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Psychology (Conversion) MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (online) (full-time), 2 years (online) (part-time)

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 5 for Teaching Quality

This is a very popular and over-subscribed course and therefore we would advise applying early in the cycle due to the limited number of places that are available. Applications will close as soon as all places are filled.

Looking to change career? This psychology conversion degree is the first step to becoming a Chartered Psychologist

Investigate the human mind with our psychology conversion degree. You will cover all core BPS curriculum areas of psychology, including:

  • qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • developmental, cognitive, biological, social and individual differences
  • conceptual and historical issues.

Our psychology conversion course is for working professionals who want to change their career direction. It also suits psychologists working abroad who need to their qualifications. Our psychology conversion degree will give you the equivalent of three years of undergraduate study.

This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society and confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Online and flexible

Our full-time pathway and part-time pathways are run online. We are one of the few fully online Psychology conversion degrees in the UK which also offers synchronous live online sessions.

Therefore, you will have the flexibility to learn around your non-academic commitments.

No exams

There are no exams. Instead, the course is designed to authentically test the knowledge and skills that are used by practicing psychologists.


Dr Christine Campbell

Associate Professor

Upcoming Event

St Mary's University logo

MSc Psychology conversion - 18th May

Saturday 18th May 2024, 11:00AM

Course content


The indicative syllabus is to give you an idea of the sorts of topics that are covered in each module and is not exhaustive.

You must complete all modules apart from Independent Project for the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Psychology.

You must complete Discovering Psychology, and a combination of any other two modules (excluding the Independent Project) for the award of Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Psychology.

Please note: the PGDip or PGCert routes do not satisfy BPS accreditation requirements. If studying one of these routes you can choose to extend your studies to a full Master's degree on the condition that you have passed all modules taken up to that point.

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

All applicants must hold a Lower Second Class (2:2) - or equivalent - undergraduate degree-level qualification. 


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of St Mary’s University, as specified in the University Admissions Policy.

Your undergraduate degree may be in a subject other than psychology, or a degree in psychology that was not eligible for accreditation by the BPS.

If you have previously undertaken an accredited degree, but failed to either pass the empirical psychology project or achieve at least a 2:2, you may be admitted subject to an interview.

You must also hold a minimum grade of C/4 in GCSE-level mathematics and English (or equivalent).

If you do not currently meet this mathematics requirement, then you may wish to consider a mathematics equivalency qualification. This would need to be completed with one of four approved providers that we accept and would need to be successfully completed before you apply for the MSc Psychology Conversion programme.

Please note that these are all available as online providers apart from the St Mary’s option, which requires in-person attendance at the test. All of the test results are accepted by us equally, but our test may not be recognised by other institutions. Please look at our GCSE equivalency tests page for more information.

Please also note that you do not need a Student Visa to study our part-time or full-time course, as this is run online.

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.


Applicants that pass the initial assessment stage will be invited to interview. This is a very popular and over-subscribed course, which has a limited number of places available so we will close applications as soon as all places are filled.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


You can check on the UK government website to see if you may be eligible for a loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate programme.

Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

All the assessments are coursework based (no exams) because we want you to display your deep critical knowledge and understanding, not simply the ability to remember facts.

The assessments on this course have been specifically designed to help you learn about all the BPS GBC curriculum areas in a meaningful way.

Research reports are supplemented with tasks where you're asked to apply your theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.

For example, in the module Development across the lifespan you'll be asked to think about how our understanding of learning theories can be used to support children with specific learning difficulties.

In another example, the Social Psychology module asks you to take a story currently in the news and explain how psychological research can explain people's behaviour.

The staff on the course will support you throughout with regular tutorials and chances for formative feedback. 

Career opportunities

Our psychology conversion degree will help you develop essential transferrable skills, such as, critical thinking, and communication.

Some examples of job roles and areas of work for graduates of Psychology (Conversion) MSc, PGDip, PGCert include:

Mental Health and Wellbeing PractitionerEducation Mental Health PractitionerChildren’s Wellbeing PractitionerCognitive Behavioural TherapistChild and Adolescent PsychotherapistsSystemic Family TherapistsEducational PsychologyCounsellingOccupational PsychologySport and Exercise PsychologyClinical PsychologyForensic PsychologyHealth Psychology

Apply now

September 2024

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