MSc Psychology (Conversion)

MSc Psychology (Conversion) is an innovative online course that provides graduates from any discipline with a mechanism for gaining Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC*) with the British Psychological Society. This status is necessary if you wish to pursue a career as a professional psychologist (e.g., a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or an MSc in Health Psychology), as well as academic or research careers.

In addition to covering up-to-date knowledge of the core areas of psychology, the course is designed to provide industry-relevant experience through our close partnerships with external organisations, such as Linc Cymru. Throughout your studies you will design evidence-based solutions to currently unsolved challenges faced by our partners, test these solutions empirically in your final year dissertations, and present your conclusions back to our partners.

The MSc Psychology (Conversion) course offers students much more than a GBC. Learning is contextualised in diverse and relevant real-life situations, supporting you in gaining a deeper appreciation of the role that psychology can play in positively transforming society. Professional skills and experience will be acquired to facilitate employment opportunities within the relevant fields of psychology.

*A 50% pass mark is required for GBC.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Online 8
Part-time 2 Years September Online 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Online 8
Part-time 2 Years September Online 8

The MSc Psychology (Conversion) course is delivered entirely online. A part-time study option will be available from September 2022, and a full-time route will commence in September 2023.

A total of 180 credits will be studied across 6 20-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation.

  • Contexts and Debates (20 credits)
    This module will explore the scientific basis of psychology as well as major theoretical perspectives and historical paradigms. Students will study the contextual factors impacting stability and consistency in psychological functioning including personality, cognitive style, intelligence, physical and mental health and mood. These perspectives will be applied to key political and ethical issues in psychology, the challenges of addressing diverse groups within psychological practice and contemporary applied issues.
  • Psychological Investigation in Practice (20 credits)
    This module will address different forms of research design and analysis, with a focus on preparing students for a range of research challenges that they might face in applied settings. A range of statistical tests will be covered, with students having the opportunity to practice these and understand their underpinning assumptions. A key theme of this module is being able to select and critically appraise the suitability of different quantitative research methods and forms of analyses for particular circumstances, including the ethical and practical considerations of doing research.
  • Applied Social Psychology (20 credits)
    This module will address core topics in social psychology including the self and identity, social cognition, attribution, attitudes and attitude change, close relationships and intergroup relations. Students will be encouraged to consider social behaviour at three different levels of analysis – individual, interpersonal and intergroup – and the interrelationships between these levels. Students will also be invited to generate solutions to applied problems that may occur within education, business, health, criminal justice or environmental contexts.
  • Lifespan Development in Context (20 credits)
    This module will address core topics in developmental psychology including cognitive, social and emotional development across the lifespan (from early childhood to ageing). Students will be encouraged to critically appraise the concept of “typical” compared to atypical development; including how this is defined and assessed. Finally, students will critically assess the impact of contextual factors such as mental and physical health, poverty, economic disadvantage and cultural factors on development. Challenges of working with diverse individuals at different points in the life course will form part of the discussions in online seminars and students will be encouraged to formulate evidence-based solutions to meet these challenges.
  • Brain and Cognition (20 credits)
    This module will address core topics in biological and cognitive psychology including sensation and perception, learning and memory, language and communication, thinking and problem solving. Students will be encouraged to critically appraise the relationship between brain structure and cognitive function and also to critically assess the effects of individual differences in relation to aspects of daily living. This will include topics such as experiencing the world through deficits in sensation and perception, communicating with others with atypical language development, and the challenges of making economic decisions.
  • Getting Ready to Research (20 credits)
    This module will address qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. These will include interview, focus group and observational methods as well as types of secondary data that could be obtained and analysed qualitatively. Given the online nature of the course, methods will focus on data collection that could be completed remotely (including remote interviewing); this will include the ethical and practical issues associated with such data collection and the use of internet forums and social media as potential sources of data. This module will also provide students with grounding in, and preparation for, the dissertation process. This will include generating a research proposal and preparing for ethical approval, setting sub-goals for a research project, dissertation requirements, supervisor/student roles and responsibilities and reporting requirements.
  • Dissertation in Psychology (60 credits)
    Students will work independently on the development of a major project applying psychology to real-world issues and challenges. Throughout the MSc Psychology (Conversion) course you will have experienced the input from our collaborative partners and some of the challenges which they have faced where psychology has been applied to create alternative perspectives on issues, solutions to challenges and/or interventions for behaviour change. You will be presented with opportunities to complete your MSc Dissertation research with these partners. Alternatively, you may have established interests or areas where you wish to pursue an area of psychological investigation.

For the part-time route, students will complete modules, one at a time, in the following sequence:

  • Contexts and Debates (20 credits)
  • Psychological Investigation in Practice (20 credits)
  • Applied Social Psychology (20 credits)
  • Lifespan Development in Context (20 credits)
  • Brain and Cognition (20 credits)
  • Getting Ready to Research (20 credits)
  • Dissertation in Psychology (60 credits)

For the full-time route, students will complete modules in the following pairs:

  • Contexts and Debates (20 credits) and Lifespan Development in Context (20 credits)
  • Psychological Investigation in Practice (20 credits) and Brain and Cognition (20 credits)
  • Applied Social Psychology (20 credits) and Getting Ready to Research (20 credits)
  • Dissertation in Psychology (60 credits)

Study Methods

This course has been co-designed with our industry partners. Throughout you will be invited to develop solutions to real-world challenges faced by our partners. In the dissertation module you will be able to evaluate your solution and to disseminate your findings to our partners.

Representatives from the partner organisations will be invited to present their challenges to the students at the start of each academic year. They will then attend virtual events where students will present and discuss their solutions directly with the partners. Additionally, the course team will invite visiting speakers from other relevant organisations (including alumni from psychology courses) to talk to students about their current roles. Examples may include those who are working as assistant psychologists, as personnel responsible for training or employee well-being within private companies or as research/project officers for third sector organisations.

As this is an online course, fieldwork will not be required. However remote data collection will be an integral part of the course and students will be encouraged to form connections with organisations in their local areas to discuss challenges and solutions. It may also be possible for students to attempt face to face applied research activity if this is judged as feasible for the students’ research question and receives appropriate ethical approval.


This course is delivered online. A total of 180 credits will be studied across six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit dissertation.

Each 20-credit taught module will comprise of 10 hours of synchronous online delivery and 30 hours of focussed asynchronous activity (e.g., recorded short lectures; critical appraisal of current research; scenarios, case reviews or questions relating to elements of an industry “live brief”). Each module will be delivered across a 10-week period. The 60-credit dissertation will be supported by both group and individual guidance from a supervisor.

For part-time students, you are expected to engage in an average of 17.5 hours of study per week, studying a single 20-credit module at a time.

For full-time students, you are expected to engage in an average of 35 hours of study per week, studying two 20-credit modules at a time.

In addition to online synchronous seminars, student progress and pastoral care will be supported by regular meetings with the course leader. These meetings will take place three times per year. 


A range of assessment methods are employed, for example, observation journal, presentation, case study, reports, student choice (podcast, website template or poster), annotated bibliography, simulation, practical written work, literature review, and research proposal.

You will also complete a dissertation of 8,000 words, with a 1,500-word observation journal and 20-minute dissemination.


Blackboard VLE

As an online course, the majority of delivery will be through our Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. Using Blackboard, you will be able to access your asynchronous materials, reading lists and engage in discussion boards, synchronous seminars and online quizzes. You will also be able to submit your assignments and receive your feedback and grades through Blackboard.


We have a dedicated psychology librarian who is able to provide direct help to students with using online library resources such as our 32,000 online journals and e-books as well as conducting literature reviews with our over 250 online databases. Library resources can be accessed through a simple FINDit portal as well as through online reading lists on Blackboard.

Specialist online facilities

We have a number of specialist licenses for online data collection, access to which is managed by our team of Psychology Technicians. In particular, we have CANTAB Web-Based Testing functionality for remote test administration of the CANTAB battery for cognitive assessment and neuropsychology research. Students will also be able to use Gorilla Experiment Builder online software to develop and deliver experiments online. JISC Online Surveys is also available to all students for online data collection.

For data analysis the university has software and statistical packages available for students to download to their own machines through UniApps (including SPSS).



All students are supported through a weekly “catch up with your course leader” session or in virtual office hours by members of each module team. Alternatively, students can email a member of the course team to request an appointment outside of these hours.

Additionally, all of the University’s support services (e.g., Advice Zones, Careers, Disability & Dyslexia, Library) have options to access support remotely via email, virtual appointments and chat functions.  You will be able to access the relevant pages on Unilife, the university’s student portal, to find the remote options that apply to your course.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in any subject.

International Entry Requirements

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

This course is delivered entirely online, providing opportunities for international students to gain a BPS accredited degree in 12 months of online study. As the course is online there will be no Visa restrictions in studying this course.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £10250

  • Full-time International:  £16000 

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Appropriate computer equipment and access to the internet *
As this is an online course, students would need to have appropriate computer equipment and access to the internet to be able to access the University’s VLE and associated applications such as Panopto and Microsoft Teams. Full details of IT requirements will be supplied to students prior to joining the course
DBS £55.42 - £68.42
Students will not require DBS to complete any modules successfully. However, if the students are completing a dissertation project involving contact with vulnerable adults or children and young people, this process would be undertaken as part of the process of students obtaining ethical approval. (The current cost of obtaining DBS is £55.42 and if the updating service is required to update a DBS following expiry, the update service is £13).


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Admissions Policy | University of South Wales

UK Students

You can apply directly via the university.

You can also apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

This course provides a mechanism for gaining Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC*) with the British Psychological Society. This is necessary if you wish to pursue a career as a professional psychologist (e.g., a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or an MSc in Health Psychology), as well as academic or research careers.

Students on this course are studying for an award which is designed to comply with accreditation requirements from the British Psychological Society. This engagement with our professional body; including the inclusion of current policies and initiatives produced by the Society embeds professionalism throughout the course.

The explicit links to external partners in the form of real-world challenges further encourages the development of professionalism and widens the context of learning to areas of engagement outside of the students’ experience. Students will learn to develop empirically supported solutions to real world challenges and to disseminate these to industry partners.

This course will prepare you for further study and training to become a Chartered Psychologist in the areas of Educational, Counselling, Clinical, Forensic, Health, Occupational. Sport and Exercise Psychology.

It would also prepare you for the following USW courses:

DPsych Counselling Psychology

MSc Clinical Psychology

MSc Behaviour Analysis and Therapy

PhD Psychology

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course would suit you if you are keen to become a professional Psychologist as it provides a mechanism for gaining Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC*) with the British Psychological Society. For example, if you have a degree in Education or Counselling and wish to become a Educational Psychologist or a Counselling Psychologist then this would be a first step towards achieving that goal.

This course would also be a good choice if you would like a Masters level degree in an area which provides you with a vast knowledge of human behaviour and mental processes. This knowledge can be useful in a number of careers in health and educational settings.

Psychology also develops a wide range of transferable skills that develop how you think and which employers find attractive, skills such as: critical appraisal of evidence, communication of ideas, developing strategies for change and researching and analysing impact. In addition, as an online course you would be able to demonstrate to employers that you can manage your time and prioritise your commitments while working.