Personal Construct Psychology MSc

About the course

1/

This programme is designed for those who wish to study PCP at advanced level and apply it in employment, research or consultancy settings. The course will appeal equally to those with a business, psychology or other relevant background.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide students with an advanced understanding of Personal Construct Psychology and how it can be applied with both individuals and groups.
  • Provide students with an in-depth understanding of the potential applications of Personal Construct Psychology in employment settings, research and consultancy.
  • Equip students with the confidence and expertise to professionally use research skills and a wide range of Personal Construct Psychology methods of inquiry in applied settings and consultancy.
  • Provide advanced instruction in the design, administration and analysis of Repertory Grids.

Course structure

The course comprises the following four 30 credit taught modules:

  • Working with Individuals: Theory and Techniques *
  • Repertory Grids: Design, Analysis and Interpretation
  • Behaviour Change
  • Working with Groups: Theory and Techniques

and a (60 credit) Independent Research Project Module .

* Working with Individuals: Theory and Techniques is also available as a stand-alone module

For informal enquiries contact:

Dr. Sue Anthony,

Principal Lecturer

Dept. of Psychology,

1H270 CP Snow Building,

Telephone: 01707 285284

E-mail: s.h.1.Anthony@herts.ac.uk

Why choose this course?

Have you ever wondered why people behave as they do?

This part time Master’s Degree course offers the first advanced training in Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) in the UK that leads to a postgraduate University award. The programme combines a thorough understanding of personal construct theory, acquisition of PCP skills and tuition in a wide range of personal construct methods (in particular, an advanced training in the use of Repertory Grid Technique for use with both individuals and groups). Graduates will be equipped to apply the knowledge and skills they gain from completing this course to a variety of settings. Those settings can be in any context where an understanding of individual and/or group behaviour is required, such as in organisations, research or consultancy.

  • Combines an academic understanding of PCP theory with the acquisition of applied skills.
  • Enhances understanding of the reasons underlying behaviour both in others and yourself.
  • Promotes personal and professional development through reflection
  • Uses a blend of adult learning approaches (i.e. lectures, discussions, practical exercises, workshops) to engage students with the content of the taught modules.
  • Potential applications in any employment setting where an understanding of human behaviour is advantageous.

Clinical and healthcare professionals are very welcome to apply to enroll on this course to gain knowledge of Personal Construct Psychology and to incorporate it into their practice. However, please note that this course does not offer a clinical training.

Study route

Part-time 2 years

Block teaching 

Entry requirements...

A good honours degree (2:1 or above) in Psychology or related applied area (e.g.: Business, Human Resources Management, Social Work, Education). Other equivalent professional qualifications in related areas (e.g. coaching) will be considered both as entry-level qualifications and for APCL where appropriate. Candidates for APEL will also be considered, provided they can demonstrate the necessary academic skills to satisfy the Programme Tutor that they are capable of studying at postgraduate level.

Applicants with non-standard academic qualifications may be invited for interview and subject to various selection activities.

English language requirements

Proof of English Language proficiency may be required.

Study routes

  • Part Time,
  • Part Time, 2 Years

Locations

  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Teaching methods

Module details

Working with Individuals: Theory and Techniques

In this module students will open their study with a detailed consideration of “Constructive Alternativism”, the philosophy underpinning George Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory. The nature of personal constructs and their implications will be considered in detail. The ways in which we make sense of the events that we experience through our networks of bipolar personal constructs (e.g. effective manager vs. ineffective manager; useful vs. useless; loyal vs. disloyal) will be studied. Through practical exercises, students will also become adept at using a wide range of methods of eliciting personal constructs. The key skills of credulous listening, suspending and subsuming will also be taught and practiced. The distinction between ideographic and nomothetic approaches to understanding human behaviour will be explored, as will the difference between using PCP techniques in a clinical as opposed to a non-clinical setting.

Assessment for the module will be 100% coursework.

Repertory Grids: Design, Analysis and Interpretations

Personal Construct Psychology has a rich armoury of methods based on Personal Construct Theory and one technique in particular, “Repertory Grid Technique”, has proved especially popular with practitioners and academics alike. That is largely because it combines both qualitative and quantitative data in the same instrument and because of its immense flexibility, allowing it to be used in an extremely wide range of contexts. In this module students will design, administer and interpret an extensive selection different types of grid format and develop advanced skills to use grids to address novel topics of enquiry. Students will be taught how to use specialist software to analyse Repertory Grids and how to interpret the analyses that the software produces. 

Assessment for the module will be 100% coursework.

Behaviour Change

In this module students will study how construing relates to behaviour at advanced level and, in particular, consider Fransella’s ground breaking work on behaviour change (Fransella, 1972).  Kelly’s “Constructs of Transition”: Anxiety; Threat; Fear; Guilt and Hostility will be considered in detail.   Other psychological approaches to “resistance to change” will be compared to the Personal Construct Psychology view. Behaviour change in different contexts (e.g. organisational change and change to being more “environmentally friendly”) will also be considered.

Assessment for the module will be 100% coursework.

Working with Groups: Theory and Techniques

Although usually considered as an approach to understanding individuals, personal construct techniques have been successfully adapted for use in investigating the construing of groups of people, both large and small. This module builds on the knowledge and skills acquired up to this point of the course, in order to enable students to use PCP techniques with more than one person and, in particular to design, administer and analyse idiographic questionnaires and survey instruments (including the use of Repertory Grid Technique to conduct surveys) to address research questions or other topics of enquiry (such as organisational change/development) with groups of people. Further analytic and interpretative skills will be developed using appropriate software. These techniques will be particularly relevant for those working in consultancy or research settings, but will also be of interest to others to need to gather and interpret data about groups of people (e.g. human resource professionals and market researchers).

Assessment for the module will be 100% coursework.

Independent Research Project

This module requires students to apply their knowledge of personal Construct Psychology and related skills/techniques by undertaking an independent piece of research that addresses a novel research question. This may be conducted within an organisation if appropriate, but any appropriate setting can be used.

 Assessed mainly through one written report (10,000-12,000 words).

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Behaviour Change

    In this module students will learn how construing relates to behaviour and, in particular, Fransella’s ground breaking work on behaviour change (Fransella, 1972) will be described and discussed. Kelly’s “Constructs of Transition”: Anxiety; Threat; Fear; Guilt and Hostility will be considered in detail. Other, psychological approaches to “resistance to change” (e.g. psychoanalysis and CBT) will be compared to the Personal Construct Psychology view. Behaviour change in different contexts (e.g. organisational change and change to being more “environmentally friendly”) will also be considered.

  • Repertory Grids: Design, Analysis and Interpretation

    Personal Construct Psychology has a rich armoury of methods base on Personal Construct Theory and one technique in particular, “Repertory Grid Technique”, has proved especially popular with practitioners and academics alike, because it combines both qualitative and quantitative data in the same instrument. This module will explain a range different types of grid and their uses and allow students to develop advanced skills in designing grids to address novel topics of enquiry; to practice administering grids in an ethical and professional manner; to analyse grids both informally and using appropriate software and to reflect on the process and report the outcome.

  • Working with Individuals: Theory and Techniques

    In this module students will open their study with a detailed consideration of the philosophy underpinning George Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory and the nature of personal constructs, as described by Kelly. A thorough understanding of the way in which we all are make sense of our experience through networks of bipolar personal constructs ( e.g. good vs. bad; useful vs. useless; rational vs. emotional) will be established. Through practical exercises, students will also become adept at using the staple methods of eliciting constructs e.g. triadic, dyadic and full context methods, self characterisations, laddering, pyramiding and the use of drawings. Key skills of credulous listening, suspending and subsuming will also be taught and practiced. The distinction between ideographic and nomothetic approaches to understanding human behaviour will be explored as will the difference between using PCP techniques in a clinical and non-clinical setting.

Optional

Fees & funding

Fees 2014

UK/EU Students

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £455 for each 15-credit module

International Students

Full time: £10,800 for the 2014 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course costs

Fees 2013/14

Fees are based on the UK/EU Students part-time lab based 2013/14 rate of £560 per 15 credits  amounting to a total cost of £6720. 

View detailed information about tuition fees.

Unfortunately it is not possible for International Students to apply for part time Master’s degree  courses offered by the University.

Scholarships

Unfortunately, no scholarships are available to students who wish to take this course.

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2014

Start DateEnd DateLink
23/09/201419/09/2015Apply online (Part Time)
20/01/201516/01/2016Apply online (Part Time)

2015

Start DateEnd DateLink
23/09/201519/09/2016Apply online (Part Time)
20/01/201616/01/2017Apply online (Part Time)
21/09/201520/09/2016Apply online (Part Time)
18/01/201616/01/2017Apply online (Part Time)

2016

Start DateEnd DateLink
26/09/201622/09/2017Apply online (Part Time)
16/01/201719/01/2018Apply online (Part Time)

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
25/09/201724/09/2018Apply online (Part Time)
22/01/201818/01/2019Apply online (Part Time)