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 unique programme accredited by the British Psychological Society aims to equip students to apply the scientific and theoretical principles and ideas of health psychology using a scholarly and critical approach, and to develop the practical skills and knowledge required for employment or research in the field.
The programme is regularly reviewed by an advisory board including world-renowned experts in health psychology. It provides a thorough grounding in theories, concepts and empirical findings central to current health psychology. Students are encouraged to develop their own area of specialisation, and are given formal training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). Please see departmental website for more details.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation written up as a mock paper submission to the British Journal of Health Psychology.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, class exercises, project work, training workshops, journal clubs and hands-on computer-based teaching on statistical analysis techniques. Assessment is through coursework (including critical reviews and essays), one unseen examination and the research project. Students are also offered a short work placement.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Health Psychology MSc
Many graduates of the programme continue with PhD studies, or find work as researchers or other positions allied to psychology, health, illness and healthcare delivery.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Given the academic nature of the programme, our students tend to do exceptionally well securing funded PhD studentships or clinical doctorates. As the focus of the MSc is on improving health care and delivery, many students also take up positions within the public or private healthcare sector.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The Health Psychology MSc is run within the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, which houses 13 research groups, of which two – the Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC), and the Psychobiology Group – provide direct support to the MSc.
The HBRC is one of the largest health psychology research groups in the UK, and undertakes research aimed at advancing understanding of behaviours that have a major impact on health, and contributing to the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. The Psychobiology Group is a multidisciplinary group concerned with the pathways through which sociodemographic and psychosocial factors influence physical disease processes.
This environment provides students with unique networking opportunities, being taught by specialists in their field, and completing relevant placements in clinical, academic or policy-related settings. In addition, students are also encouraged to integrate themselves into the research groups and networks closely associated with the programme which can provide invaluable real-world research experience and potential collaborations with national and international leaders in health psychology and related disciplines.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.