Explore this course:

    Applications for 2024 entry are now open. Apply now or register your interest to hear about postgraduate study and events at the University of Sheffield.

    2024 start September 

    Psychology and Education (Conversion)

    School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Our MSc offers an innovative, critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of psychology and its application in an educational context.
    Postgraduate education students reading at desk

    Course description

    You will experience an innovative, critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of psychology and learn the skills and techniques necessary to critically analyse psychological theory and research in real-life settings.

    This MSc is a psychology conversion course which provides Graduate Membership (GMBPsS) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) providing you pass the empirical project and gain the equivalent of at least a 2:2 overall.


    This course is British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited

    Find out what our students enjoy most about the course, how we will support you and what careers the course can lead to


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    As an accredited programme, the course will follow the GBC curriculum and cover these psychology-related themes: Biological Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Individual Differences; Social Psychology; Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology; Research Methods and Empirical Project.

    There are four compulsory modules in each semester plus a dissertation. Each module is worth 15 credits. The dissertation is worth 60 credits.

    Core modules:

    Introduction to Psychology and Development Across the Lifespan

    This module explores major theories, key aspects and scientific underpinnings of psychology and human development from infancy to adulthood in a variety of contexts. The module introduces students to the multiple paradigms, theoretical perspectives and methods of analysis in psychology and explores the differences and/or complementarities between them as well as relevant ethical issues. It also considers case studies and key developmental standardised tests and the application of developmental psychological knowledge in contemporary multicultural and global educational, upbringing and institutional contexts. Further, students will explore topics including and not limited to emotional development and parenting cultures, cognitive development, learning and language, typical and atypical development in multicultural societies, language and development, and bilingualism.

    30 credits
    Research Methods in Psychology and Education

    The module explores different paradigms of psychological and educational research, with a focus on both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and research designs. Qualitative methods and designs may include and not be limited to interviews, content, thematic and discourse analysis, case studies and observation methods. Quantitative methods and designs may include and not be limited to statistical analysis, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs. This module will also consider ethical considerations in education and psychological research.

    Module content includes:

    - Ontological and epistemological paradigms and general methodological principles that can be adopted to approach qualitative and/or quantitative research in educational and psychological contexts.

    - Classic approaches, recent trends, case studies, longitudinal research, big data.

    - Research proposals, research questions and research designs. 

    - Ethical issues in education and psychological research.

    - Data collection methods used in qualitative and or quantitative research such as interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, experimental and quasi-experimental research designs.

    - Coding and analysing interview data. This will be in relation to qualitative data analysis methods such as thematic analysis, discourse analysis, grounded theory.

    - SPSS, inferential and descriptive statistics; parametric and non-parametric tests. 

    - Correlational design, ANOVA, Two-way ANOVA and factor analysis.

    30 credits
    Cognition and Neuroscience

    Overall, this module aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of both the biological and cognitive aspects of psychology, fostering an integrated perspective.

    The module explores both the fundamental biological mechanisms underlying human and animal behaviour and the major theories and debates surrounding the study of the human mind and cognition. It merges a focus on laboratory research methodologies, including the use of psychometric measures of cognitive performance, with a critical examination of the relevance of bio-psychological and neuroscientific knowledge in educational contexts. Additionally, the module emphasises the importance of contextual analysis and ethical understanding in the application of these biological and cognitive insights, ensuring a well-rounded approach to understanding the complexities of cognitive processes in the mind and brain.

    Indicative module content includes a selection from the following:

    - Introduction to cognition and neuroscience 

    - Perception, attention, memory

    - Thinking and language, problem solving and decision making

    - Cognitive styles, intelligence and cognitive psychological testing

    - Consciousness, social cognition and emotion

    - Metacognition, current debates and implications for learning and education

    - Behavioural genetics, heredity, comparative and evolutionary psychology

    - Psychobiology, biological bases of human and non-human behaviour, hormones and behaviour, socio-biology

    - Neuroimaging, cognitive and evolutionary neuroscience.

    30 credits
    Social and Health Psychology

    This module provides a comprehensive coverage of historical and contemporary topics in social and health psychology. It explores multiple perspectives in psychology and education relating to the understanding of human social behaviour, thinking and emotion. It considers theoretical, practical and ethical issues associated with research and practice in the field.

    The module content includes specific theoretical topics in social and health psychology, e.g. the self and social influence, pro and antisocial behaviour, as well as introducing students to ways that social and health psychology can be applied to real-world issues, e.g. behaviour change, mental health and neurodiversity.

    Knowledge will be developed through a range of teaching methods including flipped learning, group work, debates and discussions.

    30 credits

    In this module, students are supported in planning and carrying out a piece of original empirical research about a topic of interest related to education and psychology. Students will be supported and will work closely with a supervisor  who has expertise in the research area and or methods of the dissertation topic. The dissertation offers a space for synthesising knowledge from the different modules, and pursuing in more detail an area of interest for the student.

    In addition to working closely with a dissertation supervisor, students will receive taught sessions around dissertation writing support and ethical issues in psychological and educational research.

    Students studying on this module will also have opportunities to reflect on their work during the module, which can help them think about what they have learned, including the transferable skills they acquire that could be valuable for future courses and/or job applications.

    60 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    Teaching takes place through lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops and laboratory work.


    We will use a variety of methods including essays and blog posts, portfolios and oral presentations, psychological lab reports and a research dissertation.

    Your career

    95% of our 2020-21 cohort of postgraduates were in graduate level work or further study within 15 months of graduating, according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023.


    School of Education

    We're proud to welcome a vibrant and diverse community, with students based locally, nationally and internationally. Our research has a direct impact on educational theory, policy and practice; we're supporting the development of children, families, schools and learning communities.

    Our seminars are interactive and everyone is encouraged to take part. The course director knows every student personally, and you will get a lot of individual support across all of your modules.

    Our team of tutors at the School of Education comprises of experts in early childhood education, policy and practice, psychological theory of education, and languages and education. Many of our academic staff are internationally recognised in their specialist areas.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

    You should have an interest in or experience of psychology and/or education.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 8177

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.