Course at a glance

Subject code: L4PS

This Level 4 Accredited Diploma  course has been developed to cover key viewpoints within psychology and includes units designed for practical application as well as theoretical units. Upon completion of the course students will have a well-rounded knowledge of psychology, which can be used for practical application or for further study at degree level.

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an accredited certificate from the CIE GLOBAL and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been accredited by CIE GLOBAL. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Entry Requirements

Students must hold a Level 3 Diploma or A Level qualification to enrol into our Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma.

Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

Study Hours

Approximately 400 hours.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Course Duration

1 Year.


You can enrol on the course at any time.

Awarding Body

CIE Global

Assessment Method

Coursework only.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Course Content

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 1: Using information, communication and technology ICT in Psychology Studies

Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning. In this distance learning course utilisation of methods, tools and strategies of ICT is important in order to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college.

Students will need to develop ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise their study progression.

The first unit of this Psychology course explains how to set up an ePortfolio which students will use during the lifetime of the course for storage of all their files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals. The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Students will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose. The ePortfolio will not only provide students with a structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

Independent research is fundamental to level H4 study and also equips students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics.

In this first unit students are presented with tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills is important for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work. Therefore this unit reviews writing skills, and incorporates reflective writing into both the course and coursework activities. Reflective writing is a way that individuals can review their own approaches to learning and communication; and it also promotes pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 2: Putting Psychology into Perspective

Psychology is a relatively new discipline, with the first modern scientific psychological laboratory established in 1878. However, despite such recent beginnings psychology has developed many different branches, and few workers in the field would describe themselves simply as a ‘psychologist’, but would link themselves with a particular branch. This list is constantly evolving as new specialisms and theories are developed.

For the last hundred years or so psychologists have been studying the underlying principles of shared behaviour. However, each person is unique, and so psychologists are equally concerned with learning more about why people are so individual.

Psychology is an evolving discipline: it has changed dramatically over time and continues to be modified by new theories and research. Perspectives on psychology tend to gain or lose popularity as new ideas and knowledge bring to light weaknesses in older arguments. Knowing the sequence of these different perspectives will show you why some ideas are no longer thought to be valid.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 3: Humanist psychology

The different psychological approaches are underpinned by theories, traditions and science. This unit explores the origins, principles and practice of humanist psychology and briefly alludes to biological, evolutionary and scientific approaches.

To achieve this unit a learner must:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the humanist approach in psychology.
2. Explain the theories and concepts thehumanist psychology.
3. Be able to relate the principles of humanist approach in psychology to applications and contexts.
4. Be able to define other approaches in psychology.

Unit content

1. The humanist approach in psychology.
The emergences and values of humanist psychology as an alternative to psychoanalytical and behaviourist approaches.
Significance of the self and self-image related to behaviour and associated psychological application

2. Theories and concepts.
Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs.
Rogerian theory.

3. Applications.
The development and underpinning of person-centred approaches and their development.
Understanding the relationship between childhood experiences and adult behaviour through the observer and observed perspectives.
Holism within psychologist approach.
Identity and self-fulfillment as significant factors in behaviour.

4. Define other approaches in psychology.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 4: Research methods and techniques in psychology

Particular research methods and techniques are chosen according to what type of data is needed and the circumstances in which the data is to be gathered. Data can either be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data have a numerical basis (e.g. the number of times a behaviour is observed, exam results and age groups). 

Qualitative data are non-numerical (e.g. verbal reports of how people feel about an issue). Each of these types of data has advantages and disadvantages, which will be evaluated and discussed in detail within this unit

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 5: Roles within psychology

This unit looks at different roles within the field of psychology and also discusses therapies within different disciplines of the field. The following list is some of the areas covered:

  • Psychiatrists.
  • Psychologists.
  • Clinical psychologists.
  • Counsellors.
  • Art Therapy.
  • Attachment based psychotherapy.
  • Behavioural therapy.
  • Cognitive analytical therapy (CAT).
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Family therapy.
  • Gestalt therapy.
  • Humanistic integrative psychotherapy.
  • Hypnotherapy.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 6: Anatomy and physiology for psychology

It is appropriate to introduce some basic anatomy and physiology relevant to the central nervous system, brain regions and relevant processes which may be impaired or affected during psychological episodes. The unit provides a brief outline of the aforementioned body system and should help students to relate various aspects of the material that is presented in the following units.

environmental changes in, and out on the body. Together with the endocrine system, the CNS works to maintain a stable internal environment ( homeostasis). Components of the CNS are: brain, spinal cord, nerves and the sense organs. Together they provide the most efficient means of communication within body systems, and also between the body and the outside world.

Reinforced mechanisms within the brain can establish permanent synaptic changes. A reinforcing mechanism must perform two functions in order to activate the neural changes: first it must detect the presence of the stimuli and secondly, strengthen neural connections.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 7: Introduction to psychopathology

All modern classifications of psychological abnormalities stem from the work of Kraepelin. He published a textbook of psychiatry in 1883 which suggested that certain symptoms occurred simultaneously and therefore suggested syndromes, which had underlying physical causes. This meant that for the first time psychological conditions could be recognised and diagnosed in a similar way to biological (medical) conditions.

Kraepelin also suggested that each condition was completely separate, having its own aetiology.

The two major groups he proposed were:

Dementia praecox – or schizophrenia as we now call it. This he said was caused by a chemical imbalance.

Manic depressive psychosis – or as we now know it, bipolar disorder; this caused by faulty metabolism.

This work formed the basis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and also the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

This unit looks at the classification processes and strategies and presents overviews of a range of conditions, assessment strategies and treatments for student evaluation.

Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma Unit 8: Organisational psychology

There are many different personality theories that attempt to account for individual behaviour and the market for this is growing rapidly. There have long been attempts by psychologists to describe how genetics, biology, learning, culture, family patterns, environmental patterns, peers, friends, sub-cultures, cultures, unconscious motivation, chance and measurement errors are all possible contributory factors to personality profiles. It is beyond the scope of this unit to explain how all of these work, but it is important when examining Organisational Psychology to look at trait theory.

All scientific theories require measurement of the constructs underlying the field. Personality theories are no different. Whether we are developing theories of species- typical behaviour, of individual differences in behaviour, or unique patterns of thoughts and feelings, we need to be able to measure the responses in question. The fields of psychometrics and personality assessment are devoted to the study of the measurement of psychological constructs associated with personality. That people differ from each other is obvious. How and why they differ is less clear and is an important part of the study of personality. Personality psychology addresses the questions of the characteristics of human nature that are shared, those that differ between individuals, and unique patterns of individuals, all of which is important to the field of Organisational Psychology.


This Level 4 Accredited Psychology Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 5 Diploma or Degree course in a related field.