Looking for a psychology conversion course? Our MSc Psychology degree is an online conversion course, fully accredited by the British Psychological Society.
This is an an online conversion course, fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), designed to help students with a non-Psychology degree gain a Psychology Master's qualification.
This course has been designed for students wanting to pursue careers in chartered areas of psychology who need to gain the psychological background in order to gain the accreditation by the BPS. This distance learning (online) course allows you to study around your own commitments, reflecting the inclusivity at the heart of Birmingham City University.
If you have any questions about how the course is run, please check out our Course In Depth tab for a full FAQ.
The course covers the core areas of psychological knowledge so that our graduates gain breadth and depth across key psychological theory and research. For example in Lifespan we answer questions such as how do babies recognise faces, and how do we acquire language? In Applied Social Psychology we examine cross-cultural psychology and the formation of groups and what impact this has on the real world. We also look at examples of atypical behaviours and how psychological disorders are assessed and diagnosed.
In the course we cover two research methods modules (quantitative and qualitative) where you get an opportunity to carry out a small-scale study and write this up as a laboratory report. For your final dissertation you will work one-to-one with a member of staff to carry out a piece of research in an area that interests you. We find that most people will align this with the area of psychology that they wish to pursue and this can be a great talking point in interview. You’ll be taught how to submit a research ethics proposal, how to write a laboratory report as well as presenting a poster similar to an academic conference and writing a critical review. All of your assignments will be coursework based rather than exams.
Across the course we embed real world examples and make links to chartered careers in psychology to ensure that you are ready for your next step in becoming a psychologist. Our alumni on the course are already studying for doctorates in clinical and educational psychology as well as working in hospitals, schools, prisons and the charity sector. We also have a number following in our footsteps pursuing careers as academics by completing a PhD!
Come along to one of our upcoming events where our staff will be on hand to answer all your questions.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
*Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016
Do you have a question about this course? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Send your question to the Course Director and they’ll get back to you shortly.
Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
*DLHE Survey 2016/17
|Typical Offers (UK Students)|
Applicants must have a minimum 2:2 degree. At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above.
All exemptions must be approved by the Admissions Tutor prior to starting the course.
The British Psychological Society (BPS) requires all graduates to obtain a minimum of 50 per cent overall in order to meet the criteria for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).
Please note that you will not be able to progress on to the MSc level and work towards eligibility for Society membership if you do not hold an undergraduate degree, regardless of whether you have postgraduate qualifications. This is a requirement set by the British Psychological Society.
Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|English language requirements 2020/21|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|Other accepted qualifications||Visit our English language page|
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
Starting: Sep 2020
Fees for Distance Learning students
This course can be studied on a Distance Learning study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year as shown here.
Starting: Sep 2020
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
While there are no additional costs associated with purchasing text books, there may be other costs to you. If you are joining the course which has a professional body accreditation you may be required to pay membership or examination costs. For details of these costs, please click on the link below.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 for some courses and options?
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
Quantitative Research Methods
This module introduces students to key concepts in research methods and analysis, and begins to prepare students for undertaking advances independent research. The QAA and BPS outline learning outcomes which need to be achieved in order to read the graduate basis for Chartership status. These include practical and research skills, which this module directly relates to.
This module aims to investigate human development throughout the lifespan focusing on changes to biological, cognitive, social and emotional elements of psychological functioning. The module will provide you with an understanding of the general principles and concepts, different theoretical perspectives, research methodologies, contemporary debates and areas of application of Lifespan Development.
Psychopathology and Individual Differences
Introduction to Psychopathology will introduce the key perspectives in psychology which contribute to the explanation of abnormal states and their impact on disordered thinking, functioning and behaviour. The diagnosis and assessment process of a psychological disorder will play a central role in this module.
Brain and Cognition
This module aims to develop key transferable skills such as online group discussion, critical evaluation and evidence-based reasoning. The module consists of research-led teaching, which explores key debates and methodologies used in neuropsychology and cognitive psychology. The GBC areas of biological and cognitive psychology are supplemented through this module.
Applied Social Psychology
The applied social psychology module focuses on exploring how social psychological theory and research can be applied to real life and equips you with the knowledge and understanding to effect change in individuals, groups and society. Throughout the module you will be presented with a number of contemporary social issues that will be underpinned by three broad perspectives:
Qualitative Research Methods
This module provides you with an overview of the purpose, design, and conduct of qualitative research in psychology. This module provides students with grounding in the use of qualitative research methods and analysis techniques commonly used in psychology. All sessions are structured to facilitate both conceptual learning and the development of applied research skills. More specifically, this module aims to help you develop skills in research and inquiry and develop academic attributes such as being able to think critically about different methodologies and knowledge claims.
Understanding research issues is an essential skill for psychologists operating in an evidence-based paradigm. The ability to produce an in-depth dissertation and present a logical argument using such research is a crucial skill for a successful psychology graduate.
We focus on ensuring the core elements of psychology are taught in an applied, real-world context. We expect you to be active in the online learning community bringing your experiences, ideas and questions to the forefront of the learning journey.
The coursework is designed in such a way that you can tailor it to your interests, whilst developing your softer, employability skills as well.
The course will allow you to interact and learn alongside students from all over the country and the world, expanding your networks and perceptions of psychology.
You have pre-recorded video lectures that you can watch in your own time as well as activities to complete such as quizzes, journals and formative assessments. You will also have online seminars (usually five per module) that you can participate in live and these are generally offered at a variety of times and are recorded if you cannot make that time. You will also be required to read around the subject area using journals.
All by coursework. There are different types of coursework such as posters, pre-recorded presentations, lab reports, essays and critical reviews.
If you are planning to work then really the part-time option is more appropriate. As Psychology is a new subject area for most students on the course there is a lot to cover and you need adequate time to read around the topics.
As this is an online course you will need a computer and a good internet connection. A microphone headset would also be helpful for the online seminars.
You can come in to use the library and resources and you may meet members of staff if you wish, but this is instead of your online contact time not as well to make it fair for all students.
If you struggle with the research methods then you can read through the textbooks, ask the module co-ordinator, chat with your peers and we also have advisers who support statistics in the centre for academic success - http://www.bcu.ac.uk/student-info/learning-support/academic-skills
Most of the books will be available as ebooks via the University or you are welcome to come in and use the library. Some will have chapters digitised and put on moodle for you. There will be alternative texts listed in the module guides that might be cheaper and also available as an ebook. If you are wanting a physical copy second hand versions are usually fine and places like abebooks.com are quite good. Access to journal articles is provided through the university and journals will form most of your assignment reading.
The finance policy is here - http://www.bcu.ac.uk/about-us/corporate-information/policies-and-procedures/finance-policies
Yes, and they will also be recorded so that students who cannot make them can still use them as a video lecture.
The only online quizzes (we do not like the word tests!!) will be for you to check your understanding. All credits are gained from online coursework
Regarding getting ahead - all topics will be uploaded at the start of the course. So you can work ahead to some extent. Certainly you can do all the textbook reading as soon as you want. But I will ask that people do not post to discussion forums 'out of order'. This is so we get everyone involved in each topic debate at the same time. This allows us to maximise the amount of engagement and discussion on each topic by having as many people as possible on that forum at the same time. We also intend to run web conferencing sessions which will not occur till the week of the topic
SPSS is provided by the university. There are instructions on Moodle about how to download it
We would suggest that you sign up as a student member. You get access to some journals as well as career advice (and a monthly magazine).
Find out more about British Psychological Society accreditation.
Upon completion of this course, students can pursue internal PhD opportunities offered within the Psychology department at Birmingham City University.
*Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016
Didn't make it to an Open Day? You still have the opportunity to come and see what our postgraduate courses have to offer. If you would like to enquire about campus tour availability, just drop us an email.
To pursue a career as a professional psychologist further training at MSc and or doctorate level is required. This can lead to employment in the areas of:
Teaching and research
Sports and exercise science.
GBC graduates who do not wish to pursue a career in Professional Psychology also enter into employment areas such as, recruitment consultancy, human resources, civil service, researcher and data analyst, Improving Access
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
*DLHE Survey 2016/17
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.
This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.
The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.
Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.
For those studying on the BA (Hons) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.
Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.
Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.
Dr Emily Harrison completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2011 and went on to complete a PhD in reading development in early 2015. Her research has largely focused on children’s reading development, more specifically to do with the role of rhythmic awareness in the development of early literacy skills.