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).
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
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.
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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