Psychology and Psychological Practice MSci (Hons)

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
C801
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees
£9,250 (Home/EU - 2020-21)
£22,260 Fee Band 3a (International Students - 2020-21)
More detail

This British Psychological Society-accredited Psychology and Psychological Practice MSci degree is specifically designed for those considering a career in clinical, forensic, educational psychology, and related fields.

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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, 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 clinical, forensic or educational psychology in the real world. You will also attend lectures and seminars on the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of applied psychology.

Throughout the course you can look forward to being taught by world-leading experts in the field, in one of the UK's top Schools of Psychology.

Psychologists work in basic and applied research in fields that include education and child development, clinical work, the courtroom (acting as expert witnesses), industry (helping to design efficient machines or optimising business organisations), and in universities researching every branch of human behaviour from visual perception to sexuality.

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. Combining students directly entering the course via UCAS and those who transfer from BSc, we expect a cohort of up to 15 students in MSci Psychology and Psychological Practice in the fourth year. 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?

Situated at the heart of the Edgbaston campus, we have over 120 research and teaching staff and around 800 undergraduates. We are a broad school with expertise in clinical, forensic, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and behavioural and social neuroscience. We have recently opened a new £2 million brain imaging centre. 

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.

Modules

First and second years

In your first two years you will study the core theories and methods of psychology, covering child development, learning, abnormal behaviour, cognitive psychology, perception, personality, social psychology, and brain and behaviour. You will also learn how to design experiments and collect and analyse data.

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. 

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

Third year

Year 3 is designed to allow you to develop your individual interests and abilities. You will choose four modules from a wide range of subjects. The modules on offer may vary from year to year, but examples include: Understanding Emotions, Visual Cognitive Neuroscience and Art, Why we eat what we eat, and Clinical Psychology of Severe Intellectual Disability. Class sizes in the third year encourage discussion and places are subject to availability. For each chosen module, there is usually a weekly two-hour lecture plus workshops and/or seminars.

In Year 3 you will also complete an independent Research Project. Under the guidance of a supervisor, you will design a study in your chosen research area, collect and analyse the data, and interpret the data for an oral presentation and written report. This is a substantial piece of independent work that accounts for one-third of the year’s grade, and allows you to develop in-depth knowledge of a specific sub-field of psychology.

Year 3

Compulsory module:

Option modules - Example option modules may include:

Fourth year

In the fourth year, you will gain hands-on experience in applied psychology through work placement with practising clinical, forensic or educational psychologists (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.

Year 4

You will gain hands-on experience in applied psychology through a work placement with practising clinical, forensic or educational psychologists (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:

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 2020. 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.

 

Fees

Standard Home/EU student fees 2020-21

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2020, 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 2020-21

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 3a (Laboratory) £22,260

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

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How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com 
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
A*AA

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.

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’.

Your personal tutor

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. We also have dedicated academic tutors 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.

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.

96.8% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating - 2016/17 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

 

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 mentoringglobal 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.