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MSci Psychology and Psychological Practice

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home - 2024-25)
£27,180 Fee Band 3a (International Students - 2024-25)
More detail

This British Psychological Society-accredited Psychology and Psychological Practice MSci degree is specifically designed for those considering a career in psychology-informed disciplines, including clinical, forensic, or educational psychology, and special education needs (SEN) professions.

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This programme is designed for those considering careers in psychology-informed disciplines, including clinical, forensic, or educational psychology, and special education needs (SEN) professions. You will take the same modules as BSc Psychology students in the first three years, followed by an additional specialist fourth year.

During the fourth year, after completing the BSc programme, you will spend six months working for three days a week at an external work placement organised by the School, and gain hands-on experience of professions where psychological principles are fundamental to their work. Working under the supervision of a qualified professional, placement experiences typically involve a combination of direct and indirect client work, and you will be exposed to learning opportunities related to psychological assessment, formulation, intervention, evaluation, and reflective practice. You will also attend lectures and seminars on the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of applied psychology and have regular contact with a qualified applied psychologist (within the course team and/or on placement), all of which will help to develop your skills as a reflective scientist-practitioner. The MSci programme can be seen as a first-step towards a career in applied psychology (becoming a Chartered Psychologist) or related psychology-informed discipline.

If you are not admitted to this degree you will automatically be considered for admission into BSc Psychology. We plan to allow a small number of students to transfer from BSc Psychology into MSci Psychology and Psychological Practice after their third year. High academic performance in the first three years will be an important criterion for the transfer.

Please note in order to achieve the Master's qualification you will need to meet the relevant progression requirements at the end of your third year of study in addition to completing a satisfactory Health and DBS check prior to entry on to the fourth year.

Please note that you may be required to come to the School of Psychology for an interview as a part of the application process for this course.

Why study this course?

Our four-year undergraduate integrated Masters (MSci) programmes are designed to enhance career opportunities for you if you are interested in applied psychology, closely-related psychology-informed disciplines - such as special education needs (SEN) professions, or psychological research. You will study the BSc Psychology programme for the first three years, followed by a fourth year in which all modules are at Masters level.

On these programmes you will receive specialist work experience through placements and projects that will give you a head start in a career in psychology.

Our BSc and MSci programmes are all accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Society with the Graduate Basis for Registration, provided the minimum standard of second class honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. For more information please contact the British Psychological Society.

For many careers in psychology, relevant experience and a good undergraduate degree are important, even for entry-level jobs. Our MSci programmes are designed to provide relevant, specialist experience through placements and projects and, because they are Undergraduate Masters degrees, your Local Education Authority should be willing to support your study for the full four years.

Here at the University of Birmingham we were the first to offer MSci programmes dedicated to psychology. We are uniquely placed to offer these opportunities because of our experience (we are the only UK university with postgraduate courses training chartered clinical, forensic and educational psychologists) and because we offer top quality research experience.


You will take the same modules as BSc Psychology students in the first three years, followed by an additional specialist fourth year.

Year abroad option

As a current student you will have the opportunity to take a year abroad in between your second and third years, in a location such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong or Singapore. If you take this option you will receive an MSci with Year Abroad. 

Fourth year

In the fourth year, you will gain hands-on experience in psychology through work placement and regular contact with practicing clinical, forensic or educational psychologists (within the staff team and/or on placement. Note that the type of placement is subject to availability). Taught components are Masters' level modules. You will gain knowledge of theoretical and methodological underpinnings of applied psychology through advanced seminar and lecture modules.

Compulsory modules:

Module: Placement

Placements will run for 30 weeks from the start of the autumn term, up until the start of May. Students will work on placement-related tasks for an average of three days per week during that time. Students will carry out work under the supervision of a qualified prrofessional employed by the host organisation, such as:

  • Audit and service evaluation
  • Helping to run groups or therapeutic activities
  • Supervised/structured assessments
  • Project work
  • Communication, dissemination and organisational work
  • Literature reviewing

600 hours will be spent on these tasks. Students will receive regular supervision (once per week) within the host organisation. Their progress on placement will also be checked three times via assessment, and via monitoring from a University staff member. Students will also spend 300 hours on a placement related practice report. 

Module: Psychological Research in Applied Practice 

An introduction to practical, ethical and design issues in applied research. Sample topics:

  • Research in a professional context: preparing for professional working environments; the rewards and challenges of applied research
  • The status of psychological knowledge: epistemology and ontology
  • Aims and objectives: framing a research question
  • Constructing a research proposal
  • User involvement
  • Writing a literature review
  • Seeking ethical approval for applied research
  • Audit and research for service planning
  • Intervention research and randomised controlled trials, evaluating applied research

Module: Psychology in Action

This module will provide a supportive and structured learning environment for MSci Applied Psychology students during their time on external practical placements, where they will be working under supervision of in the NHS, schools, forensic settings and other services. The module also provides a breadth of knowledge by exposing students to issues in different areas of applied psychology and psychology-informed professions. 

A series of  two-hour seminar sessions will provide students with an introduction to some common topics, and a forum for discussing their learning on placement, and connecting these experiences to academic evidence. The sessions will be facilitated by a rotating group of staff and doctoral trainees from the educational, clinical and forensic psychology course-teams. Students will also have the opportunity to showcase a placement related task/activity they have been involved with
Sample topics might include:

  • Psychosis
  • Autism
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Offender treatment programs
  • Restorative justice
  • Physical health
  • Resilience and trauma
  • Attachment and loss
  • Carers and families

The facilitator will provide students with three to five key papers for their seminar topic, two weeks in advance of the seminar. For each seminar, one pair of students will work together to prepare a short presentation to start the seminar off, and a series of questions / discussion points to be covered in the seminar.

The sessions will run through the Spring term, in order to keep the students in consistent contact with the University.

Module: Fundamentals of Applied Psychology

This module will contribute to preparing students for their external research and practical placements, where they will work under supervision in the NHS, schools, forensic settings and other services.

Sessions will introduce some key concepts:

  • Contexts of delivery: e.g. professional models (scientist-practitioner/reflective practice/consultancy); working with organisations and systems
  • Core practice: e.g. communication and supervision
  • Core concepts: e.g. theoretical models
  • Understanding difficulties: e.g. assessment and formulation
  • Facilitating change: e.g. formulation and intervention


Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.



Standard Home student fees 2024-25

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Standard international student fees 2024-25

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 3a (Laboratory) £27,180

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How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:

Specified subjects excluded for entry: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma not accepted

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Please note that due to a very limited number of places on the MSci programme, we are not able to consider applications for deferred entry. If you are made an offer and subsequently wish to defer, you can retain your offer for the BSc Psychology programme.

Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

Deferred Entry:

Please note that due to a very limited number of places on the MSci programme, we are not able to consider applications for deferred entry. If you are made an offer and subsequently wish to defer, you can retain your offer for the BSc Psychology programme.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 7, 6, 6 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Our Psychology and Psychological Practice Msci degree is structured so that you follow a common programme in all of the areas that make up the core of contemporary psychology.

In addition, in the third year you are offered a scheme of options, which allows you to concentrate on the themes which interest you most.

In the fourth year of the MSci Psychology and Psychological Practice, you study a range of modules all of which are at Masters level. This includes a research placement module where you will gain hands-on experience of psychology in the real world. Work experience will consist of six months working for three days in an external organisation, organised by the School.

How you will learn

The programme is structured on a modular basis, and two modules outside of the main discipline, in a subject other than psychology, may be taken in the first year. We also offer modules in ‘Applied Psychology’.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.


  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Seminars and tutorials

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, and this course is taught through a timetable of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. This only accounts for a portion of the week so you will have the opportunity to structure your own work outside of these formal attendance requirements.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. You can find out more about the members of staff in the School of Psychology where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.

Resources and facilities

As a Psychology student at Birmingham, you will have access to purpose-built facilities specifically equipped for work in human brain sciences (including brain imaging), psychophysiology, cognition and language, visual and auditory perception, neuropsychology, attention, food and nutritional psychology, psychopharmacology, social psychology, clinical and forensic psychology and child development.

Most of our laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art computers for experimental control, data collection  and analysis. We also have large computer laboratories for statistical analysis, word processing and access to the University’s main network. Our degree programmes provide training in the use of these facilities.

We have extensive links with local hospitals and clinics, other universities, industry and local and national government departments.

These links provide opportunities for our students’ individual research projects. We are investing in new accommodation in the form of a fully refurbished, purpose-designed space with ample new areas for undergraduates to study and socialise in. Our Centre for Human Brain Health houses our new MRI and MEG facilities, and sleep laboratories.

Contact Hours

Throughout your degree you can expect an average of around 11 contact hours per week with approximately 6 in lectures and the rest in other activities such as tutorials, seminars, workshops and labs.  This varies somewhat with the modules that you choose and also across years of the programme.

Assessment Methods

Studying at degree level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of education at school or college. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

Assessment varies dependent on the modules you study but you can expect to complete essays, lab reports, abstracts, grant proposals, oral presentations, short answer questions and multiple choice examinations, in addition to your third year research project (dissertation). In the fourth year of this MSci you will be assessed similarly, with the work placement and associated written report also assessed.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done.

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. 

Through teaching and choice of placement, the course provides you with practical experience of working in organisations such as the Probation Service, educational services or the NHS. However, if you are considering a career in clinical, educational or forensic psychology, relevant postgraduate work experience and further training are needed.

It is important to note that the MSci programme does not give you direct access to postgraduate professional training in clinical, forensic, or educational psychology. Courses are highly competitive and applicants are likely to have two or more years of full-time work experience.

In the case of clinical psychology, this postgraduate work experience will often be derived from working in Assistant Psychologist posts and, as with entry to the ClinPsyD postgraduate training programme, access to Assistant Psychologist posts is also extremely competitive. The MSci programme is likely to give you an advantage if you apply for Assistant Psychologist posts or for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) training in a very competitive market, especially straight from university.

In educational and forensic psychology, the range of permissible postgraduate work experience is more varied. Assistant Psychologist posts are also available, although these are relatively few. Again, the MSci programme is likely to give you an advantage if you apply for one of these posts following graduation. Moreover, the year’s experience on the MSci will also be weighed positively when you apply for your postgraduate training. It will provide clear testimony to your knowledge and understanding of the contexts within which educational and forensic psychologists work, and of your own capacity to apply your psychologically-based knowledge and skills, with supervision, to contribute to service delivery. 

Careers Network

Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Find out more about career opportunities in Psychology

Professional Accreditation

This programme is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society, provided the minimum standard of a lower second-class Honours degree is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.