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

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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.

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Source: Abertay, Dundee, University, Scotland