Psychology Conversion - MSc

Postgraduate Open Day

Join us at the Medway campus on Saturday 24 June or the Canterbury campus on Saturday 1 July. Meet our staff and students, find out more about our Master's and PhDs, and experience our stunning locations for yourself.

If you find yourself with a passion for better understanding human behaviour but didn't take a degree in Psychology, this course is for you. Now is your time to convert with our online MSc Psychology Conversion course. On successful competition move onto one of our specialist MSc courses, fast-tracking you into your dream Psychology career.


Develop a scientific understanding of the mind, brain, behaviour and experience, and how they interact with the complex environments in which they are situated. By taking modules in Social, Brain and Cognition, Development, and Mental Health, you'll be supported in, and inspired to take on your own research in an area that interests you.

Reasons to study MSc Psychology Conversion at Kent

  • Study from any location with our fully remote MSc course that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which means you'll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS, essential for pursuing a career in recognised psychology professions.
  • Teaching from academics with experience and qualifications from across sub-disciplines within Psychology, demonstrating the scientist-practitioner model of working
  • Test out your own theories and hypotheses with support from actively researching academics at the forefront of their fields
  • Over 80% of our Psychology research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for environment and publications in Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • Our recent graduates have started their own businesses, researched in the civil service and become practising Psychologists

What you’ll learn

  • Develop advanced conceptual knowledge and the acquisition of a range of research skills and methods for investigating experience and behaviour, culminating in an ability to conduct original research independently.
  • Understand the significance of child development for human psychology.
  • Feel equipped with knowledge in methods, techniques and issues in cognitive neuroscience.
  • Gain a comprehensive overview of the major theories and scientific discoveries in personality, individual differences, intergroup relationships and interpersonal relations.
  • Explore the major mental health disorders, focusing on what research has to say about their social, cognitive and biological bases, with an understanding for their implications in treatment.
  • Generate and explore your hypotheses by designing, conducting and analysing a research project of your choosing. This prepares you for a specialist MSc, or further studying (PhD level).
  • Advance your understanding of real-life applications of theory to a wide range of experience and behaviour and the application of psychological understanding to complex real world questions.

About the School of Psychology

As a student within the School of Psychology at Kent, you benefit from our supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.

All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

Conducting both basic and applied research in several areas, Psychology at Kent is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research. Our long-established international reputation in social psychology is complemented by our strengths in cognitive, developmental and forensic psychology. We attract excellent visiting scholars and postgraduate students from both within the UK and overseas.

Some of our PhD students are self-funded, and others are funded by grants or awards either from the School, UK or their countries of origin. Some are also paid to undertake part-time teaching within the School. We have a strong track record of attracting ESRC research studentship funding, which involves partnerships with external organisations such as Age UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and collaborative studentships with partners such as People United.


The British Psychological Society (BPS).

Entry requirements

1.Degree requirement

a. A first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent. 

All applications are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.


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Course structure

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

This course is designed to be delivered entirely online, including lectures, seminars, project work, tests and presentations.


The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Compulsory modules currently include

PSYC7001 - Research Methodology and Statistics (30 credits)

The broad aims of the module are: (a) to provide a continued training in methodological skills appropriate to psychological investigation; (b) to provide advanced training in statistical techniques of the analysis of psychological data; (c) to provide training in computing skills for conducting analysis of psychological data; and (d) to provide direct experience of some of the phenomena encountered across other psychology modules

PSYC7002 - Personality and Social Psychology (30 credits)

The module provides a comprehensive overview of the major theories and scientific discoveries in personality and individual differences, attitudes and social cognition, and the social psychology of group processes, interpersonal relationships and intergroup relations. It emphasises findings from systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings and focuses on key topics in classic and current research. Possible topics include mental abilities, emotions, self-esteem, the self, political attitudes, attraction, stability and change in personality and attitudes, social influence, leadership, social identity, prejudice, and prejudice reduction.

We will consider what personality is, why it differs between people, and what impact personality and individual differences have on life outcomes. We will also focus on the impact of perceptions of the self, others, and groups on attitudes and behaviour within close relationships, within groups and between groups.

PSYC7003 - Brain and Cognition (30 credits)

This module gives you grounding in methods, techniques and issues in cognitive neuroscience. It will focus on the biological bases of human behaviour, and on cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, and higher levels of cognition concerned with language and cognitive control, with a particular focus on how these processes are instantiated in the brain. Your will also learn about the methods used to study these processes, such as the recording of physiological signals, brain-imaging techniques, and the study of individuals with brain injury.

PSYC7000 - Child Development (15 credits)

The focus of this module is on understanding how children develop. Understanding something of the processes of developmental change is a central part of any psychology degree, and by the end of this module you should be in a better position to understand the significance of child development for human psychology. As the course progresses we will move from issues germane to early infancy, through childhood and the associated social, cognitive and emotional changes the child experiences during that period, concluding with an overall look at the bigger picture.

PSYC7004 - Mental Health (15 credits)

This module provides students with theoretical instruction and opportunities for critical evaluation in abnormal psychology. It examines the origins and identification of different forms of atypical cognitions and behaviours and investigate the psychological and social impact for patients. The module covers some of the major mental health disorders, focusing primarily on what research has to say about their social/cognitive/biological bases and the implications they have for treatment. In addition, the module describes several methodological approaches, ask fundamental questions about the meaning of normality. The historical developments in this field are examined and current interventions and treatments feature highly in this module.

PSYC7005 - Advanced Research Project: Proposal Development (5 credits)

To provide students with an understanding of academic research and an ability to identify and utilise appropriate strategies and techniques for the purpose of investigation, research and practice within psychology. This module will prepare students to undertake the dissertation module in Stage 2 of their course.

PSYC7006 - Advanced Research Project: Dissertation (55 credits)

Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in psychology work individually or in groups to identify a gap in the literature, design a study to fill that gap, collect data where appropriate and write up their findings. This work will be an opportunity to use all the research skills they have developed over this programme of study. Students will have an academic member of staff as a Project Supervisor. The area of research students work on will depend on their interests and those of their selected supervisor.


Teaching and assessment

This course is designed to be delivered entirely online, including lectures, seminars, project work, tests and presentations. Assessment through essay work, examinations, presentations, coursework and a research report.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • Provide the opportunity for students who already have a degree to proceed to study Psychology at master's level when they have not previously studied Psychology. 
  • Meet the requirements for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) on successful completion of the course.
  • Reflect an inclusive and innovative approach to learning, teaching and assessment practices, within supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
  • Advance a scientific understanding of the mind, brain, behaviour and experience, and how they interact with the complex environments in which they are situated.
  • Develop advanced conceptual knowledge and the acquisition of a range of research skills and methods for investigating experience and behaviour, culminating in an ability to conduct original research independently.
  • Develop an advanced understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the creation and constraint of complex psychological theory, and also in how theory guides the collection and interpretation of empirical data.
  • Present multiple perspectives in a way that develops graduates’ critical evaluation and reflection in the development of knowledge, leading to an appreciation of theory and research findings, including relevant ethical and socio-cultural issues.
  • Lead to an advanced understanding of real-life applications of theory to a wide range of experience and behaviour and the application of psychological understanding to complex real world questions. Prepare students for employment or further study.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

The course provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

  • Psychology statistics, practical experimentation, and research
  • Conceptual and Historical issues in psychology
  • Biological underpinnings of psychology
  • The different cognitive models used within the field of psychology
  • Individual differences in psychology
  • Psychology of the self and of society
  • Psychology in childhood and adulthood
  • Psychology of mental health.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • Be able to undertake critical reflection on particular issues in the field of psychology
  • Use effective personal planning and project management skills
  • Demonstrate clarity in thinking, critical thinking and problem identification.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • Reason scientifically, understand the role of evidence and make critical judgements about arguments in psychology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of multiple perspectives and systematically analyse the relationships between them
  • Detect meaningful patterns in behaviour and evaluate their significance through statistical analysis
  • Recognise the subjective and variable nature of individual experience
  • Pose, operationalise and critique research questions
  • Demonstrate substantial competence in research skills through practical activities
  • Reason analytically and demonstrate competence in a range of quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Competently initiate, design, conduct and report on an empirically-based research project under appropriate supervision, and recognise its theoretical, practical and methodological implications and limitations
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures and demonstrate these in relation to personal study, particularly with regard to the research project, and be aware of the ethical context of Psychology as a discipline.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • Communicate ideas and research findings to different audiences across different media
  • Interpret and use numerical, textual and other forms of data to a sophisticated level
  • Develop and apply digital capabilities to further their own learning and in the analysis and presentation of ideas and research findings
  • Solve problems by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes
  • Be sensitive to, and take account of, contextual and interpersonal factors in groups and teams
  • Undertake self-directed study and project management, in order to meet desired objectives
  • Take charge of own learning, and reflect and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of future learning
  • Develop effective personal planning and project management skills.


The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9500
  • EU full-time £10200
  • International full-time £13600
  • Home part-time £4750
  • EU part-time £5100
  • International part-time £6800

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, over 80% of our Psychology research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for environment and publications.

Following the REF 2021, Psychology at Kent was ranked in the Top 50 in the world and 6th in the UK in the Times Higher Education.


Research areas

Research themes

The School of Psychology is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research, with an international reputation for excellence in social psychology (including group processes and intergroup relations); cognition and neuroscience; developmental psychology; and forensic psychology. We have staff who can supervise research degrees in all of these areas. The research environment is designed to sustain a strong, vibrant research culture, encourage collaboration, and unite staff and students with shared research interests. Our themes ensure critical mass and create a highly energetic and stimulating intellectual climate.

Research activity is supported by:

  • centrally co-ordinated provision and use of laboratories and technical support
  • selection of speakers for our weekly departmental research colloquia
  • weekly research meetings within each theme
  • developing, reporting and analysing research, and hosting our many visiting scholars
  • several monthly small meeting series on specific areas of cross-cutting research (such as forensic, social development, emotion, social cognition and health).

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology research at Kent and all forensic-related teaching operates through our newly constituted Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP). Current research is focused on bullying in prisons, prison gang behaviour, jury decision-making, child sexual offending, rape, rape proclivity, female sexual offending, theories of offender rehabilitation, firesetting, sexual harassment, violence, aggression and alcohol, and the infrahumanisation of offenders. Other areas of research include social cognition, social and moral emotion, and group process theory, all of which are applied to the study of offending behaviour or court process issues.

Forensic psychology research at Kent is funded by various national and international sources, which include: The British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, Home Office, Leverhulme, Ministry of Justice and the Nuffield Foundation.

Research may be carried out with staff or offenders/ex-offenders in a variety of settings, including prisons, youth offender institutions, secure mental health units and probation offices. Alternatively, research may take place with students or members of the community in our newly equipped laboratories.

Social Psychology

Much of our social psychology research is co-ordinated through the Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP), the largest research group in this area in Europe. CSGP attracts a stream of major international social psychology researchers, who are officially affiliated to the Centre and visit regularly to work with our staff. The Social Psychology group also includes the co-editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Abrams).

Social psychology research at Kent is funded by a variety of British and international sources, currently and recently including ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme, Age Concern, European Commission, European Science Foundation, Home Office, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Nuffield, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well as government departments such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Social Psychology group includes the following themes:

Prejudice, intergroup contact and social categorisation

This research is carried out in our social psychology laboratories, at schools and in business organisations. For example, research within this topic focuses on questions such as: how contact between members of different social groups is represented psychologically, how intergroup contact affects prejudice, when outgroups are seen as less human, when and why children show prejudice, and why organisational mergers sometimes fail.

Social inequality and cohesion

Research on this topic combines theory-driven research and engagement with policy. It is conducted in real-life settings such as the workplace, and involves national and international surveys. For example, the research focuses on the well-being of elderly people in Britain, work participation and motherhood, and discrimination against different groups in society.

Group dynamics and social influence

Laboratory studies and community-based research are conducted on this topic. For example, research focuses on co-operation in small groups, group decision-making, perception and influence of leaders, social communication and language, subjective group dynamics in adults and children, the dynamics of prison gang activity, and the impact of alcohol on group processes.

Personality and social motivation

Much of this research is carried out in laboratories, through surveys and in clinical or other applied settings. For example, research has examined aggression, the adaptive functions of perfectionism, and consequences of mortality salience.

Cognition and Neuroscience

Research under this theme has an international reputation in the topic areas of Visual Cognition, Attention and Memory, and Language and Communication.

Visual cognition, attention and memory

Research on this topic focuses primarily on the role of vision and visual perception in human performance. The fundamental aim of this work is to identify the cognitive processes and neurological mechanisms underlying various visual tasks. Studies involving neurologically healthy volunteers examine issues such as face recognition and identification, eyewitness testimony, person detection, emotion processing, episodic memory and pattern and motion recognition.

Language and communication

Research in this group examines various aspects of semantic, pragmatic and syntactic understanding. Research questions on healthy populations include the role of executive functions in successful language use and communication, how language influences attentional processes and perspective taking, anomaly detection, and the effect of interruptions on reading. Work on developmental populations examines issues such as how children learn to understand and produce sentences in their own language, and how they learn conversational conventions and self-repair. Research also examines developmental disorders of communication, including autism spectrum disorders and dyslexia. This research group has links with researchers in the School of European Culture and Languages, as part of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies.

Developmental Psychology

Much of the research conducted by members of the Developmental Psychology group is conducted with neurotypical infants, children, and adolescents.  However, we also take a lifespan approach to the study of development and conduct research with older adults.  Moreover, a key focus of our research is on neuro-developmental disorders.  Central research topics include:

Social development

Developmental group members are particularly interested in the expression and control of ethnic and gender prejudice, social ostracism and inclusion, conversational norms and group identity in children.  We also conduct research on social aspects of older adulthood, in particular self-stereotyping and prejudice against elderly people.

Cognitive development

Cognitive development is a major focus of many of our developmental psychologists.  In particular, members of the Developmental Psychology group actively research topics such as the development of social cognition and theory of mind, language, information and sensory processing, and conversation and pragmatic skills.

Forensic research

Our developmental research also focuses on adolescence, as well as infancy, childhood and older adulthood.  In particular, we are interested in the emergence of gang activity and antisocial behaviour during this period of development.

Developmental psychopathology

We also conduct cutting-edge research into neuro-developmental disorders, such as autism and language impairment, with a view to understanding the nature and basis of, and best ways to treat, these disorders.  

Research centres

The School of Psychology currently includes two formally constituted research centres, representing areas of concentration and excellence in research.

Centre for the Study of Group Processes

The Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP) was set up in 1990 to consolidate the School’s excellent international reputation for social psychological research into group processes and intergroup relations. CSGP is now a thriving international research community, including 15 full-time academic staff and a large number of research fellows and PhD students. The Centre also attracts a stream of major international group researchers, who are officially affiliated to it and regularly visit to work with our staff. The Centre also edits an international journal, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology

The main aim of the Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology is to conduct high-impact psychological research to further understand key forensic issues of social significance, and to lead to cutting-edge teaching and research opportunities for postgraduate students. Forensic psychology is an extremely popular and rapidly developing branch of psychology that seeks to understand the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour (including group processes), the reduction and supervision of offending behaviour (ie rehabilitation, treatment and management of community risk), victim responses to offending, the mechanisms underlying the criminal justice system more generally (ie jury decision-making and the courts), and attitudes to offenders and offender reintegration in society.


Our postgraduate students commonly go into the fields of health, teaching or further education. For instance, many of our graduates take up roles as assistant psychologists in the NHS with a view to becoming a professional clinical or forensic psychologist. Upon completing our Master’s courses, graduates have also pursued doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions.

The programmes we offer help you to develop general critical, analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings.

Professional recognition

All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

The MSc Psychology Conversion course at Kent is accredited by The British Psychological Society. 

Please note that only students who gain a mark of 40% or above in every module, with an overall mark of at least 50%, are eligible for accreditation by the British Psychological Society.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has excellent facilities for both laboratory and field research, including advanced laboratory and teaching facilities. Resources include:

  • three fully equipped colour video laboratories for face-to-face group research, together with ten satellite laboratories connected via remote-control CCTV and two-way audio links
  • 58 research laboratories, all containing networked computers
  • a further 80 PCs available exclusively to Psychology students, including a designated MSc computer-networked room providing full email and internet access
  • shared offices and a personal, networked computer for research students
  • a full range of computer-based experiment generators and productivity software installed on all the School’s systems
  • an upgraded laboratory suite with equipment for digital sound and vision recording
  • four Brain Vision EEG labs (including one for simultaneous TMS & EEG, and one portable EEG system)
  • two Trans-cranial direct current electrical stimulators (GVS, Magstim)
  • Neuroconn tDCS/tACS electrical stimulator with facilities for simultaneous EEG
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) PowerMAG Research 100 High Frequency Stimulator
  • two Tobii eye-trackers (Tobii X120 & Tobii T60 XL portable)
  • one Arrington eye-tracker
  • a suite equipped with Bio-Pac recorders to allow for a range of physiological measures to be taken during stressful and other tasks
  • specialist laboratories equipped for face processing and vision research
  • CRS ColorCal II Colorimeter/Photometer
  • CRS Audiofile for synchronized audio-visual presentation
  • numerous PC and Mac labs to run behavioural experiments
  • Mirror Stereoscopes for dichoptic presentation and stereo vision research
  • immersive virtual reality lab (including integrated eye-tracker)
  • a social cognition laboratory
  • creation in 2010 of the Kent Child Development Unit and research team focusing on how children learn about their world, about other people and about the language they hear around them.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Child Development; Clinical Psychology Review. Details of recently published books can be found within the staff research interests.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Apply now

Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


Subject enquiries

For further information please contact the Programme Director, Professor Markus Bindemann E:

For informal enquiries please contact HSS admissions


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

School of Psychology