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Psychology of Individual Differences (MSc)


Course Description

Programme description

This programme provides an exciting opportunity to gain intensive training in the psychology of individual differences by a large team of world-class researchers.

It provides advanced graduate-level study in the field of the psychology of individual differences and psychological research skills, and forms a strong basis for further (typically PhD) study.

There are two key subdivisions in the study of human individual differences: personality and mental abilities. Psychology at Edinburgh has a uniquely large number of world-class researchers in both subdivisions.

The programme covers psychometric research methods, the foundations and correlates of human individual differences (including approaches involving information processing, brain-imaging, molecular genetics and biometric models), and the application of individual differences in personality to health. No prior experience of the psychology of individual differences is assumed.

Programme structure

This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a research-based dissertation supervised by a member of staff with similar research interests.

Compulsory courses:

Seminar in Cognitive Ability or Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
Current Topics in Psychological Research
Multivariate Statistics and Methodology Using R
Professional and Generic Psychological Research Concepts and Research Design
Psychological Research Skills
Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R
Seminar in Personality

Option courses may include:

Advanced Statistical Methods: Categorical and Survival Data
Brain Imaging in Neuropsychology
Clinical Neuropsychology
Emotional Intelligence
Evolutionary Psychology
Human Genetics
Bioinformatics
Working with Specialist Psychological Data

Learning outcomes

The programme is aimed primarily at students who are considering advanced research in the area. Students who follow this programme will gain:

-an in-depth understanding of current research issues, research and methodology in the psychology of individuals
-the ability to formulate research questions and apply appropriate research methods to increase understanding of individual differences in human personality and human mental abilities
-advanced understanding of seminal and recent scientific findings relating to the study of human individual differences and the ways in which individual differences are currently being studied or applied
-skills in research management, including managing data and disseminating research in ways consistent with professional practice in the field of individual differences and the normal principles of research ethics
-advanced knowledge of the basic principles of multivariate statistical data analysis techniques (including multiple regression, factor analysis and structural equation modelling) and epidemiological techniques (including logistic regression and survival analyses), and the ability to carry out data analysis on different data sets using appropriate statistical packages
-a firm basis for subsequent advanced specialised research within the psychology of individual differences
-a broad understanding and awareness of issues and findings in the psychology of individual differences through application to other disciplines such as human cognitive neuropsychology, molecular genetics, evolutionary psychology, epidemiology and health psychology

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you progress your research career and offers a firm basis for further postgraduate study.

Visit the Psychology of Individual Differences (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1, or its international equivalent, in psychological, biological or social sciences, or any similar degree based on methodological and statistics studies.

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