Postgraduate Course

MSc Psychology

MSc Psychology

Overview

The details
Psychology
October 2018
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Psychology

Has your undergraduate degree inspired you to learn more about the way people work?

Our MSc Psychology is an advanced fast-track conversion course for students with an undergraduate degree in a subject other than psychology, or for those whose undergraduate Psychology degree was not accredited by the British Psychological Society. Students may also take the course as an end in itself if they wish to obtain a Psychology Degree in one year.

This course combines the award of a Masters with eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society. The GBC is the minimum academic qualification required to work as a professional psychologist, so passing our course demonstrates that you have studied and acquired an advanced understanding in Masters-level study in psychology. With this qualification you will also be eligible to apply for professional training in any branch of professional psychology.

Our staff have a wide range of research interests, so you gain a critical and detailed understanding of the core areas of psychology, plus some specialisation, and learn research methods to an extent which will enable you to devise, carry out and analyse an empirical research project. The course gives students a critical and detailed understanding of the core areas of psychology (development, cognitive, social, biological, personality) plus training in research methods and statistics.

Topics studied include:

  • Visual and auditory perception and cognition
  • Language, concepts, memory and attention
  • The relation between brain and behaviour
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology

Our research is challenging and ground-breaking, rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We are supported by some of the most prestigious funding bodies, including the European Commission and the Leverhulme Trust.

We are a warm and friendly Department, and we wish to welcome both graduates who have recently completed their studies, and mature students who may wish to upgrade their qualifications, refresh their CV, or return to academic study after a period of time away from education.

Why we're great.
  • You’ll be eligible for graduate-basis chartered membership of the British Psychological Society
  • Gain full use of our virtual reality suites, babylab and observation suites
  • We are ranked top 20 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014)

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 whose expertise increases the diversity and depth of our skills base.

Specialist facilities

We are committed to giving you the best access to state-of-the-art facilities in higher education, housed entirely 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, developmental 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 specialist laboratories, office space for research students, and research rooms and social spaces which foster opportunities for innovation, training, and collaboration

Your future

With the skills and knowledge you acquire from studying within our Department of Psychology, you will find yourself in demand from a wide range of employers.

Recent graduates of MSc Psychology have found employment as a research assistant at the Anna Freud Centre, a clinical psychologist for the NHS, a child psychologist for Children First and a lecturer at the University of Surrey. Other graduates have been employed in clinical psychology, educational psychology, criminal and forensic psychology.

Following this course, students can qualify for our specialist Masters courses or to a Masters in Research Methods or by research (MSD). We also have excellent links with the research community; we are recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent postgraduate training and are an accredited Doctoral Training Centre, offering several studentships.

Our recent PhD students have taken up post-doctoral positions in other top UK universities and international universities (in the US, Italy and Australia), as well as being appointed to lectureships.

“Studying MSc Psychology at Essex gave me a really good grounding which I’ve been able to use as a springboard for a new career. I loved the neuropsychology and cognitive psychology modules; looking at the intricacies of the brain and how it affects our behaviour in ways you don’t really even think of. I even enjoyed stats, because even though it was hard, it was very satisfying! I’ve definitely left Essex feeling more confident and positive about my future career prospects. Everyone – from the lecturers to the employability services and wellbeing support – has helped me get to where I want to be – starting a PhD!”

Carolyn White, MSc Psychology, 2017

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A high 2.2 degree, or equivalent in any subject.

This course is not suitable for applicants who already hold a British Psychological Society Accredited degree.

If you already hold a BSc/BA Psychology and are not seeking BPS accreditation we advise you consider the MSc Cognitive neuroscience & Neuropsychology or MSc Research Methods in Psychology .

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

MSc Psychology Research Project

This research dissertation is an empirical investigation which is written up with a 10,000 word-limit. The project provides students with an opportunity to apply the statistical and research skills learnt, in an original piece of research. The topic will be chosen from a selection offered by members of staff in the department.

View MSc Psychology Research Project on our Module Directory

Advanced Brain and Behaviour

Students will gain a wide understanding of the relationship between the human brain (and other physiological mechanisms) and behaviour. The brain is an extremely complex organ, and many areas of interest to psychologists are as yet, beyond the reductionist approach adopted here. However, the module is designed to establish the possibility that most behaviours, even our deepest thoughts and feelings, arise from a combination of electrical and chemical interactions in the central nervous system.

View Advanced Brain and Behaviour on our Module Directory

Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology

This year long module will take you from basic level statistics right through to the advanced level required to gain your British Psychological Society graduate membership. It will also teach you key aspects of experimental design and develop your report writing skills.

View Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology on our Module Directory

Advanced Seeing and Hearing

Your chance to build on the knowledge gained in Cognitive Psychology 1. This module will go further in-depth into key areas of cognitive psychology including the method, theory and data behind the processes of visual and auditory perception and visual cognition.

View Advanced Seeing and Hearing on our Module Directory

Advanced Memory, Attention and Language

Your chance to build on the knowledge gained in Cognitive Psychology 1. This module will go further in-depth into key areas of cognitive psychology including the method, theory and data behind the processes of language, mental representation, memory, and attention.

View Advanced Memory, Attention and Language on our Module Directory

Advanced Social Psychology

By studying a range of theory and research surrounding human thinking and behaviour in a social world you will develop a clear understanding of the topics social psychologists are interested in and how they approach their study. You will also discover how theory and research in social psychology might help us to understand current issues in society.

View Advanced Social Psychology on our Module Directory

Advanced Developmental Psychology

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.

View Advanced Developmental Psychology on our Module Directory

Advanced Personality and Individual Differences

This module gives students a detailed review of personality, intelligence and individual differences. It provides a parsimonious account of theories and approaches to personality and individual differences. Several areas of Psychology will be covered, including cognitive, trait theories and biological.

View Advanced Personality and Individual Differences on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Your modules are taught through lectures, seminars, practical classes and private study (approx. 12 - 16 hours per week during the autumn and spring term).
  • Most taught modules will include joint lectures with undergraduate students with additional postgraduate level seminars.
  • The course requires private study.
  • We host a very active programme of research seminars

Assessment

  • Full-year modules are most often examined using a three-hour examination, and half-year modules by a two-hour examination. All elements are required and applicants with a non-science background should be aware of the requirement to pass statistics.
  • Submission of coursework, coursework tests and examinations (you will be required to submit approximately 15 pieces of coursework during the year).
  • Your final research project will be completed during the summer and submitted in mid-September.

Dissertation

  • An original psychological study carried out under the supervision of a staff member
  • Maximum of 10,000 words, written up as a research report

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,560

International fee

£16,225

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

Applying

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.

All elements are required and applicants with a non-science background should be aware of the requirement to pass statistics. You will also learn research methods to an extent that will enable you to devise, carry out, analyse and write up an empirical research project during the last part of the course.

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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