Psychology (Conversion) MSc

The MSc Psychology (Conversion) is an accredited degree primarily aimed towards people wishing to pursue a career change in any field of psychology. It is an intensive programme designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology in a contained period of time. Graduates of the MSc also obtain the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (usually in the following November), which is the basic requirement for eligibility to train as a professional psychologist.

Why Surrey?

Our degree programme lays particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, based on a combination of pure and applied research. You learn about the core areas of psychology, studying social, developmental and cognitive psychology, biological bases of psychology, and individual differences.

In addition we enable you to conduct academic research by teaching you vital statistical and research methods skills for psychological research, as preparation for your independent MSc research project on a topic of your choosing.

As well as the specific subjects that you study, students of psychology also develop key transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include critical thinking, argument synthesis, scientific methods and practice, data analysis, report writing, presentation skills and teamwork.

We provide excellent teaching, as verified by the Quality Assessment Agency, and use a variety of teaching styles and methods to promote your learning and understanding. You are taught by lecturing staff who have an international reputation in their specialist fields.

We work to provide a lively, friendly and supportive environment for our students and boast an excellent record both for graduate employment and for providing students with the basis for subsequent professional training in psychology and other areas.

Programme overview

Psychology is a rewarding and valuable degree, both for the subject areas it covers and the skills you learn while studying these subjects. For instance, advances in science, international conflicts and our enjoyment of the arts are all shaped by factors such as our biology, the capacity of human thought, patterns of communication and social interaction, and the operation of our perceptual systems. Psychology seeks to explore these factors.

Qualified psychologists have a commitment both to scientific research and to the practical application of knowledge. They work and conduct research in laboratories, schools, offices, industry, clinics, hospitals, prisons and many other settings in which people live and work.

This MSc programme is aimed primarily towards people wishing to pursue a career change in any field of psychology and has been designed to prepare you for your professional journey by helping you develop a broad knowledge base across the key areas of psychology in a contained period of time. The course is intensive and only available as a full-time study option. It is not suited to being combined with significant work commitments. Individual modules cover the core areas of psychology and introduce their related research methods in subject tutorials. Statistical and analytical techniques will be taught to prepare you to conduct your own research. The MSc research project and dissertation gives you the opportunity to extend your studies further on a topic of interest to you, supervised by a member of staff.

Our School of Psychology provides a vibrant and enthusiastic environment for teaching, learning, as well as research. It is no surprise that our graduates readily find interesting and rewarding employment in business, industry, the public sector and research when they graduate.

The skills you gain are highly valued in both academic and workplace settings. As a Psychology graduate from Surrey, you are skilled in applying your knowledge, analytic and critical thinking, and working in teams. You will be able to plan, solve problems, analyse and present your own work. All these skills are relevant for a future career in psychology, and are also transferable to other future careers or study choices.

Module overview

Compulsory modules

  • Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
  • Fundamental Concepts of Social Psychology
  • Brain and Behaviour with Research Methods
  • Social and Cognitive Development with Research Methods
  • Perception and Cognition with Research Methods
  • Personality, Intelligence, Individual Differences & Psychopathology
  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology
  • MSc Dissertation

These MSc core modules and the MSc dissertation provide the basis for accreditation of the degree by the British Psychological Society.

Teaching and assessment

A range of teaching methods is employed on our programmes as appropriate for the individual modules. These methods range from lectures and workshops, through small group tutorials, to one-to-one dissertation supervision. The lectures and tutorials are generally used to introduce you to the core areas of psychology.

In your degree, core areas in psychology are taught in lectures and subject-related group tutorials. Teaching is delivered by staff, who are experts in their particular field of psychology and takes place in a friendly and professional environment. Teaching, laboratory and IT facilities are up to date, well maintained and have wireless high-speed internet access.

The module “Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology” and the subject-related group tutorials give you the opportunity to experience the main research methods and techniques within psychology, often in a practical way, and to train your critical thinking skills. You learn many skills including literature search, data analysis, scientific laboratory report writing, and essay writing, and you develop the research ideas for your dissertation, by conducting a literature review in the area of your interest and designing a study. The statistics lectures and workshops provide you with statistical key methods for analysing research data.

Methods of assessment include coursework and exams. You are required to pass all of the eight taught compulsory modules (120 credits). In addition, students complete a research dissertation worth 60 credits to be eligible for the postgraduate MSc degree.

Facilities, equipment and academic support

The School of Psychology provides its students with their own computing laboratories with a large number of Windows-based workstations and PCs. In addition, students have 24-hour access to the University’s computing facilities. All learning material, including lecture notes and reading lists, will be available on SurreyLearn.

The School also has a range of dedicated laboratories for conducting a wide variety of psychological research, including infant observation facilities, laboratories for perception and psychophysiological research in adults and infants, a driving simulator, a suite of small project rooms, an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests, and the use of an MRI brain scanner.

Career prospects

The MSc in Psychology (Conversion) degree provides you with the basic requirement for eligibility for admission to psychology postgraduate training courses in specialist areas of the discipline, including the six BPS professional pathways of clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health and occupational.

Some graduates continue their interest in psychology by registering for a research degree (PhD, MPhil) in a specialist area of interest, leading to a career as an academic research psychologist.

Organisations employ psychology graduates for their specific psychological training and skills in areas such as personnel, research and development, survey and market research, and career guidance. Many employers are also keen to recruit psychology graduates because the broad curriculum produces a well-rounded individual who communicates well and has analytical skills.

Psychology at Surrey

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey is one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the country. We specialise in applied and policy-oriented teaching and research within a strong theoretical context. The international, interdisciplinary, policy and applied strengths of the School mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline.

We are one of the highest ranked Schools in the country for graduates entering employment and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as ESF, Defra, the MoD, the Home Office, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, Surrey County Council and the EU.

If you choose to study psychology at the University of Surrey, you will be provided with a combination of opportunities that would be hard to match elsewhere. We offer you a degree that provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology. Our programmes lay particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also consider issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist.

The basis of good postgraduate courses is the research activity of staff, the incorporation of current research programmes in teaching material and a reciprocal relationship between theory development and applied research in everyday contemporary issues. We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects. As a student of the School of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Students graduating from this MSc programme will be eligible for Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership – the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Students graduating from other degree programmes which are not accredited by the BPS are required to undertake further courses before being eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. Individuals seeking a career as a professional psychologist are therefore advised to take an accredited programme.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Professional development

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Cecile Muller

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

Applicants are considered for the MSc in Psychology (Conversion), if they have a UK first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant field including social sciences, human sciences or natural sciences, medicine, nursing, teaching, social work, management, marketing, research, human resources, psychotherapy, or counselling. In addition to holding an honours degree, all applicants need to have a GCSE grade B in Mathematics and English Language or Literature (or equivalent). Previous work experience is also essential, although this does not have to be in a related field. Applicants with considerable work experience who do not necessarily meet the qualification requirements (although you must have a previous degree) will be considered on an individual basis.

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English language requirements

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £7,000 £18,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

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Postgraduate Study Advice

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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