This British Psychological Society-accredited Psychology and Psychological Research MSci programme is designed for those considering a career in research (eg, working for universities, think tanks and consulting).
Students will take the same modules as in BSc Psychology in the first three years, followed by an additional specialist fourth year.
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
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MSci Psychology and Psychological Research
“The Psychology department is first and foremost interested in research-led teaching, and the prospect of carrying out my own research in the third year was really exciting. Psychology is a big subject, so being able to learn from people who are experts in their field, no matter what that field is, really stood out to me as an excellent opportunity.”
This BPS-accredited Psychology and Psychological Research MSci covers all aspects 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 apply for this degree and are not admitted you will automatically be considered for admission into BSc Psychology. We allow up to five students to transfer from BSc Psychology into MSci Psychology and Psychological Research after their second year. High academic performance in the first two years will be an important criterion for the transfer. Combining students directly entering the course via UCAS and those who transfer from BSci, we expect a cohort of ten students in MSci Psychology and Psychological Research in the third and fourth years. 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.
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 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.
In the fourth year of the MSci Psychology and Psychological Research, you study a range of modules all of which are at Masters level. You will carry out a three-month research placement and a six-month research project within the School, as well as receiving training in transferable skills and advanced scientific methods.
See Psychology and Psychological Research MSci frequently asked questions (PDF 104KB)
Situated at the heart of the Edgbaston campus, we are one of the strongest Psychology departments in the country, with 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. We are ranked among the top three Psychology departments in the country for research and have been rated as ‘excellent’ in government reviews of our teaching.
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.
Option modules - Example option modules may include:
You will gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge research at an internationally competitive level through a research placement and an independent research project that are supervised by our academic and research staff.
Taught components are Masters-level modules. You will take taught modules on transferable skills (eg. presentation skills) and choose options from a list of modules that include advanced research seminars and training in advanced scientific methods (eg. functional brain imaging, computational modelling of behaviours).
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 2019. 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/EU student fees 2019-20
For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, 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 2019-20
Fee Band (Undergraduate)
Band 3a (Laboratory)
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- Number of A levels required:
- Typical offer:
Specified subjects excluded for entry: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, 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.
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 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.
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. Our Centre for Human Brain Health houses our new MRI and MEG facilities, sleep laboratory, as well as ample new space for undergraduates to study and socialise.
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 you will be assessed similarly, with the placement and research project 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.
This MSci programme focuses on developing research skills of students. Research skills are versatile and transferable, and so they are useful in a variety of workplaces. Lecturing, consulting and thinktanks are just a few of the possible career paths. Research assistantships in psychological laboratories may be one of the entry-level jobs that you may find attractive upon graduation.
For lectureships in universities and other specialised research posts, a doctorate degree (PhD) is usually necessary. PhD programmes typically take three to four years, in which you may receive financial support for tuition and/or living expenses in the form of studentships. MSci students with excellent academic records may be able to enter a PhD programme with a studentship immediately after MSci; however, PhD studentships are highly competitive and further research experiences beyond MSci may also be necessary. Nevertheless, an MSci should give you an edge over BSc students in the competition for entry into PhD programmes and PhD studentships.
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, 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.
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.