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Masters Degrees in Evolutionary Psychology, United Kingdom

We have 6 Masters Degrees in Evolutionary Psychology, United Kingdom

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You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Read more

Introduction

You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Our staff are also at the forefront of new developments in applying evolutionary principles to address real world issue. Students interested in comparative approaches and animal behaviour will benefit from other members of our Behaviour and Evolution Research Group whose world-leading research on behaviour and cognition in primates, dogs and elephants are also being applied to real world problems, including conservation, human-animal interaction, and animal welfare. Under the group's expert guidance you will undertake specialists modules, a research placement and a research project. You will also be able to take advantage of our on-site and overseas labs, field sites and links with industrial partners. For example, the University works closely with the Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Professor Craig Roberts

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

Course objectives

The course provides advanced training as a preparation for a research career in Psychology, primarily for those intending to proceed to a PhD in the area of evolutionary psychology, comparative cognition or animal behaviour. It may also be suitable for meeting continuing professional development needs for those working in related applied contexts.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught within small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses).
Both taught and research postgraduates are integral to our research group and expected to participate in our regular meetings. All students allocated a peer mentor are provided with appropriate office space and equipment. In addition, each student is associated with an academic from Psychology.
The individual modules contribute towards 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Strengths
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

This course provides advanced training to prepare you for a research career in evolutionary approaches to behaviour, especially for those intending to proceed to a PhD. You will become an integral member of our lively and active research group and we will support you in making the complex transition towards being an independent research scientist. The placement also allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers. The course also seeks to meet the continuing professional development needs of those already working in related applied contexts.

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The MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience. Read more

The MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience. This distinctive programme tackles fundamental issues associated with the origins of human cognition via a wide range of

Highlights

  • Students gain a detailed knowledge of the evolutionary and comparative literature and principal theoretical and methodological issues in this field.
  • The course equips students with the necessary skills to pursue a research degree at MPhil or PhD level in the area of psychology.
  • Students have the opportunity, subject to availability, to undertake independent research at a given research centre in the UK or abroad, typically over the summer period.
  • The course is taught by members of the internationally recognised Origins of Mind research group, with additional classes by members of the wider Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution and related academic staff with interests in evolutionary and comparative psychology.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students take four compulsory modules and 30 credits of optional module(s). The modules are taught through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Assessment comprises entirely of coursework; there are no exams. On average, class sizes range up to 80 students for lectures and 20 students for seminars.

The final three months of your course will be dedicated to a 15,000-word research project dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry



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Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology. Read more
Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology.

We offer MPhil supervision in the areas of psychology covering Newcastle's research strengths:

Clinical and health psychology

We research developmental disorders of perception and cognition, and the development and assessment of cognitive models of, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for:
-Bipolar disorder
-Psychosis
-Anxiety
-Developmental disorders

Behaviour and evolution

We carry out studies of animal and human behaviour including:
-The evolutionary psychology of mate choice
-Attractiveness and co-operation
-Evolutionary approaches to personality

Visual perception and human cognition

Our research includes:
-Perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Development psychology

We focus on how different cognitive skills develop in children, from memory systems to learning in school. We have particular strength in developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Forensic psychology

Our research includes:
-Investigative interviewing of victims
-Witnesses and suspected offenders of crime, including eye-witness testimony
-Sexual offending, including historical allegations of sexual abuse
-Communication in legal contexts

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Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. Read more

Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. This benefits you by providing a strong background in a broad cross-section of research methods used by researchers studying human and animal behaviour, a strong training in statistical methods and a multidisciplinary study environment. You will learn how to formulate and test relevant research questions and critically evaluate the research carried out by others in the field.

The programme will give you insights into the varied means of performing animal behaviour research in a wide array of locations with wild and (semi-)captive animals – in field, laboratory, zoo or other human managed settings. As part of the taught component you will be exposed to lectures and seminar discussions, research talks and discussions with speakers; boost and consolidate your knowledge and skills in statistical data analysis; participate in a one-week residential field course (during the Easter break); and engage in research skill training sessions. During the course you will continuously develop your abilities in critical analysis of the literature and of scientific evidence, project development, communication and scientific writing.

You will be part of the lively, internationally-recognised Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB) and will have the opportunity to work alongside our experienced researchers on a research apprenticeship which is a central component of the course. The apprenticeship is a research project that enables you to develop your research skills further and write up the research in the form of a journal article for potential publication. Apprenticeships can also be undertaken under the supervision of researchers at various institutions with whom we have developed long-term relationships.

On successful completion of the MSc you will have the skills to pursue a PhD, work as a researcher or pursue a career working in zoos, research centres, nature reserves, wildlife and other animal-related offices, education, scientific media or the expanding field of eco tourism.

Research Apprenticeship

A distinctive feature of all our taught Masters programmes is the Research Apprenticeship. About half of the MSc is spent on the apprenticeship, during which you will develop your research skills by working alongside experienced researchers or practitioners and write up your research in the form of a dissertation.

Many students undertake their apprenticeship with researchers in the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, both in the laboratories and outdoors around the campus, Devon and abroad. Every year the menu of choices varies depending on the interests of the researchers, the students and practicalities. In some cases students have worked with external research partners, in the UK or abroad. For example, previous students have carried out a wide range of research projects involving the following:

Topics: Social behaviour, animal welfare and enrichment, zoo research, animal cognition, navigation, sensory ecology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, ecotoxicology.

Animals: Fish (guppies, sticklebacks, killifish), mammals (primates, squirrels, whales, donkeys, dogs, meerkats, coyotes), birds (pigeons, chickens, pheasants, magpies, flamingoes, woodland and sea birds), invertebrates (crabs, honeybees, bumblebees, desert ants, wood ants).

Locations: Streatham campus (Exeter), Knysna Elephant Park (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Forest (Uganda), Torquay Zoo & Aquarium, National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Dartmoor (Devon), Phana (Thailand), Trinidad, Newquay & Paignton Zoos, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Kerala (India), Algarve (Portugal), Veracruz (Mexico), Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico).

External research partners: African Elephant Research Unit (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Conservation Field Station (Uganda), Living Coasts (Torquay, Devon), National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Natural England, Phana Macaque Sanctuary (Thailand), University of West Indies, Whitley Wildlife Trust, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Read the full module specification for the Research Apprenticeship.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Advanced Statistics;
  • Behavioural Science Research Skills;
  • Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour;
  • Research Apprenticeship;
  • Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour;


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Our Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

Our Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. Fully qualified or intercalating MBBS or BDS students can also apply. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of Evolution and Human Behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. Recommended modules, include:

-Comparative Cognition (MMB8043)

-Sensory Systems (MMB8019)

-The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Illness and its Treatment (MMB8010)

You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to Evolution and Human Behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on:

-Comparative cognition

-Sensory systems

-Psychiatric disorders and their treatment

Research-led seminars delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover evolutionary psychology areas such as:

-Human mate choice

-Altruism and cooperation

-Food choices and obesity

-Comparative and developmental psychology of cognition

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of Evolution and Human Behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in psychology and in research.

Our MRes courses

Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is one of a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. Read more
The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.

Pain

Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans

Psychobiology

We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.

Neurotoxicology

Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

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