Psychology MA

The MA in Psychology offers an excellent opportunity to gain insight and in-depth knowledge of contemporary topics in Psychology.

This course offers a unique mix of modules that, unlike a more typical MSc, focuses on integrating knowledge in Psychology and communicating those ideas to the public. The course also provides students with a range of transferable skills that are needed to succeed in a wide range of research-knowledge positions. The course is particularly aimed at students who do not want to actively conduct lab-based research, and would prefer to focus on extending their understanding of Psychology and synthesizing current knowledge in new and meaningful ways. Students have the opportunity to build in-depth knowledge in at least two areas of contemporary Psychology, to develop their critical analysis skills, and to hone their science writing and communication skills.

The course is run by one of the largest and most active Psychology departments in Britain with an excellent reputation for both teaching and research. 

The MA in Psychology is not a Psychology conversion course and is therefore not suitable for students who seek to acquire UK GBC (Graduate Charter Membership of the BPS).

EU Referendum

Answering your questions and concerns about the outcome of the EU referendum.

Eye trackerThe MA in Psychology offers a unique mix of topic-based, applied and impact-based modules. Students have the opportunity to build their knowledge in at least one area of contemporary Psychology, develop their critical analysis skills and hone their science writing and communication skills. The programme offers students the opportunity to develop their specific interests whilst at the same time developing the technical and transferable skills they need to succeed in a wide range of research-knowledge positions.

Is this course accredited through the British Psychological Society?
The MA in Psychology is not a Psychology conversion course and is therefore not suitable for students who seek to acquire UK GBC (Graduate Charter Membership of the BPS).

Recommended reading
The following text is recommended reading for students interested in the MA in Psychology:
Gleitman H, Gross J, Reisberg D. (2010) Psychology (8th Edition). W. W. Norton & Company

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 160KB)

Why study this course

Clinical Psychology seminarThis course is aimed at students who wish to extend their understanding of Psychology, to become better prepared for a quality employment situation, or who wish to aim for a further degree. It is specifically aimed at those who do not want to actively conduct lab-based research, and would prefer to focus on synthesizing current knowledge in new and meaningful ways. The course is run by one of the largest and most active Psychology departments in Britain with an excellent reputation for both teaching and research.

Key Features

  • You will gain insight and in-depth knowledge of contemporary topics in Psychology
  • This course will uniquely give you skills and experience with activities that promote public engagement with science (communicating science to the public)
  • You will develop the skills to allow you to both critique and communicate psychological research
  • You will develop key transferable skills

You do not need a degree in Psychology (we only ask that your first degree has some Psychology content)

Modules

Infant and Child labThe MA in Psychology comprises a unique mix of topic-based, applied and impact-based modules. This range of modules offers students the opportunity to develop their specific interests whilst at the same time developing the technical and transferable skills they need to succeed in a wide range of research-knowledge positions.

Compulsory modules

Students undertake the following compulsory taught modules:

  • Foundations in critical thinking
  • Current research 1
  • Current research 2
  • Transferable Skills
  • Research review 1
  • Public Engagement with Psychological Research
  • Research project (based on a significant literature review)

 Optional modules

Students also take two psychology topics or skills based optional modules to support their learning.  Please note options may change annually.

See a full list of modules and descriptions (PDF 287KB)

Fees and funding

Fees for 2017

  • Home/EU students £7,290 FT (£3,645 PT)
  • International students £15,660 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

This course is aimed at students who wish to extend their understanding of Psychology, but who do not want to actively conduct lab-based research. Students are required to have a good undergraduate degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent) in Psychology or in any discipline that included Psychology modules (e.g., Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology; a final-year dissertation that draws significantly on psychological literature).  

We request that your personal statement (approximately 400-words) describes your: 

  1. Previous experience of Psychology: Mention the undergraduate Psychology modules you have taken, whether psychological theory or research was embedded in your undergraduate project, and any practical experience of Psychology you have (e.g., work as volunteer or paid research assistant on a Psychology project).
  2. Research interests: A major aspect of the MA Psychology course is the Research Project, a substantial critical inquiry into an area of psychology research. Describe your research interests and explain how they fit with the areas of research expertise in the School of Psychology. Be sure to state the names of academics within the School that, given the opportunity, you would like to work with.  If possible, indicate more than one research interest and indicate your preference for each of them. 

Examples of research interests in the School can be found on the following webpages:

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Please apply as soon as possible, as places are limited and the programme may close when full.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Seminar sessionThe course is comprised of taught modules, research seminars, public engagement activities (events focused on communicating science to the broader public) and a substantial literature review.

Core modules include Foundations in Critical Thinking, Current Research, Transferable Skills, Research Review and Public Engagement with Psychological Research. Students complete a substantial literature based review which will form their research dissertation.

Students will also take two psychology topics or skills based optional modules to support their learning.

A wide range of careers are open to students graduating with an MA in Psychology. The MA develops key skills that are highly attractive to employers, namely critical analysis skills, presentation and science writing skills, as well as public engagement (communicating science to the public) skills.

Our students are excellent candidates for research knowledge related employment in both private and public sector organisations including roles in research support and knowledge transfer and positions in industry, the media and with non-clinical employers.

This MA is also excellent preparation for PhD or other advanced degree positions.

Birmingham is one of Europe's most exciting cities. If you are already based here you know what this vibrant, forward-thinking, international city has to offer. If you are moving here you are going to have great fun finding out. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Supporting you

Whoever you are, wherever you come from, we'll make sure you have all the support you need to make the most of your time at Birmingham. We have a student mentor scheme and offer other support, such as disability and dyslexia advice and support, childcare and nursery facilities and financial advice.

Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA)

If you are a mature student it's worth considering joining the Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA). This voluntary, student-led group has an active Facebook group where you can keep up with all the events and activities on offer.

Are you an International Student?

The University of Birmingham has one of the largest international student communities within the UK. The mix of nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment and will help you feel at home during your time with us. Find out more at our international student website

Living in Birmingham

Whether you are looking for university accommodation or a rented property in the private sector, our accommodation services team, 'Living', can help you find the right place.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.