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Masters in Psychology in UK: Course Guide for International Students

Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
Study Abroad Expert

Master of Psychology is offered in over 746 universities in the UK. A master’ degree in psychology helps students expand on their existing knowledge of psychology including its practical applications, experimentations and theory constructions. 

  • A typical curriculum includes research, statistics and learning brain behaviour etc.
  • The average tuition fee range of universities of the UK offering psychology is around 20,000 to 50,000 GBP
  • Psychology, which is a part of the biological sciences branch, saw a total enrollment of 243,440 in the year 2018 to 2019 in all of the UK, which increased by 8010 from the previous year.
  • Percentage-wise, there has been a 5% increase in the postgraduate psychology enrollment figures from 2017-2018 to 2018 to 2019. 
  • All programmes in different specializations can be pursued either on full-time, part-time or distance education mode. 

Why study Masters in Psychology in UK?

  • Most Australian universities rank among the top 100 universities offering masters in psychology abroad.
  • As of 2019, there are around 38,000 psychologists working in the UK, which includes both employed and self-employed. This figure is the highest yet since 2011.
  • Around 22720 international students pursue a higher education degree in medical/social services related fields like psychology in UK. 

Based on the figures below, it can be said that the demand for psychologists is on the rise in the UK and abroad. A graduate in the year 2020 in psychology will manage to be self-employed or find a corporate job and have steady work.

  • 26% of the UK population suffers from some form of psychiatric condition as of 2018. In the age group, 45 to 54 years the figure is at 33%.
  • For young adults, in 2017, 13% of boys and 9% of girls suffer from some form of mental disorder.
  • With rise in demand comes cushy median salaries. In the image below is a salary comparison among various states in the UK. 
Average Annual Salary (GBP) by State

Top Universities for Masters in Psychology in UK

The UK has a number of universities and institutes that offer a masters in Psychology. According to QS rankings, for the year 2019, the best universities in the UK that offer psychology are listed below. The universities are tabulated along with the program name and fees. 

UniversityQS Global RankingsProgram offered and durationTotal program fees
University of Oxford3M.Sc. in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (2 years)
M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology (3 years)
UCL10MA in Education (Psychology) 1 year
MSc in Health Psychology (1 year)
King’s College London22MSc in Health Psychology29,850
The University of Edinburgh28MSc in Psychological Research (1 year)
MSc in Social Psychology (1 year)
The London School of Economics and Political Science32MSc Social and Cultural Psychology (1 year)
MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology (1 year)
The University of Exeter34MSc Social and Organisational Psychology (1 year)
MSc Psychological Research Methods (1 year)
The University of Warwick44MA in Psychology and Education (1 year)
MSc in Psychological Research (1 year)
The University of Manchester46MRes Psychology (1 year)
MEd Psychology of Education (1 year)
Cardiff University51-100MSc Psychology (1 year)21950
University of Birmingham51-100MSc Psychology (1 year)20,880

There are also various short-term courses like diplomas and certificate courses in psychology that are offered at many UK universities and colleges. These certificate courses are of shorter duration and are opted as an add on to enrich resumes’.

Masters in Psychology in the UK: What is it About?

Masters of Psychology is a graduate program which includes the study of human mind and behavior. The degree helps in understanding thoughts and emotions. Students with an undergraduate level degree in psychology or similar attend the master's program for one year (full-time). The part-time program usually extends to two years.

Types of Degrees: In the U.K., students have the choice of choosing between MS (Master of Science), MA (Master of Arts), M.Res (Master of Research), and M.Ed. (Master of Education) for the psychology degree specialization.


A postgraduate degree in psychology is offered in multiple specializations. There is usually a general psychology degree with its own course requirements. Some universities offer more specialized forms of the same degree. The common specializations offered in the top universities in the UK are as follows:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychological Research
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Social Psychology
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology

Among all the psychology specializations, the most popular ones are clinical psychology, counselling psychology, psychological research. Criminal psychology is becoming the new and upcoming popular specialization. 

Masters in Psychology in UK: Admissions

All universities in the U.K. require applicants to have a prior bachelor’s degree either in psychology or a similar field. A minimum of 3 to 4-year bachelor’s degree must be completed to be eligible for admission in post graduate degree programs. 

Where to apply: All the top universities and institutes offering a Masters in Psychology accept applications through their own application portals. Some colleges also do accept applications through the UCAS common application portal. 

Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Psychology in UK

When applying for admissions to masters in psychology in UK, you are required to fulfill both general and specific eligibility criteria. University specific eligibility criteria for universities that offer a masters degree in psychology is as follows: 

UniversityAcademic RequirementAdditional RequirementsIELTSTOEFL
University of Oxford60-70%Preferred work experience, 3 LOR6.5 per componentListening: 22;
Reading: 24;
Speaking: 25 & Writing: 24
UCL60%NA6.0 in each componentReading: 24
Writing: 24
Speaking &listening: 20
KCL60%NA7.0 in each component27 in writing and 25 in each other component
The London School of Economics and Political Science60-70%SOP6.5 in each componentReading: 23;
Listening: 22;
Writing: 24 & Speaking: 22
University of Edinburgh60-70%NA6.5 in each component23 in each component
University of Exeter60%NA6.0 in each componentReading: 22;
Writing: 21;
Listening: 21 & Speaking: 23
University of Warwick60%NA6.0 in a minimum of two components

Documents Required

For studying abroad, you are required to send in the following documents along with the application. Some of these documents are required commonly among all the universities offering the program. However, some universities may require you to submit additional information and documents. Some of these are listed below:

  • Transcripts: Certificates from previous study institutions are an important part of your application package. 
  • LOR: A minimum of two reference letters from academic professors and past employers. Some universities, like University 
  • CV/Resume: This not a mandatory requirement, however, applicants with previous knowledge must provide CV along with the application package. 
  • Tests to study in UK: Entry requirement test scores like IELTS, TOEFL, etc. must be submitted directly through the testing agency. 
  • Personal Statement: Required by almost all top universities, personal statement helps in improving the weightage of your application package. 

Masters in Psychology in UK: Cost of Study

For international students, understanding the cost of study of programmes is important. Each university has their figures for the cost of living for a graduate student in their university. The cost of study is divided into three sections: pre-arrival expenses, tuition fees and cost of living. The latter two are categorized within post-arrival costs. 

Pre-Arrival Expenses

Pre-arrival expenses refer to all the examination cost, Tier 4 visa application fee and university application fee etc. that occur before leaving for the UK. The table below lists the estimated pre-arrival expenses from all top UK universities:

Type of expenseCost (GBP)
Application fee60 and above
Visa application fee348 if applied from outside the UK
Airfare425 - 638

Masters in Psychology in UK: Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for to study in UK’s popular universities is compared in the graph given below:

Annual Tuition Fees (GBP) by University

Cost of Living in UK

Each university in the UK updates their cost of living expenses for international students each academic year. Tabulated below is the detail of cost of living in UK:

Type of ExpenseCost (GBP)
1 bedroom apartment (inside city)748
1 bedroom city (outside apartment)602
3 bedroom apartment (inside city)12000
3 bedroom apartment (outside city)934
Food & Beverage1965

Masters in Psychology in UK with Scholarship

Pursuing masters abroad can burn a hole in your pocket! Given below is a table discussing the scholarships available to international students in the popular universities offering masters in psychology in UK. 

ScholarshipUniversityAmount Offered (GBP)
Commonwealth Scholarship and FellowshipUniversity of Oxford13,048/year
Hilde Himmelweit ScholarshipLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceThree awards 2,000
Dr Antony Kidman Scholarship in Health PsychologyKing’s College London10,000
David Vowles Postgraduate ScholarshipUniversity of Edinburgh2,000
Chevening ScholarshipsUniversity of ExeterFull funding for an year
Chevening ScholarshipsUniversity of WarwickFull funding for an year

Looking for more scholarships, click here to know more. 

Masters in Psychology in UK: Scope

To pursue a career in psychology in UK, you are required to have a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society. A person working in the counselling field can earn up to 127,000 GBP annually. Some of the popular job designations and salaries are mentioned below: 

JobSalaries (GBP)
Counselling Psychologist30,400-37267
Clinical Psychologist37570-44606
Criminal Psychologist26438-29957
Health Psychologist37570-43772
Educational Psychologist29995-31355
Industrial Organizational Psychologist18,000-29,000

Psychology is a field of study that is ever-growing and international graduates manage to find jobs in a multitude of areas. With a 2-year stay back available to international students in the UK, it becomes an improved education hub for international students. One can start their own practice as a psychologist, work for criminals as a Criminal Psychologist and also work for organizations in the conflict management and crisis management departments. Post a masters program, research-based programs can be pursued and work towards finding out new aspects of the human mind. 

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