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What makes the MSc Psychology conversion course at the University of Worcester special?

Our MSc Psychology is an accredited, distance learning programme offering flexible learning to fit with your busy lifestyle.  If you have a non-psychology (or non-accredited psychology) degree and want to switch to a career in Psychology, completing our course will give you Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society - your first step to a career as a psychologist.

Developing your employability is central to our course. Here at Worcester, we've designed the MSc Psychology curriculum around your busy lifestyle and future ambitions.  We will support you in developing the skills that will open doors in a range of sectors, including health, business, counselling, education and doctoral research training. Communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, team working, and data collection and analysis are just some of the skills that will increase your appeal to employers.

You will learn from subject specialists and research-active academics working on cutting edge projects to help you develop your research skills and expertise.  This translates to our teaching and learning approach which is research-inspired and evidence-based. As well as learning about the core areas of Psychology, we also prepare you for the next step of your Psychology journey with tailored personal academic support and training through our ‘Professional Skills Development’ module.

We recognise our students are on a rapid path of new learning and development, and we have tailored our programme to guide you at every step of your journey; there are lots of opportunities to practice your academic skills, test your knowledge and gain feedback and support to help you succeed at an advanced level of study. We teach our students in way that works for them; we listen and work in partnership with our students.



Key features

  • 100% online, distance learning course

  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) to give you Graduate Basis for Chartership and open up a broad range of further training opportunities and new career routes

  • Flexible, on demand learning that can be accessed at a time and place to suit you and your busy lifestyle

  • Opportunity to engage in learning before you start the course to prepare you for postgraduate study – our unique online learning module provides an introduction to Psychology, research design and evidence-based learning (e.g., how to work with academic sources, effective digital learning and postgraduate study skills)

  • A dedicated module for professional skills development with opportunities to broaden your network and learn from practitioners in the field.

  • Authentic assessments tailored towards employability and skills development such as a reflective log assessment on your Professional Skills Development module to support your career exploration and development.

  • 100% coursework including the opportunity to undertake a piece of original research supervised by research active staff

  • Research-inspired teaching delivered by subject specialists who are engaged in research at the forefront of their discipline

British Psychological Society accredited logo

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

You will have the opportunity to gain Graduate Basis for Chartership Membership (GBC) – your first step to a career as a psychologist.

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

The MSc Psychology is open to graduates with:

  • At least a 2ii honours degree in a subject other than Psychology
  • GCSE in Maths and English (Grade C/4 or above) or equivalent qualification in line with University Admissions Policy
  • International students must hold a qualification equivalent to a UK first or second class honours degree.
  • The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered. For more information, please view our International English Language Qualifications document

Other information

Prospective students can apply for the course through the University Registry department.

  • All applications are made electronically via the Admissions office.
  • All application forms are viewed by Course Leader.
  • If applicants meet the entry requirements an offer of a place will be made in line with the UW Admissions Policy.
  • Applicants are subsequently invited to attend a virtual Q&A session with the course leader. This provides applicants with the opportunity to meet the course leader, and other applicants, pre-entry to the programme and provides an early opportunity for the applicant to ensure they understand the requirements for postgraduate study and that the MSc Psychology conversion course/distance learning is suited to their needs.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Course content

What will you study

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Social Psychology


The module provides students with an opportunity to critically understand the major theories, paradigms, and research methods used within social psychology.  As part of this, students explore how social psychology can help us understand everyday behaviour, whilst acknowledging the limits of the discipline and methodological approaches.    The learning and teaching activities of the module reflect the advanced nature of study (e.g. students will be required to complete significant amounts of self-directed reading; lectures will act as signposts to key issues).

Developmental Psychology


The module provides students with an opportunity to critically consider the major theories, paradigms, and research methods used to identify and explain the development of representational ability and identity across the lifespan.    The module examines a range of theoretical paradigms (e.g., constructivism; information processing) and how aspects of development are interpreted through the lens of key debates (e.g., nature/nurture; ‘atypicality’; developmental continuities; the influence of early experiences). 



This module critically considers neuropsychological research methods and approaches to studying human functioning.  Key psychobiological models, theoretical perspectives and research findings are explored, together with their application to real-world issues.

Cognitive Psychology


This module examines cognitive phenomena, models and theories and aims to provide students with an understanding of human perception, language, learning, attention and memory, and how this knowledge is applied in a number of 'real world' domains. Connections with Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Neuropsychology are explored.

Individual Differences


The module provides students with an overview of the fundamental issues and main approaches to individual differences. The module will focus on the key assumptions of research on normative and non-normative personality development, self, and self-regulation from a range of perspectives (such as psychometric, psychoanalytical, behavioural, social learning, humanistic-existential-phenomenological, evolutionary, genetic, nature-nurture, and some cutting edge approaches such as discursive), and the paradigm tensions implicit in these.  The module will also focus on the social and policy implications of individual differences in intelligence, in addition to those in health, education, relationships, and occupational choices.

Advanced Research Methods


This module aims to equip the student with the skills necessary to undertake Masters level research. Students are introduced to Psychology as an evidence-based discipline, and the principles of psychological research design (including key debates and philosophical assumptions).   Students learn about research ethics, data collection techniques, and quantitative and qualitative analytical approaches, moving from foundation to an advanced level of study.

Professional Skills Development


This module provides students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and awareness of Chartered pathways to becoming a professional Psychologist and to practice a range of professional skills and competencies that are central to career development in these fields (e.g., awareness of ethics; leadership; teamwork; communication). Students will critically consider models for reflecting on professional practice and explore how to become an effective reflective practitioner by considering their own personal and academic development across the module in relation to the professional skills and competencies they have practiced and with respect to employability. 



Students complete a psychological research project under the supervision of academic staff.  The project is focussed on primary data collection and students undertake all aspects of research design and planning, participant recruitment, data collection, management and analysis, and project write-up.  All aspects of project work are informed by/consistent with the professional and ethical standards set out by the BPS (British Psychological Society) and APA (American Psychological Association).

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The programme adopts a student-centred approach to teaching and learning that utilises theoretical knowledge and practical skills, building on the student’s strengths, interests and experiences. As a distance learning course, teaching, learning and assessment activities are delivered wholly online and supported through the virtual learning environment. A mixture of learning approaches are used (e.g. pre-recoded self-study materials, small group supervision, group discussions, 1:1 tutorials, practical skill-based sessions, etc.) and delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modes of delivery.

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You will be taught through a combination of guided learning activities which you can complete at your own pace, live discussions with tutors and peers, academic skills training sessions and tutorial support. You will be signposted towards activities to help you learn in an online environment. 

Our guided learning activities will introduce you to key topics in Psychology through interactive activities (including mini lectures, quizzes, podcasts, reading, online ‘asynchronous’ discussions, etc) using our virtual learning environment.   

Scheduled, live sessions offer the opportunity to interact in real-time with your peers and tutors to discuss self-directed learning, develop academic skills and collaborate on assessment work.  Live discussion sessions will be simultaneously recorded and accessed online by students at a distance, through our virtual learning environment, and typically include opportunities for recapping and clarifying guided learning activities, question and answer sessions, and small group discussion activities to extend your learning. Skills based training sessions include live tutor-led demonstrations with opportunities for questions (e.g., how to use bibliographic referencing software, using academic databases to perform a literature search, using data analysis tools etc).

You will have regular contact with your Personal Academic Tutor, through our Professional Skills Development module, and through 1:1 tutorial support, to ensure our personalised approach helps to meet your learning needs.

Contact time

The programme comprises seven taught modules with teaching and learning activities running across three semesters. Full-time students (starting in September) complete all seven taught modules across two semesters, plus the dissertation within a third semester in one academic year(12 months). Full-time students will be engaged in a combination of asynchronous (self-directed activities) and synchronous scheduled learning activities for around 15 hours per week in semester1 and 2 (across 4 taught modules students will study, on average, 3 hours of synchronous, scheduled sessions and 12 hours of asynchronous guided study per week – see table). In addition to this, students will also be engaged in independent learning (assessment preparation for taught modules and dissertation planning/supervision sessions). In total, it is expected that a full-time student will be spending 37 hours per week engaged in study. Part-time students select which modules and how many they want to complete in each year, with their dissertation in the final year.

Starting the course in January may be a possibility, this will be decided on an annual basis dependent on the size of the group to ensure a positive student experience. Full-time students, starting in January, can complete the same programme over 18 months.

Example weekly study pattern for a full-time student in semester 1 for the MSc Psychology

Module Asynchronous learning Synchronous learning
Week 1
MPSY4250 Social Psychology 3 hours 1.5 hours
MPSY4252 Biopsychology 3 hours  
MPSY4255 Advanced Research Methods 3 hours  
MPSY4256 Professional Skills Development 3 hours 1.5 hours
Independent study (including dissertation planning/supervision) Up to 22 hours  
Week 1 total 37 hours  
Week 2
MPSY4250 Social Psychology 3 hours  
MPSY4252 Biopsychology 3 hours 1.5 hours
MPSY4255 Advanced Research Methods 3 hours 1.5 hours
MPSY4256 Professional Skills Development 3 hours  
Independent study (including dissertation planning/supervision) Up to 22 hours  
Week 2 total 37 hours  

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, full time students are expected to undertake around 20 hours of personal self-study per week. Part time students are expected to undertake around 10 hours of personal self-study per module per week. Typically, this will involve completing further reading, critical reflections, research planning, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, delivered through the virtual learning environment and extensive electronic library resources.


One year full-time

Two-three years part-time


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Each week, students will be engaged in a combination of asynchronous (self-directed activities) and synchronous (scheduled) learning activities. Whilst you may choose to study the asynchronous materials at a time that suits you, attendance at our scheduled, online teaching sessions is required. These sessions run weekly on Fridays during semester 1 and 2 and are important for developing your academic skills, discussing your learning with others, and for regularly connecting with your peers and academic staff.

Scheduled teaching sessions for full-time study (course completion 12 months)

Semester 1

Social Psychology
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16

Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17

Advanced Research Methods
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 11:15-12:45 on weeks: 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17

Professional Skills
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 11:15-12:45 on weeks: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16

Scheduled group supervision sessions Friday 14:15-15:45 on weeks: 9, 13, 16, 24, 30, 32

Semester 2

Developmental Psychology
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 22, 24, 26, 29, 31, 35

Cognitive Psychology
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 11:15-12:45 on weeks: 22, 24, 26, 29, 31, 35

Individual differences
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 36

Semester 2 scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 11:15-12:45 on weeks: 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 36


Scheduled teaching sessions for Year 1 of part-time study (course completion 2-3 years)

Semester 1

Social Psychology
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16

Advanced Research Methods
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 11:15-12:45 on weeks: 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17

These are the only modules students are permitted to take on this pattern

Semester 2

Developmental Psychology
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 22, 24, 26, 29, 31, 35

Individual differences
Scheduled teaching sessions on Friday 09:15-10:45 on weeks: 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 36

These are the only modules students are permitted to take on this pattern

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes principal lecturers, senior academics, HCPC registered professional practitioners with clinical experience, and psychology technicians.

Teaching is research-inspired and our staff are members of the multi-disciplinary Interpersonal Relationships and Wellbeing Research Group     

The School of Psychology have a strong track record in achieving higher education teaching qualifications or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about us by visiting our staff profiles


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

We assess your learning through coursework rather than examinations.  Assessment methods include writing a reflective log, a systematic research review, position paper, lab projects and group presentation.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the modules taken, but a typical summative assessment pattern for a student completing the course full time in one year (3 semesters) is:

Semester 1

  • 1 Research analysis exercises
  • 1 Critical Review
  • 1 Group presentation
  • 1 Essay

Semester 2

  • 1 Systematic review
  • 1 Lab report
  • 1 Position paper
  • 1 Personal development plan with reflective logs

Semester 3

  • Dissertation

These assessments are research-inspired and designed to equip you with the necessary skills and competencies for taking the next steps in your career path.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Hannah Sampson

Hannah Sampson

I had worked as a vet in clinical practice for nearly 20 years. I had reached a point where I felt 'stuck', with little potential to progress beyond my role as a senior clinician in first opinion practice. Informal study of Psychology had been a focus which interested me for several years before I eventually took the plunge and enrolled on the MSc at Worcester.

The 'chunking' of the course into digestible modules (usually lasting one semester), allowed me to follow the course part-time. As I had anticipated, master’s level study has improved my critical thinking skills, as well as developing my ability to search and employ scientific literature to evidence arguments. I developed my practical IT skills, as well as improving my ability to communicate information in a variety of media.

I have recently started work in a coaching role, supporting clinical-phase veterinary undergraduates to develop their professional skills. This neatly combines my previous role with the skills I gained on this course.

Liam Kernan

Liam Kernan

I was looking to extend my knowledgebase and, as a therapist, I felt it was the right time to attempt a master’s course. Having been out of academia for a few years, the availability of the staff to offer 1 to 1 support sessions was crucial and needed. Distance Learning is not for everyone but, whilst I do live in Worcester City, it offers the flexibility to be where I am comfortable.

I studied this course for my own enjoyment and CPD, although we were explained all the routes through to PhD level and beyond, and the accreditation by the BPS was an important factor in me choosing the course. I am taking time to reflect, train as a supervisor for therapeutic colleagues and in September 2024 I will enrol on the EMDR course at Worcester as my next step.


Andrew Kane

"I previously worked in Further Education as a lecturer and Head of Department for nearly 20 years. Following redundancy, I enrolled on the Psychology conversion course.

"My personal tutor and the course team have been excellent in their feedback and support. The assessments are varied and are relevant to the employability skills associated with Psychological practice and research.

"I did not expect to learn as much as I have done in 18 months and to develop as quickly over a relatively short period. I am now nearly at the end of my MSc Psychology conversion course and I feel equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to enter into a new career. It has been an incredible journey following redundancy. I could not have predicted the opportunities that are now available to me and the experience and knowledge I have gained.

"I am now applying for a Doctorate within Health Psychology and I am actively involved on the Midlands Health Psychology Network (MHPN) as a Committee member for events and supporting local interest groups. The course team have enabled me to pursue a new career direction and interest in Health Psychology. Thank you Worcester!"


Joel Bennett

"I gained more from the course than I was expecting. Since the course I feel much more confident in my direction in the psychology field and how I can make my own unique contributions.

"I studied the course part-time. Whilst studying I was working in a professional role and commuting long distances, so it was vital for me to be flexible with my commitments."

"While the course was challenging I felt it gave me a deeper understanding of psychological theory. This learning has been essential for my work as a therapist. I found learning about individual differences, Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology particularly fascinating and engaging. As students we are encouraged to take ownership of our own research, with just the right amount of support and direction.  I discovered areas that I felt passionate about, especially when writing my dissertation. I felt I was encouraged to make a contribution to an area of Psychology I felt strongly about, which has still made an impact on how I work as a therapist to this day.

"Since graduating I have been working as a senior anxiety and trauma specialist for a private healthcare company and a high intensity therapist for the NHS in London. I have also launched my own company providing therapy and training internationally and am considering a PhD in Psychology.


Where could it take you?

Here at Worcester, we've designed the MSc Psychology curriculum around your busy lifestyle and future ambitions.  We will support you in developing the skills that will open doors in a range of sectors, including health, business, counselling, education and doctoral research training. Communication, problem solving, critical thinking, team working, and data collection and analysis are just some of the skills that will increase your appeal to employers.

We work closely with the university's Careers and Employability team and you can also take part in workshops devoted to strengthening your CV for a future career as a Psychologist. And you'll have the chance to talk to guest speakers, as well as getting help to apply for work and postgraduate study.


How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022 per eligible student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For more details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Additional costs

We highly recommend student membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Student membership starts from £28.80.

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing. The amounts vary between courses.

How to apply