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  • Psychology MSc

Psychology MSc

Why choose this course?

The Psychology MSc is a conversion course for graduates from disciplines other than Psychology who wish to gain GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership). This is the first step for those who wish to work as a Chartered Psychologist in the UK. GBC ensures that a student has sufficient knowledge, understanding and experience of academic Psychology before they apply for postgraduate professional training in areas such as clinical, occupational, educational or counselling psychology.

The MSc Psychology is also appropriate for Psychology graduates who want to pursue postgraduate professional training in Psychology, but whose undergraduate degree is not accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Weekdays September 2020
Part time 2 years Weekdays September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). This is the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist.
  • You may gain relevant work experience. Current students had placements in nurseries, schools, mental health services, play therapy and charities for people with disabilities.
  • Kingston University's psychology team conducts internationally excellent research and has links with universities in the USA and Europe. Eminent psychologists regularly present their findings.

Accreditation

British Psychological Society

British Psychological Society

British Psychological Society

Graduates from this course are eligible to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS. This is a necessary first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. You would then take further training in a specific field of psychology, which could then lead to a career as a Chartered Psychologist in your chosen field, for example forensic psychology.

What you will study

You will cover all areas of Psychology required by the BPS. This will include extensive training in research skills and you will be encouraged to develop a critical and analytical approach to psychological models, theories and methodologies. You will conduct practical research exercises and produce a research-based dissertation in an area of psychology of interest to you (subject to supervisor availability).

Full time MSc

Part time MSc

You will study three core modules: Cognition and Biological Psychology, The Person in Psychology, and Methods and Statistics for MSc Psychology. In addition, you will study one further optional module from the list below.

Core modules

Psychology Dissertation

60 credits

The dissertation project will be based on a critical literature review addressing complex and contradictory evidence and will usually require carrying out an empirical study using one or more methodologies of data collection such as experiments, observation, psychometric testing, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and field studies. In all cases, the dissertation will involve the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data, as well as the presentation and critical evaluation of research findings. Through independent study and meetings with a project supervisor, the dissertation project will allow you to better understand the role of research methodologies, theoretical considerations and ethical issues in psychological research.

Methods and Statistics

30 credits

This module is a core module in the MSc Child Psychology and MSc Psychology fields. The module introduces you to the essentials of psychological experimentation and to a range of analysis techniques making use of basic and more advanced (eg. multivariate) methods. Both experimental and correlational methods are considered along with appropriate techniques of data analysis (eg. analysis of variance and multiple regression). Both theoretical and practical aspects of experimentation are discussed. The laboratory workshops combine formal teaching with sessions involving hands-on activities. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with workshops being used to explain key concepts and techniques. The module provides an essential introduction to practical work in psychology, in particular for the MSc dissertation project.

The Person in Psychology

30 credits

The content of the module will examine a broad range of key theories and empirical research in social, individual and developmental psychology. This core module will allow students to explore current theory and practice in psychology across range of topics that focuses on the person in psychology. In consideration of the social, individual, (human abilities and personality attributes) and developmental areas of enquiry, the scientific approach and the notion of measurement is fundamental. 

Cognition and Biological Psychology

30 credits

This module provides a broad overview of the key areas that comprise contemporary cognitive psychology and looks at the relationship between physiology and behaviour. It includes memory, attention, language, reasoning, cognitive neuropsychology and introduces the principles of perceptual processes. The module also introduces the neuroanatomical structures and physiological functions that are considered important in regulating behaviour, and then moves on to examine in detail the ways in which such biological substrates contribute to specific psychological processes and behaviours. In addition the module will consider the ways in which various kinds of physiological dysfunction can impact on behaviour and cognition, and the biological bases of perception and motivation (eg. eating). Topics and issues that are currently attracting considerable research interest will be explored in detail.

Optional modules (choose one)

Psychology of Film and Art

30 credits

"Creating new circuits in art means creating them in the brain too".

Gilles Deleuze

The aesthetic experience relates not only to natural beauty but also to works of art which can be seen as cultural manifestations of the human mind. For centuries artists have used a varied number of media—from pigments to pixels—to evoke a multitude of perceptions and sensory effects able to trigger powerful rational and emotional responses. Psychology of art and film is a young field of study and encompasses a multitude of branches of psychology. The module will broadly focus on the question: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is it about the human experience that enables us to appreciate it? The focus will be on art in the form of paintings, films, photography and ‘installations'.

The module will be divided in three core areas: I. The ‘self‘: cognitive aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; II. The ‘environment': social and cultural aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; and III. Workshops: include talks by invited artists/lecturers and independent visits to museums, galleries and cinemas.

Applications of Psychological Research

30 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to identify and address real-world issues that can benefit from research input by psychologists. You will gain an appreciation of the challenges of conducting research in professional settings. You will gain 50 hours of work experience working in a placement to identify and/or applying psychological research findings in a chosen context under the supervision of a workplace supervisor. In addition, 10 seminars will be held at the University where case studies and examples from current placements will be used to compliment the learning objectives. You will be required to contribute and draw examples of your experiences in their work place and how this informs research in their specific placements. 

It is expected that you will arrange your own work placements, the suitability of which will be discussed and agreed upon with the module leader and/or the course director. In the absence of an external placement, you will be offered a work placement in the Department of Psychology where you will contribute to a current programme of research relevant to their studies.

The nature of the work will usually be determined in part by the focus of the postgraduate programme that you are following. For example, students of child/developmental psychology may choose to collect data or implement research-led practice in local nurseries and schools; students of clinical psychology may evaluate the efficacy of procedures adopted by local rehabilitation services; and students on the Masters in Behavioural Decision Making are likely to choose a placement in organisation that monitors behavioural change.

Please note that were appropriate, you will be required to ensure that you have CRB checks in place and if collecting data in the workplace, then the appropriate ethical approvals are in place prior to collecting data.

The workplace activity is intended to extend your independent research skills in relevant contexts as well as enhance future employability.

Advanced Developmental Psychology

30 credits

This is an optional module for Level 6 students who wish to expand their knowledge about child development. The module will cover a broad range of issues in developmental psychology including both examples of typical and atypical development, such as reading development and dyslexia, children's relationships and bullying, language in typical and atypical populations, sensory impairment, children's understanding of number and dyscalculia, children with Williams Syndrome, among other themes. The module will involve a combination of keynote lectures, interactive lectures and guided independent study during which current theories, methodologies and research will be discussed and critically evaluated. In addition, transferable skills will be fostered through student led interactive discussions and tasks.

Critical Social Psychology

30 credits

This module explores the nature and origins of social knowledge and critically evaluates the basis for claims to ‘absolute reality'. The module will be of interest to students who wish to examine contemporary beliefs and assumptions about the world on a range of political, philosophical, psychological and moral issues. In the second semester, earlier theoretical knowledge is applied to the study of collective memory (the memory of people across generations) – a foundational form of social knowledge involved in the construction of identity. The study of social/collective memory raises some political issues.  For example, in the aftermath of conflict, competing versions of the past are often a barrier to reconciliation. Understanding the nature and content of collective memory therefore becomes important. You should have an interest in the history and politics of conflict including human rights although detailed historical knowledge is not a pre-requisite. Course material comprises film and television documentary, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge of 20th century events.

Advanced Issues in the Psychology of Thinking

30 credits

This module will explore the psychology of higher cognitive processes, such as thinking, reasoning, judgement and decision-making. The module will encourage students to evaluate critically whether human thinking is rational, and the normative models with which that rationality is measured. It will also introduce students to quantitative models of these processes. Finally the module will introduce students to applications of cognitive psychology research, especially in terms of judgement and decision making in areas such as politics, sports, economics and health.

Psychology of Health and Well Being

30 credits

The module will engage you with the main themes of contemporary health psychology and positive psychology with a particular focus on theory, research, intervention, and application. You will gain an understanding of the importance of psychological processes in the experience of health and illness, and explore the role of behaviour and emotion in current trends of mortality and morbidity. In addition, you will gain an understanding of the role of positive emotions, optimism, spirituality, flourishing relationships, and community engagement in promoting health, well-being, and happiness. You will also become aware of the crucial roles health psychology and positive psychology have to play in the development and evaluation of physical and psychological health promotion interventions.

Neuropsychology and Neuro-rehabilitation

30 credits

There are two main streams in this module: Part I - Neuropsychology. The module will place a particular emphasis on understanding the effects of brain activity on cognitive and social aspects of human behaviour (and vice-versa). In addition, the module will address the effects of brain injury and neurological impairments with a view to understand models of normal cognitive and social functioning. Video material will be used to illustrate clinical cases when available. Part II – Neuro-rehabilitation. The module will introduce you to modern techniques for the diagnosis of neurological disorders and their neuropsychiatric implications. Interventions for the treatment and management of neurological disorders will be evaluated. Your effort and engagement will be essential for a successful and rewarding experience. This will include active participation in lectures and the reading of the indicated material.

Psychotherapeutic Psychology and Mental Health: from Theory to Practice

30 credits

This module examines how psychology is applied in psychotherapeutic work in mental health contexts. It is relevant to students who are interested in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and/or in mental health service provision more generally.The module begins with a consideration of how common forms of psychological distress and disorder are conceptualised within mainstream classification systems. After psychotherapeutic approaches are placed in historical context, the module considers the theory and practice of various psychotherapeutic approaches. Attention is given to how specific mental health issues can be addressed in therapy, how therapy can respond creatively and ethically to diversity issues, and how therapeutic impact or effectiveness might best be evaluated. By completing this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of psychotherapeutic practice and of some key aspects of its complexity and challenges. The module will consider the principles and challenges of psychotherapeutic practice but students will not engage in any form of psychotherapeutic practice during the module, nor will it qualify them to do so afterwards. However it will help inform students' decision-making about careers in the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

Part time students take 90 credits over seven months in the first year.

In the second year you will take a further 90 credits over 12 months, in which the dissertation is also undertaken plus one option module worth 30 credits.

Lectures take place on weekdays.

Year 1 core modules

Methods and Statistics

30 credits

This module is a core module in the MSc Child Psychology and MSc Psychology fields. The module introduces you to the essentials of psychological experimentation and to a range of analysis techniques making use of basic and more advanced (eg. multivariate) methods. Both experimental and correlational methods are considered along with appropriate techniques of data analysis (eg. analysis of variance and multiple regression). Both theoretical and practical aspects of experimentation are discussed. The laboratory workshops combine formal teaching with sessions involving hands-on activities. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with workshops being used to explain key concepts and techniques. The module provides an essential introduction to practical work in psychology, in particular for the MSc dissertation project.

The Person in Psychology

30 credits

The content of the module will examine a broad range of key theories and empirical research in social, individual and developmental psychology. This core module will allow students to explore current theory and practice in psychology across range of topics that focuses on the person in psychology. In consideration of the social, individual, (human abilities and personality attributes) and developmental areas of enquiry, the scientific approach and the notion of measurement is fundamental. 

Cognition and Biological Psychology

30 credits

This module provides a broad overview of the key areas that comprise contemporary cognitive psychology and looks at the relationship between physiology and behaviour. It includes memory, attention, language, reasoning, cognitive neuropsychology and introduces the principles of perceptual processes. The module also introduces the neuroanatomical structures and physiological functions that are considered important in regulating behaviour, and then moves on to examine in detail the ways in which such biological substrates contribute to specific psychological processes and behaviours. In addition the module will consider the ways in which various kinds of physiological dysfunction can impact on behaviour and cognition, and the biological bases of perception and motivation (eg. eating). Topics and issues that are currently attracting considerable research interest will be explored in detail.

Year 2 core module

Psychology Dissertation

60 credits

The dissertation project will be based on a critical literature review addressing complex and contradictory evidence and will usually require carrying out an empirical study using one or more methodologies of data collection such as experiments, observation, psychometric testing, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and field studies. In all cases, the dissertation will involve the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data, as well as the presentation and critical evaluation of research findings. Through independent study and meetings with a project supervisor, the dissertation project will allow you to better understand the role of research methodologies, theoretical considerations and ethical issues in psychological research.

Optional modules (choose one module in year 2)

Psychology of Film and Art

30 credits

"Creating new circuits in art means creating them in the brain too".

Gilles Deleuze

The aesthetic experience relates not only to natural beauty but also to works of art which can be seen as cultural manifestations of the human mind. For centuries artists have used a varied number of media—from pigments to pixels—to evoke a multitude of perceptions and sensory effects able to trigger powerful rational and emotional responses. Psychology of art and film is a young field of study and encompasses a multitude of branches of psychology. The module will broadly focus on the question: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is it about the human experience that enables us to appreciate it? The focus will be on art in the form of paintings, films, photography and ‘installations'.

The module will be divided in three core areas: I. The ‘self‘: cognitive aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; II. The ‘environment': social and cultural aspects modulating the aesthetic experience; and III. Workshops: include talks by invited artists/lecturers and independent visits to museums, galleries and cinemas.

Applications of Psychological Research

30 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to identify and address real-world issues that can benefit from research input by psychologists. You will gain an appreciation of the challenges of conducting research in professional settings. You will gain 50 hours of work experience working in a placement to identify and/or applying psychological research findings in a chosen context under the supervision of a workplace supervisor. In addition, 10 seminars will be held at the University where case studies and examples from current placements will be used to compliment the learning objectives. You will be required to contribute and draw examples of your experiences in their work place and how this informs research in their specific placements. 

It is expected that you will arrange your own work placements, the suitability of which will be discussed and agreed upon with the module leader and/or the course director. In the absence of an external placement, you will be offered a work placement in the Department of Psychology where you will contribute to a current programme of research relevant to their studies.

The nature of the work will usually be determined in part by the focus of the postgraduate programme that you are following. For example, students of child/developmental psychology may choose to collect data or implement research-led practice in local nurseries and schools; students of clinical psychology may evaluate the efficacy of procedures adopted by local rehabilitation services; and students on the Masters in Behavioural Decision Making are likely to choose a placement in organisation that monitors behavioural change.

Please note that were appropriate, you will be required to ensure that you have CRB checks in place and if collecting data in the workplace, then the appropriate ethical approvals are in place prior to collecting data.

The workplace activity is intended to extend your independent research skills in relevant contexts as well as enhance future employability.

Advanced Developmental Psychology

30 credits

This is an optional module for Level 6 students who wish to expand their knowledge about child development. The module will cover a broad range of issues in developmental psychology including both examples of typical and atypical development, such as reading development and dyslexia, children's relationships and bullying, language in typical and atypical populations, sensory impairment, children's understanding of number and dyscalculia, children with Williams Syndrome, among other themes. The module will involve a combination of keynote lectures, interactive lectures and guided independent study during which current theories, methodologies and research will be discussed and critically evaluated. In addition, transferable skills will be fostered through student led interactive discussions and tasks.

Critical Social Psychology

30 credits

This module explores the nature and origins of social knowledge and critically evaluates the basis for claims to ‘absolute reality'. The module will be of interest to students who wish to examine contemporary beliefs and assumptions about the world on a range of political, philosophical, psychological and moral issues. In the second semester, earlier theoretical knowledge is applied to the study of collective memory (the memory of people across generations) – a foundational form of social knowledge involved in the construction of identity. The study of social/collective memory raises some political issues.  For example, in the aftermath of conflict, competing versions of the past are often a barrier to reconciliation. Understanding the nature and content of collective memory therefore becomes important. You should have an interest in the history and politics of conflict including human rights although detailed historical knowledge is not a pre-requisite. Course material comprises film and television documentary, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge of 20th century events.

Advanced Issues in the Psychology of Thinking

30 credits

This module will explore the psychology of higher cognitive processes, such as thinking, reasoning, judgement and decision-making. The module will encourage students to evaluate critically whether human thinking is rational, and the normative models with which that rationality is measured. It will also introduce students to quantitative models of these processes. Finally the module will introduce students to applications of cognitive psychology research, especially in terms of judgement and decision making in areas such as politics, sports, economics and health.

Psychology of Health and Well Being

30 credits

The module will engage you with the main themes of contemporary health psychology and positive psychology with a particular focus on theory, research, intervention, and application. You will gain an understanding of the importance of psychological processes in the experience of health and illness, and explore the role of behaviour and emotion in current trends of mortality and morbidity. In addition, you will gain an understanding of the role of positive emotions, optimism, spirituality, flourishing relationships, and community engagement in promoting health, well-being, and happiness. You will also become aware of the crucial roles health psychology and positive psychology have to play in the development and evaluation of physical and psychological health promotion interventions.

Neuropsychology and Neuro-rehabilitation

30 credits

There are two main streams in this module: Part I - Neuropsychology. The module will place a particular emphasis on understanding the effects of brain activity on cognitive and social aspects of human behaviour (and vice-versa). In addition, the module will address the effects of brain injury and neurological impairments with a view to understand models of normal cognitive and social functioning. Video material will be used to illustrate clinical cases when available. Part II – Neuro-rehabilitation. The module will introduce you to modern techniques for the diagnosis of neurological disorders and their neuropsychiatric implications. Interventions for the treatment and management of neurological disorders will be evaluated. Your effort and engagement will be essential for a successful and rewarding experience. This will include active participation in lectures and the reading of the indicated material.

Psychotherapeutic Psychology and Mental Health: from Theory to Practice

30 credits

This module examines how psychology is applied in psychotherapeutic work in mental health contexts. It is relevant to students who are interested in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and/or in mental health service provision more generally.The module begins with a consideration of how common forms of psychological distress and disorder are conceptualised within mainstream classification systems. After psychotherapeutic approaches are placed in historical context, the module considers the theory and practice of various psychotherapeutic approaches. Attention is given to how specific mental health issues can be addressed in therapy, how therapy can respond creatively and ethically to diversity issues, and how therapeutic impact or effectiveness might best be evaluated. By completing this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of psychotherapeutic practice and of some key aspects of its complexity and challenges. The module will consider the principles and challenges of psychotherapeutic practice but students will not engage in any form of psychotherapeutic practice during the module, nor will it qualify them to do so afterwards. However it will help inform students' decision-making about careers in the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

Applicants must have obtained:

  • Normally an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in any discipline. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate mathematical competence equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE level.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate evidence of an interest and motivation in studying psychology. Experience or skills, in or related to psychology, will be considered an advantage. Applicants may be invited to an interview with the psychology MSc course director. International students based overseas can arrange for an interview by email or telephone.

International

Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and at least 5.5 in all other elements. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Psychology MSc

Psychology MSc
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 238 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1562 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg in-class tests, unseen examinations), practical assessments and coursework (eg essays, laboratory reports, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Psychology MSc

Psychology MSc
  • Coursework: 69%
  • Exams: 25%
  • Practical: 6%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible 1 month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,900
  • MSc part time £8,195
Postgraduate study
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