Psychological Studies (conversion) MSc

Brain cross-section scans

This British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited conversion programme is designed to provide you with a broad and critical awareness of psychological theory and practice. You will be provided with opportunities which allow you to focus on aspects of psychology with particular relevance to your own experience and interests.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • You will study the fundamental and specialised theories, principles and concepts, which are informed by developments at the forefront of research in psychology.
  • You will utilise a significant range of skills, techniques, practices and materials, which are associated with psychology.
  • This is a conversion degree for students who have no previous studies in the area of psychology. You will have the opportunity of a change in direction, to pursue a career, either academic or professional, in psychology.
  • Successful completion of this programme makes you eligible for BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC).

Programme structure

You will take eight core and two optional courses, followed by a research project/dissertation. Additional programme elements include attendance research project sessions designed to support you in your dissertation throughout. You will also be allocated an academic supervisor to advise you on your individual research project.

Core courses

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Conceptual and historical issues in psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Individual differences  
  • Physiological psychology
  • Research methods 1 
  • Research methods 2
  • Social psychology.

Optional courses

  • Applied qualitative methods
  • Atypical development
  • Clinical health psychology
  • Current issues in psychology
  • Educational psychology  
  • Perception and visual cognition
  • Professional skills.

Background and aims

This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Successful graduates from the programme are eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the Society (GBC). GBC provides an important verification of the breadth and depth of psychology graduates’ knowledge and skills. It is also a validation of graduates’ readiness to undertake independent research in psychology. Completion of an accredited programme at any level contributes towards graduates’ understanding of the key bodies of knowledge which are relevant to the profession-specific Standards of Proficiency specified by the Health Professions Council. Importantly, it also indicates that knowledge and skills have been gained as a result of work with and support from appropriately qualified people.

Who is the programme for?

Many individuals who want to become psychologists gain their initial education and training by means of the successful completion of a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited undergraduate honours psychology degree.  However, some become interested in pursuing a career in psychology at a later point in their life.

The purpose of the programme is to enable you to build on the transferrable skills you have attained in your undergraduate degree and provide you with the necessary level of study in psychology acceptable to the British Psychological Society and allows you to pursue a career in psychology.

The programme attracts a diverse range of people who bring a variety of interesting and valuable experiences to the discussions within the programme activities. The programme attracts students from across the globe including the UK, European countries including Ireland, Poland, Greece, Italy, Hungary and Lithuania and international students from China, Malaysia, India, USA, Canada, Jordan, Ghana and Pakistan.

What will you get from this programme?

By the end of this programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrates the main areas of psychology. This includes a critical understanding of the principal and specialised theories, principles and concepts, which is informed by developments at the forefront of research in psychology;
  • Use a significant range of general and specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials which are associated with psychology;
  • Apply a range of standard and specialised research instruments and techniques of enquiry in psychology;
  • Plan and execute a significant project of research or investigation in psychology.

Introductory Reading

Since this conversion programme is very intensive, it would be beneficial for you to start preparing yourself for the programme by reading the books below.

Overview about psychology

Hewstone, Fincham & Foster (2005) Psychology

Book about research methods

Wilson, S & McLean, R. (2011) Research Methods and Data Analysis

Please note the following:

  • The programme is not for people who have already undertaken an undergraduate degree in psychology. The programme covers the same material as is offered in BPS accredited undergraduate programmes.
  • If you wish to do this programme to become a Clinical Psychologist, it is important to understand that successfully finishing this programme would make you eligible to apply for a "doctorate in clinical psychology" course, however this is a very competitive environment and you may be required to undertake a further MSc in Psychology and/or a few years of volunteering or work experience in mental health/clinical psychology to improve your chances of entry.
  • Successful completion of this programme entitles you to apply for British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is a necessary requirement for entry onto subsequent postgraduate activity, both professional and academic, in Psychology in the UK.


What our students say

Tania Biletskaya (Belarus), 2014-15

'The 12 months I spent on this programme brought me a huge amount of intellectual and professional satisfaction. Prior to joining the programme I had experience of research work in social sciences, and studying psychology allowed me to change the direction of my career to my much-desired area of psychology. Soon after graduating, I was offered the position of Research Assistant at the University of Cambridge where I currently work in the Department of Psychiatry. I feel that the MSc in Psychological Studies provided me with in-depth knowledge of psychological subjects and gave me a good background to be able to undertake further research and studies in psychology. The Glasgow campus is a very comfortable place to study and I think that the University Library provides excellent conditions for both individual and group work. The West End of Glasgow, where the University is located, is a really vibrant and attractive location both for studying and spending free time. Overall, the year became one of the most rewarding times in my career and I am grateful for every single psychology subject I was taught during it.'

Laura Pedersen (USA), 2013-14

'I chose to attend the University of Glasgow for quite a few reasons, all of which proved to be useful. The ranking that psychology at Glasgow has within the UK in both research and taught portions of their programme was heavily influential. The University of Glasgow as a whole has ample resources for postgraduate research as well as specifically within both the Schools of Education and Psychology. As an individual with an undergraduate degree in psychology, the MSc was interesting to take in order to register for the British Psychological Society, as well as to understand the differences in the UK grading system without as much pressure as the MS or MA would require. This specific programme made for a smooth transition. 


It's more than the formalised education that helped me to choose Scotland. As great as the University is, I was also able to use this year to travel abroad to mainland Europe, the Nordic regions, and of course throughout the UK and Ireland. From Glasgow it's quite easy to travel just about anywhere and there are so many available resources in order to understand other cultures and histories from all over the world. Furthermore, Glasgow has some of the best music venues and events of anywhere in the UK if Celtic music is your thing. The University of Glasgow helped me obtain those resources and with the course structure gave me the availability to travel and experience that side of the Atlantic Ocean while I was obtaining my Masters degree. 

Like I have previously said, my bachelors degree is in psychology, yet I chose the MSc. I chose this course because I wanted more practical research experience before I started my doctorate programme. Upon interviewing for my Psy.D programmes, all of my interviewers were impressed with my research and travelling experience gained throughout my year with the University of Glasgow, and I ended up being accepted to every programme I had applied to. In the autumn, I will be starting my Psy.D in Clinical Psychology with a forensics concentration with confidence in my further research and career choice thanks to the University of Glasgow.'

Chengyang Han (China), 2013-14

'Initially I came to Glasgow to improve my English. Major courses in China aren't taught, but the cutting edge academic technology predominant in English-speaking countries like the UK or USA. So I planned to transform from learning "Chinese" psychology to "English” psychology.

The University of Glasgow has a strong academic reputation in psychology, especially Neuroscience. The teaching of psychology is great and it is ranked 2nd in the UK. Most of the courses are awesome, especially social psychology and physio-psychology. In addition, the feedback on essays and coursework was great and detailed. I am certain I have learned lot from the programme. Now, I am clear about how to complete a quantitative research, as well as qualitative research. The courses pushed me to read a lot of academic articles which are very useful!

It's really great that the classmates are from all over the world; it's a valuable experience to study with them. Additionally, I have a great dissertation supervisor who helps me a lot. Having nearly finished my degree, I have become much clearer about my future and career plans. All in all, I feel it was worthwhile joining this programme!'


This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society

Career prospects

As this programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society, you are eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the Society (GBC). Our graduates have successfully progressed to further academic study and professional training in the field of psychology. Graduate final destinations after completing further mandatory study include clinical, educational and counselling psychologists, and research associate.

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7700
Full time fee£17250


The University requires a deposit of £700 to be paid by applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

Please note this programme is not yet approved for US Federal Loans funding. If you wish to apply for US Federal Loans funding to study on this programme please notify Carol Barnett (

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now

This programme is jointly delivered by the Schools of Education and Psychology.