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Psychology (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Conversion course

This is a conversion course. No prior knowledge or specific degree is required but you need to demonstrate interest and understanding of the subject.


Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

This BPS accredited conversion programme will provide you with the necessary skills to begin a career in psychology after completing an unrelated undergraduate degree or career path.


Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

This accreditation demonstrates that this programme meets the high-quality standards in education set by the BPS.


Professional psychology placement

This programme features a 12-week placement enabling you to work with professional psychologists in a clinic, research lab or organisation.


Potential to fast track a career in psychology after completing an unrelated degree

This programme enables you to study an MSc in Psychology after completing an unrelated undergraduate degree.

Psychology is the systematic and scientific study of the most complex and fascinating of nature’s creations – the human mind. It explores some of humanity’s biggest questions and strives to understand behaviour and how the mind works.

On this one-year programme, you will be provided with all the necessary skills to begin a career in psychology. You will study psychology from a scientific standpoint, with an emphasis on its social, cognitive and biological aspects, whilst developing your quantitative and qualitative research skills. The programme is a conversion course so you will not need any prior knowledge of psychology to apply.

Teaching is research led, which means you will be taught by psychologists who have delivered significant advances in knowledge and improvements in quality of life across the world.

This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Successful completion provides eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.


The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and so offers a way into careers in psychology that require BPS registration. Therefore, the course will be beneficial to those already working in psychology-informed fields or who already have some knowledge of psychology but who wish to pursue a career that requires BPS registration. However, it can also provide a first step into psychology for motivated and high achieving graduates without a background in psychology.

I had a fantastic time on the MSc in Psychology course. The topics we covered were fascinating, and the staff were always on hand to help. The skills that I acquired through the degree provided me with the opportunity to go onto do a PhD, which I otherwise would not have had. I highly recommend this course for anybody that has an interest in Psychology and is seeking to further understand how the human mind works.
Joseph Newton - MSc Psychology graduate 2021

Where you'll study

School of Psychology

Study in a dynamic and stimulating learning environment, informed by our leading research in psychology and neuroscience.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4007
  • Marker70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Admissions criteria

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

Academic requirements:

Typically, you will need to have:

  • a 2:1 Honours degree or Merit at Masters level, or international equivalent, and
  • Maths at a level equivalent to at least a grade C/4 at GCSE, demonstrable with formal qualifications or professional/degree experience.

Other essential requirements:

You will also need to provide a personal statement that is relevant to your application. Please supply your statement as a PDF (500 words) and include the following questions as headings:

  1. How has psychology played a role in your work or studies? (200 words)
  2. How do you know that psychology is the right degree for you? (150 words)
  3. What do you wish to achieve with your MSc in Psychology? (150 words)

Within your answers to the questions please give details of or explain:

  • Any courses/modules on psychological issues you have completed or any books that you have read on psychology that you have found particularly interesting;
  • Whether you have been involved in a psychologically informed or psychologically related role either in a paid or voluntary way (e.g. teaching, counselling, support work);
  • How you have observed the impact of or potential of psychology within that role;
  • And how you intend to use the knowledge of psychology in your future career.

English Language Requirements:
IELTS with an overall score of 7.0 with 6.5 in all subskills, or equivalent.

Application deadline:

This programme has a limited number of places. If you submit a completed application by 31 January and meet the entry requirements you will be guaranteed consideration for the programme.

Selection process:

Places on the course are competitive and preference will be given to candidates deemed most likely to succeed on the course and benefit from it. Evidence for the potential to do well on the course will be taken from previous qualifications and the personal statement which should indicate the candidate’s previous experience of psychology or evidence of an interest in Psychology.

Only complete applications that are received before 31 January will be given guaranteed consideration. Applications will be scored based on the criteria listed above and offers will be made to the highest scoring applicants after the initial application deadline.

If you submit an application after the 31 January deadline, or if your application is deemed incomplete, you application may be considered at a later date should there be places available on the programme.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This is a one year full-time course that starts in the Autumn. You will take taught courses in the first two semesters. In the final semester (Summer) you will take a placement and complete a dissertation.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

In the first semester, you will discover the core academic components of Psychology, such as clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology, and in the second semester, you will complete your basic training and conduct your own novel research project. In the summer months, you will undertake a 12-week professional placement in which you experience life as a professional psychologist and learn the associated skills.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Cognitive and Social PsychologyPST72020 credits
Research MethodsPST72220 credits
Research ProjectPST72360 credits
Biological Psychology and Individual DifferencesPST72420 credits
Developmental and Clinical PsychologyPST72620 credits
PlacementPST72540 credits
PlacementPST72540 credits

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is heavily informed by our leading research and combines academic rigour with practical relevance. Our internationally acclaimed faculty consists of academics who are at the forefront of knowledge within their field. They bring the lessons learnt from their most recent research into the classroom, giving you access to up to date real life examples and scenarios and critical psychological thinking.

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures, small group teaching (seminars and tutorials) and practicals. In a lecture, the lecturer will be giving an overview of a particular aspect of the module content (as well as opportunities for you to ask questions and be reflective). Lectures are recorded and are available sooner after delivery to help with clarity and understanding of the topic. In seminars and tutorials you will have an opportunity to discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding in the topic. In practicals, you will be able to apply the techniques and theory you have learnt about and get experience conducting experiments.

The placement module, taken during the summer, will involve learning by experience (“on the job” training). You will acquire skills and knowledge by working closely with a professional psychologist.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across your degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, individual and group projects, and a reflective portfolio.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies. Normally, your personal tutor will teach on your own degree course and you will keep the same personal tutor throughout your course.

Your personal tutor will be able to give you advice on academic issues, including module choice and assessment. If you encounter any problems which affect your studies, your personal tutor should always be your first point of contact; she/he will be able to put you in touch with the wide range of expert student support services provided by the University and the Students' Union as appropriate. You are required to meet with your personal tutor at three points during each academic year but you are also encouraged to get in touch with them at any other point if you need help or advice.

For day-to-day information, the Professional Academic support staff of our Postgraduate Student Hub are available, in person, by telephone or by email, from 8am to 6pm each weekday during term time to answer your questions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

This course will teach you a range of skills useful to a career in psychology. You will learn about the core areas of psychology, such as Clinical and Developmental Psychology, and also how to critically appraise psychological theories within those fields. You will also learn practical skills such as how to design an experiment, collect, analyse and interpret a range of complex behavioural data, and how to present and communicate your work. During your placement you will learn how to put that those skills into practice.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 £2,000

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £25,450 £2,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with the academic part of the course but if you choose to do a placement in a different town you may incur extra living or travel costs compared to if you stayed in Cardiff.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Careers and placements

A psychology degree can provide you with a variety of career options and psychologists are employed on an increasingly wide scale in a variety of sectors including mental health, human factors, business, and education.

Psychology graduates are favoured by employers because of their broad skillset. A psychology degree reflects a university education which not only develops analytical skills, critical thinking and literacy but also numeracy and quantitative skills.


You will complete a 12-week placement in Semester 3 (Summer) where you will have the opportunity to work with professional psychologists in a clinic, research lab or organisation. This will enable you to put the skills and knowledge you’ve developed in the first two semesters into practice in a professional setting.

The placements on this MSc will be similar to those experienced on the undergraduate programme. Some examples of placements that our undergraduate students have been on are:

  • Research Assistant at Broadmoor Hospital;
  • Independent Domestic Violence advisor (IDVA) at Cardiff Women’s Aid;
  • Research Trainee at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons;
  • Research Intern within the media, communications and advertising department of Ipsos MORI, London (market research agency);
  • Sales Associate at Lenovo;
  • Research Assistant at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development) at Birkbeck College (University of London).


Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2023 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Scheme

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in 2023/24.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2022 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.