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Psychological Research Methods - MSc


Course Description

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.

Visit the Psychological Research Methods - MSc page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Our typical requirement is a 2:2 or above (or an equivalent overseas qualification) in Psychology with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society or in a related discipline (e.g., health sciences, computer science, linguistics).

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