MSc Psychological Research Methods

General

Program Description

Our Psychological Research Methods course combines training in psychological theory with practical skills development - a modern approach to studying mind and behaviour preparing you for a future career in psychology. You’ll gain a thorough introduction to quantitative and qualitative research, the analysis and interpretation of data, and a critical, sceptical approach to psychological science.

The unique feature of this course is flexibility - you’re free to investigate a wide range of topics across the discipline while maintaining a high standard of training. This encourages an understanding of different methods and perspectives within the field of Psychology helping you make choices which will benefit your future career.

There are a number of degree pathways available:

  • Child Development
  • Cognition and Neuropsychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Perception and Action
  • Psychology of Faces

Opportunities for practical hands-on skills development are built-in, ranging from low-tech observational assessment to high-tech eye-tracking. You’ll carry out a work placement, typically in an external company, charity or third sector organisation. This provides you with a fantastic opportunity to develop relevant work-based employment skills and to develop a network of contacts relevant to your future career goals. Students benefit hugely from this experience, combining skills and experience with personal and professional development.

You’ll be based in a dedicated MSc office, or within an appropriate research group, and allocated a peer mentor. You’ll also have an academic supervisor in Psychology who supports and guides your development, including your research dissertation project.

Top reasons to study with us

  • Flexibility – Our flexible course lets you make specialised subject choices which will benefit your future career
  • We’re 3rd in Scotland for Psychology (REF2014)
  • You’ll develop relevant work-based employment skills on a placement in an external company, charity or third sector organisation

Course objectives

The course will develop your theoretical understanding, and give you the practical and interpersonal skills required for carrying out research. Our aim is to encourage you to make the complex transition to become a fully independent research scientist.

Work placements

You’ll carry out a work placement, typically in an external company, charity or third sector organisation. This provides a fantastic opportunity for you to develop relevant work-based employment skills, and to develop a network of contacts relevant to future career goals. Students benefit hugely from this experience, combining skills and experience with personal and professional development.

Faculty facilities

The Psychology department has outstanding laboratory space fitted with high-quality equipment. It has excellent computing infrastructure, and both research and teaching activities are supported by in-house technical staff with computing, programming, electronic and audio-video expertise.

We’ve invested heavily in research infrastructure, including our own pre-school playgroup, which provides an outstanding facility for developmental research and teaching. Purpose-built laboratory space has also been created to support human electrophysiology research (EEG/ERPs), health research (including GSR and heart rate monitoring), face research (including eye-tracking) and vision research (including stereoscopic displays).

Research overview

100% of our Psychology research impact is rated as world-leading (REF2014)

We have one of the leading psychology departments in the UK, which was ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014). It was one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so, the others being Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor. Source: Times Higher Education magazine.

Our quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. The relevance of our psychology research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Our MSc students get involved in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

After you graduate

This course is designed as a springboard for a career in psychological research and is ideal if you want to pursue a PhD in psychology.

Graduates are well placed for careers in clinical and health psychology, educational psychology and teaching, human resource management and personnel.

The skills you gain are also readily transferable to other careers. You’ll meet the growing demand for a good understanding of human behaviour, as well as the ability to interpret and analyse complex forms of data and communicate your ideas clearly with others.

Employability skills

Opportunities for practical hands-on skills development are built-in, including training on giving oral presentations. A self-reflective approach to personal development is encouraged.

Fees - 2020/2021

  • Overseas £18,950
  • Home/EU £8,500

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill 
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China minimum 543 overall, 54 in listening, 53 in structure and written expression, 56 in reading and B2 in speaking 
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less