Psychological Sciences MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This is a conversion programme designed for students who have not previously taken a psychology degree or only psychology as a joint degree with other subjects. This conversion course has been tailored to provide you with a firm foundation in the core areas of psychology as defined by the British Psychological Society (BPS). These include biological, cognitive, social, developmental, social psychology, individual differences and statistics and research methods.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the core areas of psychology including biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences and social psychology and the links between them. You will also study quantitative and qualitative research methods and statistics and undertake your own research project under supervision of one of the wide range of psychology department staff.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds who wish to gain the core knowledge and skills in psychology relevant to progressing to a research or applied career in psychology or to applying psychological knowledge and skills in another career or field.

What this course will give you

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. UCL is the top-ranked university in Europe and second in the world for psychology (Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022). We are ranked first for research power in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience by the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), with more than two thirds of our research in these areas rated as world-leading (4*).

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

The foundation of your career

Your knowledge of all areas of the subject makes you eligible for entry into any field normally open to psychology graduates, or for further graduate training (which is required for graduates wishing to work as a chartered professional psychologist in the areas of health, forensic, clinical, educational and occupational psychology).

While many UCL psychology graduates have gone on to become professional psychologists in the National Health Service, in education, the civil service and industry, it is important to bear in mind that psychology provides a very useful basis for a wide range of other careers. For further information on careers, please visit the website of the British Psychological Society.


By the end of the programme, you will have acquired practical research skills and knowledge of the core areas of discipline of psychology, allowing you to progress to research in psychology or the study of applied areas of psychology.

Graduation from the Psychological Sciences MSc provides you with the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) which is required in the UK for many careers that you may pursue with a psychology degree, as well as for advanced professional training in psychology.

In addition to subject-based skills and knowledge, psychology graduates also acquire a number of transferable skills e.g. numeracy, IT literacy, data-management, time-management, independent research, team working, report writing, presentation skills, communication and literacy skills, and the ability to work ethically and professionally with people. These abilities are all highly valued in a range of employment fields.


There will be opportunities to network within the dedicated programme seminars, extracurricular talks such as the Experimental Psychology Seminars, CEHP seminars, and in many of the interdepartmental seminars that are arranged throughout the year.


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.

Teaching and learning

Subject-specific Knowledge:


Our strategy is to ensure in-depth coverage of the key areas of psychological science and research methods.

We use a wide range of delivery methods:

  • Statistics, qualitative data analysis and experimental methods are taught in practical classes.
  • The core areas of psychology – biological, cognitive, developmental, social and individual differences - are taught in lectures and seminars.
  • The above are also supported where appropriate by on-line learning.


  • Students take responsibility for their own learning from the start and to collaborate with others.
  • Students work in small groups to devise and run empirical projects.
  • Seminars provide an opportunity to explore and to integrate ideas. We propose to explore ways to support and encourage this activity.
  • A major goal of our programme is to develop our student’s capacity to carry out a fully-fledged research project from initial research and planning to execution and report.

Intellectual, Academic and Research Skills

  • Seminars model relevant skills in presenting ideas, and provide an opportunity for students to present and discuss ideas with feedback from experienced staff and peers.
  • Students write essays on psychological theories and research in the core areas of psychology, which are commented on by the member staff in terms of the quality of the argumentation. The dissertation includes an in-depth literature review.
  • The empirical projects classes, together with the project, provide an opportunity to generate and test hypotheses and to integrate findings with the existing literature.

Practical and Transferrable Skills

  • Skills in critically appraising literature and ideas are taught through lectures, seminars and practice in writing essays with feedback.
  • Skills in planning, conduct, and analysis of experiments are taught via laboratory classes.
  • Students initially work in small groups to design their own experiments under guidance. Later, they work with a single supervisor in an apprenticeship relation.
  • Statistical skills are taught in weekly practical classes using relevant psychological problems that students are required to solve.
  • Qualitative and computational skills are taught via seminars and practised through projects.
  • Empirical projects are taught in weekly seminars, and are practised under staff guidance throughout the year.
  • Library and IT resources are available to facilitate independent study.
  • The student handbook and seminar leaders act as sources of guidance for effective study.
  • Psychological argumentation and scientific thinking are modelled and taught throughout the programme.
  • Weekly seminars facilitate the acquisition of interpersonal skills. In laboratory classes, students are required to work in small groups in order to achieve their experimental goals. Seminars also facilitate the development of effective verbal communication skills.
  • Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning via the seminar and their personal tutorials and are required to learn to manage their time effectively by numerous deadlines for different kinds of work (e.g., essays, laboratory reports, seminar presentations, project proposals and reports, unseen examinations.

On this programme you will undertake a wide variety of formative and summative assessments.

Formative assessment:

  • Self-assessments form part of our statistics teaching.
  • Students write essays as part of their programme, and are provided with structured feedback on these. Their marks reflect the explicit criteria for each grade.
  • Students also appraise their own reports and those of their peers.

Summative assessment:

  • Knowledge and understanding of key topics in the core areas of psychology – biological, cognitive, developmental, social and individual differences – are assessed by essay
  • Empirical work is assessed on a continuous basis by production of laboratory reports.
  • Qualitative analysis is  assessed by a project.
  • Statistical methods are assessed by examination.

Additionally, assessments will cover:

Intellectual, Academic and Research Skills

  • Formative assessment is provided via grades on essays and projects.
  • Empirical reports are commented on and assessed on a continuous basis.
  • Outline formative feedback is also provided on first drafts on the final project.
  • Summative assessment is provided by written reports, essays, and unseen examinations.

Practical and Transferrable Skills

  • Students submit 2 laboratory reports. These are graded and commented upon so that students can learn continuously.
  • The dissertation receives feedback on at least one draft.
  • An open-book statistics examination.
  • Qualitative skills are assessed by submission of a project.
  • Essays are graded according to a comprehensive marking scheme and returned promptly to students.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and practical classes. Assessment is through unseen exams, essays and empirical projects.

Each taught module is worth 15 credits (150 learning hours inclusive of lectures, assessments and independent learning), with the dissertation worth 60 credits (600 learning hours).


You will undertake eight compulsory taught modules covering topics such as empirical projects, developmental psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, individual differences, statistics, qualitative data analysis and social psychology In addition to these modules, you will also undertake a dissertation.

Part-time students take the programme over two years and the structure of each year is below. There is some flexibility with how many days per week you attend, but this must be discussed with the Programme Director.

Each taught module is worth 15 credits (150 learning hours inclusive of lectures, assessments and independent learning), with the dissertation worth 60 credits (600 learning hours).

Year 1

PSYC0223: Introduction to Statistics in Psychology

PSYC0155: Empirical Projects

PSYC0241: Overview of Developmental Psychology

PSYC0243: Cognitive Psychology

PSYC0010: Social Psychology

Year 2

PSYC0242: Biological Psychology

PSYC0244: Individual Differences

PSYC0158: Generic Research Skills (Qualitative Analysis)

PSYC0159: Main Project

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Psychological Sciences.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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

Next steps

Students are advised that we will not be making any decisions on applications until April 2023. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines. It is very likely that all places will be filled much earlier than the general UCL deadline.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Psychological Sciences at graduate level
  • Why you want to study Psychological Sciences at UCL
  • What particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • Where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.