UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


MSc Psychological Sciences (Conversion)

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), the MSc Psychological Sciences programme is ideally suited to anyone who is looking to take the next steps and pursue a career in psychology.

Our MSc Psychological Sciences 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 psycholgy and the links between them. The programme also has core module in Statistics, Computer Programming, Empirical Projects and Qualitative Data Analysis.

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Key Information

Information for applicants

This programme has recently been renamed and was previously titled "Research Methods in Psychology MSc".
Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Tuition Fees (2019/20)
£10,440 (FT) £4,930 (PT)
£25,150 (FT) £12,510 (PT)
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 14th June 2019

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.


The Psychological Sciences MSc is designed to confer Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). GBC is the form of professional accreditation that is required for many careers that you may pursue with a psychology degree, as well as for advanced professional training in psychology. This is a conversion course.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university of an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page


Students acquire a wide range of practical research skills. They gain knowledge of the nature and limitations of the scientific method and the main alternatives. In addition, they develop knowledge of a range of general historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of psychology, including the philosophy of science.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of 7 core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

Introduction to Statistics in Psychology

This course provides a thorough introduction to the General Linear Model, which incorporates analyses such as multiple regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, repeated measures ANOVA. We will also cover extensions to linear mixed-effects models and logistic regression. All techniques will be discussed within a general framework of building and comparing statistical models. Practical experience in applying the methods will be developed through exercises with the statistics package SPSS.

Assessment is by three online Moodle exams in Term 1.

Group Projects

The ability to conduct empirical research is an essential part of being a psychologist. This module focusses on the knowledge and skills needed to plan and execute an empirical research project, focussing on experimental designs in particular. The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and structured group work. Students will gain practical experience taking part in two projects, each of which will be written up as a lab report. Over the first two terms, students design, execute, analyse, and report two group projects, working in small groups of three-five students. These are supported by tutorials in which students present their hypotheses and designs for critical group discussion prior to carrying out the studies.  The first group project is a course requirement but doesn't contribute marks. Each group collectively analyses the data and writes up the report. The report is then peer-reviewed and, if necessary, revised in the light of that review. The second group project is individually analysed and written up.  The report is then marked in the usual way to give the final mark for the module. Over the rest of the year, students conduct their main research project.  The main Project can be carried out at institutions outside the department by arrangement and under departmental academic supervision.


Understanding Individuals and Groups

This module reviews the current state of knowledge regarding themes and core processes involved in the construction of social reality. It examines how individuals make sense of self, others, and groups. Core processes include attention, encoding, memory organisation and retrieval of social information; social categorization; activation and application of social knowledge; hypothesis testing; automatic and controlled processes in social cognition. These basic processes will be discussed in the context of central themes in social cognition, such as person identification, mind perception, trait inferences, expression recognition, stereotyping, and prejudice. Current controversies and debates on the social thinker will be discussed. 

Social Psychology

The module addresses contemporary theorising and research in social psychology with an emphasis on social cognition and self-regulation. Domains that will be addressed include automatic and controlled processes in social cognition; stereotype activation and inhibition; mood and subjective experiences; socially situated cognition; asymmetric social relations of status and power; imitation and behaviour complementarity; self-control and goal pursuit. 

The module focuses on current conceptual debate and methods in social psychology. It deals with the understanding of how the social environment affects cognitive processes, judgment and behaviour. The course considers various levels of analysis, such as the self, interpersonal processes, and intergroup processes

Brain and Mind

Brain and Mind introduces students to concepts in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and biological psychology, including topics in clinical psychology. The module provides content on historical concepts, ethics and teaching transferable skills, such as website development. At the end of the module, students should be able to understand fundamental issues faced by researchers in psychology and know how these might be addressed in practice.

Computer Programming

This is an introductory computing course which assumes no prior computing experience and is intended to provide students with programming skills using Matlab. The objective is for students to acquire the formal structure of a high-level programming language, and the emphasis is placed on the manipulation of data in the context of psychological experimentation. The course is assessed by the production of a computer programme.

Generic Research Skills (Qualitative Analysis)

This course introduces the main data sources and analysis methods used in qualitative research. In addition to covering the key conceptual issues, a computer package for qualitative analysis is taught, as are further methods for data analysis. Students emerge with the skill of using a textual data analysis package. The strengths and limitations of various techniques are evaluated, with an eye to issues such as reliability and validity. The specific criteria used for evaluation of qualitative work are examined, as is its scientific status. The course combines lectures and practical work and is assessed by a qualitative analysis.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words. 

The main project represents one-third of the total marks for the MSc. The report (dissertation) will be around 10000 - 12000 words. Usually, it will include more a wide-ranging literature review and discussion than would be found in a typical paper, but this is not the only possibility (eg a project generating a lot of results might need to focus more narrowly on the study itself.)

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars and small-group lectures and practicals. Assessment is through reports of empirical projects carried out individually and in groups, essays, examination, computing project, literature review and PowerPoint presentation. The maingroup project is assessed through a 10,000-12,000 word report.

Full-time students attend university for around three days per week in the first and second term. Part-time students, completing the programme over two years attend university for two days per week in the first and second term of each year.  No formal teaching is scheduled in the third term, as this is intended for project work.


Programme Director: Dr John Cape

Teaching staff (NB: staff may occasionally be absent for a term or more on research or other leave

Dr Laura Gibbon
Prof Helene Joffe

Dr Anne Schlottmann

Dr Maarten Speekenbrink

Dr Christos Bechlivanidis

In addition, we can call on the support of visiting lecturers, Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.

Application and Entry

Students are advised that we will not be making any decisions on applications until late March/early April 2019. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.


The programme is suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds who wish to gain the skills necessary for a research or applied career in psychology.

All applicants
14 June 2019

Once all places have been filled we will stop accepting new applications.  It is very likely that all places will be filled much earlier than the general UCL deadline.  Therefore, it is recommended that you submit an application form as soon as possible.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now




For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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By the end of this training, students will have acquired a wide range of practical research skills and knowledge of a range of general historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of psychology.



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