics as well as meaning-making and interpretation.
12. You are able to devote the requisite study hours necessary to the course to be successful. We strongly recommend around 40 hours per week for full time routes, and around 20 hours per week for part time routes.

Course details

We deliver this course entirely online, from enrolment through to research project submission and you’ll study through e-learning and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Although our MSc/PgDip Psychology (Conversion) is an online course, it is structured and you’ll study all five core units, as well as option units.

If you study part-time, you will undertake all of your core units in year one, with option units and the research project in year two.

Day-to-day, you might study a topic via a short podcast, discuss the content with fellow students on our online message board, read a few chapters from a core text, or complete an online quiz to test your knowledge. Directed learning activities are clearly indicated in the Unit Moodle areas.

The Core Units are: ‘Social Psychology and Individual differences’; ‘Research Methods in Psychology’; ‘Cognitive and Biological Psychology’ and ‘Lifespan and Atypical Development’.

As well as the core units, you’ll usually study two option units (one on the PgDip route). These focus on professional skills and introduce you to areas of psychology you could specialise in when you graduate.

Some of the option units we’ve run in previous years include introductions to educational or forensic psychology, and the conceptual, historical and philosophical developments of different counselling and psychotherapy approaches, health psychology, cyber psychology, coaching and clinical neuroscience. For each specialist unit, you’ll learn from lecturers with expertise in these areas of psychology.

You won’t attend our campus in Manchester city centre for this course but if you want to speak to a tutor about your work, you’ll be able to chat with them on the phone or via Moodle (a VLE).

You’ll also have a personal tutor, who provides you with both academic and personal support throughout this course.

To help you study at masters level, we organise a number of online skills sessions in areas such as essay writing, searching for information in the library, and career options. And if you’re local, you can access these facilities on-campus.

We also have a dedicated personal tutor and personal development support programme.

Students on the full time route only have one year of study, with induction in September 2020 and completion of the final research project in September 2021. Please note as degree confirmation will not be until December it is not possible to go onto further study for courses starting in September 2021.

Our innovative and diverse curriculum masters level modular conversion course is delivered entirely online by e-learning and Virtual Learning Environments. There is no attendance requirement.

You'll study all of the core units:

  • Social Psychology and Individual differences
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Cognitive and Biological Psychology
  • Lifespan and Atypical Development

For the full core unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Alongside the core units, you'll choose one (PgDip) or two (MSc) optional units which may include:

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Introduction to Educational Psychology
  • Conceptual and Historical Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Coaching Psychology
  • Cyber Psychology
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Health Psychology

Students on the part time route study all of the core units in their first year of study moving onto the optional units in their second.

For the full optional unit descriptions, see year two.  

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Social Psychology and Individual Differences

Through this unit we aim introduce you to two core areas of psychology: Social Psychology and Individual Differences. We'll organise the content into broad themes related to human behaviour and interaction, encouraging consideration of how social psychological and individual differences approaches can assist our understanding of any particular topic.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Synthesise key research findings, and identify relevant theories in social psychology and individual differences.
  • Critically evaluate rationale, design, methodology, and ethical considerations in social psychology and individual differences.
  • Critically evaluate impact or application to real-world or clinical settings, study limitations, and directions for future research in social psychology and individual differences.
  • Construct, present, and communicate critical evaluations in written form.
Research Methods in Psychology

The overall aim of this unit is to develop your applied and critical understanding of quantitative and qualitative methods in psychology enabling the development of theoretical and philosophical understandings alongside practical skills and experience.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research in psychology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of qualitative and quantitative data generation and analysis techniques.
  • Critically (and when appropriate reflexively) evaluate qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data.
Cognitive and Biological Psychology

We've derived the content for this unit from the BPS/QAA stipulations for Biological Psychology (“biological bases of human and non-human animal behaviour, hormones and behaviour, behavioural genetics, neuroscience, typical and atypical neuropsychology, comparative and evolutionary psychology”). And Cognitive Psychology (“attention, perception, learning, memory, thinking, problem solving, decision making, metacognition, language, consciousness and cognitive neuropsychology”).

On this unit, you'll also cover, discussion and evaluation of theory, methodology and quantitative analysis, methods in cognition research and biological psychology. You'll explore brain damage and disorders, neuroimaging, the localisation of function and real world illustrations of research and experimental design.

You'll reflect on your personal and professional development as part of the formative tasks for this unit.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of cognitive and biological psychology theory and methodology.
  • Reason scientifically and use evidence to make critical judgements in cognitive and biological psychology.
  • Critically evaluate the application of knowledge of cognitive and biological psychology to real world and clinical settings.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the limitations and ethical constraints of cognitive and biological psychology.
Lifespan and Atypical Development

In this unit you'll explore a range of developmental psychological topics over the course of the lifespan, including atypical development.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Critically examine psychological theories of human development.
  • Apply developmental concepts and theories to real world contexts.
  • Critically evaluate the methods and findings of key research studies in development.
  • Critically consider different approaches to managing developmental challenges.

Alongside the core units, you'll choose one (PgDip) or two (MSc) optional units.

Typical option units include: 

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Introduction to Educational Psychology
  • Conceptual and Historical Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Coaching
  • Cyber Psychology
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Health Psychology

For the full option unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Dissertation - Psychology (Conversion)

In this unit we'll introduce you to first-hand research experience. You'll design, analyse, and write up a report in the form of a journal article.

In more detail, you'll identify research questions in any area within Psychology, subject to the availability of knowledgeable supervisors and apparatus. You'll prepare research proposals as well as ethics forms and submit these to the Postgraduate Ethics Committee for approval prior to commencing the research. 

You'll design and carry out your investigations under supervision of a member of staff. It is expected that all projects will involve the collection of information or the analysis of existing datasets. Research may utilise whatever method or methods most suitable to address the identified aims. The research can be: desktop, laboratory based or field based. It may be experimental or non-experimental, qualitative or quantitative and/or collaborative, with external agencies (if necessary). You'll write up reports in the form of an APA journal article.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate literature and research methodologies
  2. Design a piece of independent, innovative, empirical work, which answers specified research questions
  3. Present research results concisely and critically evaluate their own research findings
  4. Communicate the purpose, design, implementation and results of their research effectively in oral and written form
  5. Show awareness of research ethics and wider societal impact of psychological research
Empirical Project - Psychology (Conversion)

In this unit we'll introduce you to first-hand research experience. You'll design, analyse, and write up a report in the form of a journal article.

In more detail, you'll identify their research questions in any area within Psychology, subject to the availability of knowledgeable supervisors and apparatus. You'll prepare research proposals as well as ethics forms and submit these to the Postgraduate Ethics Committee for approval prior to commencing the research. 

You'll design and carry out an investigation under the supervision of a member of staff.  It is expected that projects will involve secondary data analysis or meta-analysis or computational modelling. In your research you may utilise whatever method or methods most suitable to address the identified aims. The research may be qualitative or quantitative. You'll write up your report in the form of an APA journal article.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate research literature and methodology.
  2. Design a piece of empirical research using secondary data which answers specified research questions.
  3. Present and evaluate research results based on secondary data concisely and critically.
  4. Communicate the purpose, design, implementation and results of research orally and in written form.
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of research ethics, including ethics of using secondary research data and the wider societal impact of psychological research.

Likely Optional Units

Introduction to Forensic Psychology

In this unit we aim to provide you with a critical overview of forensic issues in psychology, examining both the theoretical and practical underpinnings of forensic psychology.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of core concepts within forensic psychology theory and research.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of ethical and legal issues in forensic psychology.
  • Understand the working of the criminal justice system.
  • Critically evaluate the application of forensic psychology to offender assessment and treatment.
Conceptual and Historical issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy

In this unit we aim to introduce to the conceptual and historical foundations of the main approaches to counselling and psychotherapy.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the key theoretical and methodological features of a number of counselling and psychotherapy approaches to the treatment of psychological distress.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the historical and conceptual underpinnings of different counselling and psychotherapy approaches to the treatment of psychological distress.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the impact of individual, social and political forces on different models of counselling and/or psychotherapy.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the criteria of evaluation for different models of counselling and/or psychotherapy.
Introduction to Educational Psychology

In this unit we'll introduce you to the theories, research and practice of contemporary educational psychology.

There has been a longstanding interest in the applicability of psychology to education. This discipline now provides information beneficial to multiple professions, including teaching, paediatricians and practicing educational psychologists.

The research gained in educational psychology is able to form the basis for developing interventions in providing optimum classroom environments and reducing behaviours that may result in barriers to education. 

You'll explore the theories, research and practice of contemporary educational psychology. We'll offer an explanation of how psychological theory is able to inform education, how research is used to test theories (e.g., of learning) and how this information is utilised within the role of an educational psychologist. On completion of this module, you'll have a knowledge base enabling you to understand theories relating to education and how these can be applied to the real world.

Coaching Psychology

In this unit we'll introduce you to Coaching Psychology, taking an applied approach, with an emphasis on empirical research of practice. We'll organise the content into three broad themes: applied coaching practice, ethical and professional considerations, and evidence-based coaching.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess ethical and professional issues that can arise in a coaching context
  • Identify and critically evaluate psychological theories and coaching models that can be applied in practice
  • Critically analyse fundamental considerations of the coaching relationship
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of coaching in practice
Cyber Psychology

In this unit we'll introduce you to contemporary psychological research and theory related to the interaction between humans and technology.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Identify areas of controversy in cyberpsychology
  • Apply psychological theory and research to specific controversies in cyberpsychology
  • Critically analyse media coverage of human-computer interaction using psychological theory and research
  • Propose practical recommendations in a specific domain of cyberpsychology justified using psychological theory and research
Clinical Neuroscience

In this unit you'll explore the core topics in the clinical neurosciences. You'll cover neuroscientific perspectives on, and interventions in neurodevelopmental conditions, mental health issues, neurological conditions and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the neurobiological foundations of various mental illnesses.
  • Apply knowledge of the structure and function of the human nervous system to the context of developmental disorders, mental health issues, and age-related diseases.
  • Discuss the value of evidence gained from methods and analytic techniques employed to study brain health.
  • Critically evaluate the contributions clinical neuroscience has made to understanding and intervening in developmental disorders, mental health issues, and age-related diseases.
Health Psychology

In this unit we'll provide you with an introduction to the main theories, research and practice of health psychology. You'll cover a range of different theories and topics that relate to health psychology.

On successful completion of this unit, you'll be able to:

  1. Critically assess ways in which psychological theory and research can be used to understand and improve health.
  2. Critically analyse a range of psychological theories and approaches that have been used to explain health inequalities.
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the health psychology literature.
  4. Critically evaluate interventions for preventable health related conditions.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £945 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £1778 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Students will need to purchase a laptop (please note chrome books are not suitable), You will need speakers to hear the lectures and we strongly recommend purchasing a headset microphone to allow you to fully engage with the adobe connect sessions.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Prospective applicants are advised to complete their application early to avoid disappointment

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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