This section of the handbook focuses on the rules that determine your progression through the course and how your final mark is calculated. These rules are standardised across different degrees in the university, and we describe them in outline below.

Additional information about the content covered at each stage of your course is described in an accompanying guide (the Student Wiki) which we think you'll find useful throughout your studies. 

The overall structure of the MPsych programme. Please visit the accompanying course overview guide for a full overview of the course structure and content.


An undergraduate programme of study is divided into a specified number of stages. Each stage is equivalent to a year of full-time study. You must satisfy the requirements for one stage of your programme before being able to progress to the next stage. In the MSci, our stages correspond to Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 as illustrated above. The progression requirements are the following:

  • In order to enter Year 3 of the MSci programme (or to progress from Year 2 to Year 3 of the MSci programme), you must receive an average of at least 55 on Year 2 assessments. If you do not achieve this average, you will continue on the 3 year BSc (Hons) in Psychology course. This is a BPS accredited BSc in Psychology course.
  • In order to progress from Year 3 to Year 4 of the MSci you must receive an overall average of at least 55 on Year 3 assessments. If you do not achieve this average, you will leave the programme with a 3 year BSc (Hons) in Psychological Studies degree. This is not a BPS accredited course, as it does not include an empirical project.

In calculating your final degree classification, marks from the different stages are weighted differently.

Year 1: 0%

Year 2: 25%

Year 3: 37.5%

Year 4: 37.5%

The first 'stage' of your programme (which is your first year) doesn't count towards your degree classification, but you do have to pass it to continue with your programme, and it will appear on your transcript.  The idea is that you will not be penalised for problems you encounter when you are first getting to grips with the subject, with University life and independent study. As you become more familiar with the discipline, and work more efficiently and independently your marks will have a greater impact on your final results.


Each stage is made up of modules.  Each of the modules you undertake will have a credit value (e.g. 10 credits – 20 credits – etc. ) and a ‘level’ which indicates the module’s level of difficulty (e.g. 'C' for Certificate in first year, 'I' for intermediate and 'H' for 'Honours' in second and third years). One credit point equals 10 hours of learning.  You will achieve the credit for a module by passing the module assessments. Modules are assessed by a range of methods which will result in a numerical module mark out of 100.

If you fail a module there are two possible ways in which you might be able to still pass your year and progress to the next level.  These are compensation and reassessment, and are explained in more detail in the Assessment section.

Modules and stages are also subject to credit-weighting, see below.

In Psychology our Year 1 and 2 modules form five strands. Within a year each strand is referred to as a module, so for example we have a module called "Brain and Behaviour 1" which is the first year module in the Brain and Behaviour strand. In each of the first two years we have three twenty credit modules (which run over Autumn and Spring terms) and two thirty credit modules (which also extend into the Summer term).

Year 1

Research Methods in Psychology 1 – 20 credits

Brain and Behaviour 1 – 20 credits

Perception & Cognition 1 – 20 credits

Development & Language 1 – 30 credits

Social, Personality & Abnormal Psychology 1 – 30 credits

Year 2

Research Methods in Psychology 2 – 20 credits

Development & Language 2 – 20 credits

Social, Personality & Abnormal Psychology 2 – 20 credits 

Brain and Behaviour 2 – 30 credits

Perception and Cognition 2 – 30 credits

Modules are organised into 4-week teaching blocks, each consisting of four 2-hour teaching slots (lectures) and one tutorial.  You will also carry out practicals which bring together research skills learned in the Research Methods strand (e.g., experimental design, statistics) with ideas and issues raised in the other strands.

20-credit module structure:

Autumn Term


Spring Term


Summer Term


Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

30-credit module structure:

Autumn Term


Spring Term


Summer Term


Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Years 3 and 4:

In the final two years of the MSci course you will take a range of advanced modules (some modules are dictated by the requirements of your specific MSci pathway, some modules you will choose yourself), a literature survey and an empirical project. The final years provide excellent opportunities for you to tailor your course to meet your academic interests. 

Advanced modules are typically taught in two 4-week teaching blocks with a reading week in the middle. It is important to note that Advanced Modules are assessed differently in Year 3 and Year 4. In Year 3 your assessment will align with that of students taking the module on the BSc course. In Year 4, an additional advanced assessment will be included (to reflect the higher level at which you are completing the module), and you will be marked according to the postgraduate marking guidelines. Please see the pages on assessment and feedback for more information on how marking guidelines differ for Years 3 and 4.

The literature survey is completed in the Autumn Term of Year 3 (Term 7), while the Final Year Project extends over most of Year 4.


Autumn (Term 7)

Spring (Terms 8)

Summer (Term 9)

Year 3


Literature Survey – 10 credits

Advanced Research Methods - 20 credits
Advanced Module 1 – 20 creditsAdvanced Module 2 – 20 credits
Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Specialist Module 1 - 10 creditsNeuroscience and Neuroimaging Specialist Module 2 - 30 credits
Developmental Disorders Specialist Module 1 - 20 creditsDevelopmental Disorders Specialist Module 2 - 20 credits
Forensic Psychology Specialist Module 1 - 20 creditsForensic Psychology Specialist Module 2 - 20 credits
Clinical Psychology Specialist Module 1 - 20 creditsClinical Psychology Specialist Module 2 - 20 credits

Year 3 Project - 10 credits
Autumn (Term 10)Spring (Term 11)Summer (Term 12)
Year 4Advanced Module 3 – 20 creditsAdvanced Module 4 – 20 credits
Empirical Project - 80 credits


Credit-weighting means that, in calculating your average stage mark, each module mark will be given more or less weight according to the volume of credit (i.e. workload) that is associated with it.

For further information on credit-weighting, including how you can use it to calculate your marks, consult the Student Guide to the University’s Rules for Progression and Award in Undergraduate programmes:

Further information on calculating your final degree mark is available under ‘Your final degree classification’ in the ‘Assessment, Progression and Award’ section. Your academic supervisor should also be able to help you with this.

For your convenience, in the tables above we have included the credit weightings of each module on the MSci Psychology programme, and we have provided the credit-weighted contribution the module will normally make to your final degree mark in brackets (after combining stage marks).

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