Different Types of Psychology

Some of the Major Types of Psychology

Different Types of Psychology: The Study and practice of Psychology encompasses a vast range of topics and a large number of subfields and specialty areas have developed as a result. Because human behavior is so varied, the number of subfields in psychology is constantly growing and evolving.

Psychology can be roughly divided into two major sections: research, which seeks to increase our knowledge base, and practice, through which our knowledge is applied to solving problems in the real world.

Because psychology touches on a number of other subjects including biology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, new areas of research and practice are continually forming. Some of these subfields have been firmly established as areas of interest, and many colleges and universities offer courses and degree programs in these topics.


    • This area of psychology is known by a number of titles including behavioral neuroscience, psychobiology, and neuropsychology.
    • Biopsychologists study the relationship between the brain and behavior, such as how the brain and nervous system impact our thoughts, feeling, and moods.
  • This field can be thought of as a combination of basic psychology and neuroscience.

Clinical Psychology

    • Clinical psychology is the largest specialty area in psychology.
    • These psychologists apply psychological principles and research to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental and emotional illnesses.
  • Clinicians often work in private practices, but many also work in community centers or at universities and colleges.

Developmental Psychology

    • Developmental psychologists study the physical and cognitive development that occurs over the course of the lifespan.
  • These psychologists generally specialize in an area such as infant, child, adolescent, or geriatric development, while others may study the effects of developmental delays.

Forensic Psychology

    • Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal issues. This may involve studying criminal behavior and treatments, or working directly in the court system.
  • Forensic psychologists often conduct evaluations, screen witnesses, or provide testimony in court cases.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

    • Psychologists in this field apply psychological principles to research on workplace issues such as productivity and behavior.
    • Some psychologists in this field work in areas such as human factors, ergonomics, and human-computer interaction.
  • Research in this field is known as applied research because it seeks to solve real world problems.

Personality Psychology

    • Personality psychologists study the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that make each person unique.
  • These psychologists often work in academic settings as instructors or researchers.

Social Psychology

    • Social psychologists study social behaviors, including how individual self-image and behavior is impacted by interactions with others.
  • These psychologists often conduct research in academic settings, but others work in such areas such as advertising and government.

School Psychology

    • School psychologists work within the educational system to help children with emotional, social, and academic issues.
    • These psychologists collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to find solutions to academic, social, and emotional problems.
  • Most school psychologists work in elementary and secondary schools, but others work in private clinics, hospitals, state agencies, and universities. Some go into private practice and serve as consultants, especially those with a doctoral degree in school psychology.

This article is one of the resources included in the Psychology 101 WebQuest, a lesson plan designed for students grade eight and up. The webquest allows students to gather information about a specific topic and then utilize what they have learned to create a class presentation.

Perspectives in Modern Psychology

While a few different schools of thought dominated the early years of psychology, the number of topics studied by psychologists has grown dramatically since the early 1960s. Today, few psychologists identify their outlook according to a particular school of thought. While you may still find some pure behaviorists or psychoanalysts, the majority of psychologists instead categorize their work according to their specialty area and perspective.

Every topic in psychology can be looked at in a number of different ways. For example, let’s consider the subject of aggression. Someone who emphasizes a biological perspective would look at the how the brain and nervous system impact aggressive behavior. A professional who stresses a behavioral perspective would look at how environmental variables reinforce aggressive actions. Another psychologist who utilizes a cross-cultural approach might consider how cultural and social influences contribute to aggressive or violent behaviors.

The following are just a few of the major perspectives in modern psychology.

The Biological Perspective

The study of physiology played a major role in the development of psychology as a separate science. Today, this perspective is known as biological psychology. Sometimes referred to as biopsychology or physiological psychology, this point of view emphasizes the physical and biological bases of behavior.

This perspective has grown significantly over the last few decades, especially with advances in our ability to explore and understand the human brain and nervous system. Tools such as MRI scans and PET scans allow researchers to look at the brain under a variety of conditions. Scientists can now look at the effects of brain damage, drugs, and disease in ways that were simply not possible in the past.

The Behavioral Perspective

Behavioral psychology is a perspective that focuses on learned behaviors. While behaviorismdominated psychology early in the twentieth century, it began to lose its hold during the 1950s. Today, the behavioral perspective is still concerned with how behaviors are learned and reinforced. Behavioral principles are often applied in mental health settings, where therapists and counselors use these techniques to explain and treat a variety of illnesses.

The Cognitive Perspective

During the 1960s, a new perspective known as cognitive psychology began to take hold. This area of psychology focuses on mental processes such as memory, thinking, problem solving, language and decision-making. Influenced by psychologists such as Jean Piaget and Albert Bandura, this perspective has grown tremendously in recent decades.

The Cross-Cultural Perspective

Cross-cultural psychology is a fairly new perspective that has grown significantly over the last twenty years. These psychologists and researchers look at human behavior across different cultures. By looking at these differences, we can learn more about how our culture influences our thinking and behavior.

The Evolutionary Perspective

Evolutionary psychology is focused on the study of how evolution explains physiological processes. Psychologists and researchers take the basic principles of evolution, including natural selection, and apply them to psychological phenomena. This perspective suggests that these mental processes exist because they serve an evolutionary purpose – they aid in survival and reproduction.

The Humanistic Perspective

During the 1950s, a school of thought known as humanistic psychology emerged. Influenced greatly by the work of prominent humanists such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, this perspective emphasizes the role of motivation on thought and behavior. Concepts such as self-actualization are an essential part of this perspective.

The Psychodynamic Perspective

The psychodynamic perspective originated with the work of Sigmund Freud. This view of psychology and human behavior emphasizes the role of the unconscious mind, early childhood experiences, and interpersonal relationships to explain human behavior and to treat people suffering from mental illnesses.

Final Thoughts

There are many different ways to think about human thought and behavior. The many perspectives in modern psychology provide researchers and students a way to approach different problems and find new ways to explain and predict human behavior as well as develop new treatment approaches for problem behaviors.

This article is one of the resources included in the Psychology 101 WebQuest, a lesson plan designed for students grade eight and up. The WebQuest allows students to gather information about a specific topic and then utilize what they have learned to create a class presentation.


Psychology Study Tips

Do you need to revamp your psychology study habits? In order to get the most out of your classes, it is essential to learn how to study effectively. Below you’ll find a collection of study, homework and test tips that will help you get the most out of your study time. Learn more about preparing for exam, taking notes, reading journal articles, writing papers and much more.

How to Take Psychology Notes

Good note-taking skills are important if you want to do well in your psychology courses. While your professor may assign a variety of required and supplementary readings, you should assume that at least half of all exam questions will be pulled directly from content covered in class lectures and discussions. As one of my own psychology professors once declared, “If I talk about it in class, just …

Psychology Test-Taking Strategies

Nothing can replace great study skills, but practicing good test-taking strategies can help improve your performance on psychology exams. These tips are applicable to virtually any topic, so start working on your own personal approach to test-taking in order to determine which techniques work best for you. Whenever you take a test, spend a…

How to Study for a Psychology Test

While there are no sure-fire shortcuts when studying for a psychology test, there are things that you can do to get the most out of your study time. By following these relatively simple strategies, you can be sure that you’ll be ready when test day arrives.

How to Read (and Understand) a Psychology Journal Article

Reading a psychology journal article can seem daunting, but following a few simple strategies can help make the process much more effective. Before you read another psychology journal article, check out these tips for success.

Psychology Study Tips

Because psychology covers a broad range of topics, it is important to develop ways of effectively studying and mastering new theories and concepts. These psychology study tips will help ensure your success when studying psychology.

Tips for Writing Psychology Papers

The ability to write and communicate well is an important skill for all students. Learn more about different types of psychology papers and find tips for planning, writing, and editing your papers.

Test Tips For Multiple Choice Psychology Exams

Improve your results on multiple-choice psychology tests by following a few simple tips. While effective study habits are the best way to succeed on exams, following these techniques can help improve your performance on multiple-choice tests.

Best Psychology Study Tips – Share Your Psychology Study Tips

Do you have any great psychology study tips? Share your best psychology study tips with other students and read other ideas that students have shared.

10 Great Reasons to Attend Psychology Classes

Students often skip psychology classes for a variety of reasons. Psychology courses are often taught lecture-style to large groups of people, so students sometimes think they can just skip class and make up for it by reading the textbook. While some students may manage to pass a class this way, it’s certainly not the best way to get the most out…

How to Study Psychology

Studying for your psychology courses can be a lot different that studying for some of your other college classes such as math and history. While you can still use a lot of your tried-and-true study strategies, you may find that you need to try out some new techniques in order to succeed in your psychology classes. Check out some of these tips…

Psychology Flash Cards

Flash cards can be a great way to memorize and study psychology terms and concepts. Explore these great tips for how to study using psychology flash cards.

Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

Is procrastination causing you stress or making you miss deadlines? Here are a few tips from psychologists on how to overcome procrastination.

Source: About

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How to Take Psychology Notes

A Few Tips for Taking Great Psychology Notes

Good note-taking skills are important if you want to do well in your psychology courses. While your professor may assign a variety of required and supplementary readings, you should assume that at least half of all exam questions will be pulled directly from content covered in class lectures and discussions. As one of my own psychology professors once declared, “If I talk about it in class, just assume that it will be on the exam.”

The following are just a few tips for taking great psychology notes. It may take some time, but you can make these strategies part of your regular academic habits with just a little effort.

1. Be Well-Prepared for Class

Be Prepared for ClassImage courtesy Steve Woods

In order to get the most out of class discussions and lectures, it is absolutely essential to go to class prepared. Before a class session, read all of the assigned materials. Make notes of important concepts from the chapters and write down any questions you may have about the readings. In many cases, you will be able to answer these questions yourself after the lecture, but you can also ask your instructor for further clarification if you are still confused by particular concepts.

2. Bring the Tools and Supplies You Need

Bring Tools you NeedImage courtesy Shilpin Patel

Part of being prepared to take notes involves assembling the tools you need before you arrive in class each day. Basic supplies such as pens, pencils and paper are essential. Decide how you want to organize your notes. Use a basic three-ring binder with loose-leaf paper or get a separate notebook for each of your classes.

Some students prefer to take notes using a laptop or netbook, while other prefer to record lectures and transcribe their notes after class. While technology can be a valuable tool, don’t let your notes fall victim to data loss. Back up your data every day so that you always have a saved record of all your psychology notes. If you decide to record a lecture, remember to always get permission from your instructor first.

3. Follow the Instructors Directions

In some cases, your class instructor may require a specific format for your psychology notes. Some professors ask students to turn in their notes periodically. If your instructor does require a specific format, be sure to follow his or her guidelines.

4. Always Write Down Key Points

When taking psychology notes, it is important to remember that you do not need to write down every single thing that the instructor says. Instead, focus on making a record of the main points. You should also write down key terms and any questions or concepts that you are still struggling with.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if something is important, so if you are in doubt, write it down. As you become more experienced at taking psychology notes, it will be easier to determine what information is “note worthy.” One important thing to remember – if your professor writes something down on the board or shows it on an overhead projector, you should definitely write it down.

5. Keep Your Notes in Sequential Order

Keep Notes in OrderImage courtesy Zach Robbins

As you begin to collect more psychology notes, it is important to make sure that you keep your notes in order. By studying your notes in the order they were given, it will be easier to connect related concepts. In some cases, the exam may even follow the same basic order as your class notes. Perhaps the easiest way to keep your notes in order to to write down the date of every course lecture at the top of your notes.

6. Ask Questions

Ask QuestionsImage courtesy Bob Smith

Sometimes, students fail to ask questions during class because they are afraid that they will look stupid. Don’t be nervous about asking questions! There’s nothing wrong with being confused or uncertain about different concepts. In fact, many of your classmates probably have the exact same questions, but are just unsure about asking them. Posing questions about the class lecture is also a great way to show your instructor that you are actively engaged in the discussion.

7. Try to Take Neat, Legible and Accurate Notes

Take Neat, Legible NotesImage courtesy Stig Andersen

Even if you have sloppy handwriting, invest a little extra effort in making sure that your notes are legible. Leave plenty of space in your notes so that the writing is not cramped. Try to break up the material into a basic outline, highlighting the main points and including supplementary notes to help deepen your understanding of the concepts you are learning about. Most importantly, strive for complete accuracy in your notes. If the information in your notes is inaccurate, then your understanding of the concepts will also be faulty.

8. Use a Highlighter

Use a HighlighterImage courtesy Adam Ciesielski

After you have compiled your psychology notes, use a highlighter marker or pen to emphasize only the most important points. This might include main ideas, definitions or anything that your instructor placed special emphasis on during the lecture.

9. Review Your Notes After Every Class

Review Your Notes After ClassImage courtesy Sanja Gjenero

Don’t wait until the night before the big exam to break out your notes and start studying. Instead, spend at least five to ten minutes after every class going over your notes. This will help cement the information in your memory and ensure that you are well prepared for the next class lecture.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Personalize Your Note-Taking Habits

Personalize Your NotesImage courtesy Warwick Lister-Kaye/iStockPhoto

Each student is unique, which is why it is so important to find the note-taking style that works best for your unique needs. As you gain more experience taking psychology notes, focus on discovering the strategies that help you learn effectively.

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Before You Buy a Psychology Textbook

Buying textbooks for your psychology courses can be very expensive, with some texts costing hundreds of dollars each. While you certainly cannot eliminate this expense, there are a few questions you can ask yourself at the start of each semester to help control your textbook budget. Before you buy a psychology textbook, ask yourself these important questions:

Do you plan to keep the book after the completion of the course?

If you are majoring in psychology, keeping all of your course textbooks can be a great idea, especially if you plan to attend graduate school in psychology. As you advance in your academic pursuit of psychology, you may frequently find yourself referring back to texts from previous courses. When it is time to take the GRE psychology subject test, you will have a handy library to study in preparation for the exam. If you do plan to keep your book at the end of the course, look for a new copy of the text or a used copy that is in great condition.

Are used copies of the psychology textbook available?

Purchasing used copies of your psychology textbooks is a great way to save money each semester. Used books are generally much more affordable than new books, but it is important to carefully inspect your copy to ensure that it is in reasonably good condition. A textbook that has pages missing or is filled with highlighting and notes can make studying very difficult. Fortunately, many used copies are still in ‘like new’ condition, which makes this a great option for cost conscious psychology students.

Will you really use the psychology textbook for the course?

While a book may be listed on the required reading list, it does not necessarily mean that the professor will actually use the book as part of course lectures, discussions or exams. If you are not sure if the textbook will actually be “required,” wait until the first day of class when you can look at the class syllabus to see if the schedule includes assigned readings from the book. Consider asking other students who have already taken the class about whether they actually used the book in the class.

Can you afford to buy the book?

If the required psychology textbook is simply out of your budget, there are other ways that you can acquire the text. Consider borrowing the book from another student who has already finished the course. It might also be possible to share the textbook with another student in the class, but you’ll need to be careful to work out a schedule that allows both of you plenty of time to read and study. If all else fails, talk to your instructor. Many college faculty members have access to multiple copies of the book, so they might even be willing to loan you a copy for the duration of the class.

Is the psychology textbook required or supplementary reading?

Many psychology courses include both required reading as well as supplementary reading. These supplementary texts are intended to deepen your knowledge of the subject matter, but they are not necessary to actually pass the course. If you can afford it, buying the additional books can be a great way to learn more about the topic. However, you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy these books if they are are outside of your budget. If you do choose to buy them, consider looking for used copies as a way to reduce costs.

Ulster University: MSc Applied Psychology (Mental Health and Psychological Therapies)

Psychology – Applied (Mental Health and Psychological Therapies) [MSc]

Year of Entry: 2012

The Programme

The course provides an opportunity for students to enhance their skills and knowledge in areas of applied psychology related to mental health practice and research. It aims to provide a foundation for students wishing to enter further professional training in Clinical, Counselling or Health Psychology, and/or to become more employable for positions in the public or private sector that involve the application of psychology to mental health issues; or to pursue PhD research in the area of mental health.

The first section of the syllabus will provide an opportunity for students to enhance their skills and competencies in areas required by all professional psychologists, including basic professional issues, research methods, and techniques of clinical psychological assessment.

The course will go on to provide an in depth discussion of psychological theory and research concerned with the aetiology, assessment and treatment of psychological problems through the life course; starting with Child and Adolescent Mental Health, followed by Adult Mental Health issues.

Students will be provided with a comprehensive knowledge of some of the major psychological therapies, (namely Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapy and Family Therapy and Systemic Practice) and will gain some practical experience in their use.

Finally, as the course is taught by not only experienced researchers but also practicing clinicians, there is excellent opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in applications, CV, gaining experience and interview techniques and strategies.

Structure and Content

To gain a Masters degree, the student is required to successfully complete 180 university credits.

Professional Issues in Applied Psychology (15 credits)

This module introduces students to the nature and history of applied psychology. Students will consider the proliferation of ‘psychology professions’ and the common theoretical, empirical and methodological core of these professions. The module will thereby anticipate professional issues in health, counselling and clinical psychology. Students will also discuss and reflect upon professional practice areas such as work contexts, ethical principles, supervision and reflective practice, report writing, legal issues and child protection governance; and the role and regulations of professional bodies. There is one piece of coursework assigned for this module.

Advanced Research Methods in Applied Psychology (15 credits)

This module is designed to give students training in the advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods that are required for contemporary research in applied psychology. The major focus will be on research methods for mental health and health psychology. Important issues such as data collection and research ethics will also be discussed. There is one piece of coursework assigned to this module.

Psychological Assessment (15 Credits)

This module seeks to provide students with the necessary theoretical background and practical skills to design, select, administer, score, interpret and report a variety of different assessment methods. These will be drawn from the areas of health, clinical and counselling psychology. The module will equip students with transferable skills that can be employed in a variety of clinical settings. There is one piece of coursework assigned to this module.

Adult Mental Health (theory and applications), (15 credits) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health (theory and applications), (15 credits).
These two modules discuss theoretical perspectives that have contributed to an understanding of specific psychological disorders and syndromes, and also consider approaches to treatment, based on the principles of evidence – based practice, relevant to the child, the adolescent, the person with learning disability, the adult and the older adult (across the lifespan). There in one exam for each of these modules.

Family Therapy and Systemic Practice 30 credits

This 30 credit modules introduces the student to family therapy and systemic practice theories and concepts, the aim of which is to help the student be able to understand how problems, mental ill health and distress may be explained through the lens of systemic thinking. The main models of Structural, Strategic and Milan theories, along with their historical development will be explored. The process of systemic psychotherapy will be explained with opportunity to practice a systemic assessment through the use of genograms and to practice relevant intervention techniques, with example case studies. Issues relating to culture, the therapeutic relationship, power and gender in systemic practice will be discussed, along with case examples of how family therapy and systemic practice can be applied in various clinical settings. This module will form part of the necessary training to gain a foundation level certificate in Family Therapy, accredited by the Institute of Family Therapy (IFT). There is a portfolio of work required to gain the foundation certificate. Those who have some access to clients will be able to complete the work in their own place of work.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (15 Credits)

Th This module aims to develop a knowledge and understanding of Cognitive and Behavioural Theories, and discusses how the cognitive model conceptualises psychological problems. The module explains the process of cognitive Assessment, formulation/ case conceptualisation and treatment using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). A further aim is to develop, not only the student’s basic psychotherapeutic skills, but also CBT techniques and strategies. The module will also provide opportunities to practice skill development using role play and video analysis. There is one piece of coursework assigned to this module.

For the MSc, students will also Research Project (60 credits)

This module will reflect the skills and knowledge acquired through the course as a whole. The student will be supported by a supervisor to undertake a piece of research in an applied mental health area, across the lifespan. A research proposal will be approved by the Course Committee, in accordance with University and School ethical review requirements. The student will begin to work on their research when they commence the course and will submit their work in September of the following year.

Duration and Mode of Attendance

One year full time and 2 years part time.

Students will attend lectures/ seminars/workshops every Wednesday and Thursday.

The part time students year 1 attend on Wednesday’s.
The part time students year 2 attend on Thursday’s.
And Full time students attend on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Classes on both days usually begin at 10am and usually end around 5.30/6pm.

Entry Conditions

Those with a 1st class honours degree or 2:1 in Psychology which confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) or the Psychological Society of Ireland.

Those with 2:2 are welcome to apply but preference will be given to those who have some additional relevant clinical experience to add to their CV.

Closing date is the 31st June 2012
Please note, applicants will be permitted 5 working days after the deadline of 31st June, to submit all necessary supporting documentation to the Faculty office in the University of Ulster, Magee campus.

As it can take some time to obtain an academic reference, it is advisable to contact referees well in advance of the deadline. Applications that are incomplete or missing any supporting documents after 5 working days will not be rejected but it should be noted that when allocating places on the course, precedence will be afforded to those applicants who submitted the full application on time.

Teaching Methods and Assessment

Lectures will introduce core material and provide a framework for the organisation of its content. Some modules will have seminars built into the lectures, which will promote further discussion and critical evaluation of issues covered in the lecture series, with related skills (such as interpersonal, communication and dissemination skills) being developed through ongoing hands-on experience with relevant materials and group discussions.

In the clinical and psychological therapy modules, the core material (clinical presentations, therapeutic approaches, and assessment) will be introduced via lectures and student-led seminars, which will follow with psychotherapeutic skill training in our human interaction skills labs which have state of the art digital recording equipment to record and appraise ongoing skill development.

Some modules assess via coursework in the form of essays, designing interventions, portfolios and case studies, and some are assessed via examination only (2).

Exemptions and Transferability

Those who have already undertaken professional post graduate training in Family Therapy and Systemic practice or CBT may be exempt from undertaking these modules.

Those who have PhD may be exempt from the Advanced research methods module.

Professional Recognition

We are currently seeking part accreditation with the Institute of Family Therapy to approve the modules on family therapy to form part of a Foundation level Certificate in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

Careers And Postgraduate Opportunities

Currently, our students are being successful in acquiring Assistant Psychology positions which can lead to Agenda for Change (AfC) (NHS) pay band 5; which with experience is allowing people to apply for Associate Psychology positions (AfC Band 6). Others are being successful in gaining entry onto Professional Doctorate programmes in Clinical or Counselling Psychology; or PhD scholarships in Psychology across UK and Ireland.



Closing date is the 31st June 2012.  See further information under “Entry Conditions” above.

Contact Details

The Faculty of Life and Health Sciences Staff- Magee
Tel: +44 (0) 28 7167 5027 or 028 7167 5379

Course Director
Karen Kirby, C. Psychol, HPC Reg Practitioner Psychologist,
Lecturer in Psychology
School of Psychology
Magee Campus
Room MB110
Tel: +44 (0) 28 7137 5109
Email: k.kirby@ulster.ac.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this course help me to gain entry to clinical or counselling psychology?

Yes, the course aims to increase/enhance the student’s knowledge and skills in psychological theory and how to apply this to clients in a clinical setting. The course aims to help prepare students on how best to complete their application forms, how to make the best out of their CV’s and how to prepare for an interview.

Is there a placement with this course?

No, currently there is not, but we are planning placements in the near future. However, some students are successful in gaining an assistant psychology position whilst on the course, and use this experience to apply theory to practice.

Can I practice as a Chartered applied psychologist when I finish?

No, this course only acts as a stepping stone to build on your knowledge, skills and abilities in order to help the student become more competitive in applying for clinical or counselling psychology; and/or employable to either work or research in the area of mental health and well being. Employment is usually in areas such as an assistant psychologist, mental health worker or working in charitable organisations or working as a research assistant/associate.

Financial Support
Students from the Republic of Ireland have previously secured funding, in the form of a Post Graduate study grant, from their local county council. This is an application which may be means tested. The student makes an independent application to their own county council. The University are not involved in this application or in any decision making process in this instance.
Students say

“Completing the master’s course at Magee provided me with an interactive, supportive and creative space which facilitated the development of my psychological understanding, skills and personal development. Furthermore it provided immense insight into the various settings of applied psychology and issues relating to the profession. This assisted me greatly in obtaining a place on a clinical training programme as well as giving me valuable and generalisable skills and knowledge. A worthwhile and recommendable experience in becoming an applied psychologist.”

Brent Thompson
D.Clin.Psych Trainee

‘The MSC in Applied Psychology was an invaluable experience in helping me develop my career as a competent researcher in applied areas of psychological theory. The course provided me with a supportive environment to acquire various professional skills essential for securing a position on research training courses such as a PhD. The content of the various modules also provided me with an elaborative insight how psychological theory meets the real world, enabling me to develop my skills in psychological thinking and mindfulness’.

Laura Toye
PhD Student
University of Ulster

‘Doing the MSc in Applied Psychology deepened my knowledge of professional and clinical aspects of working as a psychologist. It made it clear to me that counselling psychology was the career I wanted to pursue, and it was a strong asset when it came to my application to the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in Trinity College, Dublin.’ Catherine Lamarche-Ward
D. Co.Psych Trainee

Employers say

‘As someone who was consulted about the redesign of the Masters Course I believe it reflects a really positive step forward in terms of producing people who can come into Assistant and Associate psychologist type posts in the NHS already ‘fit for purpose’. By this I mean the Course will equip them with a range of highly relevant competencies in areas such as assessment (incl., psychometrics), case formulation and two psychotherapeutic modalities’.

Professor Gerry Cunningham
Clinical Director of Psychology Services
Western Health & Social Care Trust

Campus Contact Information 

…. University of Ulster, 
Coleraine campus
….. University of Ulster,
Jordanstown campus


University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Co. Londonderry
BT52 1SATel: 028 7012 3456
University of Ulster
Shore Road
Co. Antrim
BT37 0QBTel: 028 7012 3456
University of Ulster,
Belfast campus
University of Ulster, 
Magee campus
University of Ulster
York Street
Co. Antrim
BT15 1EDTel: 028 7012 3456
University of Ulster
Northland Road
Co. Londonderry
BT48 7JLTel: 028 7012 3456


Abertay, Dundee: MSc/PGDip Psychology

Next start date: September 2013

Degree type: MSc/PGDip
UCAS Code: Apply direct to the University
Duration: One year full-time

Apply Online


Why choose this course?

  • Applied emphasis, focusing on a variety of areas where knowledge of psychological theory and findings are a distinct advantage
  • Flexibility in the second semester for students to choose modules that best fit with their individual interests and career aspirations
  • Opportunity to be taught by, and work closely with, active researchers.  Access to our psychology research laboratories and teaching labs, described as ‘exemplary’ in our most recent independent subject review
  • Professionally accredited by the British Psychological Society, conferring eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC)

The MSc Psychology is designed to introduce graduates of other disciplines to the fascinating field of psychology. Students will be provided with the opportunity to study those topics which will confer eligibility for Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) as long as a minimum level of performance is achieved. Psychology is a rewarding and valuable area of study. As a student of psychology one gains a scientific understanding of mind, brain, behaviour, experience, and of the complex interactions between these. The programme provides training in the scientific method and the history and philosophy of science to students. Psychology applies a rigorous scientific methodology to biological, linguistic, philosophical, socio-cultural, and anthropological topics. It is thus an inherently multidisciplinary subject.

What You Study

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behaviour.  Psychology can be applied to a variety of real-life settings and is important to many careers and occupations.

Semester 1 (September – December) introduces you to the six core areas of psychology: cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences, and conceptual issues, which are especially beneficial for those students who did not study Psychology in their undergraduate degree.

Semester 2 (January – May) concentrates on the way psychology is applied in real-world settings and different occupations. You may choose to study how witnesses of crime are interviewed (Investigative Psychology module), the role motivation plays in the sporting arena (Sport Psychology module), or the usefulness of psychometric testing in the workplace (Testing in the Workplace module), to name just a few of the possibilities.

The core Research Methods module is studied in both semesters and introduces you to quantitative and qualitative methods. These analytical techniques provide you with the necessary skills to undertake your Masters project in the summer months (June – August).

Those exiting the course after successful completion of the taught component (i.e. Postgraduate Diploma) would be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) Psychology.

How you learn
 and are assessed
An integrated programme of lectures, seminars, group discussion and lab work is used to enhance your understanding of the core areas of psychology. You will analyse how this knowledge is applied in real world settings and in a variety of occupations. Web-based learning provides a virtual learning environment that allows you to access teaching and library materials and to interact with staff and fellow students.

A combination of written submissions, presentations, laboratory reports and formal examinations are used throughout the course. The research project is written in the style of a scientific research article.

Entry Routes

Applicants should hold at least a lower second class Honours degree or equivalent in any science, social science, or humanities subject.

  • Interview required

All applicants are required to provide certified proof of competence in English Language and the University’s minimum requirements are listed here

Course Content

Module Code               Module Title                            Core/Option                     Semester    Credits
PS1112A           Core: Biological Psychology              Core                              Semester 1     15
PS1113A           Core: Cognitive Psychology               Core                              Semester 1     15
PS1110A           Core: Developmental Psychology     Core                              Semester 1     15
PS1114A           Core: Individual Differences               Core                              Semester 2     15
PS1115A           Core: Social Psychology                     Core                              Semester 2     15
PS1100A           Psychology Masters Project               Core                              Semester 3      60
PS1111A           Research Methods                               Core                Semester 1 through 2  30
PS1031A           Advanced Biological Psychology:
                            The Science of Attraction                  Option                             Semester 2     15
PS1010A           Advanced Forensic Psychology      Option                             Semester 2     15
PS1033A           Advanced Topics in Psychology     Option                             Semester 2     15
PS1009A           Evidence Based Investigative          Option                             Semester 2     15
PS1116A           Psychology in Practice                      Option                             Semester 2     15

Information on course structures and modules is drawn from 2012/3 data and may be subject to change without prior notification. Students who are registering with us will be provided with the up to date information on their course structure in order to allow them to register on the appropriate modules

More Information

What our students say
“I got my Undergraduate Degree in Mental Health and Counselling which sparked a more serious interest in Psychology. The Abertay Psychology MSc was perfect in that it provided me with good grounding in the basics but also allowed me to conduct serious research. The quality of skills that I acquired through individual tuition inspired me to now pursue a career in science.”
Neil Kirk, prize-winner Alexander D. G. Kydd Prize for Academic Excellence

Your future
The training you receive will place you well in the competitive job market. The acquired knowledge and skills are valuable in a wide variety of employment destinations.  These include education, public and private social-service agencies, health services, criminal justice, management and consulting services. Companies use psychologists’ expertise in survey design, analysis, and research to provide marketing evaluation. Graduates of our MSc Psychology will possess important transferable skills, such as numeracy and statistics, an ability to think analytically, and an ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. The comprehensive training in research methods are definitely an advantage to those students who wish to enrol in Doctorate Degrees.

More information
MSc Psychology Course Leaflet

Fees and Scholarships

Fee Category September 2012 Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students £3,400 Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish
£7,000 Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students £9,975 Overseas Scholarships

Fee quoted is the total cost providing that the MSc follows on immediately after the PG Dip element and is completed within the same academic year as started.  Fees may be subject to increase.

Apply Online

Source: Abertay, Dundee, University, Scotland


Lev Vygotsky: Pioneer of Psychology

Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky is considered a seminal thinker in psychology, and much of his work is still being discovered and explored today. While he was a contemporary of Skinner, Pavlov, Freud and Piaget, his work never attained their level of eminence during his lifetime. Part of this was because his work was often criticized by the Communist Party in Russia, and so his writings were largely inaccessible to the Western world. His premature death at age 38 also contributed to his obscurity.

Despite this, his work has continued to grow in influence since his death, particularly in the fields of developmental and educational psychology. He is best known for his sociocultural theory and his concepts of the zone of proximal development and guided practice. Learn more about his life, work and theories in this brief biography of Lev Vygotsky.

Source: About.com


Create a Psychology Presentation

Creating A Psychology Presentation:After students have read through the materials for their chosen topics, it is time to start putting together their presentations. The format of these presentations can vary, since students may choose to use different tools and techniques to present the materials.

Some possibilities:

1. Create an Online Journal:

Students interested in creating an online journal can utilize one of the many free blogging tools that are available (I recommend Blogger or WordPress). After signing up for an account, students can start creating entries. Students might opt to break their research up into separate sections and then create a separate blog entry for each topic, or they may also choose to keep a running journal of their personal thoughts and reactions to the materials that they read.

Be sure to have your students read the following directions on how to create their own blogs.

2. Create a Document or Presentation

Students who do not wish to do an online presentation might want to consider making a written document or PowerPoint presentation. For a written document, students can present their information as a research report, as a question-and-answer style document or as a written journal. Those interested in creating a PowerPoint presentation may want to break up their research into different sections and create separate slides for each part of their project.

Your students may want to consult the following resources for more information on creating multimedia presentations.

3. Create a Poster-board Presentation

Another assignment option is to have students develop a poster-board presentation. In addition to containing a wealth of information, these poster-boards should also be visually engaging. One fun alternative would be to have all students in the classroom create a poster-board and then hold a “psychology conference” where students share and discuss the information presented in their posters.

Terms of Use

You are free to use the Psychology 101 WebQuest for personal and educational use. Giving away, selling or redistributing this WebQuest is not permissible. Do not republish this lesson plan on another website or distribute it electronically via e-mail. Please credit About.com Psychology when you utilize this lesson plan.


After students have completed the WebQuest and their associated psychology presentation, you will need to evaluate the assignment based on the unique criteria you have established. Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the material and an ability to clearly communicate what they have learned. A sample rubric is provided below:

Evaluation Rubric

4 3 2 1
Organization Demonstrates a great deal of organization Demonstrates a considerable degree of organization Demonstrates some knowledge of organziation Demonstrated limited knowledge of organization
Presentation Shows excellent use of style, design and visual appeal Shows good use of style, design and visual appeal Shows some use of style, design and visual appeal Shows limited use of style, design and visual appeal
Knowledge/ Understanding Demonstrates an excellent understanding of the topic Demonstrates a good understanding of the topic Demonstrates some understanding of the topic Demonstrates limited understanding of the topic
Communication Presentation method shows excellent communication of materials and meaning Presentation method shows good communication of materials and meaning Presentation method shows some communication of materials and meaning Presentation method shows limited communication of materials and meaning

Research Topics for the Psychology 101 WebQuest

Choose Topics for the Psychology WebQuest

Choose at least one topic from the list below and click the links to read the articles provided. As you read the information, begin taking notes for your research. Divide your notes into three different sections and write down relevant details that you might want to include in your final psychology presentation.

What Is Psychology?

Biopsychology: The Brain and Behavior

Behavioral Psychology




Part 3: Create a Psychology Presentation

A Psychology Lesson Plan and Student Project

Introduction: Instructions for Teachers

This Psychology 101 WebQuest and lesson plan is designed to help students learn more about the basics of psychology. It serves as a good introduction the science of the mind and behavior.

The lesson plan is adaptable, so you may choose to have students complete the assignment portion either online or offline. If you choose to have students complete the assignment online, they will need to have some knowledge of how to use blogging or online document tools. If you choose to complete the assignment offline, students may choose to use word processing tools (such as Microsoft Word) or presentation software (such as PowerPoint).

The lesson plan consists of two components:

1. The Psychology 101 WebQuest

In this portion of the lesson plan, students will utilize the web to research different psychology topics. All resources are provided in the WebQuest, so there is no need for students to search for the articles and URLs they need. Students can select which topics they choose to include in their assignment, but I would suggest having students choose a minimum of three sections to complete.

2. Creating a Psychology Presentation

After selecting their topics and exploring the resources provided in the Psychology 101 WebQuest, students will need to create a psychology presentation. This can be accomplished in several different ways. Students may opt to use an online publishing tool, such Blogger or Google Docs, to present their project. Another option is to utilize tools such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to create a presentation. Depending on your requirements, students could also choose to create a poster-board presentation.

The Psychology 101 WebQuest offers a fun and exciting way to explore psychology topics and integrate technology tools and resources into the classroom curriculum. Because the lesson plan is highly adaptable, you can make any necessary changes to make it work for your unique classroom needs.

Grade Levels: 8th-grade and up

Description: Complete a Psychology 101 WebQuest and develop a presentation based on the resources provided.

Goal: Students will identify three topics of interest within psychology, read the available resources and create a class presentation based on what they have learned.

See More About:

Part 2: Research Topics for the Psychology 101 WebQuest

What Is Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt

Wilhelm Wundt

One of the most common questions asked by students new to the study of psychology is “What is psychology?” Misconceptions created by popular media as well as the diverse careers paths of those holding psychology degrees have contributed this confusion.

Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain how we think, act and feel. Applications for psychology include mental health treatment, performance enhancement, self-help, ergonomics and many other areas affecting health and daily life.

Early Psychology

Psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Discussions of these two subjects date as far back as the early Greek thinkers including Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning ‘soul’ or ‘mind.’

A Separate Science

The emergence of psychology as a separate and independent field of study was truly born when Wilhelm Wundt established the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany in 1879.

Wundt’s work was focused on describing the structures that compose the mind. This perspective relied heavily on the analysis of sensations and feelings through the use of introspection, a highly subjective process. Wundt believed that properly trained individuals would be able to accurately identify the mental processes that accompanied feelings, sensations and thoughts.

Schools of Thought

Throughout psychology’s history, a number of different schools of thought have thought have formed to explain human thought and behavior. These schools of thought often rise to dominance for a period of time. While these schools of thought are sometimes perceived as competing forces, each perspective has contributed to our understanding of psychology. The following are some of the major schools of thought in psychology.

Psychology Today

Today, psychologists prefer to use more objective scientific methods to understand, explain and predict human behavior. Psychological studies are highly structured, beginning with a hypothesis that is then empirically tested. The discipline has two major areas of focus: academic psychology and applied psychology. Academic psychology focuses on the study of different sub-topics within psychology including personality, social behavior and human development. These psychologists conduct basic research that seeks to expand our theoretical knowledge, while other researchers conduct applied research that seeks to solve everyday problems.

Applied psychology focuses on the use of different psychological principles to solve real world problems. Examples of applied areas of psychology include forensic psychology, ergonomics andindustrial-organizational psychology. Many other psychologists work as therapists, helping people overcome mental, behavioral and emotional disorders.

Psychology Research Methods

As psychology moved away from its philosophical roots, psychologists began to employ more and more scientific methods to study human behavior. Contemporary researchers employ a variety of scientific techniques including experimentscorrelational studies longitudinal research and others to test, explain and predict behavior.

Areas of Psychology

Psychology is a broad and diverse field. A number of different subfields and specialty areas have emerged. The following are some of the major areas of research and application within psychology:

    • Biological Psychology, also known as biopsychology, studies how biological processes influence the mind and behavior. This area is closely linked to neuroscience and utilizes tools such as MRI and PET scans to look at brain injury or brain abnormalities.
    • Clinical Psychology is focused on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. It is also considered the largest employment area within psychology.
    • Cognitive Psychology is the study of human thought processes and cognitions. Cognitive psychologists study topics such as attention, memory, perception, decision-making, problem-solving and language acquisition.
    • Comparative Psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior. This type of research can lead to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.
    • Developmental Psychology is an area that looks at human growth and development over the lifespan. Theories often focus on the development of cognitive abilities, morality, social functioning, identity and other life areas.
    • Forensic Psychology is an applied field focused on using psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system.
    • School Psychology is the branch of psychology that works within the educational system to help children with emotional, social and academic issues.
  • Social Psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods to study social influence, social perception and social interaction. Social psychology studies diverse subjects including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression and prejudice.
See More About:

This article is one of the resources included in the Psychology 101 WebQuest, a lesson plan designed for students grade eight and up. The WebQuest allows students to gather information about a specific topic and then utilize what they have learned to create a class presentation.

What Is Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology is the study of how people learn, ‘Heriberto Herrera

Learners Graduation

Educational Psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners and learning disabilities.

This branch of psychology involves not just the learning process of early childhood and adolescence, but includes the social, emotional and cognitive processes that are involved in learning throughout the entire lifespan. The field of educational psychology incorporates a number of other disciplines, including developmental psychologybehavioral psychology and cognitive psychology.

Topics of Interest Within Educational Psychology

  • Educational TechnologyEducation Learners
  • Instructional Design
  • Special Education
  • Curriculum Development
  • Organizational Learning
  • Gifted Learners

Important Figures in Educational Psychology History

Coventry MSc Psychology Conversion Degree

Coventry University Logocoventry university psychology_msc1


The Coventry MSc Psychology Conversion Degree is a one year conversion course aimed at graduate students whose first degree was in a (relevant) subject other than Psychology. The MSc Psychology provides knowledge and understanding of the core areas in psychology and Confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society.


  • Confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership,
  • Gain entry to our BPS Accredited Masters programmes,
  • Study all of the main theoretical areas of Psychology.



Throughout the course there is an emphasis on developing transferable skills, such as IT, groupwork, communication, report-writing, numeracy and presentation skills.

These skills enable our graduates to secure employment in areas other than psychology. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to develop your own approach to study and to take responsibility for planning and developing your own your own learning.

The course will improve your knowledge of Psychology and put you in a position where you can go on to further psychological study or give your career a greater focus on psychology. The course is academically challenging and provides a comprehensive foundation of psychological theory and research, offering insights into behaviour from a variety of perspectives. During the course you will build the knowledge and skills necessary to fully appreciate the depth and breadth essential to the study of psychology.  There are many opportunities for you to practise and apply these skills with an emphasis on increasing your confidence and competence.

On this course you will study all of the main theoretical areas of psychology including:

  • Biological Psychology which explores the relationship between the brain, the body and behaviour.
  • Social Psychology considers how an individual’s behaviour is affected by the presence of others.
  • Cognitive Psychology looks at how people perceive, remember, think and solve problems.
  • Developmental Psychology is the study of how peoples thinking and social behaviour changes with age.
  • Individual Differences looks at how people differ from one another, for example in terms of their intelligence and personality.

You will also study contemporary issues and debates in psychology, ethics in psychology and applied areas of psychology including counselling, clinical, forensic, educational, sport, work and health psychology.

Research Methods outlines the research methods and statistical analyses that are used in psychological research. You will both learn about these and put these into practice.

You will also conduct an extensive piece of independent research on a topic of your choice.


  • Applicants must have at least a 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline and grade C or equivalent in Maths at GCSE Level,
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language must have IELTS 6.5 or above,
  • Applicants with lower qualifications but relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.


Aimed at students seeking to enter employment as professional psychologists, the programme is a first step towards chartered status as a professional psychologist (GBC).

Successful graduates with GBC will have appropriate academic evidence for further study on our BPS accredited Masters’ degree programmes in Forensic Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Crime, Occupational Psychology or Health Psychology, each of which are important stages in career development within these fields.


To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

Course code: HLST092

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Qualification: Postgraduate Degree (MBA / Msc / MA)

Course type: Full time and Part time

Fees: £4,860.00

People who viewed this course also viewed:

Contact Details:

Recruitment and Admissions Office +44 (0)24 7765 4321 postgraduate@coventry.ac.uk

Source: Coventry University

How To Apply

UK full-time and part-time postgraduate application process

To study a course full-time you can complete an online application form or an editable PDF. You can also come into the Student Centre to complete a form.

International students

International students can find further information on how to apply for a postgraduate course on our International Office website. To telephone us please use  +44 (0) 24 7615 2152 or email enquiries.io@coventry.ac.uk

What we will need:

If possible these should be submitted with an application form

  • One academic and one work reference on official headed paper (if studying full-time then 2 academic references)
  • Copies of academic transcripts
  • Copies of degree/diploma certificates
  • If being sponsored by an employer you must provide a sponsor letter on official headed paper or complete and send in a fee authorisation form
  • Copies of any Professional Registration eg. CIPD, BPS etc

It is important that you send this information to us – either paper copies by mail or scanned and emailed – as soon as possible.

What happens with your application

We will assess your application and, if the application is complete, will endeavour to respond with a decision within 5 working days.  Any documents submitted that have been forged or altered will be automatically rejected.

Contact Admissions

For advice contact admissions on:

Recruitment and Admissions Office
  024 7765 4321
Fax: 024 7688 8609
Email: Postgraduate@coventry.ac.uk or Part-time.uni@coventry.ac.uk

Research Applications

Research students can find a research application and further details on the researchnet website.

Source: How To Apply

Related Articles

Kingston MSc Psychology Degree

Facts About MSc Psychology Degree

Qualification Msc
Duration Full time: one year
Part time: two years
Attendance To be confirmed
Assessment Essays; in-class tests; presentations; unseen examinations; laboratory reports; dissertation
Course structure

Choose Kingston’s MSc Psychology

The course is aimed at:

  • UK graduates of programmes other than Psychology who wish to qualify for the Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS), and who are looking for a masters-level qualification. It will therefore appeal to students who have insufficient credits in psychology from their first degree to meet this criterion to achieve GBC.
  • Overseas students (non-UK) who are looking for a masters-level programme in general psychology that spans the range of subdisciplines that comprise contemporary psychology, and which is accredited by the BPS.

What will you study?

The course covers all of the key subdisciplines of psychology, and will provide extensive training in research skills related to psychology. In addition to providing a broad (yet detailed) overview of the subject, it will promote critical appraisal in relation to psychological models, theories and methodologies. You will conduct practical research exercises, and will produce a substantial research-based dissertation in an area of psychology that you choose (subject to availability).

Stress Less with These Online Resources


online stress toolsAre you trying to keep your stress levels in check this holiday season? The American Psychological Association reports that 31 percent of men and 44 percent of women say that the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. Why? Family obligations, gift shopping, cooking, traveling, juggling finances, and hosting guests are just a few of the things that contribute to Christmas-time stress levels.

So what can you do to minimize your stress and still enjoy the festivities that the season has to offer? Fortunately, there are plenty of great online resources that can help. One article from The Sydney Morning Heraldsuggested some interesting strategies utilizing tools and resources that can all be found online. Downloading an interesting podcast, taking an online yoga class, and following a guided meditation are all possible options that might help you de-stress and chill out.

About.com’s Guide to Stress Management, Elizabeth Scott, has a great collection of stress-relieving online games. In addition to being fun, these online games offer a quick and easy way to get a few minutes of distraction and relaxation. Looking for more ideas? Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s great advice on using your iPhone or Pinterest for stress relief.

Source: About.com

Introduction To Postgraduate Funding

Source: Introduction To Postgraduate Funding

There are three basic types of funding available for studies after an undergraduate degree; studentships, funding awards from universities, charities, individuals and commercial organisations, or paying for the course (possibly with help) yourself.

To some extent these are dependent on your choice of course too (some subjects carry specific bursaries, more on these later). But for our purposes here, let’s assume that you are dedicated to the study of the Cavia porcellus – it’s your passion.

Now it’s likely that the number of courses available for those who want to manage adventure playgrounds for Cavia porcellus (or guinea pigs to those uninitiated in the way of the furry little fellas), are limited, but you’ve searched through those on offer, and you’ve found one that ticks all the hutches. So where’s the money coming from?


Source: http://targetcourses.co.uk/funding/bursaries

Universities themselves are also a good source of funding, with their own studentships / scholarships and award schemes and smaller prize awards towards books and the like. These have a variety of criteria, from the best history essay winning a book award to an international scholarship for an economics student from Indonesia. University departments themselves will be clued up to what’s available, so it’s worth contacting those on your list, or checking out their websites.

It might be that there is some paid work available on campus; in your department (although teaching or marking tasks may be more the remit of those studying for PhDs), or in the library or student union.

For those finding themselves in real financial trouble, perhaps brought on by a change in circumstances (moving next to the pub doesn’t count), the government has an Access to Learning fund. Applications to the fund are made via the university’s student services.

Government funding bodies

Thinking of teaching or social work? There may well be extra funding available for you.

While the teaching shortage that prompted the era of the ‘golden hello’ for initial teacher training (ITT) is now over, there are still bursaries available for some subjects. These are specialities that the government thinks are in particular demand and recruitment is ‘challenging’.

If you’ve an eye for maths, physics, chemistry and engineering you may be eligible for a tax-free bursary of £9,000. A flare for modern languages, biology or general sciences and that could be a £6,000 tax-free bursary.

At the moment, preference is given to candidates with the best academic qualifications when drawing up shortlists of applicants. Take heed, the government recently announced that from 2012, postgraduate teacher training candidates will need to have at least a 2.1 or higher to get funding from the Department for Education.

Social work
A bursary for social work was introduced by the Department of Health to encourage people to study social work. The postgraduate bursary has assessed (for maintenance grants and allowances for dependents) and non-assessed elements (for grants, tuition fees and placement travel fees).

To find out more about the bursary for postgraduates, please download the booklet ‘Social Work Bursary

Other medical professions
NHS student bursaries are available for a number of other medical courses as well. Feet people, teeth people and speech people are just a few of those eligible for financial support if accepted for an NHS funded place on a course leading to professional registration.

To find out more about NHS backed student bursaries, please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk

The general opinion is that these only fund teaching now, but there are websites still recommend contacting them – so you might like to contact your local education authority to check its policies on funding.


The most common award made by the research councils (a group of seven government funded agencies which research different areas) for MA or MSc students is the ‘advanced course studentship’.

The councils make awards of money to departments or universities. Students then make applications for these awards to the university or department running the course, rather than the research council directly (there are a couple of arts and humanities exceptions).

Charities and Awards

Source: http://targetcourses.co.uk/funding/charities-and-awards

Again, a competitive area, but hundreds of charities and schemes offer money to needy postgraduates. These range from large trusts such as the Wellcome Trust to much smaller, nevertheless useful awards – some have a wide eligibility criterion and some have much more specific remits. For example, the Buchanan Society have an award for people with a specific surname, many have geographical links, educational requirements or are distributed only when other sources of funding have been exhausted by applicants.

Some of the better-known charities giving fairly hefty awards directly to graduates include;

  • Panasonic Trust Fellowships and Awards
  • The Perry Foundation
  • The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
  • British Federation of Women Graduates

The key here is checking the criteria and writing a good proposal.

Do remember to check universities too, they may offer their own awards in particular subjects, or discounts for alumni.


Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Source: Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales & Northern Ireland


Section1: Introduction 2 Section2: Background 4

Section3: MainfeaturesofTheframeworkforhighereducation qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) 6

The purpose of the FHEQ 6 The number of levels in the FHEQ 7 Relationship between the FHEQ and European developments 8

Table 1: Examples of the typical higher education
qualifications at each level of the FHEQ and the corresponding cycle of the FQ-EHEA 10

Positioning qualifications within the FHEQ 12

Section4: Qualificationdescriptors 14

Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 4: Certificate of Higher Education 15

Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 5: Foundation Degree 16

Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 6: Bachelor’s degree with honours 18

Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 7:
Master’s degree 20

Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 8:
Doctoral degree 23

The relationship between qualification descriptors and
other points of reference for academic standards 26

Assessment 27 Qualifications, volumes of learning and credit 27

Section5: TheFHEQ-implementationissuesandguidance 30

Naming qualifications 30 Awarding qualifications 33

Annex A: Advisory group 34

Annex B: Shared Dublin descriptors for short cycle,
first cycle, second cycle and third cycle awards 36

Annex C: Glossary of abbreviations 42


Section 1: Introduction

1 This guidance is about the implementation of The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ). It applies to degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic awards (other than honorary degrees and higher doctorates) granted by a higher education provider1 in the exercise of its degree awarding powers.

2 The FHEQ is an important reference point for providers of higher education. The FHEQ, and associated guidance for implementation, has been written to assist higher education providers to maintain academic standards; to inform international comparability of academic standards, especially in the European context; to ensure international competitiveness; and to facilitate student and graduate mobility. Higher education providers may find it useful to refer to the FHEQ in their discussions with the main stakeholders in higher education (prospective students, parents, schools and employers) about the outcomes and attributes that each qualification represents.

3 The fundamental premise of the FHEQ is that qualifications should be awarded on the basis of achievement of outcomes and attainment rather than years of study. Qualification descriptors are key to this premise. Qualification descriptors set out the generic outcomes and attributes expected for the award of individual qualifications. The qualification descriptors contained in the FHEQ exemplify the outcomes and attributes expected of learning that results in the award of higher education qualifications. These outcomes represent the integration of various learning experiences resulting from designated and coherent programmes of study. These qualifications, which develop graduates with high-level


1 The term ‘higher education provider’ is used throughout as a generic term. Higher education providers are expected to act in accordance with the limits of their degree awarding powers and/or responsibilities as providers of
higher education.


GCSE Specification Psychology

Source: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcse/pdf/AQA-4180-W-SP.PDF

1 Introduction 2
1.1 Why choose AQA? 2
1.2 Why choose Psychology? 2
1.3 How do I start using this specification? 3
1.4 How can I find out more? 3
2 Specification at a Glance 4
3 Subject Content 5
3.1 Unit 1 Making Sense of Other People (41801) 5
3.2 Unit 2 Understanding Other People (41802) 7
4 Scheme of Assessment 10
4.1 Aims and learning outcomes 10
4.2 Assessment Objectives 10
4.3 National criteria 11
4.4 Prior learning 11
4.5 Access to assessment: diversity and inclusion 11
5 Administration 12
5.1 Availability of assessment units and certification 12
5.2 Entries 12
5.3 Private candidates 12
5.4 Access arrangements and special consideration 12
5.5 Language of examinations 13
5.6 Qualification titles 13
5.7 Awarding grades and reporting results 13
5.8 Re-sits and shelf-life of unit results 14
Appendices 15
A Grade Descriptions 15
B Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Legislative, Sustainable
Development, Economic and Cultural Issues, and
Health and Safety Considerations 16
C Overlaps with other Qualifications 17
D Key Skills 18

1 Introduction

1.1 Why choose AQA?

AQA is the UK’s favourite exam board and more students receive their academic qualifications from AQA than from any other board. But why is AQA so popular?

AQA understands the different requirements of each subject by working in partnership with teachers. Our GCSEs:

  • enable students to realise their full potential
  • contain engaging content
  • are manageable for schools and colleges
  • are accessible to students of all levels of ability
  • lead to accurate results, delivered on time
  • are affordable and value for money.

1.3 How do I start using this specification?

Already using the existing AQA Psychology specification?

  • Register to receive further information, such as mark schemes, past question papers, details of teacher support meetings, etc, at http://www.aqa.org.uk/rn/askaqa.php Information will be available electronically or in print, for your convenience.
  • Tell us that you intend to enter candidates. Then we can make sure that you receive all the material you need for the examinations. You can let us know by completing the appropriate Intention to Enter and Estimated Entry forms. We will send copies to your Exams Officer and they are also available on our website (http://www.aqa.org.uk/admin/p_entries.php).

Not using the AQA specification currently?

• Almost all centres in England and Wales use AQA or have used AQA in the past and are approved AQA centres. A small minority are not. If your centre is new to AQA, please contact our centre approval team at centreapproval@aqa.org.uk

1.4 How can I find out more?


You have 24-hour access to useful information and answers to the most commonly-asked questions at http://www.aqa.org.uk/rn/askaqa.php

If the answer to your question is not available, you can submit a query for our team. Our target response time is one day.

Teacher Support

Details of the full range of current Teacher Support meetings are available on our website at http://www.aqa.org.uk/support/teachers.php

There is also a link to our fast and convenient online booking system for Teacher Support meetings at http://events.aqa.org.uk/ebooking

If you need to contact the Teacher Support team, you can call us on 01483 477860 or email us at teachersupport@aqa.org.uk

GCSE from 2012

What’s the proposed timescale for these changes?

  • For all two-year GCSE courses starting in September 2012, candidates will be applying for their GCSE award in 2014 and will be required to sit all their examinations at the end of the course.
  • Candidates who started three-year courses in September 2011 will be expecting to apply for their GCSE award in summer 2014 and, therefore, will need to enter for all units in May/June 2014.
  • Candidates who apply for certification of subject awards in summer 2013 (or earlier) will be permitted to enter in a modular way.

For all students completing modular GCSEs in English Literature, Geography, History and Religious Studies in summer 2013, external assessments taken from January 2013 will include additional marks for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG).

Linear GCSE timeline

You can read the confirmation of the changes to GCSEs from Ofqual here.

 Download our GCSE 2012 reforms flyer for more information on the changes, the timescale and how we’re supporting you.

Ofqual Confirms Changes To GCSEs

Ofqual - Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulations Source: Ofqual Confirms Changes To GCSEs

Changes to GCSEs For Use in England 
Update on 29th June 2012

September 2012 – New GCSE Geography Qualifications

To date, three new GCSE geography qualifications have been accepted on to the Register of Regulated Qualifications – WJEC GCSE Geography Specification A, WJEC GCSE Geography Specification B and AQA GCSE Geography Specification A. All awarding organisations continue to review and amend their qualifications and we will provide updates on a regular basis as they are accepted on to the Register. If you would like further information on changes to particular qualifications please contact the awarding organisations directly.

September 2013 – new GCSE English literature and history qualifications

No new qualifications have been accepted on to the Register of Regulated Qualifications yet. We will provide updates on a regular basis but if you would like further information on particular qualifications please contact the awarding organisations directly.

Changes to GCSEs for use in England
Update on 26th April 2012

Awarding organisations have almost finished reviewing their GCSE qualifications ready for the introduction of:

  • linear assessment for all two-year courses to be taught from September 2012
  • the separate assessment of spelling, punctuation and grammar in external examinations in English literature, history, geography and religious studies from January 2013.

Copies of these specifications, specimen assessment materials and details of the timeline for introduction are available on the websites of each awarding organisation.

Ofqual and its regulatory partners in Northern Ireland (CCEA), and Wales (the Welsh Government), have also asked awarding organisations to carry out a thorough review of their GCSE qualifications in English literature, geography and history. This is to ensure that there are no routes through a qualification that can cut down the expected course of study or the assessment requirements. All qualifications must make the teaching and learning requirements clear. These requirements must be supported by the assessment at an appropriate level of demand and the grading arrangements must reflect the standards set.

New GCSE qualifications will be available in English literature, geography and history. These changes are focused on strengthening the demands of the GCSE qualifications and ensuring that candidates achieving these qualifications are well prepared for progression to further study. These reforms have been organised to permit changes to teaching, learning and assessment to be introduced in a series of steps.

September 2012 – New GCSE Geography Qualifications

All awarding organisations will make new qualifications available ahead of the start of teaching in September 2012. These new qualifications will include linear assessment and the separate assessment of candidates’ performance in accurate spelling, punctuation and use of grammar.

Awarding organisations submitted their new qualifications to the regulators at the end of February and have received feedback on them. They are now carrying out further reviews and will confirm to their centres when their new qualifications have been accepted on to the Register of Regulated Qualifications. At this point they will also be accepted on to the DfE Section 96 list of qualifications eligible for teaching in maintained centres.

September 2013 – New GCSE English Literature and History Qualifications

All awarding organisations will make new qualifications available ahead of the start of teaching in September 2013. We have identified to awarding organisations our specific areas of concern. Awarding organisations will revise their current qualifications to address these concerns and submit new qualifications for our review over the coming months. Awarding organisations know they must provide centres with enough time for to prepare for any changes to teaching required by the new qualifications. We will provide a further update on this issue in June.

A timeline detailing the introduction of changes to GCSEs is shown below. The timeline is available to download in PDF format.


Changes to GCSEs – Update on January 27, 2012

Awarding organisations are currently revising GCSE qualifications ready for the introduction of linear assessment and, in the cases of English literature, history, geography and religious studies, the separate assessment of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The revised specifications will be submitted to the regulators for accreditation soon.

Given the suggestion that some GCSE qualifications may permit narrowing of the expected course of study, Ofqual, working with CCEA and DfES, are taking the opportunity to look closely at these revised specifications, to make sure that the standards set and the study requirements are what we expect.

The regulators will:

  • review all GCSE geography specifications and assessment materials. Awarding organisations must make sure that their specifications meet all of the regulatory requirements, make clear the full course of study required of candidates and that the assessment arrangements support this. Awarding organisations will be informed of accreditation decisions by Friday, April 20, at the latest.
  • review the current specifications for GCSE English literature, history and religious studies. Awarding organisations will be told by mid-February if there is any further action required to those qualifications before they can be accredited. We will provide a further update on this issue in mid-February.

Centres should be aware of the following:

  • For those candidates already embarked on a course of study for GCSEs in English literature, geography, history and religious studies and certificating in 2013 the only changes to specifications will relate to the separate assessment of spelling, punctuation and the accurate use of grammar in the examination papers. Awarding organisations will make revised specimen assessment materials available for the current qualifications to illustrate how the requirement for the separate assessment of spelling, punctuation and the accurate use of grammar will be addressed.
  • For courses beginning in September 2012 and candidates certificating in summer 2014, in addition to the introduction of linear assessment and the separate assessment of spelling, punctuation and grammar there may be revised specifications in GCSE geography together with changes to or fully revised specifications in GCSE English literature, history and religious studies.

We do recognise how important the timescales are in this work. We believe these arrangements represent a fair and proportionate approach to making sure that standards are maintained.

Ofqual Confirms Changes to GCSEs – December 2011

Ofqual can today confirm the changes that will be made to GCSEs in England for teaching from September 2012.

Changes are being made to GCSEs in order to implement the policy aims set out by the Department for Education in the 2010 White Paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’.

As a result of the changes:

  • Assessment will take place at the end of the course of study
    • Assessment opportunities for the majority of subjects will be restricted to summer only
    • For English, English language and mathematics there will be an additional assessment opportunity in November
    • Any pilot qualifications that are exceptions to this arrangement will be separately identified
  • In GCSE English literature, geography, history and religious studies, additional marks will be awarded for the accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar in questions that require extended answers
  • Regulatory documents relating to these qualifications will be amended to reflect these changes

The timeline for these changes to be made is as follows:

  • Candidates will be required to take all GCSE assessments at the end of the course for awards made from summer 2014 onwards. This will affect all candidates starting two-year courses in September 2012.
  • Question papers in English literature, geography, history and religious studies with extra marks awarded for spelling punctuation and grammar will first be sat by candidates in January 2013.

Ofqual consulted on the changes between September 26 and November 4, 2011. A total of 1,261 responses were received. There was broad agreement to the approach set out in the consultation document. Download a summary of the responses.

Longer term changes to GCSEs will be made following the National Curriculum Review, which is currently on-going.

Also published today are the responses to a consultation on Ofqual’s powers through Section 96 of the Equality Act 2010 to make specifications about where reasonable adjustments to general qualifications should not be made. Download a summary of the responses.

Hot Topics
Related PDF Downloads

GCSE from 2009 | Psychology

Edexcel LogoGCSE 2012 reforms: Impact on Psychology Ppecification 

Source: GCSE from 2009 | Psychology

The GCSE 2009 modular Psychology specification is available to download below, and has a final assessment window of June 2013.

The GCSE 2012 linear Psychology specification for first teaching in September 2012 (for two-year courses) is also available below. The main changes are:

• No content change to the specification
• Linear assessment structure: exams are taken at the end of the course
• January session no longer available.

Download GCSE 2012 Reforms Flyer

GCSE from 2012

Ofqual has confirmed the following changes to all GCSEs in England:

All GCSE assessment will be linear in structure, so that examinations are taken at the end of the course. There will no longer be an opportunity to resit units. Examinations will only be available in the summer series, except for retake opportunities for English, English Language and Mathematics. Additional marks will be awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) for GCSEs in English Literature, Geography, History and Religious Studies.

Wales and Northern Ireland
The governments of Wales and Northern Ireland have announced that awarding organisations will be free to offer both modular GCSEs and linear GCSEs in Wales and Northern Ireland. However, we will not be offering the current modular GCSEs in Wales and Northern Ireland for students certificating after 2013. Read ‘GCSE Reforms: Supporting’ you  who will be implementing linear GCSEs in September 2012.

GCSE Reforms: Supporting you
Source: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse-2012/support/Pages/default.aspx

We want to ensure that you have all the information and support you need to plan and deliver these changes to GCSEs.

• We’re looking to make only the changes to the existing specifications that are needed for linear assessment and SPaG.

• We have no plans to change the subject content of our specifications.*

• We have no plans to change controlled assessments.*

*This is subject to the accreditation of our revised GCSE specifications by Ofqual.

Over the coming weeks, we will provide further information and support to help you to plan your delivery of these GCSE changes.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do contact our specialist Subject Advisor teams.

Find out more about how we are supporting you:
• Training
• Subject Advisors
• Planning
• Exam preparation
• Controlled assessment

 Download these GCSE 2012 PowerPoint slides for use at your GCSE options evenings.

What does this mean for you and your students?

1. A reduction in the number of GCSE examination series

For awards made from summer 2014 onwards:

  • candidates will have to take all GCSE assessments at the end of the course
  • the GCSE examination series will be restricted to May/June, except for English, English Language and Mathematics, which will offer retake opportunities in November.

2. Additional marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)

• Additional marks for SPaG will be awarded for GCSEs in English Literature, Geography, History and Religious Studies. The changes affect written and externally assessed units available from January 2013.

• Marks will be allocated to individual questions and students will be informed which questions include marks for SPaG.

3. No change to controlled assessment*

• There are no proposed changes to controlled assessment content.*

• Schools may continue to schedule controlled assessments at their discretion, as far as this is permitted by the specification. However, controlled assessments can only be submitted at the end of the course.

• Controlled assessment unit results may be carried forward if a student wishes to retake the whole qualification.

Please note that you will need to make sure that you are using the correct task for the end-of-course submission date.

*This is based on our draft specifications submitted to Ofqual and will be subject to change in the final accredited qualification.

4. Minimal change to our specifications

• We have no plans to change the subject content of our specifications as a result of the GCSE reforms announced by Ofqual. The GCSE reforms will affect the way external assessment is taken rather than changing actual external assessments.*

*This is based on our draft specifications submitted to Ofqual and will be subject to change in the final accredited qualification.

You can read Ofqual’s confirmation of the changes to GCSEs here.

See the timeline for these changes here.

 Download our GCSE 2012 reforms flyer for more information on the changes and how we’re supporting you.

 Download these GCSE 2012 PowerPoint slides for use at your GCSE options evenings.

 Download our GCSE Availability Model to see what Edexcel is offering in each series

Read our FAQs about the GCSE reforms