Dr. Matthew Hall talks about Arden University’s BPS-accredited online MSc Psychology.

Dr. Matthew Hall talks about Arden

Watch the webinar recording

Want to know more about a career in psychology? Arden University recently held a webinar with Programme Team Leader in Psychology, Dr. Matthew Hall, to discuss their BPS-accredited online MSc Psychology conversion course. 

Dr. Hall is the acting editor for the Journal of Gender Studies and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has also written papers, book chapters, and books on the subject of men and masculinities, body modification, appearance and substance (mis) use, disability and sexuality, substance (mis) use and cognitive enhancement, and veterans’ health and well-being.

Dr. Hall’s extensive published work includes Metrosexual Masculinities (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), Chemically Modified Bodies: The Use of Diverse Substances for Appearance Enhancement (co-edited with Sarah Grogan and Brendan Gough, Palgrave Macmillan 2016), and in 2019 he will add Chemically Modified Minds: Substance Use for Cognitive Enhancement, co-edited with Mark Forshaw and Catharine Montgomery, to his growing list of publications.  

Prior to the webinar, Edology spoke with Dr. Hall about Arden University’s Online MSc Psychology, and his advice for aspiring psychologists.

Who is Arden University’s online MSc Psychology designed for?

Arden’s psychology MSc is a conversion master’s and is designed for anyone at any stage of their career with an undergraduate degree at Honours level with a minimum of a 2:2 who wants to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychology Society (BPS). This qualification means they can proceed to either study at a higher level or ready themselves for training as a psychologist in any one of the fields such as health, sports, forensic, clinical, neuro, counselling, occupational, educational, academic. 

How does the programme reflect current trends and practices?

Each module engages with a wide range of research and debate on current trends in social psychology (gender and sexuality), cognitive psychology (memory and language comprehension), individual differences (personality and intelligence), and mental health (bipolar and depression). These topics provide students with a good grounding to proceed on to further study for example a clinical doctorate, or in employment in terms of in-work progression or in applying to train on a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy certificated course for example.

Arden University’s online psychology master’s is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Could you explain what this accreditation means, and why it’s important to choose an accredited degree?

Studying a qualification with BPS accreditation is a prerequisite for gaining Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS, and it ensures that the BPS’s strict standards relating to core concepts, professional and practical skills, quality of teaching, learning and resources and assessments students sit meet the highest standards in the industry. 

What is a psychology conversion master’s degree, and how does it differ from other MSc qualifications in psychology?

A Psychology Conversion Master’s degree is aimed at graduates (with a 2:2 or above) who have not previously studied on a BPS accredited programme e.g. those who have not previously studied Psychology or those who have not previously met the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. It differs from other MSc qualifications in psychology, which provide the opportunity for further study in the field and therefore require an undergraduate degree in psychology to enrol. 

For recent bachelor’s graduates who are thinking about a career as a professional psychologist, what qualifications and training are required before it’s possible to enter professional practice?

All practising psychologists must hold a postgraduate qualification in psychology such as an MSc (Conversion) and then go on to receive further training in the specific field of Psychology that you want to work in.

What are your personal favourite topics to teach on the programme? And which current developments in psychology do you find the most exciting?

I'm largely a qualitative researcher so my favourite topics to teach are qualitative research methods such as thematic analysis (focusing on the reoccurring patterns on specific topics that people draw upon) and discourse analysis (focusing on what people are doing with language such as providing an account for why they have done something). My favourite topics are gender, sexuality, and body image, as those are the areas I publish in. Topics such as body image are topical because people may judge their own body in relation to social norms about what an ideal body might look like. This may result in health-defeating practices such as anorexia, bulimia, and the (mis)use of substances to increase muscle mass or lose weight.   

Is a career in psychology as interesting and glamorous as it looks in the movies?

In my opinion, a career in psychology covers many interesting and exciting areas, and these can be as diverse as sleep, consumer spending, thought processes, gender identity, etc. However, it is unlikely to be as glamorous as the movies because the movies only show the exciting bits and not all the hard work that goes into working as a psychologist on a daily basis.

To watch a recording of Arden University's webinar with Dr. Hall, simply click on the link at the top of this page.

You can read more about the online MSc Psychology (Conversion) with BPS Accreditation and apply to Arden’s online programme here

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