About the course
This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of psychology before going on to a Masters course. You improve your language fluency and academic vocabulary, develop your academic skills, and gain experience of western methods of teaching and learning so that you can progress onto a relevant Masters course in our Department of Psychology.
At Essex, you can progress onto our MSc Psychology.
Our International Academy offers some of the best routes for international students to enter higher education in the UK. Our innovative courses and programmes have proved very successful with international students and have also attracted UK students because of the distinctive learning environment we offer.
If you are an international student, you may find that the education system in the UK is slightly different from other countries and, sometimes, that the transition to the British system can be challenging. Our courses help you to settle in and adapt to life in the UK.
Alongside improving your academic English skills, you also explore some of the main topics in developmental psychology, including perceptual development, early language acquisition, cognitive and social development.
Our research is challenging and ground-breaking, with 90% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us in the Top 15 in the UK for research quality. We are supported by some of the most prestigious funding bodies, including the European Commission and the Leverhulme Trust.
Our expert staff
Our academic staff include award-winning teachers and prize-winning researchers who are international experts in their own research areas.
The Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Group are researching attention, language, decision-making, and memory. Recent projects have investigated the psychology of energy reduction, the enhancement of human memory through technology, and improvements in the usability and design of transport maps.
The Social and Health Psychology Group work on motivations, needs, intercultural contact, and sexual attraction. Recent projects include the impacts of living and studying abroad, and how personal relative deprivation is linked to problem gambling.
The Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group research brain function and human behaviour. Recently they have been working on projects on the neural processes underlying language production, how motivations are communicated through tone of voice, and how the brain performs 3D vision. They previously developed the BioAid mobile phone app that turns an iPhone into a biologically inspired hearing aid.
Our department is expanding, and has recently appointed a number of excellent researchers who increase the diversity and depth of our skills base.
By studying within our International Academy, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
- Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
You also benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities within our purpose-built psychology building on our Colchester Campus:
- Dedicated laboratories including a virtual reality suite and an observation suite
- Specialist areas for experimental psychology, visual and auditory perception, development psychology and social psychology
- Study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants in our Babylab
- Our multimillion pound Centre for Brain Science (CBS) contains well-equipped laboratories, office space for research students, and research rooms and social spaces which foster opportunities for innovation, training, and collaboration
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
Want to improve your English? Keen to practise your language skills? Revise your existing understanding of English grammar and vocabulary. Extend your knowledge of academic English. Learn to deliver an effective presentation and to communicate clearly in seminars or tutorials. Develop your independent enquiry and learning skills.
Now it’s time for a longer assignment. You will work with the support of your EAP lecturer to write a 2,500 word compare and contrast essay using academic sources. You will also develop your ability to give a presentation on an academic topic and develop your awareness of the reporting and referencing strategies needed to present a range of views while avoiding plagiarism.
What interests you? Undertake an in-depth investigation on a topic related to your course that you have chosen. Research, review and complete a 2,500-3,000 word assignment, that presents a balanced opinion while evaluating current knowledge. Deliver a presentation of your findings to the rest of your group.
Can you identify and deconstruct an argument? Or construct an argument? Build your critical thinking skills by examining the concepts involved. Learn to apply this reflection when critically evaluating work. Understand the language and discourse of academic writing, and the importance of critical thinking in an academic context.
What quantitative research methods are available to you? And what about qualitative methods? Examine research methodologies in your discipline, relating the module content to your own interests. Understand the underlying ethical issues in conducting research.
Explore classical and contemporary themes of child development such as prenatal and perceptual development, early language acquisition, and cognitive and social development, whilst examining the research methods and designs employed in Developmental Psychology.
The brain is an extremely complex organ, and there is much that we still have to learn about its processes and functions. This module will detail the psychological mechanisms that underlie human behaviour and highlight the possibility that even our deepest thoughts and feelings arise from electrical and chemical activity in our brains.
This module will introduce you to cognitive psychology and covers major areas such as visual and auditory perception, and visual cognition. Through a series of laboratory sessions you will study the methods, theory and data underpinning our understanding of the processes involved in visual and auditory perception, and visual cognition.
Every time you read words and recognise objects or faces your brain is completing a complex process. This module looks at what happens when these processes are interrupted by brain injury and the differences between disorders. You will investigate Capgras delusion where a patient thinks a loved-one has been replaced by an imposter as well as having the opportunity to examine patients who have developed difficulties in reading or recognition after injury.
- Your teaching consists of interactive classes, workshops and tutorials
- There will be an emphasis on learner independence, peer- and self-assessment
- You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars organised by our Department of Language and Linguistics
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, in-class tests and individual oral presentations
- You may be required to sit exams during the third term of your academic year
UK entry requirements
This course is not available to UK applicants.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.