The MSc in Psychology is a conversion route for students who hold an undergraduate Honours degree in a subject other than psychology. The programme provides detailed knowledge of the core areas of psychology and principal theoretical and methodological issues in the field.
The MSc in Psychology (Conversion) is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience.
- The course equips students with the necessary skills to pursue a research degree at MPhil or PhD level in the area of psychology or to go on to a clinical training programme.
- Students have access to laboratories in neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, psychophysics, animal learning and cognition, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology.
- The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and therefore fulfils the requirements for entry to most UK PhD programmes in psychology.
Over two semesters, students will take nine compulsory modules. The modules are taught through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Assessment comprises entirely of coursework; there are no exams. Class sizes range up to 135 students for lectures, which for modules focusing in core psychological knowledge are shared with undergraduates in our Honours programme, and up to 20 students for seminars, workshops, and tutorials.
The final three months of your course will be dedicated to a 15,000-word research project dissertation.
In addition to the support provided by the research project supervisor and module coordinators, there is a dedicated team of staff offering support for students.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
- Conceptual Issues and Theoretical Perspectives: addresses the historical and philosophical background to current debates in psychology.
- Assessment in Clinical Psychology: presents psychopathological conditions and provides a basic understanding of the underlying neuronal and cognitive-behavioural mechanisms.
- Developmental Psychology: offers a broad perspective spanning infancy to childhood, and a range of key topics in cognitive and social development.
- Social Psychology: explores in depth key topics across the breadth of social psychological enquiry.
- Perception (develops an understanding of visual perception and its functions) or Cognition (develops an understanding of human memory and attention).
- Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience (provides an understanding of psychological knowledge in several inter-related domains concerned with the biological bases of behaviour) or Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology (provides an understanding of major evolutionary forces and how they have shaped animal and human behavioural capacities).
- Quantitative Research in Social Science: provides a user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
- Methods of Data Analysis in Psychology: advanced training in research design, statistics, qualitative methods and modelling.
- Review: compares and contrasts different theoretical and methodological approaches to a particular topic in the study of the mind.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Most of our students intend to pursue a career in research or clinical psychology. Thus, many of our graduates go on to research assistantships or PhD places. Others have obtained positions in government, healthcare, or business.
Please note that the MSc focuses on psychology as a science rather than as a clinical service, but many of our graduates pursue careers by obtaining research assistantships at teaching hospitals or other mental health centres.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject other than psychology. If you already possess an undergraduate degree in Psychology, the School offers a range of other postgraduate programmes.
- Some knowledge of very basic mathematics is required for understanding the statistical techniques introduced in the programme. In most cases secondary school algebra is sufficient.
- If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date,
- personal statement (500 words),
- a sample of academic written work (2,000 words),
- two original signed academic references,
- academic transcripts and degree certificates,
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
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