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Psychology (Graduate Diploma)

Course Description

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is an accredited conversion course for individuals already possessing an undergraduate degree in a field other than Psychology but who wish to develop a professional career in Psychology. By providing requisite knowledge and skills for post-graduate education and training, the course satisfies the requirements for the Graduate Basis of Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is a gateway to a career in clinical, counselling, forensic, health, educational, occupational or other areas of Psychology.

Transform your career

Psychology is an exceptionally versatile degree because it offers understanding of many aspects of human behaviour, applicable to many sectors of society, such as education, health, business and social welfare. The course is among the first in the UK to teach the core curriculum in an integrated fashion, which brings together different approaches to psychology and thereby provides a deeper and richer understanding of human behaviour.

Having knowledge of the processes that underlie and influence learning, memory, social interactions, feelings, thinking and communication, combined with the development of skills in critical thinking and research, will put you in an excellent position for post-graduate study or future employment.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/psychology-dip


The course covers current findings, conceptual issues and theoretical debates in the following areas:

- Psychological research methods
You'll be introduced to a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods used by psychologists. You'll consider ethical principals and issues that surround experimental design. During lectures the conceptual backgrounds to research methodologies will be discussed. Seminars and workshops will allow you to put skills into practice using statistical software and SPSS.

- The psychology of learning and memory
You'll explore development from infancy to adulthood through three themes. Firstly, how we gather and process information from the world around us, covering perception and attention processes. Secondly, how we use this information to act in the world, highlighting the ways in which we learn from the information that we have gathered from our environment. Thirdly, how we remember what we have experienced, covering the cognitive and biological machinery underlying short-term and long-term memory structures and how our socio-cultural milieu influences these processes.

- The psychology of feelings
You'll explore the interdependence between feelings and human behaviour. You'll identify and describe how and why humans have feelings and identify the biological and evolutionary bases of feelings and emotional experience. You'll learn how developmental, personality and environmental factors affect feelings and emotions in the context of relationships with others.

- The psychology of behaviour with others
How and why we behave the way we do in the presence of other humans. The focus of this module is to understand what psychologists have contributed to understanding our social behaviours according to the real, imagined or implied presence of others.

- The psychology of thinking and communication
How we communicate with others, solve problems and make decisions. The module will help you understand the development of human communication, both cognitive and social. You'll learn what different psychologists think intelligence, how it develops and how it can be measured. You'll explore the internal and external influences on the development of reasoning and decision making.

- Empirical project (fast-track)
You'll design and implement a substantial piece of independent psychological research including a formal report. You'll be able to study an area of psychology that interests you and present your findings at an informal conference. You'll learn how to interpret research findings and place them within the relevant psychological literature

One optional module from:
- Psychology of mental health and distress
- Health psychology
- Investigative forensic psychology
- Psychopharmacology
- Psychology of addictive behaviour
- Psychology of inter and intra group processes
- Counselling psychology and psychotherapy
- Professional placement in psychology
- Applied behaviour analysis and autism

Additional semester modules*
You may also complete any of the following modules if they relate to your career ambitions:
- Eyewitness psychology
- Thinking: past, present and future
- Art, awareness and the brain
- Applied psychometrics
- Neuropsychology
- Development of brain and behaviour in infancy

*These modules are currently available only in semester 2, therefore, should you wish to choose your optional module from this list it would be necessary extend the period of study from 3 to 4 semesters. This can be done readily by transferring to the part-time Graduate Diploma course after completing semester 2 and would incur no additional costs.


As most psychology graduates will go into a wide range of careers, there is no such thing as a traditional career path for graduates.

A majority of psychology graduates decide to pursue careers in other fields. However, psychology graduates leave with an almost unmatched range of transferable skills, from excellent written and analytical skills to an understanding of how people behave.

However if you do want to stay in psychology, then a graduate diploma – accredited by the British Psychological Society, together with an appropriate postgraduate qualification could lead you to a career as a Chartered Psychologist in clinical, forensic, educational or occupational psychology.

How we will make you more employable

This course will teach you excellent written, analytical and numerical skills which will enable you to pursue a wide range of careers in areas such as counselling, teaching, the probation and court services, market research, human resources and business.

Our department provides careers support and advice for the time our students study with us and beyond; We organise various careers activities such as work placements, talks and seminars in collaboration with many organisations.

- NHS clinics and hospital units (psychosexual, forensic and clinical psychology units)
- charitable organisations working with stroke patients
- brain damage units
- addiction rehabilitation units
- children with disabilities
- young offenders

We also hold an annual careers fair for our second and third year students and work closely with London South Bank University alumni who have gone on to successful careers in Psychology.

Personal Development Plan

We help you develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) where you'll monitor your progress and set study objectives and career goals. With guidance from your tutors you'll reflect on the skills learnt from your studies which will help you achieve the career you want in Psychology or a related field. Some of the items included in a PDP are a skills checklist and personal plan, CV and useful career information.

You'll be introduced to the PDP at the beginning of the courses and take part in various activities that introduce you to the many careers options in psychology. These include group work, careers talks and sessions, and one-to-one sessions with tutors.

A career in psychology

Everyday duties vary depending on the specialty – an occupational psychologist would work to maximise the performance from employees and increase job satisfaction at different organisations. A clinical psychologist works to make positive changes to their clients' lives and offer various forms of treatment.

Excellent communication and listening skills, as well as the ability to build effective working relationships are essential for Chartered Psychologists. Chartered psychologists in the NHS can earn £25,500-£34,000 a year, rising to £40,000+ with experience.

Career progression

Recent graduates from this course have gone onto roles such as Psychology Assistant, Social Worker and Sessional Worker.

If you graduate from this course, you'll be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level. The academic strength of this course means that you can also consider entering the field of academic research.

If you gain significant professional practice experience you would be able to consider our two practitioner MSc courses, our full-time or part-time MSc Investigative Forensic Psychology and our part-time MSc Addiction Psychology and Counselling.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.


Our Department of Psychology runs a voluntary work placement scheme to help students find and prepare for part-time voluntary work in areas related to psychology across a range of organisations.

Teaching and learning

The Graduate Diploma consists of a coordinated programme of lectures and seminars. The curriculum covers core areas of psychology (cognitive, developmental, social, biological, individual differences psychology and historical/conceptual issues) in an integrative fashion with parallel training in research methods and statistics. The programme culminates in an independent research project (supervised by a member of staff), which can be linked to your interest, professional development and/or employment.

- Study hours
The course is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time programme takes 18 months, taking three modules each semester. The part-time programme takes three years, taking one or two modules each semester (three modules per year).

- Full-time
Year 1 class contact time is typically 12-15 hours per week plus individual tutorial and independent study.

- Part-time
Year 1 class contact time is typically 4-12 hours per week plus individual tutorial and independent study.


We use a range of assessment methods, and train you in these methods as you advance through your studies. The methods used are:

- Essays
- Practical reports
- Unseen exams
- Multiple choice questions
- Scenario based reports
- Case studies
- Posters
- Executive reports
- Portfolios
- Group work folders


We aim to support you throughout your studies in a variety of ways. We provide one-to-one support via our personal tutoring system which is designed to ensure you get the most out of the course. Your tutor will help you understand coursework feedback, offer guidance as you plan your career, and advise you on work experience, ensuring you get the most out of the course. Academic learning and skills development are supported through seminars, online learning environments and specialist advice sessions for topics such statistics and research methods. In addition to the facilities provided by the University, the Psychology lab has dedicated computing and experimental equipment for Psychology students and staff and dedicated technicians to assist with research projects.


Our strong research record (over 90% of our publications were rated at the 'international' level in RAE 2008) means that teaching is informed by current, cutting edge research and because we have a focus on applied research, students can apply their learning to real world settings.

Visit the Psychology (Graduate Diploma) page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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