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Psychology×

Brunel University London, Full Time MSc Degrees in Psychology

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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 programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind, like the human body, is a product of evolutionary processes. Read more
This degree programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind, like the human body, is a product of evolutionary processes. It is taught in association with the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology (C-CEP), and the Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging (CCNI) at Brunel.

The degree programme aims to provide students with an understanding of how evolutionary theory can provide a framework for the study of human psychology and behaviour. Students will acquire comprehensive knowledge of important theoretical issues, research findings and recent advances in evolutionary psychology. You will study concepts, findings and recent advances in evolutionary biology, animal behaviour and behavioural ecology that are critical for research in evolutionary psychology. Moreover there will be the opportunity to take an optional module in either Cognitive Neuroscience or Cross-Cultural Psychology.

The programme team includes, Nicholas Pound PhD (McMaster), Andrew Clark PhD (McMaster), Michael Price PhD (UCSB) and Achim Schützwohl PhD (University of Bielefeld). In addition, there are opportunities for dissertation research projects to be co-supervised by psychologists with expertise in other areas of Psychology (eg cognitive neuroscience, social psychology).

At Brunel we have extensive facilities for human subjects research (including EEG, fMRI, motion capture and 3D body scanning).

Who is this Degree For?
This course is particularly suited to students in the life sciences or social sciences who are interested in finding out how principles from evolutionary biology can provide a framework for the scientific study of human psychology and behaviour.

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, planned modules are as follows:
Core modules: Evolutionary Biology and Research Methods; Evolutionary Psychology; Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology
Optional modules: Cognitive Neuroscience; Cross-Cultural Variations in Psychological Findings. Check the web for the latest updates.

Assessment
Assessment is by coursework (including term papers and oral presentations), examinations and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Careers
The MSc will provide students with the knowledge and skills required to go on to do PhD research not just in Evolutionary Psychology, but also in other areas of Psychology and the Biological and Social Sciences. Moreover, students will acquire analytic and research skills that will be useful in diverse areas of employment including governmental and non-government research organisations, and the private sector.

Here is what one of our past students says:

Gillian: "I enjoyed studying for my BSc in Zoology with Evolutionary Psychology at Liverpool University and missed my studies after I graduated. So I took on the Brunel MSc in Evolutionary Psychology part-time alongside my job as a Communications Manager for the Department of Health. The course has deepened my understanding of the subject and I am now considering taking on a PhD. I have also found the learning useful in my work. Many strategic communications campaigns aim to change behaviour – for example to improve hygiene in hospitals or encourage people to eat healthier foods. Such campaigns often use insights from psychology in order to make them more powerful and the MSc has given me a good insight into how and why they work."

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This course runs in parallel with our BPS-accredited course and focuses on the application of psychology in the sport and exercise domain. Read more

About the Course

This course runs in parallel with our BPS-accredited course and focuses on the application of psychology in the sport and exercise domain. The course is aimed at students with a background in Sport Sciences who wish to specialize in Sport and Exercise Psychology, potentially pursuing a career either in research or as a Sport Scientist accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

Aims

To provide you with a coherent programme of study, which prepares you for training to become accredited through BASES
To extend your knowledge and understanding in the field of Sport and Exercise Psychology
To provide you with a range of learning experiences designed to enhance critical analysis and independence of thought
To provide you with grounding in research methods and data analysis that prepares you for higher research-related degrees (eg PhD)

Special Features

The Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences enjoy a prominent position within the University, building upon traditions that stem from Borough Road College - the oldest teacher-training college in the British Commonwealth. We have a long-standing reputation for excellence in teaching and an impressive record of research and publication which consistently attracts high-calibre students, including high level sportsmen and sportswomen who successfully combine study with training and competition.

The modules and content of our MSc Sport Sciences (Sport Psychology) course were re-designed to align with the criteria set out by the BPS’ Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology. The course capitalises on the extensive research and consultancy expertise within the sport and exercise psychology teaching team. We currently have three staff members who are BPS-Chartered Psychologists registered as consultants with the Health Professions Council and have excellent consultancy links within football and tennis. Many of our graduates have secured work-experience placements after completing their course and we are looking to further develop these opportunities. For example, recent graduates from our sport psychology courses have worked with: Fulham FC, Southampton FC, Wickham Wonderers FC, Sutton Tennis Academy, West Indies Cricket Board, IMG Bolletieri Tennis Academy.

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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. Read more
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

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How can evolutionary theory help us understand human behaviour?. Do humans have a species-typical psychological design?. What learning mechanisms would have been favoured by natural selection in ancestral environments?. Read more
How can evolutionary theory help us understand human behaviour?
Do humans have a species-typical psychological design?
What learning mechanisms would have been favoured by natural selection in ancestral environments?

This programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind, like the human body, is a product of evolutionary processes. This course is particularly suited to students in the life sciences or social sciences who are interested in finding out how principles from evolutionary biology can provide a framework for the scientific study of human psychology and behaviour.
Aims

The degree programme aims to provide students with:

an understanding of how evolutionary theory can provide a framework for the study of psychology and behaviour in both human and non-human species;

knowledge of important theoretical issues, research findings and recent advances in Evolutionary Psychology;

an overview of concepts, findings and recent advances in Evolutionary Biology, Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology that are critical for research in Evolutionary Psychology;

the opportunity to acquire important transferable research skills (eg research design, data analysis, report preparation, seminar presentation);

the opportunity to acquire knowledge of theoretical issues, research findings and recent advances in a related area of psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience or Cross-Cultural Psychology).

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Interest in health and health-related disciplines has increased greatly in the past decade. However, most MSc programmes in health psychology in the UK are only open to students who wish to become Chartered Health Psychologists and who have a British Psychological Society-approved first degree in health psychology. Read more
Interest in health and health-related disciplines has increased greatly in the past decade. However, most MSc programmes in health psychology in the UK are only open to students who wish to become Chartered Health Psychologists and who have a British Psychological Society-approved first degree in health psychology.

This MSc is designed for students who do not wish to become UK Chartered Health Psychologists and so is particularly attractive to international students and health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, medical doctors and many others. It seeks to help the student understand health and illness, and provides knowledge and research skills applicable to the health arena. The course will guide the student through a journey of health, illness, adjustment and rehabilitation. Areas such as health behaviours, beliefs and coping will be covered.

Who is this degree for?
This course is aimed at a variety of graduates, including: people working in the health professions who wish to further their understanding of the psychological aspects of health and illness; international students who do not fulfil the British Psychological Society’s registration requirements; UK psychology graduates who wish to gain skills to help them to obtain a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate or to continue to other PhD level study; and those who have first degrees in related disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.

Course Content
Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing, modules were drawn from the following areas: Understanding Health; The Psychology of Managing Illness; Multidisciplinary Approaches to Health; Health Research and Research Methods.

Assessment
Assessment is by coursework (including term papers and poster/oral presentations), and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Careers
The MSc in Psychology, Health, and Behaviour will be a valuable precursor to any future research degree or clinical doctorate. Skills learnt on this course will also benefit those working within health settings who wish to further their careers.

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This course focuses on the application of psychology in the sport and exercise domain. Read more

About the course

This course focuses on the application of psychology in the sport and exercise domain.

The course is aimed at students who hold or plan to obtain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and who wish to specialise in sport and exercise psychology, either as researchers or Health and Care Professions Council registered practitioners.

Aims

You will be provided with a coherent programme of study, consistent with the BPS accreditation criteria, that prepares you for Stage 2 of training to become a sport and exercise psychologist.

You will extend your knowledge and understanding in the field of sport and exercise psychology.

You will encounter a range of learning experiences designed to enhance critical analysis and independence of thought.

You will be given grounding in research methods and data analysis that prepares you for higher research-related degrees (e.g. PhD).

Course Content

Compulsory Modules

Research and Application in the Psychology of Sports Performance
Social Processes in Exercise and Sport
Psychological Skills for Practitioners
Individual Differences in Sport & Exercise
Research Methods and Data Analysis
MSc Dissertation

Optional Modules

Professional Development
Performance Lifestyle

Assessment

Your academic performance will be assessed in a variety of ways. Assessment procedures include essays, case studies, oral presentations, poster presentations, laboratory report writing and computer-based tests. Formal written examinations constitute part of the assessment in some modules. In addition, you will need to submit, and pass, a research dissertation.

Special Features

Highly relevant curriculum: The course content aligns with the BPS regulations and capitalises on the extensive research and consultancy expertise of the teaching team.

Teaching excellence: The Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences enjoy a prominent position within the University, building upon traditions that stem from Borough Road College – the oldest teacher-training college in the British Commonwealth. We have a long-standing reputation for excellence in teaching and an impressive record of research and publication which consistently attracts high-calibre students, including high level sportsmen and sportswomen who successfully combine study with training and competition.

Prestigious placements: Many of our graduates have secured outstanding work-experience placements after completing their course, including work with Fulham FC, Southampton FC, Wickham Wanderers FC, Sutton Tennis Academy, West Indies Cricket Board, the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy, and Chelsea FC Academy.

Quality sports facilities: Brunel University offers state-of the-art indoor and outdoor sports facilities including an international standard 400 metre, 6-lane track with full field event facilities and a Sports Hall housing an climbing wall and pump room – rated in the top 10 in the country by the British Mountaineering Council.

Accreditation

This course is fully accredited by the BPS; therefore, students who successfully complete the course will have passed Stage 1 of training for becoming a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

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*Accredited by the British Psychological Society. *Aimed at. Psychology graduates wishing to specialise in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Read more

Overview

*Accredited by the British Psychological Society
*Aimed at: Psychology graduates wishing to specialise in Sport and Exercise Psychology
*Successful completion confers Stage 1 of training to become a Chartered (and HCPC-accredited) Sport and Exercise Psychologist
*Engaging course team with a wealth of teaching, practitioner and research experience

Modules

Research Methods and Data Analysis (45 credits)
Research and Application in the Psychology of Sports Performance (15 credits)
Social Processes in Sport and Exercise (15 credits)
Psychological Skills for Practitioners (15 credits)
Individual Differences in Sport and Exercise (15 credits)
Dissertation (60 credits)

Performance Lifestyle (15 credits) OR
Professional Development (15 credits)

Highlights

*Outstanding Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (NSS equivalent) ratings
*Commended for the range of facilities underpinning the programme
*Commended for the knowledge base, research expertise and applied experience of the programme team
*Commended for the range of pedagogies and approaches to learning and teaching
*Commended for the approachability and supportive nature of the programme team
*2014: 100% of student respondents would recommend the course to another prospective student
(Formal commendations from BPS re-accreditation report, 2013)

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About the Course. How can we change risky health behaviours (such as smoking, drinking)?. Why don’t people take medicines as directed, even when the medicines are prescribed for serious illnesses?. Read more
About the Course

How can we change risky health behaviours (such as smoking, drinking)?
Why don’t people take medicines as directed, even when the medicines are prescribed for serious illnesses?
What psychological and social factors influence physical health?

This course is aimed at a variety of graduates; people working in the health who wish to further their understanding of the psychological aspects of health and illness; health professionals (medical doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, to mention a few); international students; psychology graduates who wish to gain skills to help them obtain a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate or study further at PhD level; and graduates in related disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.
Aims

The MSc teaches an understanding the psychological aspects of health, illness beliefs, and behaviours, and provides knowledge and research skills to undertake health research.

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This course is aimed at sport and exercise sciences graduates who wish to further their studies in sport and exercise psychology. Read more

Overview

This course is aimed at sport and exercise sciences graduates who wish to further their studies in sport and exercise psychology. It is excellent preparation for higher research qualifications (e.g., PhD) or practitioner training for becoming an accredited sport and exercise scientist through BASES.

Core Modules

(15 credits unless stated):

Research Methods and Data Analysis (45 credits)
Research and Application in the Psychology of Sports Performance
Social Processes in Sport and Exercise
Psychological Skills for Practitioners
Physical Activity and Health
Dissertation (60 credits)

Performance Lifestyle OR
Individual Differences in Sport and Exercise OR
Professional Development

Highlights

*Outstanding Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (NSS equivalent) ratings
*2014: 100% of student respondents would recommend the course to another prospective student
*Engaging course team with a wealth of teaching, practitioner and research experience
*Commended for the range of facilities underpinning the programme
*Commended for the knowledge base, research expertise and applied experience of the programme team
*Commended for the range of pedagogies and approaches to learning and teaching
*Commended for the approachability and supportive nature of the programme team
(Formal commendations from BPS re-accreditation report, 2013)

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Recent years have been characterised by a rapid development of functional imaging technology, with increasing availability worldwide of high-resolution scanners for research and clinical applications. Read more
Recent years have been characterised by a rapid development of functional imaging technology, with increasing availability worldwide of high-resolution scanners for research and clinical applications. Functional brain imaging requires an understanding of current concepts in cognitive neuroscience and psychology, as well as a basic appreciation of neuroimaging techniques and of the mathematical and statistical foundations for data analysis.

The rapid development of functional imaging technology and research has contributed to the call for improved education and training in functional imaging. Within this context the aim of the programme is to provide a strong theoretical and practical introduction to the world of neuroimaging research. It will equip students with a range of practical research skills to enable them to successfully complete research of this kind, either as part of a research team or as an individual.

The course will also provide the necessary training in safety and in the rules of scanner operation. This will allow students to conduct a neuroimaging research project under the supervision of an Authorised User on Brunel’s 3T scanner, or else to conduct a project in one of its related ERP imaging or psychological laboratory facilities.

Who is this degree for?
If you want to know how to use an MRI scanner and learn what neuroimaging has already taught us, this MSc is for you. Whether you want to pursue neuroimaging research, or simply become an expert in this important field of science, the Functional Neuroimaging MSc provides the relevant skills and knowledge. The course is a good preparation for a PhD in functional brain imaging, or for working as part of a neuroimaging team with fMRI and/or other imaging modalities.

Course Content
Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing modules (all core) are likely to be drawn from the following areas:
Principles of Neuroimaging; Practical Neuroimaging; Cognitive Neuroscience; Visual Neuroscience. Check the web for the latest updates.

Assessment
Assessment is by coursework, one multiple choice exam and a final research project. Under the supervision of one of the Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging’s research team, students will conduct a functional imaging experiment. This may involve use of the in-house EEG or fMRI facilities.

Careers
The MSc in Functional Neuroimaging is an invaluable companion or prelude to a research degree or research position in functional neuroimaging, one of the most rapidly growing fields of scientific research. Academic or research positions include:
MPhil/PhD in neuroimaging or related subjects; Research Assistant on a neuroscience project, or a related project in psychology or biology. Imaging now has applications from the physical sciences to projects in economics and the social sciences; Technical Assistant in functional neuroimaging. Non-academic positions include: any occupation that requires a higher level of analytical, technical and presentation skills than can be offered by a graduate in social sciences.

Here is what a few of our past students have to say:
Anna: “After completing an MSc degree in Educational Psychology in Poland I moved to the UK where I worked clinically with people suffering from epilepsy. During that placement, inspired by the state-of-the-art research conducted there, I developed a strong interest in neuropsychology. As a result I took up an MSc in Functional Neuroimaging at Brunel. The course appealed to me not only because it was an excellent introduction to this method, but also because it provided invaluable hands-on experience. The course was delivered by very competent and knowledgeable staff, who were enthusiastic about their subject. Their approachability and enthusiasm helped in managing course workload, as well as in developing my passion for research. Functional neuroimaging, being primarily used as a research tool in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and social neuroscience, was taught in a very uncomplicated yet comprehensive manner. The course opened up research opportunities at many well-established research centres in the country and proved to be a key skill when applying for jobs after graduation. I now work partly at the University of Cambridge, and partly at the neuropsychological centre providing rehabilitation for people who have sustained brain injury. This is a fabulous chance to combine research and clinical experience, and knowledge and skills gained during the MSc prove extremely helpful in my work. I will always be very grateful to all Brunel’s staff for the support and help that they provided, even after graduation!”

Priya used her MSc as a transition to research work : “My year in Brunel’s MSc program in Functional Neuroimaging provided a crucial bridge for me between my undergraduate and doctoral studies. As an undergraduate I studied Cognitive Science and was interested in neuroimaging, but had few opportunities to work with a scanner. One of the aspects that drew me to the program at Brunel was the chance to design and carry out my own fMRI study; in addition to submitting the results as part of my degree requirements, I was able to present them as a poster at a scientific conference. The substantive coursework was also helpful for me in transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate studies in neuroscience. Going into my MSc year at Brunel, I was not sure whether I was ready for or interested in a career in neuroscience research. Today I enjoy my doctoral studies and do research in an fMRI laboratory.”

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Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?. Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?. Read more

About the course

Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?
Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?
Is there a ‘human nature’ underneath all the cultural differences?

Anyone interested in psychological processes, feeling and expression, memory and trauma, culture and personality, will have asked themselves questions of this kind. However, they are less likely to have asked themselves how (or if) we can recognise and analyse different emotions in other cultural settings.

In this new MSc degree, the first of its kind anywhere in Europe, we tackle these and other issues from an anthropological perspective, looking at the social and cultural dimensions of human experience.

By engaging with debates on these important topics and through the examination of world ethnography (including the UK), participants will learn about selfhood, emotion, madness and identity in cultural context.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

This MSc gives candidates a solid grounding in key topics in psychological and psychiatric anthropology.

Through detailed consideration of cases from Britain and around the world, we explore the ways in which person, emotion, and subjectivity are shaped through cultural practices.

Candidates from backgrounds in health, therapy, social work and psychology will be able to challenge the categories and assumptions inherent in standard approaches to psychological and behavioural issues.

Course Content

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Optional modules:

Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Part-time

Year 1

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Year 2

Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignment (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise), and dissertation. There are no examinations.

Special Features

This degree looks at psychological and psychiatric topics from an anthropological perspective. There is an overlap with psychology and psychiatry in the things we look at (identity, consciousness, cognition, mental health, etc), but the approach is quite different; indeed, the findings can be startlingly different.

In all cases, we explore the point of view and experience of the insider, the ‘native’, in a range of cultures, we analyse this inside view in relation to the social and cultural environment. What we seek is a dynamic conception of human nature that is true to experience as well as illuminating broader social processes of which the individual may be only partly aware.
 
This degree challenges standard assumptions about normality and deviance, social and personal identity, the boundaries of the self, and the constituents of experience.

For those employed in the health, social and educational sectors, it will enhance professional practice and broaden understanding. But for every student it will open up new avenues.

The programme is run by experts in their field, who have worked in countries across the globe including Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to an up to 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

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