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Course content

Most undergraduate psychology programmes around the world teach a set of ‘basic psychological findings’. Such findings are usually based on samples of undergraduate students in the US and Northern Europe, and give us few clues as to how psychological processes vary across the world. Many societies have an increasingly multi-cultural nature, which is compounded by the growing contact and interaction between societies with very different cultural traditions.

These changes are raising profound sets of issues about how we, as individuals, understand each other, and how we act in relation to each other in different cultural settings. This course considers the way in which psychological findings may differ across societies, and explores some reasons for this variation. It also aims to provide course participants with the skills necessary to conduct their own research with different ethnic groups and in different cultures.

The programme is designed for those with undergraduate degrees in Psychology (and related subjects) who wish to gain a greater understanding of the role of culture in psychology, and for those already working in professions where psychology is of importance. We also welcome graduates in related subjects who are interested in learning more about culture and psychology, as well as students who might ultimately want to continue on to a PhD programme.

By including materials from across the social sciences, the course aims to utilise the complementary disciplines within the School in order to offer a truly inter-disciplinary perspective.

Course Content
Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing modules are likely to be drawn from the following areas:
Core modules: Methods for Cross-Cultural Research; Cross-Cultural Variations in Psychological Findings I & II
Optional modules: Foundations of Psychoanalytic; Evolutionary Psychology; Media and Popular Culture; Media and Globalization. Check the web for the latest updates.

Recent dissertation topics include:
Attitudes Towards Mental Illness: A Comparison Between Japan and the UK; Mediation Strategies amongst Jews and Arabs in Israel and the UK; Cultural Predictors of Loneliness and Life; Satisfaction in Canada: a Comparison Between Canadian and Chinese; A Validation Study of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems in Korean University Students; Psychological Problems faced by Arab Students in the UK; Partner Preferences amongst Hindu Gujaratis in Britain.

Assessment
Assessment is by coursework, through the completion of term papers, seen examinations (given out at least a month before the examinations) and poster presentations. A dissertation of approximately 15,000 words is then required.

Careers
Graduates from this course will have gained considerable knowledge and expertise in cross-cultural psychology which will enhance their employability in a number of careers. Previous students are now working in major international organisations such as the WHO. Others are continuing their studies, taking PhDs at leading international universities.

This course will prove especially useful to those wishing to deploy their skills in international government and non-governmental agencies. In addition, other major issues, for example that of cross-cultural attitudes and behaviours in relation to health and health care, are considered increasingly important by both local and national governments, as well as international agencies, in implementing desirable policies and practice

Visit the MSc Cross-Cultural Psychology page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

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