Has your undergraduate degree inspired you to learn more about the way people tick?
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.
Further study in our Department of Psychology gives you the freedom and the facilities to study, experiment, explore and research why we think, feel and act the way we do. You will learn from and work alongside internationally recognised experts, on a range of psychological topics including social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, brain and behaviour, personality and individual differences, and psychology of health. You will also gain a thorough education in psychological research methods and statistics.
Our mission is to foster an “Understanding of our place in the World” and the multi-method research approach that our staff take is of particular value to this mission and to those who study with us. During your journey, you will learn about the relevance of core psychology areas including how we think about the world, how we interact with the world, and how we experience the world. But you will also advance your skill set on how to devise, carry out and analyse an empirical research project.
This course combines the award of a Masters with eligibility for graduates to apply for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society. 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.
We are a warm and friendly Department with staff and students from many different backgrounds. We are proud of the multicultural mosaic that makes up our community. Our staff and students come from over 40 countries around the World, bringing their own unique perspectives and experiences which enrich our teaching, learning, and research. Understanding Our Place In The World starts with us!
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. We are committed to diversity, inclusion, representation, and providing students with a curriculum that reflects the complexity of human behaviour world-wide.
You can start this course in either October or January.
Accredited against the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The Department of Psychology at Essex supports world-leading, interdisciplinary research that promotes a better Understanding of Our Place in the World. This organisation of our research mission allows us to unite and synthesise knowledge across core psychology disciplines and beyond. To contribute to our mission, staff work across three research themes that dismantle conventional, disciplinary boundaries and that match our broad research strengths: Thinking about the World, Interacting with the World, and Experiencing the World. This unique approach benefits from the use of multi-methodological approaches, while nurturing the translation of our research findings into practical tools that benefit society.
Our academic staff include award-winning teachers and prize-winning researchers who are international experts in their own research areas. We are 17th in UK for research power in psychology (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
Research from staff who work on the Thinking about the World theme focuses on the psychological underpinnings of individual and group motivated behaviour and reasoning. It brings together researchers applying different methodologies to study how people make decisions, remember, and feel and act; this is studied in the political arena and in health and disease. Staff have strong skills in experimental behavioural, electrophysiological and neuromodulatory techniques.
Research around the theme Interacting with the World contributes to our understanding on how we perceive and present ourselves in relation to others and how this affects our behaviour and well-being. Staff study individual and group processes that are fundamental to social relations and that address questions around social wellness, sexual and interpersonal relationships and their links to identity and meaning of life, justice and trust. They also focus on education, language and cross-cultural processes and their interaction. Theme members use multiple methodologies including self-report, behavioural observations, and (electro-)physiological measures, to provide a wide-ranging look into the psychological processes underlying society’s pressing issues and that guide our most important social interactions.
Experiencing the World theme members aim to unravel the physiological and neural underpinnings of how we experience and perceive our body states, how we see and how we control our actions. Staff further answer questions on how our perceptions and experiences change as we age. Infant and children work is conducted in the Essex Baby lab, the leading infant lab in the east of England. Staff use a variety of techniques including EEG, fNIRS, fMRI, TMS/tDCS, physiological and behavioural measures.
Our department is expanding, and has recently appointed a number of excellent researchers whose expertise increases the diversity and depth of our skills base.
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:
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.
After further study and training, 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 trained as clinical psychologists, or work in educational psychology or criminal and forensic psychology.
Many of our students also choose to continue with further studies. Following this course, students can qualify for our special Masters courses in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, or in Research Methods in Psychology. Students may also choose to further pursue a Masters by Dissertation (MSD), which provides a 1-year opportunity to pursue an independent research project without additional taught modules.
We also have excellent links with the research community for those interested in careers in research and teaching in a higher-education context. We are recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent postgraduate training and are an accredited Doctoral Training Centre, offering competitive studentships. Our PhD students have taken up post-doctoral positions in other top UK universities and international universities (e.g., US, Italy and Australia), as well as being appointed to lectureships across the UK.
“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
A 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 .
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.
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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.
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.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
COMPONENT 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
COMPONENT 05: CORE
COMPONENT 06: CORE
COMPONENT 01: CORE WITH OPTIONSPS921-7-AU or PS951-7-AU
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
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:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
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.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
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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