Masters degrees in Qualitative Psychology explore non-statistical methodologies to research psychological behaviour within natural settings, attempting to understand the ways in which people give meaning to their experiences.
Related subjects include Research Methods in Psychology and Social Psychology. Entry requirements typically include an undergraduate degree in a relevant Psychology subject.
Qualitative psychologists are primarily interested in conducting research within group or community settings, hoping to capture natural interactions with research participants. By creating relatively informal settings for research, these psychologists believe they can gain a greater insight of perspective within the context of daily life.
Courses in this field equip you with the means to develop and conduct research activities, exploring the theoretical concepts behind the advantages of different methodologies. These may include conversation analysis, discourse analysis and thematic analysis, as well as grounded theory.
Qualitative psychologists could work with a range of groups and communities to better understand human experience, and find out where changes or improvements may be needed. For example, this could include interviewing groups of children in schools to assess approaches to learning.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
This master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology aims to provide an opportunity to research and learn about a wide range of topics in psychology; from basic learning and cognition, to neuropsychology, and to applied topics in clinical and educational psychology.
- One of four Psychology departments to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of its work in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Based on this measure Psychology at Swansea was ranked 14th (out of 82) in the UK
- Top third ranking for UK Psychology Departments (2016 Complete University Guide)
- Joint 12th UK ranking for Psychology (Graduate prospects)
Teaching and Employability:
- High-level training in advanced research methods and skills
- Exciting opportunities to conduct basic and applied research projects in a wide range of areas.
- Unique mix of small-group teaching in seminars, workshops, and practical sessions, as well as a diverse range of assessment methods and access to staff and other one-to-one teaching support from demonstrators for technical subjects.
- International student mentor to all international/overseas fee-paying Psychology students
- Opportunity to gain funding for Ph.D. places, and to gain access to professional training courses in Clinical Psychology and Educational Psychology
This MSc in Research Methods in Psychology provides students with high-level training in advanced research methods and skills, and offers exciting opportunities to conduct basic and applied research projects in a wide range of areas.
Research Methods in Psychology students learn to use a range of research tools, such as databases, statistical software, and computer programmes.
By the end of this training, students on the Research Methods in Psychology course will have acquired a wide range of practical research skills to apply in any context where human behaviour is important. They will have gained practical knowledge of the nature and limitations of the scientific method and the main alternatives, and knowledge of the general historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying psychological and behavioural science.
Modules on the Research Methods in Psychology MSc typically include:
Generic Research Skills
Philosophy of Psychology
Special Research Skills
Dissertation (MSc Research Methods)
The full-time Research Methods in Psychology course, which will last one year, will normally involve attending the University for two full days a week (Monday and Tuesday). The part-time course, which lasts two years, will normally involve attending the University one full day a week.
The Research Methods in Psychology course is suitable for:
- Anybody with an interest in developing a career in research, either in psychology, or social and health sciences, or those wishing to apply research skills in the private sector.
- Students who wish to pursue further professional training in professional and applied areas of psychology have found the research training provided very helpful in developing this aspect of their skills portfolio.
Many of the College of Human and Health Sciences team are leaders in their specialist fields of research. They undertake novel and original research in a variety of areas, including clinical and health psychology, brain injury, sleep, cognition, neuroscience and developmental psychology.
The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.
In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.
As an MSc Social Psychology student you will learn theories, methods, and empirical findings in the field of social psychology, which are relevant to current social issues.
These include: prejudice and discrimination; the relationship between moral judgement and emotions; the study of how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities; and how these are related to social change and influence in contexts such as family systems and romantic dyads.
The programme aims to provide you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology, an in-depth knowledge of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches and research findings, and the ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in the field.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Occasionally, students receive financial support from industry through sponsorship, negotiated by individual students.
This would involve students undertaking research for their dissertation which would be of interest and value to industry or commerce, in return for which they will be given a grant by the commissioning company. In practice, though, most students are self-funded.
The social psychologists at the University of Surrey have an international reputation in research and teaching. Students on the MSc in Social Psychology are encouraged to participate in the School of Psychology’s ongoing activities, particularly research seminars.
The social psychologists at Surrey have undertaken research for the EU, UK research councils, government departments and agencies, industry and commerce, and the charitable sector. They have attracted a large number of research projects to the School, including:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This programme trains you in the fundamental aspects of quantitative and qualitative research, including research design, data collection and data analysis, and provides practical, ‘hands-on’ experience.
The programme will appeal to you if you would like to develop your career in experimental research, or to enhance your ability to apply research skills in either the public or the private sector.
The programme will enable you to:
You also complete a research project leading to a dissertation, and you participate in general research skills training modules with students from other departments at Goldsmiths.
For more than ten years now, the programme has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC) as providing the generic and specific research training required by students in receipt of ESRC studentship awards.
Since 2011, the programme has been the research methods training masters for the psychology pathway within the Goldsmiths and Queen Mary ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Centre (2011-2015).
Students in receipt of an ESRC 1+3 PhD studentship in the psychology pathway have to take this course as the first year of a 4-year PhD programme; students who have completed the Masters self-funded, are eligible to bid for an ESRC funded +3 PhD studentship in the psychology pathway at Goldsmiths or Queen Mary.
The MRes runs for one academic year full-time or two years part-time. Most of the lectures, seminars and workshops on the programme run in the first two terms, but you are expected to pursue your studies beyond formal term times, particularly in respect of your research project.
Lectures, seminars and workshops for the programme are timetabled mainly for Mondays and Tuesdays, but you may occasionally be required to attend other seminars and workshops held by the Department and College. You must take all the modules listed in the syllabus.
The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in each module. All modules include a strong practical component.
In addition to these modules, you will also complete:
Research Project (60 credits)
You will produce an empirical piece of research leading to a research project, supervised by at least one member of the lecturing staff in the Department. The project provides invaluable, practical ‘hands on’ experience of evaluating a particular research question. You have the opportunity to set your research question, determine and apply the methods to obtain the answers, and present, discuss and interpret the results. You normally start your project in the second term, together with necessary literature reviews and research design. Work on your project will continue full-time following the formal examinations in May up until project submission in mid-September.
Additional workshops and seminars
You are also required to attend some of the Department’s programme of Invited Speakers’ talks given by distinguished academics in psychology, and to produce a written critique on one of these. You are welcome to attend the Department’s other seminar series, which are hosted by eminent academics and practitioners.
Written examinations; coursework; dissertation.
The programme aims to equip you with a sound understanding of methods and skills necessary to conduct high-level research in psychology, using a wide range of approaches and techniques.
The programme provides the ideal preparation for a research career. Many students go on to do a PhD, or to conduct experimental research in a wide variety of settings.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.