The University of Stirling has a long history of expertise in the diverse aspects of face research. This course will help you increase your understanding of psychological research methods and allow you to focus the majority of your efforts in face research.

Our internationally renowned team of experts studies almost all aspects of face perception, including:

  • low-level visual processing
  • adaptation
  • gaze perception
  • social perception, such as mate preference and attractiveness
  • mechanisms of recognition
  • forensic aspects such as unfamiliar face matching and eye-witness recovery of memories for faces

Our research has led to EvoFIT, a unique system for constructing facial composites of offenders by witnesses and victims of crime, which has a suspect identification rate ten times higher than traditional methods used by police.

You’ll become part of this vibrant research community as you study the key research methods related to face research and will put your learning into practice during a month-long placement.

You’ll be based in a dedicated MSc office, or within an appropriate research group, and allocated a peer mentor. An academic supervisor in psychology will support and guide 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 month-long placement

#3 Our teaching is led by our internationally renowned team of experts

Work placements

You’ll carry out a month-long placement.

Course details

The course consists of a number of different modules designed to provide you with training in the fundamentals of research methods. The modules cover different types of skills, from hands-on demonstrations of tools to discussion of different approaches to research.

An important part of the course is learning the skills to generate stimuli for research, from controlled photography to morphing and editing, in both 2 and 3D. We offer some flexibility in what you can study, allowing you to choose a module from another subject area if this can meet your personal training needs.

You’ll also undertake a research placement and dissertation.

Part-time students take the same modules spread over two years.


Teaching is done in a variety 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

Professor Peter Hancock, 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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