Online course details
Part-time: 6 months-1year
January, September, May
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.
When applying for this course, please select the Psychology University Certificate. When enrolling onto 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.
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.
Students wishing to progress to the BPS accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology must complete the Research Methods and Analysis in Psychology module, plus 3 modules from the following: Introduction to Social Psychology, Introduction to Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Introduction to Biological Psychology, Psychology: Traditions and Skills.
You will also need to meet additional entry requirements of the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme.
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.
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.
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.
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
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:
- GCSE Maths (minimum grade C) (or equivalent)*
- GCSE English Language (minimum grade C) (or equivalent)**
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:
- An undergraduate degree with at least 2nd class Honours (in any subject) from a UK university, or equivalent overseas qualification - at least a 2:2
- An undergraduate degree from an overseas institution that is equivalent to the above UK qualifications. However, if you have overseas qualifications, we do advise that you gain the UK equivalent. It is also important that you have a good standard of written and spoken English.
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:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.0**
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 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 4 for undergraduate courses
- International GCE O-level English Language: Grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C*
* 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:
- 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.
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† Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three 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)
Students should apply directly to the University.
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
Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:Contact usFrequently 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