Course at a glance


This Level 3 Course in Psychology is designed to provide an introduction to those students who are interested in human behaviour and would like to understand more about the topic or indeed are considering studying the subject at a higher level in the future. Psychology is the ‘science of mind and behaviour’ and attempts to explain behaviour in terms of scientific thinking and rational explanation. You may wish to study human behaviour because you wish to gain some understanding of people which will help you in your everyday life, employment or consider Psychology as an area for further study for the future. Psychology is a diverse topic and is particularly useful for those who are considering working or further study in the Caring and Social Work settings.

On completion of the Course students may wish to consider taking a formal entry qualification in Psychology as part of a Graduate programme.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and will also provide you with tutor support. Tutors have all been specially selected for their knowledge and understanding of your particular area of study and have experience in Distance Learning support. The Course will combine theoretical knowledge of Psychology and practical applications of the subject in order to build a coherent understanding of the subject area.

Assignments which will be marked online by a course tutor. The assignments will develop theoretical knowledge and understanding gained from studying the relevant study Modules (and indeed further reading). Students are encouraged to develop self reflection and understanding during their Course of study which will assist them when considering a career or further study in Psychology. An important aspect of Psychology is the study of Research Skills and Analysis of Data and this is embedded within all modules.

The Course duration is one year and students study at home at their own pace using our virtual learning environment. The course offers flexible delivery so that the more time you can allocate to your studies the sooner you can complete the Course. Upon enrolment you will be provided with all the necessary materials to complete the Course and you are free to study as often as you wish. Progression from Level 3 can assist in career development, continued professional development, personal development and provision of basis for further study. On successful completion of this Course you become eligible for Level 5 study at Oxford Distance Learning and can discuss this with student services at any point during the progression of your Course.

There are ten modules of study within the course and two assignments totalling approximately 3000 words. Students are required to pass both assignments and this will determine the award of the Level 3 Diploma in Psychology. Assignments must be written by the student themselves and work that has been copied and pasted into the assignment will not be accepted as all work has to be screened for Plagiarism. The completed assignments will be marked online by a course tutor and feedback on performance will be provided. Tutor support will be provided throughout your Course of study and you are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor at the earliest possible opportunity as this will assist you develop your understanding and knowledge of the topic.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and you are also encouraged to read around the topics you are studying in further detail as this will help you decide whether or not your chosen course of study is the right topic for you to develop in the future.

Accredited Level 3 Psychology Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Psychology Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Psychology Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Psychology Diploma Course Content

Unit 1: Carl Gustav Jung

In this unit, students will be examine the personal and professional life of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung was responsible for the development of Analytic Psychology and the reasons why the inevitable and painful split from Freud occurred will be explored. The impact this had on the lives of the two men will be examined. The development of Jung’s work after the split will also be explained and students will be given insight into the development of the psyche, Jungian archetypes, symbols and cultural influences. Jung is considered something of a ‘guru’ in the present day and his lasting influence upon mid life and the development of Analytic Psychology will be presented and students are encouraged to use this module to examine issues such as mid life crisis and whole life development.

Unit 2: The Psychoanalytic Approach

This unit will introduce students to the life and times of Sigmund Freud and the Psychoanalytic paradigm that he founded. The course will look at the role and function of the defence mechanisms, the importance of dreams and also examine childhood development and the part this plays in adulthood. The breadth and scope of the work of Freud will be explored and the impact this has had upon the development of other disciplines examined.

Unit 3: B.F. Skinner and Behaviourism

In this unit, the work of B.F. Skinner and J. B. Watson will be presented through a presentation of the principles of Behaviourism. Students will examine the development of Behaviourism and both classical and operant learning will be explored and students will be encouraged to apply their learning to events within their own life.

Unit 4: Carl Rogers and Humanistic Psychology

In this unit, the work of the Humanistic movement in Psychology will be examined. The Humanistic movement in Pyschology laid emphasis on ‘wholeness’, personal growth and integration of the psyche. The work of Humanistic Psychologists such as Abrahamn Maslow and Carl Rogers will be explored. Maslow’s hiearchy of needs will be presented and students will be encouraged to explore issues such as individuation and self development.

The theme of whole life development will be continued through a study of the work of Erik Erikson. Erikson’s work will be paralleled with that of Levinson who wrote about the ‘seasons of life’ and whose work focused entirely upon mid life and examined issues such as the importance of having a ‘dream’ and the influence of this upon the developing psyche.

Unit 5: The Cognitive Approach

In this unit, students are introduced to Cognitive Psychology and the work of Albert Ellis. Students will be introduced to the two approaches used by Psychologists in this area namely cognitive behavioural therapy and rational emotive therapy and will examine the contribution made by the two approaches on applied areas of Psychology such as pain management, depression, eating disorder and drug taking.

In the second part of the unit, students will be introduced to issues such as how children learn and the role of learning in the development of intelligence. Vygotsky was a Soviet Psychologist who explored the role of learning within a social setting and the cognitive approach of Piaget will be contrasted with that of Vygotsky. Students are encouraged to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of the approaches in terms of learning in the current day and assess the impact of the two theories in relation to their own classroom learning.

Unit 6: Cognitive Therapy

Students will be introduced to the idea of ‘brief therapy’ which is a cognitive tool designed to bring about changes in thinking patterns and this can be contrasted with the longer term Psychoanalytic, Analytic and Humanistic therapies introduced earlier in the course.

Unit 7:Social Constructionism and the Self

The development of self theory in Psychology will be introduced and an explanation provided of how the self concept of children develops. The importance of sustaining a healthy self concept will be discussed and also problems with measuring the self. The idea of social constructionism will be introduced so that students have an understanding of the influence of society upon the idea of self.

Unit 8: Piaget and Vygotsky

Piaget and Vygotsky are key theorists in the field of child development and intelligence concepts. This module presents an overview of their life and work. This module also explores the work of both Piaget and Vygotsky and their opposing theoretical approaches. Piaget is noted for his theories of staged development and Vygotsky for his alternative view which focuses on cultural aspects of development and the relationship between higher mental functioning and interaction with others.

Unit 9: Cognition and Therapy

This unit continues to explore cognition and perceptual concepts. Discussion will centre on maladaptiveness related to thoughts and actions and much of the content is devoted to Brief Therapy and its application within psychology contexts.

Unit 10: Social Constructivism

How we site ourselves within the world is central to perception of it. This unit explores theoretical perspectives of social constructivism and pays particular attention to biological determinism, gender issues within social contexts, stereotyping and self-concept. Within the scope of the unit, there will be an opportunity for students to explore several theories and models and apply these to specific examples and contexts.


This Accredited Level 3 Psychology Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: