Psychology (GDip)

This course is designed to further the education of graduates who did not obtain a first degree in psychology and wish to obtain a qualification accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Applicants must have a minimum of a 2.1 and 60 credits in psychology core areas.

This is a nine-month full-time course, designed to bring graduates with some training in psychology to the level required to meet the Graduate Basis for registration with the British Psychological Society.

Students who successfully complete the course achieve a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and should then have the knowledge and expertise to progress to MSc or doctorate courses in Psychology.

You will study a total of 130 credits, selected from the topics offered by the School, which currently include the following areas: Research Dissertation, Psychological Research skills, Social Psychology, Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Developmental Psychology and Perception.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • the opportunity to learn in a School which was graded ‘Excellent’ in the last Teaching Quality Assessment and 2nd in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014);
  • the involvement of research-active staff in course design and delivery;
  • the variety of modules on offer;
  • the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment;
  • the emphasis on acquisition of high quality practical skills and the development of innovative ideas;
  • the emphasis on safety and ethical issues;
  • membership of British Psychological Society and an awareness of professional standards and progression;
  • flexibility, permitting graduates to pursue professional careers as psychologists, as well as a wide range of other careers, including postgraduate research.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration9 months
QualificationGDip
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

The course is suitable for graduates with a UK Honours degree (minimum of a 2.1) or equivalent in which Psychology has been taken as a main subject. The previously studied psychology modules must represent at least 60 credits, or 25%, of the candidate's first degree.

Individuals who do not meet the entry requirements will have the opportunity to take additional modules in psychology (60 credits) at Cardiff University. Progress onto the diploma course will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of these modules (students must obtain a minimum overall average pass mark of 60%). You must obtain a minimum overall average pass mark of 60%. Further information, as and when available, will be posted on the Cardiff School of Psychology website.

English Language Requirements: All applicants must obtain a minimum of 7.0 in each component of IELTS. Full details of English language requirements can be found here.

Next intake: September each year

The course is offered in full-time mode over nine months and is modularised.

Students take examinable modules selected from the second and third years of the School’s undergraduate single honours degree course. Five modules are taken from the Level 5 and one or two from the final year. In addition, each student is required to take the Level 5 Research Design, Statistics and Computing module and the Level 6 Research Dissertation. The diet of modules is selected in consultation with the course organizer. This ensures that the candidate’s previous qualifications in psychology are taken into account and that the British Psychological Society (BPS) core areas are covered.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Knowledge and understanding

Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, tutorials, seminars and guided study.

All students are required to undertake independent research for the preparation of formative and summative coursework.  All Level 5 modules require at least one summative assessment and a research practical report, on which written feedback is given.

Intellectual Skills

Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, tutorials, seminars and guided study.  All students are required to undertake independent research for the preparation of coursework essays and practical reports.  All modules taken from the second year undergraduate course require at least one essay and one practical report on which written feedback is given.

Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills

Writing for different psychology audiences is achieved via preparation of essays and practical reports.  Practical Skills are promoted via experimental work including group/tutorial and practical work.

Transferable Skills

The communication of ideas and team work are an integral part of all Level 5 modules via tutorials and practicals.  Promotion of IT skills is via programme–wide compulsory modules at Level 5.  The Level 5 and 6 modules studied are designed to develop these IT and statistical analysis skills through independent research and practical writing.

How will I be supported?

You will obtain support materials either via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment) or from study packs specially developed for selected modules. All students are allocated a personal tutor and an academic tutor.

How will I be assessed?

University examinations are held at the end of each semester; there is a one, two or three-hour written paper in each of the chosen subjects. In addition, students must complete a research dissertation. Practical work and essays must also be completed satisfactorily. A candidate who successfully completes the examinations and coursework is awarded the Cardiff University Graduate Diploma in Psychology.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 By fully engaging with the course, you should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe the scientific principles underpinning psychology.
  • Outline the range of influences on psychological functioning and how they are conceptualized across the main core areas.
  • Describe the basic statistical and research methodology in psychology.
  • Explain and evaluate theories associated with the six core areas identified by the BPS
  • Discuss the basic scientific and statistical principles concerned with evaluating psychological research.

Intellectual Skills

  • Discuss intelligently the major theories and principles in the six core areas of psychology identified by the BPS.
  • Conduct autonomous research in areas of psychology, bringing a high degree of rigour to the formulation, evaluation and application of the propositions derived from that research.

Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills

  • Conduct safely, ethically and competently psychological research studies involving human and non-human animals.
  • Record, analyse statistically, present (written and orally) and interpret data from psychological experiments.
  • Outline the main theories of psychological functioning in the main core areas identified by the BPS.

Transferable Skills

Upon completion of the course, when presented with a question or statement raising issues concerning some aspect of psychology under review, you should be able to:

  • identify the nature and scope of the psychological issues raised in the core areas, paying attention, where appropriate, to their wider  rank those issues in importance and according to a coherent and appropriate structure;
  • identify the sources relevant to their informed consideration;
  • based on those sources, formulate a coherent set of propositions and evaluate their relevance to the issues raised;
  • reason scientifically and critically evaluate theory and evidence;
  • communicate ideas and research findings effectively by written and oral means;
  • demonstrate computer literacy in using effectively word processing, database and statistical and web packages;
  • undertake self-directed study and project management to meet desired objects.

This course is designed to bring graduates with some training in psychology to the level required to meet the Graduate Basis for registration with the British Psychological Society.

Students who successfully complete the course achieve a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and should then have the knowledge and expertise to progress to MSc or doctorate courses in Psychology.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

 No specific equipment required.