What makes Psychology at Worcester special?
Our Psychology Masters is a conversion course for those with a non-Psychology degree who want to pursue a career in psychology. You will convert your qualification and learning to an award that confers eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.
At Worcester the course is delivered by chartered psychologists who have extensive academic, researcher and practitioner skills in delivering professionally accredited courses.
- Accredited by the British Psychological Society
- Inventive blend of learning and teaching methods including a dedicated weekly seminar programme
- Opportunities to learn alongside other psychology postgraduates on accredited courses
What qualifications will you need?
The MSc Psychology is open to students with a non-Psychology degree who have:
Either all of the following:
- Honours degree, 2:1 or above, in a subject other than Psychology
- GCSE in Maths and GCSE in English
- IELTS 6.5 or better (for overseas students where English is not your first language)
Or all of the following:
- 2:2 honours degree in a subject other than Psychology
- 60 PSY credits at level 4 or above
- GCSE in Maths and GCSE in English
- IELTS 6.5 or better (for overseas students where English is not your first language)
What will you study?
Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative.
Advanced Research Methods
This module aims to consolidate undergraduate research abilities, and equip the student with the skills necessary to undertake Masters level research. As a core module of the course, research design and advanced statistical analysis are covered, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
This module aims to develop students critical understanding of the major theories, paradigms, and research methods used within social psychology taking a multifactorial approach to understanding social processes and relationships. The learning and teaching activities of the module reflect the more advanced nature of the module (e.g. students will be required to complete significant amounts of self-directed reading; lectures will act as signposts to key issues). Also, students will get the opportunity to complete a practical assignment on one aspect of social psychology.
The module aims to develop students critical understanding of the major theories, paradigms, and research methods used to identify and explain the development of representational ability and identity across the lifespan. This includes not only the nature/nurture issue, but the comparative contributions of socio-cultural, information processing and constructivist accounts of human development.
The module aims to develop students understanding of the physiological basis of behaviour in terms of models and theories of psychological functioning from a biological perspective, including neuropsychology, evolution, memory and perception. In particular, students are encouraged to think critically about the contributions of biological psychology to our understanding of core aspects of human behaviour.
The module aims to develop students understanding of cognitive phenomena, and critical thinking about models and theories of cognitive phenomena. This includes consideration of human perception, language, learning and memory, and how this knowledge is applied in a number of 'real world' domains. A group based practice exercise in one of the above areas is reported for the continuous assessment. An overview of Cognitive Science is provided indicating its connections with Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Neuropsychology.
The module aims to provide students with an overview of the fundamental issues and main approaches to individual differences. Students are encouraged to think critically about the key assumptions of research on normative and non-normative personality development, self, and self-regulation from a range of perspectives and the paradigm tensions implicit in these. The module will also focus on the social and policy implications of individual differences in intelligence, in addition to those in health, education, relationships, and occupational choices. Students will be expected to complete a small research study as part of the summative assessment, and thus engage with some aspects of the decision making and accountability of the research process.
The dissertation is designed to allow students to develop, design, run and report a major piece of empirical research independently. Students are encouraged to conduct a project on a topic that reflects their professional interests in Psychology.
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a blend of learning and teaching methods including weekly lectures, some block teaching sessions and a dedicated weekly seminar programme.
In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course. Additionally, the weekly seminar programme includes dedicated careers and personal academic tutoring sessions.
You also have an opportunity to learn alongside other psychology postgraduates on accredited courses.
In a typical week you will have around 6 – 12 contact hours of teaching but the precise contact hours depends on the academic semester and whether you choose to study full-time or part-time.
Typically class contact time will be structured around:
- Formal lectures
- Seminars and individual or group tutorials
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 18-36 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing required reading, formative activities linked to summative assessments, research design, data collection and analysis and VLE based activities (e.g. critically analysing web based discussions and videos).
Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes staff experienced in delivering BPS GBC accredited courses, are research active Chartered Psychologists, work as senior and principal lecturers, and are also involved in the supervision of doctoral research students.
Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and 100 per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.
Assessment methods include essays, systematic review, position papers, examinations and research projects. The programme includes both formative and summative assignments designed to support your learning. The variety of teaching and learning methods used create an opportunity for students to identify the relevance of learning to their own professional / personal development agenda. The teaching group sizes are small and allow for students to really engage with the teaching staff to enhance their learning, as does the weekly seminar programme.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for a student completing the course full time in one year is the course is:
Semester 1: analysis of a given data set and a research proposal; a critical review research papers on a specific topic and an essay; designing, running and reporting a small scale research study and a two hour unseen examination.
Semester 2: a systematic review; a three hour hybrid examination; a position paper and research report using a given data set; dissertation (taken across semesters 1 and 2).
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
"I previously worked in Further Education as a lecturer and Head of Department for nearly 20 years. Following redundancy, I enrolled on the Psychology conversion course.
"My personal tutor and the course team have been excellent in their feedback and support. The assessments are varied and are relevant to the employability skills associated with Psychological practice and research.
"I did not expect to learn as much as I have done in 18 months and to develop as quickly over a relatively short period. I am now nearly at the end of my MSc Psychology conversion course and I feel equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to enter into a new career. It has been an incredible journey following redundancy. I could not have predicted the opportunities that are now available to me and the experience and knowledge I have gained.
"I am now applying for a Doctorate within Health Psychology and I am actively involved on the Midlands Health Psychology Network (MHPN) as a Committee member for events and supporting local interest groups. The course team have enabled me to pursue a new career direction and interest in Health Psychology. Thank you Worcester!"
"I started the MSc in Psychology full time in 2014. This course is ideal if, like me, your first degree isn’t in psychology (mine was in biology) but you want a career in psychology.
"As the MSc is a conversion course, you cover the topics and issues at the very core of psychology. It is a challenging course, but I loved having the opportunity to learn about topics in depth, and how to think critically. I particularly liked the diversity of the assessments (essays, reviews, exams, research projects, data analysis) which kept things interesting! The course team were really helpful and always happy to help with any queries. The cohort doesn’t tend to be huge so it’s all very friendly and there are ample opportunities to get one-on-one guidance and feedback.
"When I started the course I wanted to use the MSc as a stepping stone towards a clinical psychology doctorate. However I found I really enjoyed the practical aspects of the course (especially the dissertation) and found my passion for research.
"Since graduating, I secured a fully-funded 3-year PhD studentship (also at the University of Worcester) in which I am now planning and conducting my own research. I am also in the process of writing papers for publication in academic journals, and am presenting my work at conferences. After my PhD I hope to progress into a career as a researcher. I feel the knowledge, skills and experience from my MSc Psychology course at Worcester has equipped me well for this!"
"When enquiring about the MSc Psychology Conversion course, I was initially interested in developing my psychological knowledge and obtaining GBC membership for further specific clinical training. However, I gained more from the course than I was expecting. Since the course I feel much more confident in my direction in the psychology field and how I can make my own unique contributions.
"I studied the course part-time. Whilst studying I was working in a professional role and commuting long distances, so it was vital for me to be flexible with my commitments. I felt this course accommodated part-time study well, and while intensive at times I was able to manage a good work, life and study balance.
"While the course was challenging I felt it gave me a deeper understanding of psychological theory. This learning has been essential for my work as a therapist. I found learning about individual differences, developmental psychology and social psychology particularly fascinating and engaging. As students we are encouraged to take ownership of our own research, with just the right amount of support and direction. I discovered areas that I felt passionate about, especially when writing my dissertation. I felt I was encouraged to make a contribution to an area of psychology I felt strongly about, which has still made an impact on how I work as a therapist to this day.
"Since graduating I have been working as a senior anxiety and trauma specialist for a private healthcare company and a high intensity therapist for the NHS in London. I have also launched my own company providing therapy and training internationally and am considering a PhD in psychology.
"My advice would be to embrace the course fully, connect and share with your peer group and explore your passions for psychology with your lecturers. You might be surprised with the outcome."
Where could it take you?
Future careers in professional psychology may include educational, clinical and occupational psychology. Our course team work with you and your individual career plan to support your professional development.
In addition to eligibility for postgraduate training as a professional psychologist, you will also leave the course with good communication and IT skills and a sound understanding of behavioural research – a useful combination for a variety of subsequent careers.
How much will it cost?
For up-to-date course fee information visit the postgraduate section of our course fees page.
The Government will provide a loan of up to £10,609 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.
For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.