This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for graduate membership of the society and establishes the Graduate Basis for Registration, provided the minimum standard of second class honours is achieved.
This is a conversion course designed for students who intend to become professional psychologists. The main purpose of the course is to allow graduates in disciplines other than psychology, and psychology graduates whose undergraduate degree is not professionally recognised, to gain a qualification in psychology that confers eligibility for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society and establishes the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR).
You should have a good honours degree and 60 Credit Accumulative Transfer (CAT) credits in psychology (including statistics and research methods) prior to entering the graduate diploma programme. The 60 CAT credits can be gained by taking Oxford Brookes University's Qualifying Certificate in Psychology. If you have previous academic experience in psychology you may not need to take the qualifying certificate.
Students who successfully complete the qualifying certificate, achieving average marks of 60% or above, are guaranteed an offer of a place on the Graduate Diploma in Psychology and are entitled to a 10% discount on the fees for the diploma if taken in the next academic year (eg if the qualifying certificate started in January 2008 and the Graduate Diploma in Psychology started in September 2008).
The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is an intensive programme that requires students to develop high levels of skill in designing and carrying out empirical investigations, and analysing, interpreting and reporting data. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in statistical methods and appropriate psychology IT packages.
The course is taught in the Psychology Department on our Headington campus. The Psychology Department has 15 full-time academics and is supported by a computer officer, a full-time technician, three technicians/demonstrators and an administrator.
The course includes both theoretical and practical elements and covers the main research methods used in psychology. The course provides a grounding in the core areas of psychology. It places emphasis on research methods and research skills, including literature search and review, designing and planning experiments, questionnaires and observational methods, recording and presenting data, statistical analysis and interpretation of data as well as qualitative analysis, and presentation of work in standard publication format.
A range of modules are available. If you want to achieve Graduate Basis for Registration of the British Psychological Society you must satisfactorily complete the following modules:
* Social Psychology provides an overview of the major psychological influences on social behaviour and the effects of social factors on individual psychology.
* Developmental Psychology evaluates the methods, findings and theories in the study of the development of the individual, from conception to old age. The basic theme of the module is the development of competence.
* Cognitive Psychology considers research and theories regarding cognitive processes such as thinking, reasoning and problem solving, language, memory, perception, emotion and consciousness. Emphasis is also given to the research methods used in the discipline.
* Individual Differences looks at the psychological methods and principles applied to the description and explanation of differences in personality, ability and attitude.
* Biological Foundations of Behaviour* investigates the relationships between the structure and function of the brain and behaviour. Emphasis is given to the manner in which neural mechanisms mediating psychological processes contribute to our understanding of behaviour.
Advanced Statistics and the Experimental Method for Psychology is a practical module that builds on a basic knowledge of research methods and statistics, providing students with a range of statistical tools. Practical work includes design of an experiment and associated statistical analysis.
* Questionnaires and Qualitative Methods for Psychology complements the above module, adding questionnaires and qualitative methods to the research skills available to the student. Each of the two practicals includes study design and associated statistical analysis.
* Explanatory Concepts gives an overview of the main philosophical, scientific and social scientific ideas that led to modern psychology, and a summary of conceptual and methodological positions underlying different paradigms and research programmes.
Completion of an empirical research project is also required for professional recognition by the BPS. You will carry this out under the supervision of a member of staff.
* Not required for students who have already completed this module as part of the qualifying certificate.
Teaching, learning and assessment
Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, and practical and project work.
Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, each involving approximately 150 hours of student effort and approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally delivered through a three-hour teaching block over a 12-week period.
Each course module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written work. Assessment methods may include essays, formal written examinations, in-class tests or project work.
The Psychology Department gained a 3a (out of 5*) rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and was awarded 23 (out of 24) in the Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA).
Research interests of the staff are diverse but focus around cognitive neuroscience, child development, and health and well-being.
During semesters there is a programme of weekly departmental seminars on a range of topics, given by staff and visiting researchers.