Research Methods in Psychology MSc

Covering the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways.

Why Surrey?

Do you want to do research in psychology? Do you want the skills to be able to work across levels of explanation, from group behaviour to qualitative analysis of individual experiences and through to the underlying brain activity? The MSc Research Methods in Psychology at the University of Surrey gives you a uniquely broad training because you cover the theory and get hands-on experience of conducting research in psychology from the level of social groups through to neuro-imaging of brain activity.

Programme overview

The programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences. You will develop the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results. The programme also provides a potential stepping stone for research at PhD level.

The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme, you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.

Module overview

All modules have two assessments, usually a piece of coursework and a test or short project report.

Compulsory modules

Quantitative Research Methods

You will learn about advanced techniques including power analysis, factor analysis, simple, multiple and logistic regression, reliability assessment, cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling.

Qualitative Research Methods

You will learn about the epistemology of qualitative research, about formulating research questions and generating qualitative data. You will discover techniques including interpretive phenomenological analysis, thematic analysis, discourse analysis, multidimensional scalogram analysis and smallest space analysis.

Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology

This module will provide you with the necessary skills to conduct academic research. You will cover the basics of research design, data analysis and ethical conduct, learn about professional and research skills in publishing and develop the skills needed to produce a dissertation report of publishable standard.

Aspects of Experimental Psychology

This module presents current methods and concepts in experimental psychology. It will equip you with the information to critically assess experimental research methods and findings, apply knowledge to your own research designs, interpret output and communicate results.

Psychology Neuroscience: Electrophysiology

This module will provide you with an understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of electrophysiological techniques. You will have lectures on EEG, ERP, TMS and tDCS theory, take part in critical discussions of these techniques and gain hands-on practical experience of using them to conduct psychological research.

Psychology Neuroscience: Psychophysics and fMRI

This module will provide you with an understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of psychophysics and fMRI. You will have lectures on the theory of these techniques, take part in critical discussions about them and gain hands-on practical experience of using them to conduct psychological research.

Crafting Research: Linking Theories and Methods

This module aims to guide students through the complexities of research crafting, enabling them to generate research questions in inductive and deductive ways and to select appropriate tools to investigate them.

Optional modules

You also choose one option from the following modules:

  • Conducting Health Psychology Research
  • Social Change and Influence
  • Maintaining Health Throughout the Lifespan
  • Key Questions in Envrionmental Psychology: People and Place

Full-time students: Four modules per semester in total

Part-time students: Modules split across two years as agreed with the Course Director

Dissertation

In addition to the seven compulsory modules and one option, you will also carry out an original piece of empirical research, within any area of psychology, for your dissertation. To give you an idea of the range of dissertation topics, recent titles are listed below:

  • Can play facilitate creativity in a negotiation situation within the workplace?
  • Does affective state and personality have differential effects on scientific and artistic creativity?
  • Predicting homesickness in international students: a longitudinal study at a British university
  • The acute effects of differing exercise intensity on cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • An exploration of the effects of being given a diagnosis of ADHD on adolescent self-esteem: an interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Gender differences in anger expression and eating behaviour
  • A comparison of learning by observation and learning by action
  • The British media’s portrayal of brain injuries amongst troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • The perception and understanding of autism and inclusion in education
  • Investigating the influence of sex roles, handiness, height and family studies on sexual orientation
  • Cultural differences in the social representations of PMS
  • Pathway(s) to pain: an fMRI investigation into the efficacy of an endogenous pain pathway

Funding

Career Development Loans, or graduate loans, are available through an arrangement between the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and high street banks.

Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays interest while you’re studying.

For more information, visit:

www.gov.uk/career-development-loans/overview

Or call the National Careers Service: 0800 100 900

If you’re working and want to study part-time, some employers may help you with your course fees, or by offering flexible working.

Psychology at Surrey

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey is one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the country. The international, interdisciplinary, policy and applied strengths of the School mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline. We are one of the highest ranked departments in the country for graduates entering employment and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

Students who have completed the Psychology programmes have progressed to a range of careers in areas such as local government, management, research posts in universities and commercial organisations, healthcare and clinical psychology, and many have progressed on to study for a PhD.

Why study at Surrey?

Should you choose to study psychology at the University of Surrey, you will be provided with a combination of opportunities that would be hard to match elsewhere. We offer you a degree that provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology.

Our programmes lay particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also consider issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist. The basis of good postgraduate courses is the research activity of staff, the incorporation of current research programmes in teaching material and a reciprocal relationship between theory development and applied research in everyday contemporary issues.

The MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences. We will provide you with the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results. The programme also provides a potential stepping stone for research at PhD level.

The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.

We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects. As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

Professional recognition

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for research training.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Professional development

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Peter Klaver

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:

+44-(0)1483-682-222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

Programme facts

Type of programme:

MSc

Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 24 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 honours degree in psychology from a UK university (or recognised equivalent overseas qualification). Applicants with other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £7,000 £18,000
Part-time Sep 2016 £3,500 £9,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes

Funding

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

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Further information for applicants

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Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Disclaimer

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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