Available for September start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 6 months-1year

UK fee

£2,715 (2024/25)

International fee

£2,715 (2024/25)

Course level



University Certificate

Start dates

September, January



Course Highlights

The University Certificate in Psychology (UCP) will introduce you to core areas of psychology that you are interested in through the selection of optional modules.

You will learn about the fundamental theoretical issues in psychology, and you can tailor your module choice to your area of interest, career focus or personal preferences, choosing from: cognitive, developmental, social, biological psychology and historical issues in psychology.

You will be introduced to research methods in psychology, helping you to develop and gain an overview of the skills you’ll need to progress in a psychology career including, research study design, data collection methods, online research methods and an awareness of ethical issues. Research skills are also transferable, and you may find them useful in your current work setting or for any other future education.

100%I would recommend this course to othersProgramme Questionnaire 2023
100%I have developed a clear sense of what I wish to achieve in the futureProgramme Questionnaire 2023
100%I have achieved what I expected from my university experienceProgramme Questionnaire 2023

Who is the University Certificate in Psychology (UCP) course for?

This course is suited to anyone wanting to learn about the foundations of psychology, whether it’s for your career or own personal interest. Studying a psychology course can also equip you with a breadth of knowledge and range of transferable skills that enable you to progress into a wide range of courses and career paths such as: human resources; management; police and emergency services; social services; education; counselling; health and social care as well as careers in business and other similar professions.

You may also be looking to study this course as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or to enhance your career employability and general knowledge.

A stepping-stone to undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses

For some, meeting the standard entry requirements of a psychology programme can be a barrier to further study. This programme encourages applications from students who may not meet the criteria of our BSc (Hons) Psychology (online) but who have relevant work experience, or similar, which can be considered.

Once you’ve achieved your University Certificate in Psychology you can choose to progress to our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology (online) where some of the credits you have gained may also be used towards your first year of study on the BSc. Alternatively, if you already have an undergraduate degree in any subject, you could continue studying with our BPS accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (online), giving you the ability to take one step closer to becoming a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

In addition to introducing you to some of the core areas of psychology, studying the University Certificate in Psychology course will allow you to gain the basic concepts and skills you need to successfully continue your psychology studies. Throughout the course you'll be part of a global online community, learning and networking with each other through our programme community space and live online sessions which are all supported by our academic team.

Why study psychology online with Derby?

Our online courses are designed with the online learner in mind. With over ten years' experience teaching psychology online, we’re aware of the unique benefits and challenges of online learning. So, we’ve developed systems to support you from the moment you apply to the programme, to the day you celebrate gaining your certificate.

We’ve spent years investing in our online resources including our online library with a comprehensive range of digital and electronic resources, texts and journals, and specialist psychology software accessible to students on our psychology courses.

Our students are at the heart of our programmes, and you will become part of a psychology community. As a University Certificate in Psychology student, you’ll be invited to attend online social events and guest lectures, and you’ll have access to a large and experienced academic team to ask questions throughout your studies.

The programme design is research informed and our teaching is research led. You’ll have access to academic staff with expertise in a wide range of psychological research including positive psychology, health psychology, compassion-focused therapies, nature connectedness and developmental psychology.

Attendance at live virtual sessions is optional and all sessions will be recorded and available for you to access in your own time.

If you want to study an online programme, be part of an active student community, and have the option to engage in contemporary modules and live online sessions with your peers and academic staff, then this may be the programme for you.

a small child using a pencil

Passion for a new career

Sarah Short was living and teaching abroad, a mother of two young children, when her husband passed away. She has since steered her career in a new direction with the help of our flexible online study options.

Read Sarah's storyRead Sarah's story

What you will study

To successfully complete the University Certificate in Psychology you must pass 60 credits, by completing three x 20 credit modules.

If your first degree did not include any research methods training, you will be encouraged to select the Introduction to Research Methods module as one of your options.

The order of the modules you can select follows a study pattern which is determined by your start date (ie whether you start in September or January). Advice and counselling on module choices is available from our team at application, enrolment and throughout your time on the programme.

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.

model brain being shown on mobile phone

Online Psychology BSc (Hons) degree and University Certificate Q&A: July 2024

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 10.45 - 11.30

If you're interested in joining the BSc (Hons) Psychology or Psychology University Certificate online courses and wish to find out more, join the live Q and A to hear from Dr Sophie Williams, Programme Leader, and get your questions answered.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

How you will learn

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. This is what we call the standard rate of study, and we’d recommend this rate of study for any students who are also working full-time or have other commitments.

You can choose to study two modules per term, this is what we call our accelerated rate of study. For this rate of study, we’d recommend 40 hours a week, and so it is best suited to those who are not currently in full-time work.

We know that sometimes life happens, and our team will be here to support you to consider which study rate may be best for you depending on your life circumstances.

We recommend studying one module at the standard rate of study before deciding, with support from our team to consider whether to then increase to the accelerated rate of study.

There will be 1/2 virtual classrooms over the 10 week trimester and if you are unable to attend you will be able to download the session to view in your own time.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports. Our assessment is designed to be authentic and help our students develop psychology specific and transferable skills that will be useful with their future career goals.

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.

Who will teach you

Dr Sophie Williams outside

Dr Sophie Williams
Programme leader

Programme director for Psychology, Dr Sophie Williams is a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Sophie's research interests lie in women’s health and long-term conditions, her research particularly focuses on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and quality of life.

View full staff profileView full staff profileExplore all staff on this courseExplore all staff on this course

Entry requirements

You may wish to complete this programme as professional development or because you are interested in psychology. However, by completing this course, you have the choice to progress to our BSc (Hons) Psychology (Online) or our Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Online) programmes. The entry criteria varies depending on your preferred career path.

Option 1: Entry criteria for University Certificate in Psychology to complete this programme without progressing onto a further course

Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age and will need:

If you do not hold standard entry requirements but have relevant work experience, we’d encourage you to get in touch with our admissions team to seek further information and advice.

Applicants without previous UCAS points should provide a detailed personal statement within the application form and may be invited to discuss this with the Programme Director.

Option 2: Entry criteria to complete the University Certificate in Psychology and progress to the BSc (Hons) Psychology

English language qualification

Applicants without previous UCAS points may be asked to speak with the programme director and to complete a detailed application form including a supporting personal statement.

For automatic progression to the BSc (Hons) Psychology, students must complete the University Certificate in Psychology with a final average grade of 50% and pass all their modules. For students who do not achieve this, progression on to the BSc (Hons) Psychology will be at the discretion of the programme director.

Students can RPL up to 60 credits of modules on the University Certificate in Psychology towards the BSc (Hons) Psychology. This means that if you study the University Certificate in Psychology as entry to the BSc (Hons) Psychology, you will transfer the credits from the Certificate to the BSc.

Option 3: Entry criteria for University Certificate in Psychology to progress to our Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology

If you are studying this course to progress onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, you will need to meet the entry criteria below:

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Find out more about our English language requirements

Fees and funding

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £905 3 £2,715

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee 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.

If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this will be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from two payment plan options:

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Apply directly to the University.

Apply now

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:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

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.

Application deadlines

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.


Studying this course provides you with your first step into a career within psychology and a gateway to our BPS accredited online BSc (Hons) Psychology*. This course also provides you with 60 credits in psychology which can help you gain entry to our BPS accredited online Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology course.

It is also a useful short course for those wishing to investigate, or take the first steps, towards a career in Psychology without committing to an extensive period of study.

Studying a psychology course can also equip you with a breadth of knowledge and range of transferable skills that enables you to progress into a wide range of areas such as: human resources; management; police and emergency services; social services; education; counselling; health and social care as well as careers in business and other similar professions. Students have also previously taken our University Certificate in Psychology as continuing professional developmental when working in educational and healthcare settings.

*See entry requirements - option 1

Utilise our Careers and Employment Service​

Whilst you are a student at the University of Derby, and for 3 years after you graduate, our Careers and Employment Service can assist you with job search advice, CV creation, workshops and events, as well as one-to-one appointments with employment advisers to help with career planning and interview preparation.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Other courses you might like