Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 6 months-1year

UK/EU fee

£2,640

International fee

£2,640

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

University Certificate

Start dates

January, September, May

Location

Online

Online course description

An introduction to psychology - the study of the human mind and behaviour

If you’ve always been interested in psychology, or if you think psychological concepts and skills would be useful in your work or as a means of understanding your own motivations and behaviours, this online University Certificate in Psychology (UCP) course is for you.

You will be introduced to the fundamental theoretical issues in psychology and can tailor your module choice to your area of interest, career focus or personal preferences, choosing from: cognitive, developmental, sport, exercise, social or biological psychology and also psychology traditions and skills and more. This course will introduce you 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.

Choice of two award pathways

This course allows you to select one of two pathways that will give you one of the following award titles:

Studying either pathway will provide you with 60 credits for entry onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology. You will need to study the University Certificate in Psychology pathway in order to gain credits from the relevant modules in order to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme.

Please note when applying for this course, please select the Psychology University Certificate. When enrolling on to this course, please select the modules for the appropriate pathway you are looking to study for the award you wish to exit with.

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

Once you’ve achieved your University Certificate in Psychology you can choose to progress to our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited online BSc (Hons) Psychology*, where some of the credits you have gained may count towards your first year of study. Alternatively, if you already have an undergraduate degree in any subject you could continue studying with our BPS accredited Postgraduate Diploma, giving you the ability to take one step closer to becoming a registered 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 discussion forums, blogs and live online chats which are all supported by our specialist online academics.

*See entry requirements - option 1

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).

A talk from our academic

Our academic for Psychology, Dr Phil Clarke, talks about our online Psychology University Certificate course in this video.

Our academic, Dr Philip Clarke, talks about the online Sports Psychology Certificate of Credit course

View our Psychology University Certificate course introduction video transcript

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 3 x 20 credit modules.

If your first degree did not include any research methods training, you will be encouraged to select the Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology 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, January or May). Advice and counselling on module choices is available from the programme leader at application and enrolment stages.

Award titles

This course allows you to select one of two pathways that will give you one of the following award titles:

Studying either pathway will provide you with 60 credits for entry onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.

You will need to study the University Certificate in Psychology pathway in order to gain credits from the relevant modules in order to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme.

When applying for this course, please select the Psychology University Certificate. When enrolling on to this course, please select the modules for the appropriate pathway you are looking to study for the award you wish to exit with.

University Certificate in Psychology

Students who select 3 x 20 credit modules will be awarded with a University Certificate in Psychology upon completion of the course.

Students wishing to progress to the BPS accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology must select 3 x 20 credit modules from the following: Introduction to Social Psychology, Introduction to Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Introduction to Biological Psychology, Psychology: Traditions and Skills, and also Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology.

You will also need to meet addition entry requirements of the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme.

CertificateCertificate

Code: 4PS524

Introduction to Sport Psychology

This module introduces students to sport psychology. The aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of theory and research into individual sport psychology including areas of attention and anxiety. We will also address group processes associated with team performance such as leadership and group dynamics. Throughout this module we will provide real life sporting examples of elite athletes view on each of these constructs.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the key principles which underpin the area of sport psychology
  • Apply the theoretical concepts to a sport case study

Module content

This module will discuss what makes sport psychology a science and will explore theories, research methods and concepts relating to core topics of sporting performance. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Anxiety
  • Confidence
  • Attention
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Group dynamics
  • Group cohesion
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PS525

Introduction to Exercise Psychology

This module introduces students to exercise psychology. The aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of theory and research into exercise psychology including areas of psychological well-being and adherence. We will also address the role of exercise in managing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Throughout this module we will provide practical examples of people’s views and experiences in each of these areas.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the key principles which underpin exercise psychology from a biopsychosocial perspective
  • Apply theories of behaviour change and motivation to the topics in exercise psychology

Module content

This module will discuss what makes exercise psychology a science and will explore theories, research methods and concepts relating to core topics in this area. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Research and ethics in exercise and physical activity
  • Stress, affect, mood, and emotion
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Psychological wellbeing and cognitive function
  • Pain
  • Self-esteem and body image
  • Adherence
  • Theories of behaviour change and motivation
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PS527

Introduction to Biological Psychology

In this module students will explore how the brain works, including an introduction to the brain, neural structures and neurons. We will investigate the history of biological psychology and consider key questions, such as whether parts of our brains serve specialised functions and if there are individual differences in brain structure, associated with handedness, for example. We will also investigate how our understanding of brain function informs our understanding of selected areas of human and non-human cognition and behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the underlying principles of biological psychology
  2. Explain the relationships between physiological systems and behaviour

Module content

This module will focus on a number of areas which may include the following:

  • Conceptual and historical issues in biological psychology
  • Biopsychology as a neuroscience
  • Research methods of biopsychology
  • Biological bases of human and non-human behaviour
  • The nervous system, neurons and neuronal conduction
  • Neurotransmitters and behaviour
  • Typical and atypical neuropsychology
  • Comparative psychology
  • Hormones and behaviour
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS528

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

This module introduces students to cognitive psychology as a science. The aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of research into human cognition including areas such as perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking. The module will also explore everyday applications of cognitive research and help students develop an understanding of debates in cognitive psychology.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain theory and research into human cognition
  2. Communicate an academic argument in a clear and concise manner
  3. Outline the key debates surrounding specific research areas in cognitive psychology

Module content

This module will discuss what makes cognitive psychology a science and will explore theories, methodologies, research, and debates relating to core topics of human cognition. Topics discussed may include:

  • Cognitive psychology as a science
  • Perception
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Thinking
  • Language
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Applications of cognitive psychology
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 4PS529

Introduction to Developmental Psychology

This module introduces students to concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of child development. Students will first be introduced to the area of developmental psychology, its historical development, the methods used by researchers working in this field and key debates such as what drives development? The research and theories proposed by key figures working in the areas of social and cognitive development will then be discussed.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts, theories and methods in developmental psychology
  2. Discuss key issues in developmental psychology
  3. Outline fundamental theories in developmental psychology in a format that may be understood by a non-academic audience

Module content

This module will examine how social and cognitive development has been researched in psychology and explore the theories proposed by key figures working in this area. The following are examples of indicative content:

Studying development – the historical origins of developmental psychology, key issues and debates within developmental psychology (eg the nature nurture debate), research methods used within developmental psychology (eg longitudinal and cross sectional design), explanations of a-typical development and the contributions that developmental psychology can make to the real world.

Developmental theory – the background of key figures within developmental psychology (eg Piaget, Vygotsky, Bowlby, Erikson, Chomsky) and how this shaped their research; prominent cognitive theories of development (eg Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Vygotsky’s theory of development); prominent theories of social development (eg Bowlby’s theory of attachment); theories of lifespan development of the self (eg Erikson’s theory of development).

More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS530

Introduction to Social Psychology

In this module students will be introduced to some of the key concepts included in the study of social psychology. Students will explore a range of basic social psychological theories that have been developed to explain our engagement with others such as how attitudes develop; how aggressive or altruistic behaviour can be explained; and how our identities influence the ways we view, and are viewed by, others. This module will also consider how the mere presence of others can change behaviour, for example, how individual behaviour changes in a crowd. Students will also examine how cognitive processes influence our impressions of people, how attitudes form and how these can lead to negative attitudes towards specific groups, which in turn influences behaviour towards group members. Students will be required to apply these conceptual issues to examples taken from everyday life and explain how relevant concepts can explain individual behaviour within a social setting.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Outline and explain a range of social psychology theories
  2. Discuss the methodologies and methods used in social psychology

Module content

This module will focus on a number of areas of social psychology. The following are examples of indicative content:

  • Introduction to social psychology and research methods in social psychology
  • Social influence, eg obedience, conformity, compliance and persuasion
  • Changes in individual behaviour in group situations, eg deindividuation
  • Identity in a social context, eg social identity theory
  • Social psychology and cognition, eg impression formation, attribution and stereotypes
  • Attitudes and attitude change
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Pro-social behaviour and aggression
  • Cultural context of social psychology
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 4PS531

Psychology: Traditions and Skills

This module aims to develop students’ academic understanding of the discipline of psychology from a historical perspective in order to instil an appreciation of the development of psychological traditions that underpin modern psychology training and practice. The module will provide a structured opportunity to develop a range of skills students of psychology need to successfully engage in their programme of study.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Outline the development of psychology as a discipline
  2. Employ a variety of communication methods that are appropriate to the discipline of psychology
  3. Evaluate their competence in a variety of skills that have been explored in the course materials in order to develop a personal development plan

Module content

The module content may include:

  • Origins of psychology and the historical development of the discipline
  • Different perspectives within psychology and their links to theoretical positions and methodological approaches
  • Distinctions between academic and professional areas of psychology
  • General and discipline specific study skills
  • Locating, reading and reviewing psychological literature
  • Planning and managing academic work
  • Individual and group approaches to learning
  • Discipline specific academic writing styles, and presentation skills including oral and poster presentations
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4PS532

Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology

The purpose of this module is to provide students with an introduction to the key principles underlying research methods in psychology. Students will be taught the need for systematic research methods and will explore the relationship between theory and data in both quantitative and qualitative research. Students will learn key principles in research design and will engage in and evaluate the practical aspects of generating quantitative and qualitative research data. Students will learn how to analyse quantitative and qualitative data and how to report the findings of simple psychological studies in a standardised format.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Design simple psychological studies that are ethically sound
  2. Analyse, report and interpret qualitative data
  3. Analyse, report and interpret quantitative data using statistical software, eg SPSS
  4. Identify and reflect upon personal development needs

Module content

This module will focus on a number of areas of research design and practice in order to help students to achieve the module learning outcomes, these will include:

  • Research design
  • Measurement
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential testing
  • Conducting qualitative research
  • Presenting research and research findings
  • Analysing qualitative data
  • Ethical guidelines and considerations
More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

How you will learn

Exclusive videos from sporting professionals

Both the Introduction to Sport Psychology and the Introduction to Exercise Psychology modules consist of 8 units that contain elite level athlete interviews, from sporting professionals including Stuart Bingham (2015 Snooker World Champion), Alison Nicholas (1997 US Open winner), Steve Staunton (102 caps for the Republic of Ireland and ex Liverpool and Aston Villa player) and more. You'll gain an insight into their own personal experience in sport, providing real life examples of how psychology is used within different sporting industries, providing you with case studies that illustrate sport and exercise psychology in practice.

These modules are suitable for anyone who has an interest in learning about the foundations of sport or exercise psychology and can be applied directly into the workplace or activity you wish to pursue. The modules are introductory in nature, so they are suitable for anyone who may not have studied psychology before, but has experience of working in a sporting and exercise environment.

What skills will I develop?

This course will allow you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the different areas of psychology including core psychology disciplines and research skills. You’ll also learn the analytical, academic and communication skills required to support you for further academic study. You will also develop a range of transferable skills including the ability to work independently and collaboratively, time-management and organisation skills, both written and verbal communication skills and also digital literacy skills.

Throughout the course you will also develop a range of work-based skills from accessing and interpreting data; constructing arguments in a formal written structure; presenting and communicating data as well as how to apply learning to real world problems and situations.

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

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.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Psychology Online at Derby Webinar

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 14.00 - 15.00

Join this webinar to find out more about studying one of our online psychology courses. You'll hear from the academic team and have the chance to ask questions. 

Book your webinarBook your webinar

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 to complete the University Certificate in Psychology and progress to the BSc (Hons) Psychology

If you meet the entry criteria below and have successfully achieved a final average grade of 50% and have passed all the core shared* online Psychology BSc (Hons)/online University Certificate Psychology modules, you will be offered automatic progression to the online Psychology BSc (Hons) programme.

The credits you have gained will count towards your first year of study.

For all other students who have completed the online University Certificate Psychology, progression onto the online Psychology BSc (Hons) will be at the discretion of the Programme Leader/Academic Lead.

You will need:

We also accept Access qualifications (with a grade of 22 merits or distinction). You must also be 18 years of age or over.

We will need to consider all the information that you’ve included in your application. We want to see that you’re enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from studying this course through online learning. Entry to the programme is at the discretion of the Academic Lead and prior to beginning your study you may need to speak to them.

*Students wishing to progress to the BSc (Hons) Psychology must select 60 credits from the following modules: Introduction to Social Psychology, Introduction to Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Introduction to Biological Psychology, Psychology: Traditions and Skills, and also Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology. To progress onto the BSc you will need to pass all your modules and receive an average grade of 50% or over.

Option 2: 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 PG Dip programme, 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:

* If you don't have GCSE Maths, you can study our Certificate of Credit in Introduction to Maths in Preparation for Higher Education, which is a 20-credit module designed to help you develop your mathematical skills in preparation for higher education. 

**If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5, you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes, which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*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.

Fees and funding

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £880 3 £2,640

† Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Careers

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 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

Programme leader

Dr Sophie Williams

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

† Additional information about your studies

Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Download programme specification