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Online study

MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Please note: The below is for 2022 entries. Click here for 2021 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 2-5 years
Entry year May or September 2022


Discipline MSc Psychology (Conversion)

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Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • Intended for graduates who have not previously taken a psychology degree to obtain a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree*
  • Gain an understanding of the core areas of psychology as required by the BPS
  • Provides the training to enable you to work as a psychologist in a variety of fields
  • Opportunities to specialise in clinical or educational psychology

Please note: Due to limited places for this programme, we recommend you apply early to avoid disappointment.

* We are currently in the process of applying to the British Psychology Society for accreditation for this programme. It is expected that accreditation will be confirmed before the start of the programme.

View 2021 Entry

Apply for May 2022 entry

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6th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Education and influencer of national education policy


Top 100 in the world for Psychology

QS World University Rankings 2021 and THE World University Rankings by Subject 2022

85% of research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent 

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* or 3*

Top 15 for Psychology

The Complete University Guide 2022

Entry requirements

We usually require a minimum 2:1 Honours degree. No specific subjects are required.

Please note, that for the optional module Special Educational Needs: Teaching and Learning and, in some circumstances, research projects as part of a dissertation, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

    Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
    Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
  • Pearson
    58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Find our more about our english language requirements.

Course content

This course is specifically designed for graduates with non-psychology degrees to obtain a British Psychological Society - accredited postgraduate degree*.

Completion of this course enables you to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS, allowing you to work as a psychologist in a variety of different fields, including education, clinical, forensic and organisational.

The course offers general training in psychology, making it of value to people with a broad range of aspirations, but also provides the option of specialising in clinical or educational psychology.

Fully online, it enables students to study in their own time, and without needing to attend campus.

*We are currently in the process of applying to the BPS for accreditation for this course. It is expected that accreditation will be confirmed before commencement.

Introduction to Statistics

This module will train you in a variety of different statistical techniques commonly used in research conducted by psychologists. As such, it provides core skills required for the research project that you will take as part of your Masters. The aim is to provide you with knowledge of commonly used tests such as analysis of variance (ANOVA) and linear regression. The module discusses conceptual issues and provides hands-on experience of using statistical software (SPSS) for carrying out such analyses in the practical classes accompanying the lectures. While basic mathematical skills are required, the module does not assume mathematics education beyond GCSE level.

Research Methods and Conceptual Issues in Psychology

This module will provide you with the basic skills necessary to understand and conduct research in psychology. You will gain an understanding of the main scientific research methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and areas of application. This will provide you with insight into how the use of psychological theory can be used to answer real-world questions. You’ll get first-hand experience of participating in psychological research, as well as acquiring skills in writing scientific reports and using library and online resources for scientific research. Finally, you will gain an understanding of the ethical issues related to conducting research in psychology.

Research Project

This module requires you to undertake an empirical piece of work in an area of psychology, (potential areas available will include clinical psychology, educational psychology, cognitive psychology and or social psychology). This will either be individually or within small groups. This module is the culmination of the research training and learning on the degree and allows you to demonstrate your competencies, incorporating many of the research skills and data analysis techniques you will have developed. You will negotiate your project topic through a structured process and be closely supervised throughout the duration of your research project by an academic member of staff whose personal research focus aligns with your topic.

Social Psychology

This module will provide you with a broad understanding in some of the key areas of social psychology. Classes will explore social psychological phenomena as they relate to individuals (e.g., the self, attitudes), group behaviour (e.g., social influence, leadership) and important social issues (e.g., prejudice, aggression). Key theories and classic and contemporary studies will be identified and discussed. Classes will give you an understanding of how social psychological thinking has developed over time.

Cognition and Developmental Psychology

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of development in infancy, childhood and adolescence. Topics covered include: social and emotional development, language and cognition, developing minds, intelligence and metacognition. It will introduce you to classical and contemporary theoretical viewpoints and will offer you an opportunity to engage with recent research in the field. You will also be encouraged to apply this knowledge and understanding to key societal issues - for example, bullying or child sexual behaviour.

Biological Psychology

In this module you are introduced to the basic concepts of the physiological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying the generation and control of behaviour. Topics covered include the structure and functions of brains, neuronal communication, and how genes, hormones and neurotransmitters in various physiological processes affect behaviour, cognition, emotions, motivation and development. Although largely focused on the human body and brain, the module also covers how research on different animal model systems has advanced the understanding of the mechanisms and functions of the human nervous system, cognition and behaviour.

Personality and Individual Differences

This module focuses on current and historical understanding of personality and individual differences. We review the main theories of personality and use contemporary empirical evidence to explore the complex relationship between personality and behaviour. In-depth examples of the complexity of individual differences will be provided, and some classes will focus on personality disorders and problems assessing and classifying such disorders.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology is a major area of Applied Psychology that makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them deal with a range of problems, from depression and anxiety, psychosis and drug problems through to managing the effects of brain injury or the risk of heart attacks. This module involves the use of psychological theories – such as Psychodynamic or Cognitive Behavioural and the collection of evidence for “what works” - to guide practice. It will include overviews of major mental health and neuro-developmental disorders, providing you with a valuable insight into how such problems arise, the treatments that may be offered and to what benefit. This module provides a key starting point for anyone considering a future in applied psychology, enabling them to understand the true nature of the role.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health

UK Department for Education data shows that 1 in 10 young people have some form of diagnosable mental health condition and that this can lead to unequal chances in life, as well as subsequent mental health issues in adulthood. This module will introduce you to the key mental health and wellbeing issues which children and young people face in contemporary society. This might include a focus on depression, anxiety and self-harm, but also childhood vulnerability, risk, self-esteem, loss and bereavement. The module will also examine the ways in which these mental health issues combine with children and young people’s developmental needs and difficulties (for example, in relation to autism). As well as examining current cutting-edge research in these areas of interest, you will be encouraged to consider the role of professionals in working to support children and young people experiencing mental health issues (particularly the role of educators and the support available to young people through schooling) and the ways in which research might be conducted with participants in these populations.

Special Educational Needs: Teaching and Learning
The principal aim of this module is to facilitate critical examination of a range of theory and practice related to teaching and learning of students with special educational needs and disabilities. You will critically examine conceptions of, and approaches to, diagnosis, assessment and intervention, and teaching approaches for a range of specific types of special educational needs/disabilities (e.g. autism, dyslexia, learning difficulties). You will develop knowledge and understanding of approaches to teaching for diversity (e.g. curriculum models; differentiation and personalisation).


Fees and funding

May or September 2022 entry:

£2500 per module (£15,000 in total for whole degree completed in 2 years)


The fee shows the total amount it will cost if you complete the degree if you take the minimum time of two years. If you take longer than two years, for example, because you take one or more breaks between modules, the total fee you pay may increase slightly due to inflation.

Pay as you study

To make it easier to budget, you don’t need to pay the total fee upfront. Instead, you can pay for each module as you are about to start studying it. You can pay for the whole year if you prefer, but the minimum payment is at least the cost of the module(s) you are taking that term. Please note that if your payment has not reached us by the end of week one of a module, you will have to wait until the next term to start.

How to pay

You can pay online using a credit or debit card. We are unable to give you access to your study materials before your payment reaches us so it’s important to have your finances in place and pay when prompted to ensure you can access your studies at the start of each term.

Other costs to consider

As well as your fees, there are some potential additional costs to be aware of to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of success. These include a suitable computer or device to study and work from, an adequate internet connection to access your learning materials and connect with others, and a comfortable place to study.

While our online programmes do not require any attendance on campus, as a student of the University of Exeter you are always welcome to visit. You may also be offered the chance to attend a graduation ceremony in person, for which travel costs and gown hire will apply.

Help with paying for your studies

If you are struggling to afford your chosen programme of study, some help may be available from either the government or the university. This includes:

  • Postgraduate student loans. If you live in the UK, you may be able to access a loan to help pay for your online degree fees and living costs while you study. To be eligible, you must not already have a Masters degree (or above). For information on how to apply and your student finance entitlement, please visit the following links depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

  • Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
    Most UK students with a physical disability or mental health difficulty, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty will be able to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance which can help towards the cost of specialist equipment, one-to-one support and other costs associated with your condition. If you feel this applies to you, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible as the whole process can take up to 12 weeks. If you complete an application and are not eligible for DSA, please make an appointment with the AccessAbility Team to discuss alternative funding and support. This step-by-step guide to applying for DSA will give you all the information you need on applying.

  • Success for All fund. Some financial support may be possible through our Success for All fund as assessed on a case-by-case basis providing eligibility criteria are met. Fully online students are not automatically eligible for an IT bursary, but exceptions may be made in some circumstances. However, please note the University would expect students to have made reasonable provision to support themselves during their studies prior to enrolling on a module.

  • Employer sponsorship. Your employer or another organisation you are associated with may be happy to pay all or part of your fee. If you are getting financial support in this way, we can invoice them directly for the value that they have agreed to support before you start your studies. You will have to pay any balance so that the module you are studying is paid in full before you start. 

  • Student discounts. Our online students are fully registered students of the university, and therefore can ask for an Exeter Unicard, which can be used to access a wide range of student discounts on everyday items including food and clothing. You can also apply for student discounts on products and services through the UniDays card.

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Teaching and learning

How will I learn?

All your learning will be accessed online in our all-encompassing Exeter Learning Environment (ELE), including:

  • Teaching materials – as written, recorded, or animated content
  • Quizzes to check your learning and understanding
  • Videos, podcasts, articles to read
  • Access to electronic books

Your learning will be divided up into a weekly schedule so you can see what work you should aim to get through on a weekly basis. We’ve built in time for preparation and submission of any assessments you have and then time for you to get feedback on those before you decide to sign up and pay for your next module.

Learning from experts

Our staff are recognised internationally for their academic excellence, high-quality research and applied output. They actively research the areas of psychology they teach, so their expertise feeds directly into our research-led programmes. Our department is in the top 100 worldwide for Psychology* and we are committed to providing an outstanding learning experience, generating high-quality academic research and advancing clinical practice.

All the modules that you take will be underpinned by research-led learning. You will learn about classic studies as well as cutting-edge research in the core areas of psychology (e.g., cognitive, biological, social, developmental psychology, personality and individual differences as well as potentially clinical and educational psychology).

Members of staff have strong research links with universities in other countries and we work in partnership with a variety of public and private-sector organisations to ensure our research is relevant to policymakers.

*QS World University Rankings 2021

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Employer-valued skills this course develops

This programme is specifically designed to enable students with a non-psychology background to pursue a career in psychology, many of which require a BPS-accredited degree for further training. This degree will help prepare graduates for a subsequent career in, for example, clinical psychology, educational psychology, organisational and occupational psychology, and forensic psychology.

Careers services

Studying with us not only offers outstanding opportunities for career development, but also the chance to tap into a worldwide peer and research network. Additionally, learning in a virtual environment both enhances and demonstrates vital skills that employers are seeking in the modern workplace, such as communication and time-management skills, the ability to self-motivate and direct, and an ease with digital technologies.