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    College of Human and Health Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    October, January

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, Research Only

  • Course Fees

    Please visit our website for the Psychology research programme fee information.

  • Last Updated

    18 September 2019

MSc by Research in Psychology Overview

Understanding the complexities of the human mind and how we relate to the world around us remains one of science’s greatest challenges.

Our Psychology Department has an outstanding reputation both in the UK and internationally. According to the Research Excellence Framework 2014, we are one of only four psychology departments in the UK to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of our work.

Psychology scholarships

The following Psychology scholarships are open for application:

Research at the Department of Psychology

The Psychology Department brings together over 30 academic staff, dedicated technicians, and administrative support staff. All academic staff in Psychology are active, internationally recognised researchers.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014:

  • 100% at 4* (world-leading) for research impact
  • Joint first in the UK league tables
  • 1 of 4 departments out of 82 to attain a 100% rating for research impact

Psychology Ranking:

  • 27/82 departments in the UK (by GPA)
  • 44% of 4* research activity; 31% of 3* (internationally excellent) research activity
  • GPA of 3.18; research power score of 47

Psychology Research Themes:

The Department of Psychology undertakes scientific research under four broad themes: Clinical and Health Psychology, Cognition and Perception, Cognitive Neuroscience and Forensic Psychology.

Our areas of research expertise in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical and Health Psychology support four broad research groups:

  • Clinical and Health Psychology

Clinical psychology is an area of psychology dedicated to understanding and preventing psychologically-based dysfunction and promoting subjective well-being. Health psychology is an area of psychology dedicated to understanding biological, psychological, and social factors that are involved in health, illness, and healthcare. The clinical and health psychology research group tests and develops psychological theory, as well as informs policy and practice. We investigate a range of research questions, including aetiology and treatment of nightmares, mild cognitive impairment and acquired brain injury, issues related to diet and eating, drug and alcohol consumption, gambling, autistic spectrum disorders, and workplace factors, such as long-term effects of shift work.

  • Cognition and Perception

The Cognition & Perception group at Swansea conducts research in cognitive development, visual perception, memory, and language. We use both overt behaviour methods, such as response speed and accuracy, and eye-movements, psychophysics, as well as brain imaging methods, including fMRI and EEG. Our research also uses brain stimulation techniques (including TMS and tDCS) to study and modulate brain processes.

The overarching goal of our research is the understanding of the cognitive abilities that underlie human behaviour, developmentally and in the face of neural breakdown.

Our research in Cognitive Development examines the development of cognitive abilities from young children to older adults, and their impairment as a result of aging, dementia, or brain trauma.

In the area of Visual Perception we examine the cognitive and emotional processing of everyday stimuli, including faces, objects, and words and factors that influence perception, such as attention, context and inhibitory processes.

Our work in the area of Memory is concerned with informing our understanding of memory successes and failures in laboratory and applied contexts, and with formulating mathematical models to formalise that understanding.

In the area of Language the team investigates the cognitive process that support reading and single word recognition and naming in monolingual and bilingual speakers with or without language deficits.

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is a multidisciplinary academic field dedicated to the scientific study of the brain mechanisms that underlie cognitive processes, in both health and disease.

At the Department of Psychology we investigate a range of research questions, including memory, attention, affective processing, object recognition, sleep and dreaming, fear conditioning, gambling, ageing, neurodegeneration, and brain trauma.

Techniques employed to tackle these questions include neuroimaging (MRI, fMRI, and MRS), electrophysiology (EEG and ERPs), and brain stimulation (tDCS).

  • Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is a branch of applied psychology concerned with the interface between psychology and the law, and includes many aspects, such as legal process, the assessment, supervision and treatment of those who have offended, working with victims of crime, and addressing risk and re-offending.

The Forensic Psychology Research Group has specific interest and experience in research focused on the legal process (e.g., juror decision making, witness memory, victim testimony, fitness to plead, investigative interviewing, discharge/release decisions); offending behaviour (e.g., developmental factors, personality [psychopathy and sadism, emotionally unstable personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder], treatment interventions and their outcomes, suggestibility, case formulation and risk assessment, specific offence types [e.g., sexual offending, intimate partner violence] and systems and staff [e.g., staff development, staff supervision and organisational factors]).

The members of Forensic Psychology Research Group have worked in prison, mental health, and probation settings, as well as with the police and the criminal and family courts.

Psychology Research Groups

We have a number of research groups at the Department of Psychology:

  • Psychology Dementia Research Group
  • Swansea Nutrition, Appetite and Cognition Group
  • Cognition and Action Research Group
  • Face Research Swansea (FARES)

Offering flexibility through a wholly research-based mode of study; the MSc by Research in Psychology is perfect for those looking to balance work, life and study commitments.

As a Psychology research student at our College of Human and Health Sciences, you will benefit from a dynamic and supportive research environment with many opportunities to make connections across disciplines and develop links with organisations and policy makers both in the UK and abroad.

Our state-of-the-art research facilities include a high density electroencephalography (EEG) suite, a fully fitted sleep laboratory, a social observation suite, eye-tracking, psychophysiological, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and conditioning labs, a lifespan lab and baby room, plus more than 20 all-purpose research rooms.

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Visit the Psychology MSc by Research page on the Swansea University website for more details!




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