Psychological Sciences MSc
About the course
The MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course provides a post-graduate qualification enabling students from a range of backgrounds to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership in Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Moreover, the conversion course provides a sound knowledge of the diverse approaches to the study of behaviour encompassed within the core areas of psychology. Finally, the course emphasises the development of transferable knowledge, analytic expertise and research skills, which will be useful across the diverse areas of employment that attract psychology graduates and as a basis for further advanced study within the discipline (e.g. PhD, ClinPsyD, DEdPsy).
Psychology is defined as the study of mind and behaviour. Psychology is simultaneously a biological science and a social science, providing an exceptionally broad range of conceptual perspectives and empirical skills that will enable students to compete effectively in the workforce upon graduation.
The programme aims to provide students with:
- A comprehensive understanding, and critical awareness, of how the theories, methods, and research findings of psychology draw upon and contribute to the natural sciences and the social sciences alike.
- A comprehensive and systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current issues relating to important concepts, theoretical issues, research findings, historical issues, recent advances, and research methods in psychology.
- Comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical issues, research findings, recent advances, and research methods in biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, and social psychology that are critical for research in psychology.
- The opportunity to acquire comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of a particular topic in psychology and to conduct an original empirical research project in that area.
- The opportunity to acquire important transferable, advanced research skills (e.g. research design, data analysis, report preparation).
- Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Individual Differences
- Social Psychology
- Statistics in Psychology
- Biological Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Psychology Research Methods in Practice
- Research Methods
- Biological and Cognitive Psychology
The dissertation is an empirical report (maximum 12,000 words) that enables students to:
- Integrate elements of their learning from different parts of the programme
- Demonstrate their accumulated knowledge and systematic understanding of a topic
- Show an ability to interpret primary source material
- Develop an innovative approach to the subject
- Work independently of others, consistent with BPS guidelines.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- The MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course will provide a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) in Psychology, as conferred by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This is an entry requirement for all postgraduate training programmes leading to chartered status and the vast majority of postgraduate programmes accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a practitioner psychologist.
- There is a focus during the programme on developing students' sound knowledge of research methods and statistics - highly desirable skills in many areas of potential employment and so fundamental to the value added by the degree.
- A wide range of options are available for students to pursue their own particular research interests (culminating in the dissertation) within the discipline.
BSc Psychology courses accredited by The British Psychological Society
The BSc Psychological Sciences programme at Brunel is accredited by The British Psychological Society.
Teaching and Assessment
- Lectures and seminars provide students with in-depth knowledge of historical and contemporary perspectives in psychology.
- Formative and summative essays provide reflection on historical and contemporary perspectives in psychology.
- Statistics assignments, written research methods tests and laboratory reports will ensure proficiency in analytical skills - required to design research and interpret results.
- Statistics assignment and lab reports will provide critical evaluation of the results of empirical research in psychology.
- Formative summative essays, exams, and the dissertation will develop effective and critical written communication skills.
- Individual meetings between students and dissertation supervisors will enable students to:
- (a) Acquire knowledge concerning major theories and results of empirical studies that are relevant to the dissertation topic (including an understanding of the larger, real-world context within which the dissertation topic can be located); and
- (b) Develop, analyse, and interpret theory-derived, testable hypotheses (and, perhaps, research questions) concerning links among the constructs to be studied in the dissertation.
- Effective and critical written communication will be achieved via formative summative essays, exams, and the dissertation.
- Coursework essays – demonstration of systematic understanding, critical analysis, and written communication skills.
- Examinations – demonstration of comprehensive understanding and written communication skills.
- Quantitative reports – ability to analyse and interpret empirical evidence.
- Oral presentations – demonstration of knowledge and understanding, critical analysis and oral communication skills.
- Dissertation – ability to plan, critically review, execute and communicate an advanced piece of research.
Deadlines are distributed through the year, allowing time for constructive feedback.
According to the BPS publication, Your Journey into Psychology (2014), “Studying psychology can help you pursue postgraduate training as well as finding employment in a variety of sectors including education, business, health and the media.” (p. 12).
In a recent study conducted by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, more than 55% of UK students with Psychology undergraduate degrees gain employment within six months of obtaining their BSc degrees; and an additional 10% of UK students with Psychology undergraduate degrees go on to PhD Psychology programmes.
We anticipate that these figures will be even higher for graduates of the proposed MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course (i.e. well over two-third of the students in our MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course are expected to gain employment or to pursue higher degrees within six months after graduating).
Within the public health sector, the main intended graduate destinations include organisations that are committed to the delivery of mental health services; roles include assistant psychologists, counsellors, and therapists. Within the education sector, the main intended graduate destinations include organisations that are committed to the delivery of information exchange; roles include teachers, lecturers, and researchers. Within the business sector, the main intended graduate destinations include organisations that are committed to the delivery of personnel training; job roles include occupational, organisational, and industrial psychologists. These are just a few sectors for which formal training in psychology is desirable, if not necessary, for job advancement.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
£8,350 full-time; £4,175 part-time
£14,100 full-time; £7,050 part-time
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- A UK first or second class (2:1) Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a Natural Science, Social Science or a non-BPS accredited degree in Psychology.
- Applicants will be required to show evidence of GCSE Grade C (or equivalent) in Maths.
- Applicants with other degrees and disciplines with relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be interviewed either in person or by telephone.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.