MSc in Applied Psychology
“A postgraduate programme in applied psychol- cal theories and apply what they have learnt in
ogy is absolutely essential for those who want to their work and the communities in which they
better understand the causes of human behav- live. Effective change comes when we can explain
iour. The theories taught on the programme are our own behaviour and the behaviour of those
relevant and applicable in a range of healthcare, around us.”
education, and management settings. This par- Dr. Gary J. Burkholder
ticular programme is important because students Director of Online Studies, psychology pro-
can, from the very first modules, learn psychologi- grammes, University of Liverpool
T he MSc in Applied Psychology is founded on the The cutting edge research and contributions from
expertise and knowledge of the University of leading academics and practitioners in the field com-
Liverpool’s distinguished School of Psychology. Lead- bine to create a rich, interactive and highly stimulating
ing faculty from the School of Psychology, and lead- experience for students throughout the programme.
ers in international psychology, feature throughout During the programme students will thrive in the in-
the programme and contribute to the design of the teractive e-learning environment with the use of mul-
modules. timedia, including subject matter interviews, simula-
A lively, fast-growing department, the School of Psy- tions, and case studies.
chology is built on a strong history, a reputation for Developed from an international, cross-cultural con-
excellence and innovative research activity. It owes its text, the programme adopts a western perspective of
origins to Nobel Laureate, Sir Charles Sherrington and psychology. It aims to develop a foundation in the
has been associated with such eminent scholars as R.S. science of psychology and its application in a variety
Woodworth and H.J. Hyatt.
2 MSc in Applied Psychology MSc in Applied Psychology 3
of contemporary local and global issues across a range ministrative positions, and training and development cluding their duration, as well as the additional student
of disciplines. specialists. support services available – please read the Centre for The programme takes on average 30 months to com-
On completion of the programme, students should ex- Student Success document. plete. However, since students progress at their own
pect to graduate with a thorough knowledge of both The programme then comprises eight modules – five pace, they may choose to complete their studies in as
practical and theoretical aspects of human behaviour.
Specialisation Tracks core and three specialist modules – and culminates in little as 24 months, or spread them over 36 months.
They should gain an understanding of how this knowl- The MSc in Applied Psychology will have a broad ap- a dissertation. The first module is nine weeks in length
edge can be applied to solve local and global issues that peal to a range of graduates and professionals across and each subsequent module is eight weeks. Modules
require a sophisticated understanding of how people multiple disciplines. It offers two Specialisation Tracks are sequenced in an order that is best suited to the Modules
behave in different contexts. – General Psychology and Mental Health Psychology. students’ development throughout the programme.
Both specialisations will appeal to graduates with a Student Readiness Orientation
psychology degree seeking to continue to PhD level.
Programme Outline For those who seek licensure as a PhD psychologist,
Preparatory Modules Aim: To equip students with the technical skills neces-
The MSc in Applied Psychology programme is designed this master’s degree may serve as a good foundation - Students Readiness Orientation (0 credit) sary to successfully study online, aided by inspirational
for students who wish to apply psychological knowl- to achieve this status. - Foundations for Academic Success (0 credit) testimonials from current students and alumni, in a rich
edge and research in real-life situations – such as in The core modules of both Specialisation Tracks cover multimedia environment.
educational, organisational, and health settings, those topics such as social, psychological, and biological foun- In this module, students will grasp the basic technical
keen to pursue doctoral programmes in the field of dations of behaviour and health, research design, and
Core Modules information and knowledge needed to successfully par-
psychology, and professionals looking to compete for issues and processes related to the classification of men- - Perspectives in Applied Psychology (15 credits) ticipate in an online curriculum. They will learn how to
promotion or career advancement, and are interested tal health and substance abuse disorders. - Biological, Psychological, and Social Bases of Health use the online classroom to get assignments, interact
in the broad discipline of psychology. and Behaviour (15 credits) with instructors and other students, and submit work.
Students will gain a foundational knowledge in the General Psychology - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis in Applied Psy- In this introduction students will gain a clear idea of
principles of psychological research design and analy- chology (15 credits) what is expected from them as they participate in an
sis (both quantitative and qualitative); ethical issues in HR, marketing (research), business and education pro- - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis in Applied Psy- online classroom. Finally the orientation ensures stu-
research; essential theories, issues and controversies fessionals, policy makers and community workers are chology (15 credits) dents have an overview of the rules regarding quota-
in the science of psychology from a cross-cultural and among those who may choose the General Psychology - Psychological Appraisal and Treatment (15 credits) tion and citation – essential to any postgraduate study,
global perspective; and the basic biological, psycholog- Specialisation Track – with its focus on lifespan devel- - Dissertation (60 credits) whether online or campus-based.
ical, and social determinants of physical and mental opment, psychology of learning and social influences
health. on human behaviour.
As students learn the principles and theories of psy-
Specialist Modules Foundations for Academic Success
chology, they will simultaneously gain an understand- Mental Health Psychology Aim: To provide students with a deeper insight into the
ing about how to apply psychology principles to their General Psychology requirements for successful participation in the post-
respective professional practices. Students can apply Those wishing to become counsellors may prefer the graduate programme, and to give them the opportu-
what they have learnt to examples drawn from real- Mental Health Psychology Specialisation Track, cover- - Cross-Cultural Issues in Lifespan Development (15 nity to put some of the essential skills and techniques
life studies, and will be actively encouraged via rich ing topics such as dual diagnosis implications, theories credits) learned during the Student Readiness Orientation into
multimedia channels, and the theory and knowledge of wellness and the treatment of mental health dis- - Psychology of Learning (15 credits) practice.
obtained in the modules. orders, approaches to interventions, and to cognitive - Social Psychology (15 credits) As well as providing a foundation for academic success,
Upon completion of the programme, students will approaches to treatment. this module will ease students into the credit-bearing
have a foundation in the science of psychology and Mental Health modules – ensuring they are fully prepared to succeed
its application to a variety of contemporary issues. The Programme Structure on their programme of study. Assignments focus on
programme will enhance opportunities for students to - Approaches to Mental Health Psychology (15 credits) the practical application of writing and critical think-
enter or progress their careers in a variety of profes- Students are required to follow two, non-credit bear- - Psychotherapeutic Interventions (15 credits) ing skills. By the end of the module, students will be
sions in the public and private sectors. Potential ca- ing, modules (Student Readiness Orientation and Foun- - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Mental Health able to demonstrate their ability to evaluate scholarly
reer options for those pursuing this MSc range from dations for Academic Success) that will prepare them Treatment (15 credits) resources, and define the role that proper citation and
research and evaluation posts, teaching/lecturing and for their online learning experience. For more informa- referencing plays in academic integrity. Students will be
human resource management, to market research, ad- tion about these modules – full module descriptions in-
4 MSc in Applied Psychology MSc in Applied Psychology 5
competent at doing basic searches in the University of global problems and issues will be analysed throughout
Liverpool Online Library and be able to outline a logi-
General Psychology the module from the perspective of social psychology.
Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
cal and coherent argument with supporting evidence. in Applied Psychology
Aim: To develop understanding of how to design, con-
Cross-Cultural Issues in Lifespan Development Mental Health
Perspectives in Applied Psychology
duct, and analyse ethical quantitative research studies, Aim: To develop a knowledge and understanding of
Aim: To develop an in-depth knowledge of the major and their uses in applied psychological research. the developmental milestones, from birth to end of life, Approaches to Mental Health Psychology
theories and concepts of psychology, from a cultural This module will focus on a quantitative approach to and their biological, social, and psychological implica-
perspective, and how they are applied to real world reasoning and analysis. It will provide students with tions on human behaviour. Aim: To provide students with an in-depth knowledge
situations. the opportunity to perform data analysis, engage in This module adopts a cross-cultural perspective as it of current psycho- and pharmacotherapeutic interven-
In this module students explore the various theories of the learning of classical quantitative research designs, explores the major developmental milestones from a tions for mental health and well-being.
psychology that enables them to understand human and understand the principles behind the ethical con- variety of theoretical perspectives, and how they can This module will focus on the psychological and well-
behaviour from individual and social perspectives. Stu- duct of research. Students will evaluate the reliability be applied in the real world. By the end of this mod- ness approaches to mental health. It provides an over-
dents will analyse and evaluate theoretical approaches and validity of research designs, analyse quantitative ule, students will be able to analyse, evaluate, and view of common approaches to understanding mental
to applied psychology, as well as how they relate, and methodologies, test research hypotheses, and critique apply psychological theories, concepts, and processes health issues, as well as the various therapeutic ap-
can be applied, to psychological concepts, theories and peer-reviewed quantitative research. of human development and behaviour using an applied proaches to treatment, including: psychoanalytic, hu-
processes. By the end of the module students will be psychological perspective. manistic, multicultural, family, cognitive, behavioural,
able to evaluate contemporary local and global issues Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis and brief therapies as well as pharmacotherapy. Ad-
using an applied psychological perspective. in Applied Psychology Psychology of Learning ditionally, students should understand how the thera-
peutic alliance can be used to enhance the efficacy of
Biological, Psychological, and Social Aim: To develop understanding of how to design, con- Aim: To develop an in-depth knowledge and under- interventions.
Bases of Health and Behaviour duct, and analyse ethical qualitative research studies, standing of the epistemology and application of clas-
and their uses in applied psychological research. sical and contemporary theories of learning. Psychotherapy Interventions
Aim: To develop understanding of the biological, psy- Adopting a qualitative approach to reasoning and This module explores the major learning theories, in-
chological, and social factors that influence health and analysis, this module aims to provide a basis for con- cluding those representing behaviourist and cognitive Aim: To understand the importance of the therapeutic
health-related behaviours. ducting qualitative research. Students will learn about perspectives. Students will examine how humans learn, relationship, and gain basic and advanced counselling
Focussing specifically on the bio-psychosocial model designing robust qualitative research studies, how to process, and remember information using these theo- techniques.
of health, students will learn to identify the key fac- use appropriate data collection methods and analytical ries. By the end of the module, students will learn how This module focuses on the application of theoretically
tors that affect mental and physical health, and strate- frameworks, and the skills necessary to write a sound researchers and practitioners can use and apply these and empirically-validated counselling techniques. Using
gies for managing these factors in chronic and acute research study. theories to explain behaviour in cross-cultural contexts. diverse case scenarios that present challenges for clini-
illnesses. Students will analyse and evaluate theoreti- cians, students will gain knowledge of advanced skills
cal approaches to applied psychology, particularly in Psychological Appraisal and Treatment Social Psychology in goal setting and treatment planning. Variables such
the areas of; health-related behaviour, human devel- as age, mental health functioning, and multicultural
opment, psychological disorders and treatment, and Aim: To introduce students to the biological, psycho- Aim: To gain an in-depth knowledge and understand- considerations will all be explored in this modules’ case
stress and coping. As well as understanding the core logical, and social factors that influence mental health ing of social influences on individual behaviour, and studies.
principles of diagnosis and treatment, students should and well-being. how they are studied.
be able to critically evaluate contemporary local and On successful completion of this module, students will With a focus on social influences on individual behav- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in
global issues that influence health and health-related be able to critically evaluate theoretical approaches to iour, this module aims to explore the debate over the Mental Health Treatment
behaviour using an applied psychological perspective. applied psychology, particularly in the areas of mental contribution of social and individual (personality) influ-
health and well-being. As well as understanding the ences on behaviour. Students will learn how to apply Aim: To introduce students to cognitive behavioural
core principles of diagnosis, psychological appraisal and major psychological theories to the explanation of be- therapy as a treatment modality for mental health
treatment are all approached from an ethical and cul- haviour in various social contexts, including organisa- concerns.
tural perspective. tions, classrooms, and groups. Contemporary local and With a strong focus on cognitive and behavioural thera-
peutic techniques, this module will explore interven-
6 MSc in Applied Psychology
tions that are empirically supported to be effective
when working with clients. Students will gain the nec-
essary skills to analyse and evaluate the needs of clients
who present a diverse range of life and mental health
concerns across lifespan and cultural contexts.
Aim: To design, conduct, and analyse a significant piece
of empirical or archival study, that will be an original
or critical exposition, of existing knowledge within the
The culmination of the programme, this written pro-
ject demonstrates the students’ mastery and integra-
tion of all their previous learning. The dissertation is
the cornerstone of the UK university system. It is an
original, scholarly work that applies the students’ new
knowledge and experience, and allows them to prove
their proficiency in the skills and techniques they have
studied and acquired.
Students choose their dissertation topic in conjunction
with their Personal Dissertation Advisor, an academic
supervisor who will provide support throughout the
study and writing process.
The University of Liverpool meets or exceeds all aca-
demic quality standards for UK higher education, as
defined by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher
Education (QAA), the independent body that is respon-
sible for standards in higher education in the UK. For
details, see www.qaa.ac.uk.
Note on Licensure:
The MSc in Applied Psychology is not a licensure pro-
gramme and does not prepare an individual to become
a licensed psychology professional.