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Psychology (MSc)

Course Description

This BPS-accredited conversion course is designed for graduates who wish to pursue a career in psychology but need to acquire the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This was previously termed 'Graduate Basis for Registration' (GBR). You do not need to have studied psychology to be eligible for this programme. We welcome applications from graduates who have either completed a degree in another subject or who have insufficient psychology in their degree to be eligible for GBC.

Course content

You will take modules at Masters level in core areas of psychology, as specified by the BPS. You will also take one option module in psychology from a selection available within the department. We offer a work experience in psychology module as an option for those who would like to gain valuable experience in the work place. The content of the curriculum of the MSc covers the core areas of psychology stipulated by the BPS for GBC. This consists of Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, History and Philosophy of Psychology, Individual Differences, Empirical Project, Psychobiology, Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods, and Social Psychology. In all of the modules there is a strong emphasis on critical evaluation of theory and practice.

Core modules

In this module you will develop a wide ranging knowledge of the key developmental concepts used within psychology, enabling a deeper understanding and appreciation of human psychological development. This module will also provide you with an opportunity to learn about the major psychological theories and key practical skills relating to individual differences in intelligence and personality. Material covered will range from historical and conceptual foundations, to current research and contemporary practice.

The module will provide you with a broad, synoptic overview of the scope of academic and professional psychology. You will be introduced to the different levels of analysis employed in the discipline and learn how these different levels of analysis might be articulated to explain complex psychological phenomena.

This module requires you to carry out an independent research project, under supervision from your tutor. It aims to provide you with the skills to conduct a literature review and to identify viable and valuable topics for research. It will enable you to deploy the practical skills learned in other modules, including designing and executing a research study, analysing the data collected, and presenting a high quality report of the whole process in written form.

This module enables you to examine the fundamental concepts of the biological bases of human behaviour, to develop a familiarity with the relevant scientific terminology of psychobiology and to critically evaluate the key concepts and findings in this area. You will also develop an insight into the discipline of cognitive psychology via an appraisal of the history, methodology and key empirical findings of the area. This will promote your understanding of cognitive theories and models within the context provided by the information-processing paradigm that characterises the discipline.

This module is designed to develop your knowledge and skills of the key techniques and methods for collecting and analysing qualitative data in psychology, including the use of interviews and focus groups, issues and techniques in data transcription and epistemological issues in qualitative psychology. You will also be encouraged to engage with significant debates concerning the different research methodologies, and to critically reflect on key studies and approaches.

This module enables you to develop key skills and advanced knowledge of quantitative research methodologies within Psychology. You will be encouraged to think critically about research problems and the most appropriate experimental designs and methods for different types of research. You will also develop an understanding of levels of data, statistical distributions, nonparametric tests, t-tests, correlation, multiple regression, factorial designs, analysis of variance, and post-hoc testing, so that you can develop the skills necessary to perform key statistical procedures.

This module examines the key characteristics of the socio-psychological perspective on human behaviour – including its relation to psychology as a whole and to adjacent disciplines – through critical appraisal of the core theoretical and empirical subject matter of social psychology. You will also develop your knowledge and understating of the social and historical context of contemporary psychology and examine the key conceptual frameworks that inform psychological theory and practice.

Option module

You will choose an option from a wide range of Masters level courses within the Department of Psychology, subject to availability and timetable constraints. A new practice-based option module is Work Experience in a Psychological Setting for MSc students. Other possible options include: Health and the Lifespan; Psychology Literature Project (critically evaluating the literature on a chosen topic); Developing Communications; Specialist Topics in Health Psychology and many more.

Associated careers

Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. It is the prerequisite for progression to Postgraduate professional training in psychology and subsequent registration as a Chartered Psychologist working in any of the fields of professional psychology – including clinical, counselling, educational, occupational, and health psychology. It is a requirement for Masters and Doctorate courses in Psychology that lead to professional qualifications such as Doctorates in counselling, Clinical and Educational Psychology, and Masters courses in Organisational/Occupational Psychology.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

International scholarship candidates

Please note, because the Psychology MSc covers only the preliminary stage of training to become a Chartered Psychologist it is unlikely to be appropriate for a full University of Westminster International Scholarship application. In addition, competition for any of the University International Scholarship places is extremely fierce. As a result, we would expect, as a minimum for you to have the equivalent of a First and/or significant professional expertise before you make an application for a scholarship.

Visit the Psychology (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from graduates with a recognised university degree at Second Class Honours level or above (or equivalent). Applicants who have taken an Honours programme but only obtained a pass/ordinary/aegrotat degree will not be eligible for the course. As statistical procedures are a key element of Psychology, we require applicants to demonstrate competence in mathematics, for example through having obtained GSCE mathematics (or equivalent). We also encourage applicants to provide evidence of interest in the discipline of psychology and reflection on the ways that their experience to date would enable them to succeed at Masters level.

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