Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A conversion course in Psychology is designed for graduates of other degree programmes who wish to develop and strengthen their knowledge of psychology and build on their first (Bachelor's) degree qualification to obtain a Master's degree. A conversion course normally consists of at least one full year of study and students typically study 180 credits at level 7 (Master's level). More details about how a student achieves this are provided below.
Psychology is a very popular and useful subject to study because it has a big impact on all areas of life, from education and health, to the economy and crime. Graduates of psychology gain broad skills and knowledge which they can apply to and are valued in a range of professions and occupations. Therefore completing a psychology Masters will give a graduate an advantage in today's competitive job market, both in applying for new posts and performing effectively or applying for promotion in existing ones. Many graduates have career aims within the field of psychology, and the conversion MSc is, for them, the first step in working towards a career as, for example, a clinical, forensic, educational, occupational, health or counselling psychologist.
This psychology conversion course has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). In fact it is the first conversion course accredited by the BPS outside the UK. This accreditation will mean that graduates achieving a 50% average or above will be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the BPS. This is required for entry onto the BPS chartered routes in professional Psychology (such as clinical, educational, forensic and health psychology).
The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive and thorough knowledge and scientific understanding of psychology, and provides training in the skills necessary to research and enhance the discipline of psychology. Students will be introduced to key theories, research topics and Hong Kong-relevant applications in the core areas of psychology. These core areas include social psychology (the study of human thought processes and behaviour in social groups), individual differences (the study of differences in, for example, human intelligence and personality traits), developmental psychology (the study of how human beings develop along the lifespan, and influences upon that development), cognitive psychology (the study of how people learn, process and recall information), biopsychology (the study of the human brain and its interaction with thoughts, emotions and behaviour), abnormal psychology (the study of abnormal behaviours, traits, emotions, cognitions and how these are classified, diagnosed and treated). In addition, students will be introduced to and have the opportunity to engage with a range of research approaches and methodologies. They will develop and apply their skills through undertaking and writing up an independent research project, for which they will be well prepared, supervised and supported.
This course is a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) in the UK and the School of Continuing and Professional Education (SCOPE) at City University, Hong Kong. Our teams have been working together, delivering collaborative courses at SCOPE for a long time. This new course builds upon that effective collaborative partnership.
The course is based upon a successful MSc Psychology conversion course in SHU, and the modules students will study are designed to be very similar to the ones studied in the UK. However, SCOPE and SHU staff have worked together to develop the course to both cover core psychological knowledge and skills which all psychology graduates need, and also to consider research, applications and issues which are important, relevant and timely for our Hong Kong students in their daily lives and occupations.
The course will also be delivered collaboratively. In most modules core lectures will be delivered by Faculty staff from the UK, who will fly in to teach for short periods of time through the year. What students learn during those lectures will be developed, enhanced and applied through tutorial sessions delivered by SCOPE tutors and online study materials. Students will work on a research project from a range of projects which have been developed by SHU / SCOPE Faculty staff, and designed to be suitable for the Hong Kong context. Each student will enjoy supervision and support from two tutors from the SHU / SCOPE team.
This full Masters programme is designed to be completed in 16 months, to be delivered in 4 semesters of 13 weeks each.
Each semester will follow the same pattern, starting with an intense week of lectures from SHU or SHU / SCOPE lecturers, during which students will attend classes on four days: two full weekend days and 2 evening classes (expected to be full day Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings, full day Saturday). This will be followed by a revision week (no sessions to attend), and then 8 weeks of regular once weekly evening tutorials with SCOPE staff. Then there is another revision week, and finally assessment week, when students will submit their assessed tasks for the modules they have studied. During each trimester, students will be provided with online study to complete in their own time, and will be provided with reading lists and suggested activities to support their learning.
In each semester, students will complete and be assessed in different modules. They will study two 15-credit modules or one of 30 credits per semester. For 4 semesters, the total number of credits to study is 120 credits. The remaining 60 credits of the course are devoted to students' research dissertation and continous professional development. This module will run for the whole course, with lectures and tutorials. However it is expected that students will be busiest with their projects in the final phase of the course.
Students are assessed in different ways in each module, and summative assessments will include essays, case studies, professional reports, research proposals, and presentations, the research dissertation, and MC exam on cognitive and psychobiology.
An important point to note is that, though their taught sessions (lectures and tutorials), students will be provided with a great deal of information about the assessments as well as support in developing their skills and knowledge for the task. They will have the chance to discuss their ideas and receive formative feedback on aspects of their skills and knowledge which are important in the summative tasks. Through this supportive process, it is expected that students will develop confidence in each aspect of assessment and be able to achieve the positive outcomes their hard work deserves.