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.

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

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all our students while studying with us, which are extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

Our course will provide you with analytical, experimental and research skills that are valued in a wide range of careers.

Some of our graduates go on to study for additional masters degrees or PhDs in order to become researchers. Other career options you could consider include:

  • Social research, such as with governments, charities, think-tanks and pressure groups
  • Consultancy work
  • Market research
  • Software designer
  • Human-computer interaction - user experience research
  • E-learning design and development
  • Human factors or ergonomics
  • Operational research
  • Health promotion officer
  • Community development officer
  • Equality and diversity manager
  • Project officer
  • Researcher or analyst roles.

You can find out more about these careers on the Prospects website.

Our graduates have taken up roles such as research assistants, support workers, or as a graduate analyst for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

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)

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

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.

This course is subject to validation therefore no modules have been confirmed at this moment in time. These modules will appear once the course has been validated.


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. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

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

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall, 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

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 Overseas fees
Full-time October 2018 £7,900 £19,800
Part-time October 2018 £4,000 £9,900

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2018-19 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

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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Find us

01SE01, Senate House
University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH