Social Psychology MSc

Why choose this course

Our MSc Social Psychology programme looks at a range of topical social issues through the lens of social psychological theories. It is concerned with the scientific study of how we think about ourselves and other people, and how we influence and relate to one another.

What you will study

As an MSc Social Psychology student you will learn theories, methods, and empirical findings in the field of social psychology, which are relevant to current social issues. These include: prejudice and discrimination; the relationship between moral judgement and emotions; the study of how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities; and how these are related to social change and influence in contexts such as family systems and romantic dyads.

The programme aims to provide you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology, an in-depth knowledge of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches and research findings, and the ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in the field.

Register for our Psychology webinar to find out more.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MSc Full-time 12 months October 2018
MSc Part-time 24 months October 2018

Study and work abroad

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group

The social psychologists at the University of Surrey have an international reputation in research and teaching. They have undertaken research for the EU, UK research councils, government departments and agencies, industry and commerce, and the charitable sector. They have attracted a large number of research projects to the School of Psychology, including:

  • 2015 - 2020 - Intersex UK: A History for the Age of Consensus
  • 2016 - 2018 - Beyond ‘Straight Talking’: The Consequences of Vocal Cues to Sexual Identity for Modern Prejudice
  • 2017 - Enabling Public Engagement with Intersex/DSD through Psychology and Mobile Technology
  • 2017 - Heroes against homophobia?

Students on the MSc in Social Psychology are encouraged to participate in the School of Psychology’s ongoing activities by taking part in bi-weekly meetings of the Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group

Dissertation projects

The dissertation project constitutes one third of your programme and it gives you the possibility to work as an independent researcher. Topics are various. For example, these are the titles of the dissertations submitted by the MSc Social students in the academic year 2016-2017:

  • What are Brexit voters’ opinions of each other and does extended group contact in a real world setting improve intergroup opinions?
  • Can a brief mindfulness meditation intervention reduce gender differences in ‘internalization of failure’ in the workplace?
  • “Normalizing the Queer” Aspects of Intragroup Differentiation in a Minority Context: The case of Greece’s LGBTQI+ Intersectional Movement
  • Upstanding Citizens: Implicit moral judgments from the face alter perception of height and other character judgments
  • How do individuals recall and perceive time when being socially excluded
  • Exploring Trolling Behaviour on Chinese Social Network Sites
  • Building a New Life: Understanding the Social Integration Process of Syrian Refugees living in Turkey
  • Music-induced emotions: Introduction of the Felt and Perceived Distance
  • How gender and cultural differences influence trolling behaviours, using SDO to explain the reasons for findings
  • Depression and anxiety through experiences of minority stress: the impact of structural stigma on migrants living in ‘Brexit Britain’
  • A feminist critique of evolutionary psychology discourse

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Psychology.


Programme leader

RUSCONI P Dr (Psychology)

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree in psychology from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification).

Applications to be assessed by the Faculty.

View entry requirements by country

Selection process

Applicants who meet these basic criteria will be invited to be interviewed in person or by Skype to discuss their interest in social psychology.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Full-time October 2018 £7,900 £19,800
Part-time October 2018 £4,000 £9,900

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018/19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Postgraduate open afternoon

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University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH