Psychology (Conversion) MSc

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Why Surrey?

Our intensive MSc Psychology (Conversion) programme is designed to provide students with a grounding in the theories and research practice of contemporary psychology.

It is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and places particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, based on a combination of pure and applied research.

Programme overview

This competitive programme is aimed primarily towards people wishing to pursue a career in any field of psychology. It prepares students for their professional journey by helping them develop a broad knowledge base across the key areas of psychology in a contained period of time.

As a student, you will learn about the core areas of psychology, such as social, developmental and cognitive psychology, biological bases of psychology, and individual differences.

In addition, you will acquire statistical and research methods skills needed to conduct, under expert supervision, your independent research project on a topic of your choosing.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Altogether, the MSc is worth 180 credits:

  • 15 credits for each of the four modules in semester one and two
  • 60 credits for the MSc Dissertation

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. All modules are core, there are no elective modules, and modules may be subject to change.

Educational aims of the programme

  • Fundamental scientific understanding of the mind, behaviour and experiences and the complex interactions between these
  • Ability to present multiple perspectives is a way to foster critical thinking and evaluation of research
  • Provide an understanding for real life applications of theory to the full range of experience and behaviour
  • Ability to show deepened understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the creation and constraint of theory, and also in how theory guides the collection, analysis and interpretation of empirical data
  • Acquisition and knowledge of a range of research skills and methods for investigating experience and behaviour, culminating in an ability to conduct research independently
  • Develop scientific psychological knowledge, leading to an ability to appreciate and critically evaluate theory, research findings, and application

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • A critical understanding of all elements of psychology and the ability to assess their relevance in the understanding of the contemporary world
  • A reflective understanding of the main theoretical perspectives and debates of psychology and their relevance to a range of areas
  • An ability to identify, summarise and apply key concepts in psychology to a range of psychology areas
  • An ability to distinguish between and evaluate different methodological approaches to the study of mind, behaviour and experiences
  • An ability to conduct a research project on the post graduate level.

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Summarise and apply key concepts in psychology to a range of research areas
  • Read psychology research, critically evaluate it and identify the key points
  • Distinguish between and evaluate different methodological approaches to study psychology
  • Assemble data from a variety of sources, discern and establish connections, and draw well-grounded conclusions
  • Evaluate the integrity of evidence and of ‘data’ and to discern the difference between opinion an evidence
  • Design and execute psychological research studies, and be competent in the collection, management and analysis of research data and derivation of conclusions
  • Form grounded defensible theories, reasoned arguments in relation to evidence, and interpretations of findings. In addition students should be able to compare and contrast different theoretical approaches within the discipline
  • Ask questions from a range of different angles and to challenge given views drawing on theory, evidence, and critical insight
  • Plan, conduct, analyse and report an individual study to test formulated hypotheses for the dissertation

Professional practical skills

  • Demonstrate competence in commonly used psychology research methodology
  • Design and carry out psychological research using a variant of psychological research methods
  • Gather, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • Use information and computer technology to collect, analyse, and report on psychological research
  • Collect, evaluate, and utilise information from primary and secondary sources in order to inform psychological questions
  • Produce and present a poster
  • Write a scientific research proposal and research reports in accordance with guidelines
  • Write essays in accordance with guidelines
  • Effectively communicate both orally and in writing
  • Learn and think independently, as well as part of a group
  • Demonstrate good time management and personal organisation
  • Plan and execute an investigation/experiment, act autonomously and demonstrate originality

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and visual means
  • Formulate and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team
  • Apply statistical and numerical skills to psychological data
  • Execute research skills through the formulation of questions / hypotheses, designing studies that address these questions / hypotheses, collecting and managing ‘evidence’ through various data management techniques, making sense, and disseminating findings
  • Acquire and demonstrate a research-based orientation to real world and scientific problems
  • Use Information and communication technology e.g. WWW, databases, statistical software, Microsoft Office, and literature search tools, for a variety of generic and subject-specific purposes
  • Work effectively and independently on a given project or task
  • Work effectively in small groups and teams towards a common goal/outcome
  • Work towards targets and deadlines under pressure through discipline and careful organisation
  • Demonstrate personal organisation and time management skills through meeting multiple deadlines


How intensive is the course?

The course is intensive, which is the reason why we require candidates to be able to demonstrate their resilience, maturity and abilities to cope with a challenging programme.  Students are expected to study approximately 40 hours a week on their coursework, independent learning and research-related activities.

What does teaching consist of?

Students are expected to actively engage in a series of large-group lectures, seminars, workshops as well as smaller-sized tutorials.  Wherever possible, teaching will be supported by the use technology.

What does assessment consist of?

Students’ academic skills and performances are assessed using a combination of written/verbal coursework, end-of-semester exams, in addition to the MSc dissertation. 

Students must achieve 50% or higher in every piece of assessment to be awarded the MSc and to be eligible to apply for GBC with the BPS.

What is a MSc dissertation?

The MSc dissertation is a research project conducted under minimal but expert supervision in a variety of fields related to psychology.  Students can propose their own research ideas and/or join existing projects.  Dissertation supervisors are allocated at the start of semester one, and where possible, research interests are matched.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Oct 2017 £9,500 £19,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 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

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Cecile Muller

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General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

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Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
MSc Full-time 12 months Oct 2017

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.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, 6.5 in each component (or equivalent)

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.


Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans. Learn more.


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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.

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Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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