Psychology in Education - MSc

​Based within one of the largest centres for teacher education and training in the UK, the MSc in Psychology in Education looks in-depth at how theory and research in psychology can be applied to a greater understanding of behaviour in educational contexts. No prior knowledge or study of psychology is required. 

This British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited conversion course, offers Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) to those who do not currently hold it (essential for pursuing a future career in psychology).

This intensive postgraduate degree will be of interest to anyone who wishes to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the application of psychology to education. This includes individuals who already have an accredited psychology degree because of its applied focus and opportunity for further work experience, both relevant to pursuing professional training. For these students, whilst some of the theoretical content may feel familiar, its application to educational contexts will prove new and challenging. 

Students who successfully complete the BPS accredited MSc, will acquire a range of transferable skills attractive to employers such as numerical reasoning, communication skills, computer literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, project management and teamwork. 

Course Content

During the MSc you will study the following modules*:

Individual development (20 credits)
This module introduces key psychological theories underpinning current understanding of typical and atypical development and considers their possible implications for education. Topics covered include social, emotional and cognitive development, adverse childhoods and schooling including applications of attachment theory, and the development of language and literacy. 

Neuroeducation (20 credits)
This module considers how a neuroscientific approach can inform education practice and policy. It will introduce conceptual frameworks for a critical understanding of professional practice from a neuroeducation perspective In addition to covering fundamental concepts in neuroscience, evolution and learning and neurodiversity, the module will consider educational neuromyths and emerging issues such as chrono-education and cognitive enhancement. 

Teaching and learning (20 credits)
This module considers research in psychology related to how students are taught and how students learn and their practical implications for teaching and learning. Foundational cognitive processes will be covered such as memory, motivation, emotion and metacognition, and the application of these processes, for example to understanding the use of ICT in education and classroom communication. 

Human behaviour in education (20 credits)
This module aims to provide an understanding of social psychological issues in educational contexts. Topics covered include self, culture and identity, classroom climate and management, teacher effects, relationships in school settings, the impacts of social media, and happiness and well-being in educational environments. 

Mental health and well-being (20 credits)
This module will develop and understanding of theories of mental health and wellbeing and consider a variety of frameworks for managing psychological difficulties, such as those associated with depression and substance abuse, and bringing about positive change. Biological, psychological and social factors that influence health, wellbeing and behaviour in children and adolescents and their impacts on education will be considered.

Researching psychology in education (20 credits)
This module aims to develop knowledge and skills related to both qualitative and quantitative approaches to psychological research in the context of education with the goal of creating a clear understanding of the characteristics of scientifically rigorous and ethical research. Laboratory workshops will allow students to learn and practice key research skills, such as analysing data and interpreting results and writing up research reports. The ability to design and conduct psychological research will be developed in preparation for the dissertation. 

Professional placement (20 credits)
This module is only available to students already holding GBC and can be taken in place of any other 20 credit module (excluding Researching Psychology in Education). 

This Professional Placement module provides an ideal opportunity to significantly increase work experience in an educational context, and develop action research skills and the application of new knowledge in real-world settings. It will involve spending the equivalent of one full day each week in a professional setting, totalling 60 hours. In this setting a piece of action research, negotiated with the provider, will be completed. 

Empirical research project (60 credits)
This module provides an opportunity to carry out an independent empirical study on a topic negotiated with a dissertation supervisor. This is a substantial research report that involves selecting, rationalising and implementing a research proposal following stringent ethical guidelines and then coherently and fully presenting the project in an appropriate academic style.

*Modules within the MSc can be studied as optional stand-alone modules to increase knowledge in specific topics. 

Learning & Teaching

All modules, with the exception of the Empirical Research Project are 20 credit modules. Allocated teaching timetabled (contact time) delivery for 20 credit modules usually equals a minimum of 24 hours, supplemented with independent study. 

We employ a range of teaching methods and formats to ensure a varied and engaging learning experience. Modules are usually taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. There are also two compulsory Saturday schools focused on developing research skills. Group discussions and tasks are frequently used. 

Student learning is supported through the use of our virtual learning environment (Moodle) that provides learning resources over and above that found in the learning centre (library). All learners are supported with access to a personal tutor and project supervisor. 

There is a valuable opportunity for students who already hold GBC with the BPS to enhance their knowledge, skills and experience via a professional practice placement in an educational setting. In addition to gaining important work experience you will produce an assessed piece of action research, developing a practical solution to a problem identified by the placement provider. You will one day a week for a full semester in placement. 


The MSc is assessed by a range of different coursework assignments – e.g. presentations, reports, essays, case studies, academic posters, research proposal. There are no formal examinations. Assessments are staggered to carefully manage schedules and are designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of theoretical, applied and professional practice issues. All assessments have a pass mark of 50%. Students will receive feedback on their assessed work that will help them to learn more effectively and aid in the development of practical skills and critical, reflective thinking. 

All MSc students are required to complete an empirical research project, which can be presented in either a traditional thesis format or in publishable paper format. In order to be eligible for GBC students must gain a pass mark of at least 50% for the Empirical Research Project.

Employability & Careers

This MSc is a conversion course which provides Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). It requires no prior knowledge of psychology. It may be studied out of interest or intellectual curiosity about psychology and education, or for reasons of continued professional development and career enhancement. It is also ideal if you want to pursue a career in psychology but either did not study psychology at undergraduate level or studied psychology on a non-accredited programme. 

GBC is a prerequisite for professional training programmes in psychology which lead to full Chartered Psychologist status and occupations in such areas as Educational, Clinical, Occupational, Health and Counselling Psychology. This MSc does not guarantee entry onto the necessary professional training programme. 

This MSc also opens up a range of careers where an understanding of human behaviour or research methods is relevant. The knowledge and skills you will obtain are highly desired by employers within education, mental healthcare, youth and family work, therapy, social work, management and research. The research and independent learning skills you acquire on this course would also be a good preparation for further study, for example PhD. 

The course may also be of interest to students who already hold GBC but need to increase their work experience or deepen their knowledge of applied psychology. For these students there is a valuable option to enhance their knowledge, skills and work experience via a semester-long professional placement in an educational setting. It is assessed by a piece of in-placement action research, developed in co-operation with the placement provider and supervised by a member of the course team. .

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants should usually have a first or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent, in any subject.

Each applicant is considered on their academic merits and their ability to demonstrate an interest and ability in the subject area. For example:

  • Applicants who hold Graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS) will be considered with a lower second-class Honours degree or equivalent.
  • Applicants who have successfully completed postgraduate study will be considered if their first Honours degree is below an upper second-class or equivalent.

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

We accept applications from part-time applicants. Generally, part-time students complete the programme over two years, with MPS7006 Researching Psychology in Education in the first year and MPS7007 Empirical Research Project in the second year. Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to take a further three 20-credit modules in the first year, and two 20-credit modules in the second year. It is strongly advised that, once you have been offered a place, you meet with the Programme Director prior to starting the enrolment, so that you enrol on modules that suit your circumstances.

Recognition of Prior Learning (​RPL) is not available for this programme.

Contact Us

​For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course-specific enquiries, please contact:

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Accredited by:
The British Psychological Society​

Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Meet the Team: Louise Allen-Walker

Programme Director Dr Louise Allen-Walker talks about her passion for biological psychology and its value in educational contexts, and how her teaching methods benefit students learning.

Meet the Team: Joann Warner

Meet Dr Joann Warner, Lecturer in Health and Social Care at Cardiff Met. Joann shares her experiences and research that impacts her teaching of psychology.