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Masters Degrees (Psychology Research Methods)

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This course provides a broad education in psychological research methods, as the first part of a training programme leading to a PhD, a career in research in business or the public sector, or working with evidence based policy. Read more

This course provides a broad education in psychological research methods, as the first part of a training programme leading to a PhD, a career in research in business or the public sector, or working with evidence based policy.

This course provides a broad education in psychological research methods. Specifically, it:

  • provides students with an understand of the range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, that are used in psychological research
  • helps students to critically evaluate psychological research methods and various forms of data used in psychological research
  • provides the opportunity to focus on the student's own research interests
  • provides the opportunity to develop skills in literature searching and reviewing
  • examines the professional skills required of an advanced researcher
  • provides practical training in doing psychology-related research

The MSc in Psychology Research methods is based on two taught semesters of full-time study, from late September to mid June, plus the summer period, ending in September, when an empirical research project is undertaken. The course can also be based on two years of part-time study.

Part-time students on this course are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between student and course director. In all cases, part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.

The MSc Psychology Research methods is based on two taught semesters of full-time study, from late September to mid June, plus the summer period, ending in September, when an empirical research project is undertaken. The course can also be based on two years of part-time study.

Part-time students on this course are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between student and course director. In all cases, part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.

Structure

The course structure is hierarchical, progressing from generic skills relating to research and career development, through the knowledge and skills commonly required for effective psychological research, to those more specifically and particularly related to each student's chosen area of study. The final demonstration of their acquired knowledge and skills is the empirical research project, with a research management report. The project is written up as if for publication in a refereed scientific journal and forms a bridge into PhD studies or other research roles.

Teaching methods

Course teaching involves lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, peer discussion groups, dissertation work, and project work. The taught semesters comprise modules on research and personal development skills, social sciences and psychology research skills, general and advanced research methods, and research methods specific to individual students chosen areas of psychological research. As with outlines for all University degrees these details are provisional and may be subject to change. Please visit the prospectus for detailed module information.

Careers

Many people use this masters to support their applications for PhD study or other advanced degree positions. It also prepares you for a broad range of research careers in industry, charities, healthcare or public sector research. Our graduates are highly regarded by employers in private and public sector organisations because of the solid academic foundation and transferable and analytic expertise they gain during their degree course.

Beyond that, you will be well placed to pursue a career in research, although you will also gain an impressive skill set that will make you suitable for a broad range of careers, including in industrial or corporate research, research in the public or third sector and work with evidence based policy.

Key facts

  • Teaching within the school is informed by current research. We believe that research and teaching should be developed and delivered to help students and staff make a difference in the real world.
  • Our graduates are highly regarded by employers in private and public sector organisations because of the solid academic foundation and transferable and analytic expertise they gain during their degree course.

Video

Watch our video of staff and students talking about the course.



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Earn your master’s in psychology online through one of the most affordable MS in Psychology programs available online. Read more

Earn your master’s in psychology online through one of the most affordable MS in Psychology programs available online.

Prepare to apply the latest psychological research and theory to real-world problems whether you choose to work in a community agency, in a healthcare setting, or within the educational or social services systems. Walden’s master’s degree in psychology prepares you to pursue exciting new opportunities in the field.

Walden’s Master of Science in Psychology online degree program offers 11 specializations so you can focus your learning on your interests and goals. Gain the knowledge and develop the skills you need to seek career advancement, help others, or prepare for doctoral-level studies. Open to students of all undergraduate backgrounds, this program provides a solid foundation in basic scientific methods and psychological principles. Our redesigned online master’s in psychology program now offers enriched content and streamlined coursework. Five of the specializations even allow you to accelerate your path to a PhD by applying credits earned from your master’s program.

Highlights

As a student in the MS in Psychology online master’s degree program, you can learn to:

  • Apply psychological knowledge and research to real-world situations.
  • Think critically and independently about theory and research.
  • Conduct basic or applied research.
  • Apply psychological concepts to a variety of settings.
  • Prepare for further graduate study at the certificate or doctoral level.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of our MS in Psychology online degree program will be prepared to:

  1. Describe the foundations of psychology.
  2. Synthesize psychological theory and research to apply in real-world situations, such as in educational, social, organizational, and health settings.
  3. Interpret psychological theory and research.
  4. Describe psychological theory, research, and practice from a multicultural and/or global perspective.
  5. Apply psychological theory, research, and practice to scholarly and/or professional activities that promote positive social change.

Accelerated Path to a Doctoral Degree

Would you like to save time and money when you earn your PhD in Psychology? You can. If you enroll in one of the specializations listed below, you can apply credits from the MS in Psychology program toward a doctorate in psychology from Walden.

Credits you earn from all of the courses (with the exception of PSYC 6001) may be applied toward Walden’s PhD in Psychology degree program. The specialization you choose for your master’s program will determine which doctoral specialization will offer you the most transfer credits.

MS in Psychology Specialization

PhD in Psychology Specialization

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Note on Licensure:

The MS in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.

MS in Psychology Degree Specializations

Walden's MS in Psychology program offers a variety of specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals.

Career options

The MS in Psychology program can prepare you to effectively analyze psychological research and theory to directly apply your knowledge to real-world situations. Through critical and independent analysis, you can gain an understanding of how to apply scientific methods and principles of psychology in a variety of roles and settings.

As a graduate of Walden’s MS in Psychology program, your career options may include a role as a:

  • Human resource manager
  • Market researcher
  • Project coordinator/manager
  • Family services worker
  • Instructor at a community college
  • Social service manager
  • Health project coordinator
  • Employee trainer
  • Research assistant
  • Data analyst/manager
  • Organizational consultant
  • Intervention advocate

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Possible career settings include:

  • Child and family service organizations (e.g., day care agencies, after-school programs within schools and communities, Head Start programs, and early childhood education programs)
  • Schools
  • Community colleges
  • Local, state, or federal governments
  • Group homes
  • Healthcare agencies
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Religious organizations
  • Social service agencies


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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology aims to provide an opportunity to research and learn about a wide range of topics in psychology; from basic learning and cognition, to neuropsychology, and to applied topics in clinical and educational psychology.

Key Features of Research Methods in Psychology

Performance:

- One of four Psychology departments to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of its work in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Based on this measure Psychology at Swansea was ranked 14th (out of 82) in the UK

- Top third ranking for UK Psychology Departments (2016 Complete University Guide)

- Joint 12th UK ranking for Psychology (Graduate prospects)

Teaching and Employability:

- High-level training in advanced research methods and skills

- Exciting opportunities to conduct basic and applied research projects in a wide range of areas.

- Unique mix of small-group teaching in seminars, workshops, and practical sessions, as well as a diverse range of assessment methods and access to staff and other one-to-one teaching support from demonstrators for technical subjects.

- International student mentor to all international/overseas fee-paying Psychology students

- Opportunity to gain funding for Ph.D. places, and to gain access to professional training courses in Clinical Psychology and Educational Psychology

This MSc in Research Methods in Psychology provides students with high-level training in advanced research methods and skills, and offers exciting opportunities to conduct basic and applied research projects in a wide range of areas.

Research Methods in Psychology students learn to use a range of research tools, such as databases, statistical software, and computer programmes.

By the end of this training, students on the Research Methods in Psychology course will have acquired a wide range of practical research skills to apply in any context where human behaviour is important. They will have gained practical knowledge of the nature and limitations of the scientific method and the main alternatives, and knowledge of the general historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying psychological and behavioural science.

Modules

Modules on the Research Methods in Psychology MSc typically include:

Generic Research Skills

Computing Skills

Empirical Projects

Philosophy of Psychology

Special Research Skills

Statistical Methods

Qualitative Methods

Dissertation (MSc Research Methods)

Research Methods in Psychology Course Structure

The full-time Research Methods in Psychology course, which will last one year, will normally involve attending the University for two full days a week (Monday and Tuesday). The part-time course, which lasts two years, will normally involve attending the University one full day a week.

Who should apply?

The Research Methods in Psychology course is suitable for:

- Anybody with an interest in developing a career in research, either in psychology, or social and health sciences, or those wishing to apply research skills in the private sector.

- Students who wish to pursue further professional training in professional and applied areas of psychology have found the research training provided very helpful in developing this aspect of their skills portfolio.

Staff Expertise

Many of the College of Human and Health Sciences team are leaders in their specialist fields of research. They undertake novel and original research in a variety of areas, including clinical and health psychology, brain injury, sleep, cognition, neuroscience and developmental psychology.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.

In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.



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Why Surrey?. Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience.

It covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods and allows you to develop research approaches to studying psychology, from the level of social groups through to neuro-imaging of brain activity.

Programme overview

Our MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences.

You will develop the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results.

The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme, you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.

The programme also provides an ideal stepping stone for research at PhD level.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Career prospects

Students who have completed the Psychology programmes have progressed to a range of careers in areas such as local government, management, research posts in universities and commercial organisations, healthcare and clinical psychology, and many have progressed on to study for a PhD.

Research

We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.

As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide postgraduate students with expertise of current psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences
  • To provide postgraduate students with the skills necessary for research at PhD level and/or making transition to the world of work
  • To provide postgraduate students with the skills necessary for formulating appropriate research questions, conducting empirical research and analysing and reporting research results

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Of the basic principles of research design and strategies
  • Of psychology as an evidence-based science and the historical and theoretical issues underlying the discipline
  • Of psychological concepts and methodologies and how to evaluate the range of alternative research methods
  • Of quantitative/qualitative techniques to manage and analyse psychological data
  • Of different methods to present and communicate the results
  • Of ethical considerations when undertaking research

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Critically assess and comment on both published and unpublished sources of research
  • Critically weigh up the contributions and limitations of psychological theories and methods in addressing research problems
  • Critically compare methods and research findings to develop, where appropriate, integrative theoretical frameworks to understand research methodologies
  • Design, conduct and evaluate psychological research including a rationale for choice of methods employed;
  • Reflect on the mutual interaction between theory development, practice and application.

Professional practical skills

  • Communicate work in a professional manner for academic and non-academic audiences in written and verbal formats
  • Apply problem solving techniques to psychological research topics effectively
  • Use effective learning strategies
  • Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence in a competent and critical manner

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate theories and methods in relation to psychology research by oral and written means
  • Use information technology effectively
  • Manage own personal development

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This Master's degree in Social Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences.

Key Features of MSc in Social Research Methods

Teaching and Employability:

- Teaching is carried out by highly-respected, research active, professionals conducting research across a range of research areas and publishing in top international journals

- Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology with over twenty general purpose research rooms and numerous specialised testing facilities

- Specialist modules in criminology, social work and human geography, research leadership and management

- Emphasis on development of ethical, knowledgeable, skilful social researchers” through critical discussion, up to date information, debates and presentations

MSc Social Research Methods is a highly regarded and prestigious qualification which has been developed to:

- enable students to develop practical research skills and advanced methodological expertise (both qualitative and quantitative);

- instil familiarity with research ethics and governance, and

- gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.

Elective modules and a dissertation provide scope for specialisation in applied social sciences, including but not limited to: criminology, human geography, social work and health.

This Master’s degree in Social Research Methods has ESRC accreditation and provides advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences. The degree instils familiarity with research ethics and governance, and students gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.

Students on the Social Research Methods course are encouraged to devise research dissertations themselves (supported by an academic supervisor).

Modules

Modules on the Social Research Methods programme typically include:

Qualitative Research Methods

Introduction to Research and Study Skills

Data Collection Methods

Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research

Quantitative Research Methods

Advanced Research in Human Geography

Research Leadership and Project Management

Case Studies in Applied Social Research: Social Work

Case Studies in Applied Social Res: Applied Research in Crime & Criminal Justice

Dissertation (Social Research)

Social Research Methods Course Structure

Teaching is in the form of lectures, seminars, group-project work and individual study. All Social Research Methods students are assigned a Personal Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor appropriate to their chosen area of study.

The Social Research Methods course is made up of six 20-credit modules (Part 1) and a 60-credit dissertation (Part 2).

Who should apply?

The Social Research Methods course is suitable for:

- students who want to prepare themselves for the challenge of MPhil or PhD study; who are already professionally involved in working with people in the social sector and want to develop their own skills and professional expertise

- students from different academic disciplines who are interested in conducting social research and are interested in seeking employment or already have employment in both public and private sectors

- previous students are those with backgrounds in social policy, sociology, law, criminology, human geography, politics, arts and humanities, ageing studies , psychology and health science

- anyone wanting to add a valuable qualification as part of developing a full academic career

- anyone who is interested in society, social behaviour, and social change and would like to learn more

- anyone working in, or wishing to work in, government or voluntary organisations, and commercial areas where social research is undertake

Career Prospects

Past Social Research Methods students have gone on to be employed in public and private sectors, research work, PhD , vocational work, the criminal justice system, social work, environmental health, teaching, local government, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and health and social care.

Staff Expertise

Contributing lecturers are renowned nationally and internationally. For example, Professor David Hughes has published on the universal coverage healthcare reforms of Thailand and Turkey, Debbie Jones jointly led on The Student Sex Workers' project from Swansea University's Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology.

The MSc Social Research methods is serviced by research active staff, many of whom are leaders in their field of research. The team has strong links with Criminology whose staff have been awarded Howard league Research Medal 2013 for work on the Swansea Bureau Youth Scheme. Lecturers from the course also include those from the world renowned Centre for Innovative Aging and also Human Geography.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.

In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.



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This programme trains you in the fundamental aspects of quantitative and qualitative research, including research design, data collection and data analysis, and provides practical, ‘hands-on’ experience. Read more

This programme trains you in the fundamental aspects of quantitative and qualitative research, including research design, data collection and data analysis, and provides practical, ‘hands-on’ experience.

The programme will appeal to you if you would like to develop your career in experimental research, or to enhance your ability to apply research skills in either the public or the private sector.

The programme will enable you to:

  • gain a thorough knowledge of a range of behavioural and social science methodologies
  • understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative research
  • correctly apply advanced statistical and computing techniques
  • enhance your skills in critical analysis and evaluation of research findings
  • consider philosophical and ethical issues in relation to science in general and to psychological research in particular
  • develop expertise in data collection, handling large data sets and data analysis
  • appropriately plan and design, present and evaluate, effective psychological research studies

You also complete a research project leading to a dissertation, and you participate in general research skills training modules with students from other departments at Goldsmiths.

For more than ten years now, the programme has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC) as providing the generic and specific research training required by students in receipt of ESRC studentship awards.

Since 2011, the programme has been the research methods training masters for the psychology pathway within the Goldsmiths and Queen Mary ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Centre (2011-2015).

Students in receipt of an ESRC 1+3 PhD studentship in the psychology pathway have to take this course as the first year of a 4-year PhD programme; students who have completed the Masters self-funded, are eligible to bid for an ESRC funded +3 PhD studentship in the psychology pathway at Goldsmiths or Queen Mary. 

Structure

The MRes runs for one academic year full-time or two years part-time. Most of the lectures, seminars and workshops on the programme run in the first two terms, but you are expected to pursue your studies beyond formal term times, particularly in respect of your research project.

Lectures, seminars and workshops for the programme are timetabled mainly for Mondays and Tuesdays, but you may occasionally be required to attend other seminars and workshops held by the Department and College. You must take all the modules listed in the syllabus.

The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in each module. All modules include a strong practical component.

In addition to these modules, you will also complete:

Research Project (60 credits)

You will produce an empirical piece of research leading to a research project, supervised by at least one member of the lecturing staff in the Department. The project provides invaluable, practical ‘hands on’ experience of evaluating a particular research question. You have the opportunity to set your research question, determine and apply the methods to obtain the answers, and present, discuss and interpret the results. You normally start your project in the second term, together with necessary literature reviews and research design. Work on your project will continue full-time following the formal examinations in May up until project submission in mid-September. 

Additional workshops and seminars

You are also required to attend some of the Department’s programme of Invited Speakers’ talks given by distinguished academics in psychology, and to produce a written critique on one of these. You are welcome to attend the Department’s other seminar series, which are hosted by eminent academics and practitioners.

Assessment

Written examinations; coursework; dissertation. 

Skills

The programme aims to equip you with a sound understanding of methods and skills necessary to conduct high-level research in psychology, using a wide range of approaches and techniques.

Careers

The programme provides the ideal preparation for a research career. Many students go on to do a PhD, or to conduct experimental research in a wide variety of settings.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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Are you intrigued by the study of people, interested in how the human mind works and hope to follow a career path related to these topics? This is an ideal conversion degree for graduates from any discipline who wish to develop their critical thinking, practical and research skills within the field of Psychology. Read more
Are you intrigued by the study of people, interested in how the human mind works and hope to follow a career path related to these topics? This is an ideal conversion degree for graduates from any discipline who wish to develop their critical thinking, practical and research skills within the field of Psychology.

Delivered by dedicated academic staff with strong teaching and research profiles across the core areas of psychology, you will gain an advanced understanding of cognitive and developmental psychology, biological and social psychology, individual differences and research methods.

You will graduate from our MSc with the opportunity to acquire the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society – the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

The timetable for the fulltime programme is 2 full days (9am- 5pm) per week on a Monday and Tuesday and for the part time programme is 1 full day per week (Tuesday for year 1/ Monday for year 2.) For more information on part time study please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/psychology-dtppcy6/

When deciding on which programme to apply for, we would ask applicants to consider carefully the time commitments for the course taking into account work and any other personal commitments. For full time students we would expect a commitment of approximately 35 hours per week and for part time around 17.5 hours per week. (For both programmes these hours include hours of study on campus.)

Learn From The Best

Our staff are active researchers; passionate about their subject and dedicated to the discovery of new knowledge through innovative and exciting research projects. You will learn from those at the forefront of their fields. In fact, our strength in psychology research has significantly increased, with Northumbria ranked top 20 in the UK for research which has outstanding reach and significant impact on individuals and communities (REF 2014).

You will learn from dedicated academics with international backgrounds in research and experience in both higher education and industry. Current staff research projects include working memory, neurocognitive performance and function, psychobiological pathways and the psychobiology of stress and the nutritional influences on performance and mood.

Teaching And Assessment

You will develop a comprehensive knowledge of psychology, exploring social, developmental, cognitive and biological psychology, as well as individual differences, philosophies and research methods through discussion-based sessions, interactive lectures, tutorials and online discussions. Research workshops will allow you to enhance qualitative and quantitative methods competence, data collection and analysis. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning, demonstrating applied understanding and knowledge at the forefront of the discipline and learn to defend your work effectively to a wide range of audiences.

Assessment is varied, either seen-exam based or through written assignments such as laboratory reports, research article critiques, data analysis assignments, presentation or conventional essay format and through the production of a major research thesis.

Module Overview
PY0760 - Psychological Research Experience (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0761 - Psychological Data Analysis (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0762 - Biological and Social Psychology (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0763 - Cognitive and Developmental Psychology (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0764 - Individual Differences (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0765 - Research Philosophies and Planning (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0776 - MSc Thesis (Core, 60 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will learn in a professional research environment with access to state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with industry standard equipment. You will be able to collect and analyse your data using the most current software tools and will benefit from technology enabled learning with use of the eLearning Portal where electronic reading lists, lecture capture and online submission and feedback tools support your learning.

You will be immersed in an active research environment with access to Northumbria’s innovative research centres including The Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre and The Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. You will have access to a designated working space for Master’s students and you will benefit from working with staff who are at the cutting-edge of their fields in innovative research areas.

Research-Rich Learning

Research is embedded into the structure of this degree, and from the very beginning you will experience a mix of research-led, research-tutored and research-based teaching. You will learn how knowledge in psychology is developed through research and how to design and carry out research studies using a range of methodologies. Developing your own advanced research skills and critical understanding, you will have the opportunity to work alongside active researchers at the forefront of research in the psychology fields. You will be encouraged to ask and explore innovative research questions, reflecting upon the research process and knowledge creation, culminating in the production of a research thesis.

Give Your Career An Edge

You will graduate from our MSc Psychology degree with the opportunity to acquire the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society – the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. Successful completion of the course will enable you to progress onto the Stage 1 phase in Forensic Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Health Psychology, and Sports and Exercise Psychology. In addition it enables you to pursue a pathway in Educational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology and academic research and teaching.

Your Future

The MSc Psychology has been designed with your end employability in mind. You will graduate equipped with the advanced research knowledge needed to progress onto Stage 1 Psychology Practitioner programmes, and where appropriate, continue onto to PhD level study, undertake further research or teaching. These are transferable skills desired by employers in fields not just related to psychology research. Previous graduates have secured specialist roles in management, advertising, marketing and human resources, with many moving into the public sector for careers in the police and prison services, health and social services or education.

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This programme has been specifically designed for those intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology and to apply for a place on the professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, but it is also ideal for those interested in a research career or PhD in the area of clinical psychology and mental health. Read more
This programme has been specifically designed for those intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology and to apply for a place on the professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, but it is also ideal for those interested in a research career or PhD in the area of clinical psychology and mental health. The programme enables students to gain detailed knowledge about modern theories and models in relation to psychopathology and psychological assessment as well as about effective psychological interventions and therapies. It also provides broad research training in quantitative and qualitative research, and offers education about the role of professional clinical psychologists along with training in essential clinical skills. The programme includes a Research Apprenticeship in clinical psychology which is a particularly attractive module enabling students to gain experience with professional research in clinical psychology.

-Designed to strengthen the research competence and academic profile of those intending to apply for professional training in clinical psychology
-Offers broad postgraduate research training in quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to clinical psychology and mental health in general
-Includes a Research Apprenticeship in Clinical Psychology
-Provides education about the role of clinical psychologists as well as training in some essential professional clinical skills
-Uses a blend of adult learning approaches (i.e. lectures, seminars, group work, workshops) to engage students with the content of the taught modules

Why choose this course?

The main educational aims of the programme are to provide you with a thorough knowledge about clinical psychology as an academic and professional discipline, and to develop your research competence in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods of particular relevance to clinical psychology. Core knowledge areas such as psychopathology, psychological assessment and various types of psychological intervention are each taught in specific modules. You will be introduced to leading theories or models in each field and the scientific evidence on which they are based will be critically discussed. Important research paradigms and controversies dominating current scientific debates within clinical psychology will be presented, and you will learn and practice how to critically appraise published research.

You will receive extensive training in a range of essential research skills and we will be discussing various types of research design for investigating the aetiology of mental health problems, for evaluating the effectiveness of psychological therapies and for auditing mental health services. The research training also includes advanced methods of statistical data analysis with exercises in SPSS and you will learn how to professionally report and communicate the findings. Qualitative research methods, for example, Grounded Theory will be taught in a specialist module and you will learn to use software for the coding and interpretation of transcripts. Finally, each student will be allocated to a senior researcher for a Research Apprenticeship, a particularly valuable learning experience enabling you to prepare an impressive MSc Research Project which will be your most important academic achievement of the programme.

The programme also includes a module Professional Clinical Skills introducing you to the role and competencies of professional clinical psychologists within mental health care settings as well as professional standards and ethical considerations. It also provides you with training in some essential clinical skills. More specifically, the programme aims are to:
-Provide students with in-depth knowledge about current theories of psychopathology covering both dimensional and diagnostic approaches for conceptualizing, defining, observing and assessing behavioural and mental indicators of psychopathology
-Provide students with detailed knowledge about psychiatric classification systems for mental health and personality problems as well as alternatives such as formulation
-Provide students with thorough knowledge about different kinds of effective psychological interventions for the treatment or prevention of mental health and behavioural problems
-Educate and train students in various types of quantitative and qualitative research in the area of clinical psychology, their methodological justification as well as criteria of validity to critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of research proposals or published research
-Provide education about professional standards for clinical psychologists as well as training in professional skills

Professional Accreditations

Please note that this MSc does not replace an accredited doctoral training programme in Clinical Psychology, nor will it guarantee entry to such a programme or provide a professional qualification in clinical psychology.

Careers

This course is ideal for those considering a professional or research career in clinical psychology and wish to strengthen their academic CV.

Teaching methods

We have our own dedicated postgraduate teaching rooms. Teaching includes lectures, seminars, practicals in class, workshops, group work, simulation exercises and individual supervision.

A blend of different assessment methods will be used. Part of the modules is assessed by exams, but the majority of the assignments constitute coursework such essays, data analysis reports, a written paper critique and oral presentations.

Structure

Modules
-Professional Clinical Skills I
-Psychological Assessment
-Psychological Interventions
-Psychopathology
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Research Apprenticeship in Clinical Psychology
-Research Methods and Data Analysis in Clinical Psychology
-Research Project in Clinical Psychology

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Who is it for?. This Masters is ideal for those who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline and would like to build more knowledge and skills highly valued both in academic research and the clinical professions. Read more

Who is it for?

This Masters is ideal for those who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline and would like to build more knowledge and skills highly valued both in academic research and the clinical professions. The MSc is an ideal platform from which to progress to PhD studies, particularly in Cognitive or Social Neuroscience. Students will also be well-equipped should they wish to undertake further professional training in Clinical Psychology, or a related discipline.

Objectives

This Masters degree bridges three research and clinical disciplines:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of human brain functions such as memory, perception and language)
  • Clinical Neuroscience (the understanding of neurological, psychological or psychiatric illness via their neural and cognitive antecedents)
  • and Social Neuroscience (the investigation of brain processes that help us communicate, feel, learn and interact with others).

The major aim of this programme is to provide you with a thorough grounding in the neuroscience that underpins human cognitive brain function, clinical, social and affective interaction, and neuropathology.

Teaching will comprise of seminars, lectures, computing and statistics classes, and supervision of an individual research project. Your learning experience during the programme will be enhanced by an invited speaker’s programme of external experts who work in Clinical, Social or Cognitive neuroscience.

Academic facilities

You will have access to all the facilities and laboratories in the Psychology Department. Check our labs facilities in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit (CRNU)the Baby lab, the Autism Research Group (ARG), the Human Memory Research Group, etc. For a full list of facilities visit the Psychology Department.

Our members have experience with a wide range of neuroscientific techniques, including neuropsychological testing, psychophysics, electrophysiology, and neuroimaging methods.  We have particular strengths in the use of Electroencephalography (EEG)Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Electric Stimulation (a weak current applied to the scalp), in addition to measures of human behaviour (e.g. response times, response errors, and eye movements) and physiological measures (e.g. galvanic skin response and heart rate).

We test neurologically normal individuals, special populations (e.g. people with synesthesia) and people with expertise or acquired skills (e.g. dancers, musicians, athletes), as well as people with brain damage (e.g. neglect or split-brain patients), psychiatric diagnoses (e.g. schizophrenia), sensory deficits (e.g. visual and hearing impairments) and developmental disorders (e.g. dyslexia or autism).

Placements

We facilitate clinical internships through our specialist research Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience (CPWN) and with the local Mind centre.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be comprised of lectures, seminars, group work and discussions, workshops and tutorials, reports, computing and statistics classes and the individual research dissertation.

You will undertake independent study, supported by the teaching and learning team, and will receive detailed feedback on your coursework. You will be provided with assessment and grade-related criteria which will outline your intended learning outcomes, along with the skills, knowledge and attitudes you are expected to demonstrate in order for you to complete an assessment successfully. You will also be assigned a personal tutor as your primary contact, who will advise you on academic matters and monitor your progress through the programme.

You will find a supportive vibrant research environment in the Department. The course is taught by academics, who are internationally recognised experts in their field with different backgrounds in clinical, social and cognitive neuroscience.

Check out what is going on in our laboratories and at the Center for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience (CPWN).

Find our more about our work on our Facebook group.

Assessment

Your learning will be assessed through essays, examinations, oral presentations, research methods projects and interpretation of statistical analyses, formal research proposals and a dissertation.

Modules

The programme consists of eight taught modules worth 15 credits each with around 30-34 hours of face-to-face contact, supported by online resources and an empirical research project (worth 60 credits).

You will learn about the latest advances in clinical, social and cognitive neuroscience and develop an appreciation of the reciprocal nature of research and practice in these domains. For example how insights from functional neuroimaging inform our understanding of neurological disorders and how clinical observations inform neurocognitive modelling.

Career prospects

This course will provide you with knowledge and skills highly valued both in academic research and the clinical professions. The MSc is an ideal platform from which to progress to PhD studies, particularly in Cognitive or Social Neuroscience. You will also be well-equipped should you wish to undertake further professional training in Clinical Psychology, or a related discipline.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire in this programme are highly valuable, whether you choose to pursue further research or an applied occupation. They will enhance your employability prospects in a wide range of sectors including the pharmaceutical industry, neuromarketing, the computing industry, science and the media, science and the arts, business or education.



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The MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course provides a post-graduate qualification enabling students from a range of backgrounds to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership in Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Read more

About the course

The MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course provides a post-graduate qualification enabling students from a range of backgrounds to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership in Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Moreover, the conversion course provides a sound knowledge of the diverse approaches to the study of behaviour encompassed within the core areas of psychology. Finally, the course emphasises the development of transferable knowledge, analytic expertise and research skills, which will be useful across the diverse areas of employment that attract psychology graduates and as a basis for further advanced study within the discipline (e.g. PhD, ClinPsyD, DEdPsy).

Aims

Psychology is defined as the study of mind and behaviour. Psychology is simultaneously a biological science and a social science, providing an exceptionally broad range of conceptual perspectives and empirical skills that will enable students to compete effectively in the workforce upon graduation.

The programme aims to provide students with:

Coverage of all of the requirements for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership in Psychology within the British Psychological Society (BPS).

A comprehensive understanding, and critical awareness, of how the theories, methods, and research findings of psychology draw upon and contribute to the natural sciences and the social sciences alike.

A comprehensive and systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current issues relating to important concepts, theoretical issues, research findings, historical issues, recent advances, and research methods in psychology.

Comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical issues, research findings, recent advances, and research methods in biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, and social psychology that are critical for research in psychology.

The opportunity to acquire comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of a particular topic in psychology and to conduct an original empirical research project in that area.

The opportunity to acquire important transferable, advanced research skills (e.g. research design, data analysis, report preparation).

Course Content

Compulsory modules:

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Individual Differences
Social Psychology
Statistics in Psychology
Dissertation
Biological Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Research Methods in Psychology
Psychology Research Methods in Practice
Research Methods
Biological and Cognitive Psychology

Typical Dissertations

The dissertation is an empirical report (maximum 12,000 words) that enables students to:
Integrate elements of their learning from different parts of the programme
Demonstrate their accumulated knowledge and systematic understanding of a topic
Show an ability to interpret primary source material
Develop an innovative approach to the subject
Work independently of others, consistent with BPS guidelines.

Teaching

Lectures and seminars provide students with in-depth knowledge of historical and contemporary perspectives in psychology.

Formative and summative essays provide reflection on historical and contemporary perspectives in psychology.

Statistics assignments, written research methods tests and laboratory reports will ensure proficiency in analytical skills - required to design research and interpret results.

Statistics assignment and lab reports will provide critical evaluation of the results of empirical research in psychology.

Formative summative essays, exams, and the dissertation will develop effective and critical written communication skills.

Individual meetings between students and dissertation supervisors will enable students to:

(a) Acquire knowledge concerning major theories and results of empirical studies that are relevant to the dissertation topic (including an understanding of the larger, real-world context within which the dissertation topic can be located); and

(b) Develop, analyse, and interpret theory-derived, testable hypotheses (and, perhaps, research questions) concerning links among the constructs to be studied in the dissertation.

Effective and critical written communication will be achieved via formative summative essays, exams, and the dissertation.

Assessment

Coursework essays – demonstration of systematic understanding, critical analysis, and written communication skills.

Examinations – demonstration of comprehensive understanding and written communication skills.

Quantitative reports – ability to analyse and interpret empirical evidence.

Oral presentations – demonstration of knowledge and understanding, critical analysis and oral communication skills.

Dissertation – ability to plan, critically review, execute and communicate an advanced piece of research.

Deadlines are distributed through the year, allowing time for constructive feedback.

Special Features

The MSc Psychological Sciences conversion course will provide a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) in Psychology, as conferred by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This is an entry requirement for all postgraduate training programmes leading to chartered status and the vast majority of postgraduate programmes accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a practitioner psychologist.

There is a focus during the programme on developing students' sound knowledge of research methods and statistics - highly desirable skills in many areas of potential employment and so fundamental to the value added by the degree.

A wide range of options are available for students to pursue their own particular research interests (culminating in the dissertation) within the discipline.

Accreditation

BSc Psychology courses accredited by The British Psychological Society
The BSc Psychological Sciences programme at Brunel is accredited by The British Psychological Society.

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This degree is ideal for all those wishing to become professional researchers in psychology working either in an academic or professional institution. Read more
This degree is ideal for all those wishing to become professional researchers in psychology working either in an academic or professional institution.

About the course

On this course, you will be introduced to a wide range of experimental tools used in research, and will learn how to plan, conduct and critically appraise research to a professional standard. As part of the course, you will also have the opportunity to work on a research apprenticeship with a senior researcher and develop your own independent research project.

In addition to these skills, you will be given professional training on how to disseminate your work to a non-academic audience through presentation skills, speaking with the media, and managing your profile. The course aims to develop practical skills that are essential to becoming a researcher, including how to write a peer-review of a journal article and how to prepare for a viva (oral) examination.

You can also tailor your qualification to suit your needs. Firstly, you can choose between having a focus on advanced quantitative or qualitative analysis depending on the type of research you would like to specialise in. You can then choose to specialise in your own area of psychology from a selection of optional content modules in different areas of psychology (subject to availability). The course offers a set of transferable skills for a variety of research settings involving:
-Appropriate information presentation
-Evaluation and analysis of data,A range of methods of communication results
-Effective use of information technologyTeaching skills

“The course has been really beneficial for my understanding of statistics and research methods at both a theoretical and practical level. The knowledge and skills I learnt throughout the course have been really useful throughout my PhD, I use my notes from the course all the time!” Amelia Hall, PhD student

Why choose this course?

This course offers:
-Teaching in advanced research and data analysis
-Exposure to a wide range of research tools in psychology, including software (R, LaTeX) and hardware (eye-tracking apparatus, BIOPAC)
-Professional training on how to speak with the media and disseminate your work to a non-academic audience
-Development of practical skills, including how to write a peer-review of an academic publication, how to give a good presentation, and how to record a video abstractAn opportunity to prepare for a viva (oral) examination (as required for a PhD)
-An opportunity to work on a research apprenticeship with a senior researcher in the department and to develop your own independent research project
-The ability to tailor your degree to suit your needs by choosing to specialise in quantitative or qualitative analysis, or a mixture of both, and by selecting optional modules in different areas of psychologyAccess to departmental research seminars across a range of subjects in psychology

Careers

This course can be used as the basis for professional training in research, and gives you transferable skills that are of great value in pursuing a career as a researcher. It is also ideal for those who would like to complete a professional doctorate in psychology. However, students on this course can have a wide range of careers in research, both in an academic or professional institution.
Previously, our students have gone on to study PhDs in a variety of different areas of psychology, and some have also used this qualification to work in health organisations and charities.

Teaching methods

The teaching of this course is delivered mainly through lectures and seminars but it is also accompanied by one-to-one supervision from professional staff members. As well as exams and coursework, this course is assessed by a range of practical assessments, including a peer review of a journal article, an oral presentation, and an examination viva.

The course comprises eight taught modules with a research project. It has a set of mandatory elements but offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies to your own particular interests or career aspirations.

Structure

Core Modules
-Research Apprenticeship in Psychology
-Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology
-Research Project in Psychology

Optional
-Advanced Methods of Quantitative Data Analysis
-Core Research Skills - Psychology
-Critical Appraisal of Research
-Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology
-Research Apprenticeship in Psychology
-Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology
-Research Project in Psychology

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Are you dedicated to the study of psychology and want to take your learning to the next level? The MRes Psychology will give you a practical education in psychological research training which is informed by staff research experience. Read more
Are you dedicated to the study of psychology and want to take your learning to the next level? The MRes Psychology will give you a practical education in psychological research training which is informed by staff research experience.

You will benefit from working in a professional research environment, and develop advanced research skills that will enable you to plan, execute, analyse and disseminate high-quality psychological research.

With the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively on research projects you will gain valuable critical and transferable skills and an understanding of the professional and ethical issues relating to producing research. You will graduate ready for employment in a research context, or doctoral level training in psychological research or applied psychology.

Learn From The Best

Staff are active researchers, passionate about their subject and dedicated to the discovery of new knowledge through innovative and exciting research projects. You will learn from those at the forefront of their fields. In fact, our strength in psychology research has significantly increased, placing us second in the Alliance group of universities for world-leading research (REF 2014).

You will work alongside academics with international backgrounds in research and experience in both higher education and industry.

Teaching And Assessment

You will study advanced research skills and techniques, exploring qualitative and quantitative methods, data collection and analysis through a variety of sessions including interactive lectures, workshops and tutorials. Benefitting from studying in a professional academic research environment you will put what you have learnt into practice, leading both collaborative and individual pieces of research.

All assessments are reflective of the kinds of tasks which active researchers engage with, to provide you with experience of practical research activities which are typically carried out in professional research settings. A final thesis will cement your learning and you will work closely with a member of staff to design, develop and implement a research project that is aligned to your interests. You will learn how to disseminate your findings to a variety of audiences.

Module Overview
PY0766 - Practical Research Skills and Techniques (Core, 30 Credits)
PY0767 - Research Experience: Design and Development (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0768 - Research Experience: Implementation and Dissemination (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0769 - MRes Thesis (Core, 90 Credits)
PY0774 - Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will learn in a professional research environment with access to state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with industry standard equipment. You will be able to collect and analyse your data using the most current software tools and will benefit from technology enabled learning with use of the eLearning Portal where electronic reading lists, lecture capture and online submission and feedback tools support your learning.

You will be immersed in an active research environment with access to Northumbria’s innovative research centres including The Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre and The Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. With staff working at the cutting-edge of their fields in innovative research areas, there is nowhere better to hone your research skills.

Research-Rich Learning

Research excellence is embedded at every stage of this course. Through research-orientated education and practical instruction you will develop the advanced research skills and critical evaluation techniques needed to conduct your own and collaborative research projects in the field of Psychology from initial idea to dissemination of results. The core purpose of this MRes is to make you into a confident and skilled professional researcher.

Staff are actively engaged in a wide range of research with almost three-quarters of Northumbria’s psychology research being judged to have outstanding reach and significance for its impact, placing us top 20 in the UK (REF 2014).

Give Your Career An Edge

This distinctive and specialist postgraduate course incorporates professional training and advanced study in psychological research and is designed to make you as employable as possible.

We provide you with an authentic learning experience, enabling you to work in a professional research environment. You will have the invaluable opportunity to work on a research placement with an academic researcher from the Department of Psychology, collaborating with this member of staff, their research partners and research groups to design, develop and implement a research project based on shared interests and enabling you to gain the applied research and team working skills that are desired by employers in the sector.

Your Future

The MRes Psychology provides you with the advanced research experience, critical knowledge and transferable skills to enable you to plan, execute, analyse and disseminate high-quality psychological research.

You will graduate as a trained psychological researcher fit for employment in professional research settings, enterprising and entrepreneurial activity or further study. Many of our previous graduates have continued to build on their research interests by going on to PhDs in psychological research or applied psychology, whilst others have worked as assistant psychologists or followed careers in the NHS.

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Who is it for?. This course is suited to students with an undergraduate-level knowledge of psychological research methods who wish to broaden and deepen their research skills. Read more

Who is it for?

This course is suited to students with an undergraduate-level knowledge of psychological research methods who wish to broaden and deepen their research skills. This will probably be with a view towards managing their own research projects. This could be in academia, or in a variety of other work settings where the ability to survey opinions, interpret data meaningfully, and construct and test hypotheses, is valued.

Objectives

This programme provides training in psychological research methods, including research design, statistical methods, and relevant software, but also offers a range of supplementary options from several other psychology masters programmes.

It covers an array of methodological content which will provide you with the skills necessary to engage in research in public or private-sector organisations, or alternatively continue on to a PhD in preparation for an academic research career.

By offering modules from several masters programmes, this course will allow you to gain broad-ranging research skills that leave your future options open, whilst allowing you to engage with a range of students on more specialised programmes, thus providing specific practical examples to help ground abstract research concepts.

Teaching and learning

The general approach to teaching and learning in this programme is through a combination of lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops and small group classes, including individual and group presentations. You are expected to give presentations, to engage in discussions designed to encourage you to reflect on issues raised in the lectures, to expand further specific topics, and to develop your communication skills.

You are encouraged to undertake extensive reading in order to understand the topics covered in lectures and classes and to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the subject. The teaching and learning process is supported by resources available on City’s virtual learning environment, Moodle, and by a personal tutorial system, as well as the welfare services provided by the Institution.

Assessment of the Programme is through coursework (i.e. assessed essays and assignments, for example stats tests, research proposal presentations, and programming exercises), examinations, and a summer dissertation.

Modules

You will take five core taught modules, two in the Autumn term and three in the Spring term. You also get to customise your programme through the choice of three elective modules, typically two in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. Finally, you will complete a research dissertation in the Summer term.

Taught modules generally involve two to three hours of contact time (i.e. lectures, lab classes etc.) per week, for ten weeks, but you will need to supplement these classes with individual study and skill development. You should anticipate spending around 150 hours on each taught module, which implies a full-time (~40 hours per week) workload.

You will take five core modules (PEM104, PEM107, SAM005, PSM207 and PSM208) totalling 75 credits. You will also take three elective modules worth a total of 45 credits. The research dissertation is worth 60 credits.

This is a composite programme, which provides you with the opportunity to study modules from several of our other MSc courses. Your research methods training is thus situated within several sub-disciplines of social science. Elective modules are illustrative and can change from year to year.

Core modules

  • Behavioural Research Methods: Design & Analysis (15 credits)
  • Applied Econometrics and Psychological Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Research Methods & Programming (15 credits)
  • Statistical Models (15 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)

Elective modules

  • Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Science (15 credits)
  • Psychological Processes: Individual and Social (15 credits)
  • Principles of Neuroscience: Brain anatomy, techniques and paradigms (15 credits)
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (15 credits)
  • Mental Health, Wellbeing and Neuroscience (15 credits)
  • Work Design, Organisational Change and Development (15 credits)
  • Research, Design & Analysis (15 credits)
  • Research in organisations (15 credits)
  • Epidemiology (15 credits)
  • Multivariate Data Analysis (15 credits).

Dissertation

To be eligible for the MSc, you must complete a 60 credit dissertation.

  • Psychology Research Methods Dissertation

Career prospects

Possible career paths for graduates of this course include academic research (usually following a PhD) or work involving central and local government agencies, public health, the voluntary sector, market/media research, or management consultancy.

This programme of study is suitable for progression onto a PhD programme.



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The PgDip / MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the social sciences and particularly Psychology. Read more
The PgDip / MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the social sciences and particularly Psychology.

You will be offered a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. The course provides extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at Master’s level.

The philosophical foundations of research training that are reflected on this course are broad based in that you will be expected to not only acquire an understanding of the basic theoretical and methodological applications within your individual domain of research, but to attain a depth and breadth of knowledge that facilitates future publication and dissemination of your own research findings and an ability to interpret and critically evaluate research findings derived across disciplinary boundaries.

Distinctive features

The formal research training programme in Psychology draws on the internationally recognised research conducted at Cardiff University.

We are one of the largest psychology departments in Britain, allowing us to offer well-resourced teaching and research opportunities in all areas of psychology, from neuroscience and brain imaging to environmental risk, social and developmental psychology, encompassing both basic science and applied aspects. Our teaching was judged to be 'Excellent' in the Teaching Quality Assessment.

We take pride that Cardiff educates UK and International students from all backgrounds. We offer a rounded academic student experience both socially and academically, with the opportunity to pursue a wide range of activities. The overarching objective of postgraduate research training employed within the School is to equip students with a level of competence, comprehension and understanding of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of their research so as to allow them to compete as international calibre researchers in the future.

Structure

Students undertake 6 20-credit modules. Five of the six modules are known as core modules, because they are designed to equip students with research skills and are followed by all students. The sixth module is specific to the particular pathway. For the psychology pathway this consists of research placements within the School of Psychology designed to provide more in-depth understanding of empirical research within the discipline of psychology.

On successful completion of the taught component (PgDip), you will prepare a dissertation (of a maximum 20,000 words) to be submitted by mid-September for the MSc. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. Dissertation topics are chosen by you in agreement with your supervisors.

Core modules:

Developing Core Research Skills
Foundations of Social Science Research
Research Skills in Practice
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Research Applications
Dissertation (MSc only)

Teaching

Your course is made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study. You are expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

For those continuing beyond the diploma to the MSc, the final part of the course comprises a dissertation (60 credits) for which students are allocated a tutor with whom they meet on a regular basis.  A research design and methods module is a compulsory module which contributes to preparation for the dissertation.  Dissertation topics are chosen by the students in agreement with their supervisors.

Career Prospects

The course aims to provide knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.

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The purpose of this course is to develop and consolidate your understanding of the scientific methods that are routinely employed in Psychology. Read more
The purpose of this course is to develop and consolidate your understanding of the scientific methods that are routinely employed in Psychology. Emphasis is placed on training you in the efficient gathering and organising of information as well as the critical evaluation of theory and qualitative and quantitative evidence.

Why study Psychological Research Methods at Dundee?

The programme will lead to the award of the MSc in Psychological Research Methods (exit degrees of Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate are also available on this course). The course offers an excellent theoretical and practical grounding in research methods in Psychology, building upon the levels of skill and knowledge attained in your first degree in Psychology (as recognised by the British Psychological Society for Graduate Membership).

You will be given practical experience of working in an active researcher's laboratory and you will also design and carry out a substantial research project under the supervision of a different member of the academic staff. You will be given the opportunity to present and discuss your findings in written, oral and poster formats in a supportive and cohesive environment. Our aim is to significantly improve your prospect for employment in a wide range of contexts where insight into human behaviour and/or rigorous evaluation of information are key elements of good decision making.

The School of Psychology has specialised equipment, dedicated laboratories and world class research facilities. These include EEG labs, many eye tracking systems, 2D and 3D movement tracking systems, and offsite fMRI access via the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Teaching Hospital. Learn more about our research facilities via our website.

Every full-time MSc student in the department is entitled to use computer facilities available in the Psychology department and throughout the University. We provide access to all the basic software tools that you are likely to need for your MSc.

Aims of the Programme

This course will enable you to:
Pursue and develop the advanced study of research methods in Psychology and in particular to address contemporary issues of epistemology, data collection, measurement and data analysis.

Approach problems in research by critical evaluation of existing psychological paradigms and research literature and to apply this to current theoretical or applied issues in Psychology.

Develop advanced research skills which will be relevant to policy and practice in the workplace.

Develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in research design, methodology and statistical analysis.

Develop and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of current research in a specialised field of experimental or applied Psychology.

Engage in the analysis, synthesis, planning, execution and evaluation of research at an advanced level.

Make an original contribution to scientific knowledge, methodology or practice in a research project either grounded in experimental psychology or in an applied area relevant to the learner's employment.

Develop and practice dissemination and presentation skills to peers and to wider academic and professional audiences
Provide an advanced understanding of scientific issues in the chosen topic specialisation.

Who should study this course?

The course will provide a first year of research training for students who intend to continue with postgraduate research or further professional training within Psychology (e.g. health, occupational or educational psychology) or related disciplines (e.g. sociology, social anthropology, or education).

Postgraduate culture

We have a close postgraduate community with a diverse combination of nationalities. The School runs a Postgraduate seminar and a departmental seminar twice weekly throughout teaching semesters, with invited speakers to the seminars. These seminars are a great way to broaden your awareness of contemporary issues within the field of Psychology, to present your own work, and to network with other postgraduate students.

The School of Psychology also has its own Facebook group, where you can find out more about their activities.

How you will be taught

One-on-one supervision of a research dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided. Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, peer assessments of oral presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and interactive computer assignments. Some of the exercises will be group-based and will be followed by presentation of the results of the analysis. Learners will be expected to be able to respond adequately to questions relating to the interpretation of the analyses.

What you will study

Core Modules:

Research Foundations
Qualitative Research Methods
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Research in Practice
Research Dissertation
Two Advanced Modules, typically from:

Decision Making
Evolution and Behaviour
Health in Groups
Majorities and Minorities
Comparative Communication and Cognition

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework only.
Each module is worth 20 credits apart from the Research Dissertation Module which is worth 60 credits. The total number of credits awarded is 180 for an MSc course.

Careers

Students from this course have gone on to do PhDs and have used the qualification to improve their chances of getting on to clinical and educational psychology courses. Several students take the course to improve their chances of getting jobs as support workers and Assistant Psychologists. The higher degree also generally improves job prospects when competing against other Psychology graduates in other fields of business.

Laura Wakeford graduated in 2010 with an MSc in Psychological Research Methods. She is now studying for a PhD here at Dundee. Laura's research focuses on the relationship between fixation location and attention during silent reading; specifically, whether word recognition proceeds in a serial or parallel fashion. The majority of her work uses the Dr Bouis Eye Tracker.

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