Online course details
Part-time: 15m - 2 years
£6,330 (2022/23) ‡
January, September, May
Online course description
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), our online Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology course is ideally suited to anyone who is looking pursue a career in psychology, bringing you one step closer to becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
One step closer to a career in psychology
Our online Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology conversion course is designed for those who wish to specialise in psychology, giving you the opportunity to learn the distinctive range, depth and integration of skills, knowledge and applications of psychology. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the core, fundamental areas of psychology required by the BPS including biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology and the links between them.
This course alone will not allow you to practice as a psychologist but provides an opportunity for a non-psychology graduate, or a graduate from a non-BPS accredited course, to meet one of the entry requirements for a postgraduate programme of professional training in health, sport, clinical, counselling, occupational, educational or forensic psychology by achieving Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You may also be looking to study this course as part of your continuing professional development (CPD), career employability or for general knowledge.
Obtaining GBC allows you to have access to the widest range of training, development and employment opportunities in psychology. Completion of an accredited programme, moreover, offers graduates a clear route to BPS membership, and therefore access to the full range of membership benefits, including services, publications, conferences, training and networking opportunities.
Choose a Postgraduate Diploma to obtain GBC
We’ve designed this course so that it’s flexible to suit you. It will take you between 15 months and 2 years to complete the Postgraduate Diploma Psychology, enabling you to work towards your Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).
What skills will I develop?
During the course you will gain a scientific understanding of the mind, brain and behaviour, and how they interact with the complex environments in which they exist. You will be given the opportunity to critically evaluate methodologies as well as collect and interpret primary and secondary empirical data, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
You will also learn how to apply critical, analytical and creative skills in scholarly thinking, problem solving, and communication to course material, and develop a comprehensive understanding of the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development, and limitations.
Free student membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
To show our commitment to our students, we are always looking for new ways to improve our students’ experience. Enrol onto this Postgraduate Diploma Psychology course and receive full BPS student membership for the duration of your studies.
Please note: Free BPS membership is not available to students in receipt of Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELC).
Equipping you to succeed
For direct entry onto the PG Diploma Psychology conversion course you need to have 60 credits in psychology. If you are completely new to psychology, our University Certificate in Psychology (60 Credits) will prepare you for your postgraduate study by offering an introduction to the field of psychology and the fundamental skills that psychologists require. We believe this additional knowledge equips you to succeed in your postgraduate studies. For the MSc Psychology programme you do not require 60 credits in Psychology.
A talk from our academic
Our academic for Psychology, Dr Natalie Zadurian, talks about our online Psychology courses and the different study routes you can take.
If you have any further questions you can contact-us.
We will advise you of your study plan when you are invited to enrol.
For those wishing to pursue a career as a Chartered Psychologist, gaining Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) is the first step towards gaining Chartered status. This programme allows you to study 120 credits of psychology for a Postgraduate Diploma (a minimum of 180 credits in psychology is required for a course to be accredited and eligible GBC).
For the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology you will receive 120 credits.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Interactive and practical learning
You can be assured of a supportive and structured learning experience with academic teams who are specialists not only in their area of psychology, but also in online learning delivery. Our dedicated online learner advisors will also provide you with non-academic support throughout the duration of the course. You’ll have access to an extensive online library of psychology resources, student webinars in key areas such as library skills and assessment writing, and other academic and wellbeing related services.
There are plenty of opportunities to interact with tutors and other students through online discussion forums, virtual classroom sessions and more traditional forms of communication such as email, Skype and Blackboard Collaborate. You’ll also receive one-to-one support from a specialist supervisor when you begin your empirical research project. As a guide, we recommend you allow around 20 hours of study per week, per 20 credit module, but this may vary depending on your pace of study.
Pace of study
The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.
If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.
Should you decide to study on the accelerated rate you should ensure that you have the capacity to fully engage with your studies and achieve the best grades and final award. If you choose to study on the accelerated rate, you will need to balance approximately 40 hours of study per week alongside your professional and personal life and commitments.
It may be useful to consider studying one module at the standard rate of study before deciding whether to then increase to the accelerated rate of study.
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
Student support and guidance
Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:
All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.
You will need:
In addition, you will usually need one of the following:
- An undergraduate degree with Honours (in any subject) from a UK university or equivalent overseas qualification - at least a 2:2
- A Masters degree from a UK university or equivalent overseas qualification
- A psychology degree which hasn't given you Graduate Basis for Chartership - at least a 2.2
- An undergraduate degree from an overseas institution that is equivalent to the above UK qualifications. It is also important that you have a good standard of written and spoken English
If you have studied at another institution you may be able to translate some of this prior learning into credits (a maximum of two taught modules or 40 credits) towards this course. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL. This could potentially reduce the course length to a minimum of 12 months. Learn more about RPL.
English language qualifications
You’ll also normally require one of the following English language qualifications:
- GCE O level English Language C
- GCSE English C
If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:
- IELTS 6.5
- TOEFL: 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based) or 80 (internet based)
- Pearson Test of Academic English: 51
- Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass
- London Tests of English: we accept level 5 for postgraduate courses
- International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C
If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.
‡2022/23 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
About your fees
This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.
However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:
- Pay your full course fees upfront, or
- When enrolling in September, pay for all of your modules to be studied in that academic year upfront
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three payment plan options:
Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying
Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases
Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:
- Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
- Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:
- Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The date of the translation
- The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
- The translator’s contact details
A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.
Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.
All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.
During this course you'll study all the core areas of psychology to gain a deep understanding of the subject.
From here you can then choose which area you would like to specialise in and continue to further training. For example, you may want to consider our online MSc Health Psychology which will introduce you to a range of health psychology professional competencies. Other areas of psychology you can consider are sports, clinical, educational, forensics and occupational.
Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:Contact usFrequently asked questions
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