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Psychology×

University of Sunderland, Full Time MSc Degrees in Psychology

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Sunderland's Psychology Department was rated top four in the UK for teaching excellence by the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. Read more
Sunderland's Psychology Department was rated top four in the UK for teaching excellence by the Sunday Times University Guide 2013.

Course overview

This course is a conversion course that is suitable for graduates who have not studied psychology as a first degree. Successful completion provides the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership by the British Psychological Society, which is an essential first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist. It also supports careers where professional insights in human behaviour are valuable such as social work, public services, advertisement, general management and Human Resources.

This course provides in a compact form the same grounding in psychological science as a three-year undergraduate course but at a masters level of skill and knowledge. As a result, this conversion course is both challenging and demanding.

This course is not suitable if you have already studied psychology at undergraduate level. Instead, you may wish to consider MSc Psychological Research Methods. The course has three parts, consisting of:
a) the six core areas of psychology, which include social psychology, individual differences and developmental psychology, as well as cognitive psychology, biological psychology and conceptual and historical issues in psychology
b) qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistics
c) the Masters Project, which provides an opportunity for in-depth research into an area of psychology near to your personal interests and career aspirations. The research elements of the course are supported by Sunderland’s thriving Health Sciences and Well-being Research Beacon that explores many different aspects of mental health and health behaviours

At the end of the course, you could choose to undertake the further study that is required to become a chartered psychologist. Alternatively, your understanding of psychology will help you in sectors such as advertising, social work, public services, general management and Human Resources.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent research and self-directed study. There is flexibility to pursue personal interests in considerable depth, with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors. Modules on this course include:
-Everyday Motivations and Biases (30 Credits)
-Experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology (30 Credits)
-Non-experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology (30 Credits)
-Cradle to Grave: Stability and Change (30 Credits)
-Master Project (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. The research aspects of the course are supported by Sunderland’s thriving research programme. Our tutors’ specialisms include social psychology and evolutionary psychology, and the University carries out research into health behaviours and mental health.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. There are around three hours of contact time a week.

Assessment methods are a combination of exams and coursework including essays, reports and seminar presentations.

Facilities & location

The University has specialist psychological and computer laboratories, plus dedicated space (the ‘sandbox’) for psychology students to develop ideas collaboratively. The course is based at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, on the banks of the River Wear and less than a mile from the seaside.

Our specialist facilities include:
-Cognitive Laboratory
-Visual Psychophysics Laboratory
-Linguistics Laboratory
-Computing Laboratory
-Multimedia and Games Research Room

University Library Services
The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

Learning environment
Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.

IT provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

On completing this course you will be equipped to apply for the further postgraduate training that is required to become a chartered psychologist. There are nine types of psychology in which it is possible to become chartered: clinical, educational, forensic, occupational, counselling, sport & exercise and health psychology, as well as neuropsychology and teaching/researching in psychology.

As an example of salaries, clinical psychologists within the NHS typically have a starting salary of around £30,000, progressing up to more than £80,000 for higher level posts. Salaries in private hospitals and private practice will vary.

Equally, the course prepares you for employment in a broad range of sectors. The insights, rigour and methodology of psychology are valued in roles in management, advertising, marketing, Human Resources, the police force, the prison service, social care, health services and teaching.

In addition, a Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 rated Sunderland fourth in the UK for teaching excellence. Read more
The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 rated Sunderland fourth in the UK for teaching excellence.

Course overview

This course develops advanced research skills that will be very valuable whether you aspire to be a chartered psychologist or whether you intend to work in any sector that puts a premium on evidence-based methods of decision-making. These sectors include health, Human Resources and general management.

For those who would like to progress towards becoming a chartered psychologist, this course provides a rigorous preparation for the additional postgraduate research and professional training that are necessary for chartered status.

As part of the course we will teach you advanced quantitative research methods and data analysis techniques. For example you will receive hands-on training in SPSS software, the ‘R’ open source environment, Q-sort and interpretative phenomenological analysis. You will become increasingly creative in solving problems, autonomous in delivering projects and expert in communicating complex topics and outcomes.

A unique feature of our course is the inclusion of two research placements on live research projects within our psychology department. As an example, you might find yourself undertaking an empirical study that involves specialist methods of collecting and analysing psychometric data.

Throughout the course you will receive enthusiastic support from the University’s research-active academic team. Our research areas include social psychology, well-being and evolutionary psychology.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent research and self-directed study. There is flexibility to pursue personal interests in considerable depth, with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
-Professional Research Skills for Psychologists (30 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Research 1 (30 credits)
-Research Experience (15 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Research 2 (15 credits)
-Advanced Qualitative Research (15 credits)
-Postgraduate Literature Review (15 credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops, postgraduate conferences and one-to-one research supervisions.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. Your modules will be assessed by portfolios which include problem-based research scenarios, individual and group presentations, data exercises, written project reports, project logs and reflective commentaries.

Facilities & location

Sunderland has excellent facilities that have been boosted by multi-million pound redevelopments.

University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on health studies with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so that you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles. Some of the most important sources for your studies include:
-SocINDEX with full-text articles – probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
-Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
-Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
-Lexis Library, which covers UK and international legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
-Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions

IT provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

At the end of this course you will be able to make a strong application for doctoral programmes that lead to chartered status as a psychologist. There are nine types of psychology in which it is possible to become chartered: clinical, educational, forensic, occupational, counselling, sport & exercise and health psychology, as well as neuropsychology and teaching/researching in psychology. As an example of salaries, clinical psychologists within the NHS typically have a starting salary of around £30,000, progressing up to more than £80,000 for higher level posts. Salaries in private hospitals and private practice will vary.

Equally, the course prepares you for employment in a broad range of sectors. Expertise in research methodology is highly valued in management, advertising, marketing, Human Resources, the police force, the prison service, social care, health services and teaching.

In addition, a Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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