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Psychology (Certificate of Higher Education)

How do we think about and research human behaviour? What's the relationship between biology, behaviour and mental processes, particularly the role of the brain and nervous system? Does the study of animal behaviour help us understand our own behaviour? These are some of the key questions covered by our Psychology Certificate of Higher Education.

This course provides a systematic introduction to the major areas of modern psychology, and will give you the experience of degree-level study, support your work, deepen a professional interest, and increase your knowledge and understanding of human behaviour.


Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

Completion of core modules enables progression onto our part-time evening BSc Psychology degree:

  • Year 2 entry: you must complete all four core modules, usually with a grade of 50% or above in each module. Anyone wishing to complete these modules in one year must obtain the agreement of the Psychology subject team.
  • Year 1 entry: applications are encouraged from those who complete Foundations of Modern Psychology and Research Methods for Psychology (Introduction).

Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education you must register on and successfully complete individual modules worth a total of 120 credit points. You take the four core modules (worth a total of 90 credits) and choose option modules worth 30 credits.

Foundations of Modern Psychology should usually be taken first. The remaining Level 4 modules may be taken in any order, except for Research Methods in Practice, which is usually taken last. You may take more than one module at a time.

We also offer a range of study skills workshops for students enrolled on this programme.

Module groups

Core modules

Option modules

Study skills workshops

You can take these modules as part of this certificate, or as standalone short courses.

Please check the relevant syllabus to see if there is any suggested preparatory reading. See Choosing the Right Course if you need advice on choosing your programme of study.

If you are unable to complete your Certificate of Higher Education during the normal period of registration you may be awarded a Certificate of Continuing Education as an intermediate award if you complete modules totalling 60 credits. You may not register for the Certificate of Continuing Education as an entry qualification.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    None. However, all modules are taught at university level and you 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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, 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: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student 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.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

  • 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.

    Due to the cumulative nature of the topics, you are encouraged to attend as many sessions from your chosen module(s) as possible.


    Coursework, including assignments under timed conditions in the classroom.

  • 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 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.