MSc Psychology


Course Duration

24 months


Delivery Method



Course Fee

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Delivered & Awarded by

University of Derby

About this Course

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), our online MSc Psychology course is ideally suited to anyone who is looking to take the next step and pursue a career in psychology, bringing you one step closer to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Our online MSc Psychology conversion programme is designed for those who wish to specialise in psychology, giving you the opportunity to learn the distinctive range, depth and integration of skills, knowledge and applications of psychology. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the core areas of psychology required by the BPS including biological, cognitive, developmental, individual differences, and social psychology and the links between them.

This course alone will not allow you to practice but provides an opportunity for a non-psychology graduate, or a graduate from a non-BPS accredited course, to meet one of the entry requirements for a postgraduate programme of professional training in Health, Sport, Clinical, Counselling, Occupational, Educational or Forensic Psychology. By completing this course you will be conferred Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You may also be looking to study this course as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or to enhance your career employability and general knowledge.

Career Info

During this course you’ll study all the core areas of psychology to gain a deep understanding of the subject.

From here you can then choose which area you would like to specialise in and continue to further training. For example, you may want to consider our MSc Health Psychology online, which will introduce you to a range of health psychology professional competencies. Other areas of psychology you can consider are sports, clinical, educational, forensics and occupational.


This module is to provide you with a critical understanding of research methods, theory and empirical findings for key topics in Cognitive and Biological Psychology. Biological psychology looks at psychological processes from a biological perspective, and is informed by neurophysiology, neuroanatomy (both typical and atypical), psychopharmacology, and comparative approaches to animal and human behaviour. Cognitive psychology is concerned with the empirical study of mental processes including memory, perception, communication, and thinking.

As well as examining methodological and evolutionary approaches, historical background, ethical issues and basic neuroanatomy the module will examine cognitive and biological approaches to key topic areas that might include; Perception, Learning and Memory Addictive behaviours, Communication Emotion and stress, Attention and Consciousness and Intelligence and Thought.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.
  2. Design conduct and evaluate empirical research that advances contemporary understanding of human cognition and mental processes.
  3. Review, critically evaluate, and synthesise published research in cognitive and biological psychology.

This module will provide you with a critical understanding relating to the theoretical knowledge of individual differences, personality and intelligence. Students will critically examine the process of identifying particular traits and characteristics within individuals alongside the application of these in explaining and predicting behaviour.   

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to critically evaluate psychological theories relevant to individual differences and their ability to explain and predict behaviour; demonstrate a deep and critical understanding of contemporary debates, research and applications of research into individual differences and develop a deep understanding of research planning and design in the psychology of individual differences.

Topics covered may include: 

  • Approaches to personality, e.g., Traits, cognitive, humanistic and biological
  • Psychometric testing, e.g. validity, reliability, ethics and consequences of testing in applied settings
  • Theoretical approaches to individual differences, e.g. intelligence, cognitive style, emotion, motivation, mood
  • Contemporary debates in individual differences, e.g. idiographic-nomothetic debate
  • A range of other topics in individual differences, e.g. mental health, gender, culture and ethnicity.

This module aims to develop your academic understanding of the discipline of psychology as a science drawing on conceptual and historical issues in psychology from multiple perspectives. The module will provide you with an understanding of the social and cultural construction of psychology, and political and ethical issues in psychology as well as instil a range of subject-specific and intellectual skills that you need to successfully engage in this programme of study.

You will learn about the origins of Psychology and epistemological issues, ethical considerations, experimental psychology and current debates and applied psychology and the impact of research. You will be introduced to the scientific methods, quantitative and qualitative research methods used in psychology.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss and critically evaluate evidence in relation to conceptual and historical issues, current debates and complex issues from multiple perspectives in psychology
  2. Establish self-direction and originality in terms of an understanding of what skills are required to become a psychologist in an area of psychology.

This module covers research design; ethical practice in research and qualitative and quantitative approaches to research.  You will evaluate research and develop the ability to conduct appropriate analyses to address research questions about human behaviour.  The content of this module is essential preparation for the independent research project that is required to complete the Masters’ programme.

By completing this module you will be able to demonstrate an ability to design and critically evaluate research studies into human behaviour; demonstrate the ability to critically discuss qualitative research and be able to select, perform, interpret and report analyses appropriate to the research question being investigated.

Topics covered may include:

  • Philosophical Background to research and investigation.
  • Generating and exploring hypotheses and research questions
  • Qualitative Approaches – for example: interviews and focus groups, dealing with qualitative data, transcription and analysis, approaches to qualitative methods
  • Quantitative Approaches – for example: Assumptions and basic requirements, descriptive stats and exploring your data, testing for effects, testing for differences (t-tests, ANOVA), testing for relationships (e.g., regression and correlation), non-parametric analysis (Chi Square and non-parametric ANOVA).
  • Planning and Designing Your Study – for example: experimental design, questionnaire studies, and observational methods
  • Presenting and evaluating research findings
  • Practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with researching human behaviour.

To complete your full MSc, you must take this module.

The Masters Research Project is also widely known as a ‘dissertation’. This module asks you to identify a research issue, review existing literature on the topic, formulate novel research questions, and test these questions through the use of appropriate psychological methodologies and data-analytic procedures. You will be supported by a tutor, known as your research ‘supervisor’. You will be required to develop your awareness of the ethical context of research, as well as its purely scientific aspects. Upon completion of this module, you will have demonstrated mastery of research in a chosen specialist area.  You will be able to:

  • Critically review literature on psychological theories and research to formulate novel psychological research question(s)
  • Design, plan and conduct a feasible and ethical empirical study to address novel research questions
  • Analyse and interpret the findings of the study to form coherent conclusions about the research questions
  • Present a scientific report of the research consistent with prescribed professional and academic standards that demonstrates mastery of a chosen specialist area.

The content of the module is largely defined by the scope and nature of your research question and its investigation. Your online tutor will help you to explore and discuss potential topics.

The module aims to develop your critical understanding of psychological concepts, theories, and methods relevant to the study of social and developmental psychology. The module will explore specific topics that constitute the field of social and developmental psychology including: (a) social cognition, (b) inter-group processes, (c) small group processes, (d) social influence (e) attribution, (f) social development, (g) childhood, adolescence and life-span development (h) attachment (i) cognitive and language development. You will develop a deep understanding of the range of research conducted in developmental psychology, and with applications of social psychological theory to real world scenarios.

On successful completion of the module, you’ll be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of, and critically evaluate, key issues, concepts and theories in developmental psychology to inform; engage in independent enquiry of a specific aspect of developmental psychology and develop a comprehensive understanding of the core social psychological concepts, models and theories underpinning social psychology by critically applying social psychological theories and methods to explain how individuals and/or groups negotiate real life situations.

Topics covered may include:

  • Social cognition: Social Perception, Attitudes, Self Regulation
  • Inter-group processes:  Inter-group Conflict and Prejudice, Social Identity Processes, Attribution Processes
  • Small group processes:  Groups & Group Norms, Small Group Dynamics & Leadership Styles, Characteristics of Productive & non-Productive Groups
  • Social influence in groups: Conformity & Obedience, Majority & Minority Influence, Bystander Effect & Prosocial Behaviour
  • Close relationships:  Interpersonal Attraction, Liking & Loving, Role of Culture & Gender
  • Crisis in social psychology: Social Constructionism
  • Key Themes in Developmental Psychology: Research Methods, Nature & Nurture, Theories of Development
  • Cognition in Infancy and Childhood:  Perception, Memory, Language, Theory of Mind, Number, Drawing
  • Social Development: Emotion, Self & Identity, Gender
  • Classic and Historic perspectives in Developmental Psychology: e.g., Piaget and Vygotsky.

Neuropsychology deals with the problems that arise from brain injury that affects cognitive functioning. This module looks at the biological and cognitive consequences of a number of conditions and analyses the knowledge we have at present and what that knowledge tells us about the normally functioning brain. This module will explore a number of conceptual issues within the context of neuropsychological disorders. Issues covered will include, population sizes, methodologies, recovery of function, remediation versus research, normal versus abnormal deficits, and lesion sites. These issues will be illustrated through the exploration of visual agnosia, amnesia, language disorders, and ageing. The module will combine the acquisition of knowledge with the skill of delivering that knowledge appropriately to a named target audience.

In the module we will cover:

  • What is neuropsychology
  • Apperceptive agnosia
  • Associative agnosia
  • Types of amnesia
  • Biological and cognitive correlates of amnesia
  • Assessment and remediation of amnesia
  • What are language disorders?
  • Alexia and agraphia
  • Normal ageing
  • Abnormal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease

About University of Derby

The University of Derby operates with a vision to offer high quality, value for money study options with a personal learner-oriented approach. Since 2001, the University has offered online distance learning to students who required more flexible study options. The online courses are designed specifically for that purpose and are delivered by professional lecturers with extensive knowledge in their subject areas. The course materials combined with the support of a responsive academic team, ensure that students receive a well-supported learning experience.

Entry Requirements​

You will need one of the following qualifications:

  • UK degree from any subject area or equivalent overseas qualification
  • ACCA F1-F9
  • CIMA Strategic Level

Entry is possible if you have HND/Level 5 and 2 years of relevant managerial experience within finance. If you have 4 years of relevant work experience without formal undergraduate qualifications you will be required to complete and pass one of the following level 6 modules: Financial Strategy; Risk Management; Strategic Management. Contact us for further information and to discuss your options.

MSc Psychology

MSc Psychology course is ideally suited to anyone who is looking to take the next step and pursue a career in psychology.

Delivered & Awarded by

University of Derby


24 months


Please get in touch

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