The Graduate Diploma in Psychology offers a fast route to eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) - the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
The Graduate Diploma in Psychology comprises seven modules that make up 160 credits in total. The course therefore provides you with a thorough grounding in the theory, themes, issues and practical skills that are central to any undergraduate psychology course. You will also be allowed to participate in up to one additional module per semester free of charge; but will not be assessed in such modules.
The 2006 British Psychological Society (BPS) regulation for Graduate Diploma students means that if you APL for any of the 20 credit modules you are required to take a substitute module at level 6. However, you can APL only 50% of the level 5 modules, and not the dissertation.
You will conduct and submit a research project as part of this course, and must achieve 160 credits with an overall mark of at least 50 percent, to be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership with the BPS.
Semester 1 (Level 5)
Biological and Atypical Psychology (20 Credits)
The overall aim of Biological and Atypical Psychology is to introduce students to the study of the brain and its interaction with the environment (e.g. behaviour). The module covers the structure and function of the nervous system from the micro (genetics and neurons) to the macro (gross anatomy and function of the nervous system) as well as applied aspects such as the biological psychology of mental health, addiction, stress and other psychologically relevant aspects of biological psychology.
Atypical psychology is embedded in each of these topics. Lectures present the background concepts, theories, and related issues while seminars involve a variety of learning activities including lab-based demonstrations of neuroanatomy, physiological measurement of behaviour, group discussions of talks by leading academics in the field, and use of online activities to self-assess and develop students’ understanding of key issues.
Students' ability to communicate knowledge and understanding of basic concepts will be assessed through a short group presentation and accompanying 500 word essay, and by a 1.5 hour unseen examination (60 multiple choice questions).
Individual Differences (20 Credits)
This module examines the concepts, theories, methods and findings in the psychology of personality and intelligence. A key component is principles of measurement and psychometric testing in the study of similarities and differences between people. A variety of learning activities, including guided reading, lectures, and seminar activities will be employed throughout the module. Students’ ability to communicate knowledge and understanding of basic concepts will be assessed through a written portfolio and by an unseen examination.
Further Research Methods (20 Credits)
This module takes students beyond the introductory level in their research methods training in psychology and will cover some more key concepts/ issues and additional methods at a more advanced level. It will cover some more complex experimental designs, survey designs, psychometrics, and more advanced qualitative methods. The lectures will provide an overview of the key concepts, issues and procedures while the workshops will provide hands on experience of the research process. As part of the process students continue to develop skills in all aspects of the research process getting closer to the goal of becoming competent in carrying out independent research projects.
Semester two (Level 5)
Lifespan Development (20 credits)
This module examines the concepts, theories, methods and findings in the field of developmental psychology. The module takes a lifespan perspective, focusing on human development from early childhood through to later developmental stages such as adolescence, adulthood and old-age. A variety of learning activities, including guided reading, lectures, and seminar activities will be employed throughout the module. Students’ ability to communicate knowledge and understanding of basic concepts will be assessed through a critical review and an unseen examination.
Cognition in Action (20 credits)
An overview of cognitive psychology is given by going through a range of classical topics such as perception, attention, imagery, memory, problem solving, decision making, thinking, language and concept formation. A variety of practical exercises are undertaken and several methodological approaches are visited.
Social Psychology (20 credits)
Social Psychology focuses on a variety of issues concerned with the social and interactive aspects of human behaviour. The module provides an overview of the main areas of study and introduces the diversity of social psychology, presenting the findings on a variety of topics central to social psychological enquiry. In addition, this module lays the foundation for subsequent study and research that may be pursued for the dissertation. It provides a basis for further academic consideration of these issues in social psychology.
Semesters 1 and 2 (Level 6)
Graduate Diploma Psychology Dissertation (40 credits)
This module helps you conceptualise and carry out a piece of empirical psychology research, to a standard suitable for submission for publication. You will learn how to present research ideas to peers and the wider academic community in verbal and poster presentations. It is the practical and theoretical realisation of what you will have learned in the Further Research Methods modules and other theory-driven modules.