The MSc Psychology is an intensive programme, including both theoretical and practical elements and covering the main research methods used in psychology.
It provides grounding in the core areas of psychology and places emphasis on research methods and research skills. These include literature search and review, designing and planning experiments, questionnaires and observational methods, recording and presenting data, statistical analysis and interpretation of data as well as qualitative analysis, and presentation of work in standard publication format.
You will also be expected to complete a research-based dissertation, which is an extended and supervised piece of work reporting new empirical data.
Cognitive and Social Aspects of Development (20 level 7 credits) provides you with a socio-cultural view of development and how education impacts on development and cognition. Examples of topics covered include paradigms for analysing cognitive developmental theory, reasoning, memory and executive function; culture and cognition, socialisation, and identity; children in schools; gender roles in development; and language development in relation to reading and writing.
Social Psychology (20 level 7 credits) considers the major themes in social psychology and how these influence society and social interaction. Discussion will focus on key articles in the literature. Themes include group dynamics, social identification, social influences, attraction, altruism, leadership role, prejudice and attitudes.
Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (20 level 7 credits) explores the functional organisation of the brain from a cognitive perspective. The module examines our current understanding and recent advances in a number of key cognitive processes and their underlying biological substrates. Topics cover basic neuroanatomy as well as issues such as perception, attention, memory, language, reading and writing skills, and emotional processing.
Experimental Method and Statistics for Psychology (20 level 7 credits) develops your knowledge of statistical concepts and techniques of analysis. It covers standard and advanced statistical theory and methods, providing an opportunity to develop statistical expertise in descriptive and inferential statistics. This module is also an introduction to multinomial and multivariate analysis, and analysis of data using a statistical computer package (SPSS).
Intelligence and Individual Differences (20 level 7 credits) advances your knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods in psychology, with particular reference to cognition, intelligence and individual differences. The syllabus covers qualitative methods, ethnography and case studies in psychological research; the interview as a method of data collection; theoretical and methodological approaches in the analysis of interviews; intelligence and psychological testing; the use of computational models of cognitive processes and psychometric methods; and critical analysis of research papers and methods.
Personality and Psychological Disorders (20 level 7 credits) advances your knowledge of theory and research methods in psychology with particular reference to personality, individual differences and psychological disorders. The syllabus has included approaches to personality research and the methods used to measure personality; relationships between personality, health and illness; and mental health and psychological disorders.
Research Design Skills (10 level 7 credits) provides a structured framework within which you will identify your dissertation topic, critically review relevant previous research, and develop a workable design for your empirical project. The module ensures that you carry out the theoretical and methodological groundwork for your research-based dissertation and provides milestones for project development and an opportunity to gain tutor and peer feedback.
Research based dissertation (50 level 7 credits) is 6-8,000 words long. It is an extended and supervised piece of work reporting new empirical data. It is always grounded in a thorough review of the relevant scientific literature and normally requires experimental data collection. The aim of the dissertation is to allow you to develop your own ideas in a specific domain of psychology and to provide you with experience in research design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. You will also have the opportunity to work alongside an experienced academic from the Psychology team.
The programme has been designed to allow exit qualification at postgraduate certificate level (60 level 7 credits), postgraduate diploma level (120 level 7 credits) as well as at master's level (180 level 7 credits).
Please note: only the award of MSc Psychology confers eligibility for the graduate basis for chartered membership of the British Psychological Society.
NB: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules may vary from that shown.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, research seminars, workshops, tutorials, supervised seminar presentations, and independent reading and research. Diverse teaching methods are employed to aid the quality of learning opportunities for students' understanding of psychology.
Approach to assessment
Summative assessment methods include:
- coursework assessments
- individual and/or group presentations
- class tests
- exam grades.
Formative assessment methods include:
- coursework feedback processes
- informal tutor discussion
- peer feedback.
The Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health boasts state-of-the-art facilities including a video observation lab, Babylab, Perception and Motion Analysis (PuMA) lab, visual perception lab (incorporating eye tracking technology), and an EEG suite. In addition, postgraduate students have a dedicated study and social working space to facilitate group projects.
Most recommended reading material takes the form of papers available from the library
however you should expect to incur additional costs if printing materials or
purchasing optional textbooks (likely to be about £40 per book). Whilst much
equipment is available from the department at no charge, you are also responsible
for any other costs associated with the research dissertation (eg printing questionnaires
or materials for participants, your travel costs etc). The extent of these costs
will vary depending on the nature of the research project. All students will
also be responsible for costs associated with the printing and binding of two
copies of their research dissertation (about £40).
The final timetable is not confirmed until the
start of the semester. Based on previous years, full-time students should
expect to have scheduled teaching on site for 2-2.5 days during semester time
and part- time students to have scheduled teaching on site for 1-1.5 days. In
addition there is the expectation that students will be available for meetings
with staff and available (on or off-site) for self-study as appropriate.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes