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MSc in Psychological Research Methods (Perception and Action)

Course content


As we make our way around the world we are continually making decisions and performing actions that are driven by our sense organs. Our perception of the world is not just sensory information, but instead an interpretation based on what our brain expects as well as what it is being told by sense organs. Understanding and measuring perception distinct from sensation is a complex task.
The course will explore methods by which it is possible to measure perception with varied content, depending on the specific interests of the student. Lectures from academic staff will form a course introducing the main methods of measuring perception, considering the strengths and weaknesses.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Ross Goutcher and Dr Elena Gheorghiu

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

Course objectives

In addition to broad training in psychological methods, this course ensures that students acquire an understanding of how to measure perceptual experience in a bias-free manner, including the basic framework for understanding such measurements. Students also acquire practical experience in making measurements of perceptual experience through a research project and opportunity to conduct a placement in a laboratory context.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

Lectures, seminars and workshops are used to deliver a coherent course of study. Teaching methods are adapted to suit the aims of each module and to provide students with the range and depth of learning required by their needs. Students are able to pick a route through the course that fits their interests and needs as a self-motivated learner.

Teaching emphasises the importance of systematic empirical research, whether in the laboratory or in the field, as appropriate to the problem at hand.

Across the course, students experience a range of different forms of assessment. Specific assessment within the Perception in Action course is a research report. Students will conduct and report (6,000 words) on a small research project involving a measurement of perception. The student will be responsible for the whole process: design of study, programming and other practical aspects of doing the research; data collection and analysis. The main assessment of the report will consider the quality of the research, the level of understanding about measurement of perception, and the competence of the procedures used in the research. The report will also be assessed for clarity and conciseness.

Why Stirling?

- REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Strengths
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

This course prepares you for a research career involving perception in action and is ideal if you intend to study for a PhD in Psychology.

Visit the MSc in Psychological Research Methods (Perception and Action) page on the University of Stirling website for more details!





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