We are continually making decisions and performing actions that are driven by our sense organs. Our perception of the world is not just sensory information – it’s an interpretation based on what our brain expects, as well as what it’s being told by our sense organs. These perceptual processes interact in complex ways to support our behaviours and enable our actions.

This master introduces you to the main methods of measuring perception and encourages you to consider their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll receive broad training in psychological methods, as well as developing an understanding of perceptual experience and the basic framework for measuring perceptually guided actions in a bias-free way. You’ll also gain practical experience in measuring perception and action through a research project and the opportunity of a placement in a laboratory setting.

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 the research dissertation project. We’re here to encourage you to make the transition to become a fully independent research scientist.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 100% of our Psychology research impact is rated as world-leading (REF2014)

#2 You’ll carry out a placement in a laboratory setting

#3 You can choose a route through the course that fits your interests and needs

Work placements

You’ll carry out a research placement. The placement allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers.

Course details

The course is made up of four core modules, a research placement and a dissertation. We also offer some flexibility, allowing students to choose a module from another subject area if it meets their personal training needs.


Teaching is done in a number of ways, including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based.

You’re typically taught in small groups in specialist classes with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses).

As a postgraduate student, we expect you to attend regular research seminars and relevant research group meetings. You’re also encouraged to attend ‘Scottish Postgraduates in Psychology Research Training’ events in participating universities across Scotland.

Course director

Dr Ross Goutcher, Course Director

Postgraduate Secretary

Linda Cullen

+44 (0) 1786 466854


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas: £15,250
  • Home/EU: £6,300.
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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
12 - 24 months
6,300 GBP
Overseas: £15,250 Home/EU: £6,300.
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