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Applied Psychology (Certificate of Higher Education)

Psychology is an exciting, dynamic field that is broadly concerned with the scientific study of mental life and human behaviour: how people think, feel and behave as individuals and how they interact in groups. This Certificate of Higher Education in Applied Psychology is ideal if you are interested in pursuing a career in psychology, or if you have a keen interest in psychology as a science, or if you simply want to better understand human behaviour. 

You will study the application of psychology in a variety of settings, including education, health and organisations (for example in management and personnel), as well as exploring aspects of psychoanalytic theory and practice.


Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

You can progress onto Year 1 of our part-time, four-year evening study BSc Psychology if you complete the following modules: Problem Solving and Decision Making (Cognitive Psychology), Psychology of Learning and Learning Styles, and Research Methods for Psychology (Introduction).

You cannot apply for entry into Year 2 - take our Certificate of Higher Education in Psychology instead (you must complete specific modules, which are outlined on the course page). 

    You can progress onto Year 2 of our Foundation Degree in Psychology for Education Professionals or BA Psychology for Education if you complete the following modules: The Developing Child: A Psychological Perspective, Psychology of Learning and Learning Styles, Problem Solving and Decision Making (Cognitive Psychology), Research Methods for Psychology (Introduction) and either Critical Approaches to Attachment or Understanding Human Personality or Critical Approaches to Positive Psychology. 

    Students who wish to proceed via these routes or who would like further information are advised to contact us before enrolling. 

    Course structure

    To gain the Certificate of Higher Education, you must successfully complete modules worth a total of 120 credits. You take three core modules (worth a total of 45 credits) and choose option modules worth 75 credits.  

    Problem Solving and Decision Making (Cognitive Psychology) and Psychology of Learning and Learning Styles should usually be taken first. The remaining Level 4 modules may be taken in any order, except for Research Methods in Practice/Approaches to Applied Research, which is usually taken last.

    You can take more than one module at a time.

    Module groups

    There are no prerequisites, with the exception of Psychological and Developmental Issues in Childhood and the two Research Methods modules. Please check the relevant syllabus to see if there is any suggested preparatory reading. You may consider enrolling on our Choosing Your Course workshop if you need advice on choosing your programme of study.

    Students may be awarded a Certificate of Continuing Education as an intermediate award upon completion of modules totalling 60 credits. You may not register for the Certificate of Continuing Education as an entry qualification, as it is only awarded as an intermediate award to those unable to complete their Certificate of Higher Education during the normal period of registration.

    • Entry Requirements

      Entry requirements

      No formal qualifications are required. However, all modules are taught at university level and students should be able to read, write and speak English fluently.

      If you need help, we offer a range of academic English and language development modules. Some students may find that they just need some support with their academic writing, which they can take alongside their psychology studies. Others may be advised to focus on developing their English written and/or oral skills before applying for psychology courses.

      Students who want to assess the study skills they have, and those they need to develop, may wish to consider taking the Preparing to Study Psychology workshop.

      Some study skills support is included in all modules, but if you would like additional support in developing your study skills, you may enrol on one or more of the one-day workshops we offer. Details of other learning and skills training support, including one-to-one support, are available through Student Services.

      Visa requirements

      If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

      The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

      • Courses of more than six months' duration.
      • Courses of less than six months' duration.
      • Pre-sessional English language courses.

      International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

      For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    • Fees


      Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose. 

      Please note: if you intend to study this certificate part-time and fund your studies via a student loan, this may affect your entitlement for future full-time funding. Find out more about funding your studies with a student loan

    • Teaching and assessment


      Lectures, seminars, discussion or project work. You will be encouraged to participate actively in discussion and to undertake reading and coursework.


      Coursework, including assignments under timed conditions in the classroom for specified modules.

    • Careers and employability

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue careers in psychology, human relations, education or marketing. This course may be useful in becoming a clinical psychologist, further education lecturer, human resources officer or market researcher.

      We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    • How to apply

      How to apply

      This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol onto individual modules (rather than onto the entire programme of study). Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see class dates and times and to enrol.