Why choose this course

Does the science of how we think, feel and behave inspire you? Social psychology is the study of how these important aspects of our humanity can be affected by others and more. Our MSc Social Psychology course allows you to look at a range of the latest social issues through the lens of psychology. You will look deeper into the compelling science of how we think about ourselves and other people and how we influence and relate to one another.

What you will study

With a strong relevance to current social issues, you will delve into the intriguing theories, methods and evidence-based research within social psychology. During the course of your studies, you’ll study such topics as prejudice and discrimination, moral judgement and emotions. Others areas you’ll cover include exploring how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities and the links between psychology and social change, families and relationships. 

Our course also provides you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology, while also giving you an in-depth understanding of contemporary approaches and how to conduct research in the field.

Key information

Start date: October 2019

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

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

Guaranteed to inspire you and enrich your learning, our social psychologists 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 in 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.

While studying with us, we’ll encourage you to participate in the School of Psychology’s ongoing activities, including but not limited to the bi-weekly meetings of the Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group

Careers and graduate prospects

We can offer you careers information, advice and guidance while you study with us. This also extends to after you leave the University and become an alumni.

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

You could join other graduates who’ve gone 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 course will prepare you for various stimulating roles, such as working as a research assistant, a support worker or as a graduate analyst for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

Dissertation projects

Your dissertation project will make up one third of your course, and it will give you the opportunity to work as an independent researcher. For your general interest, here are some of the titles of dissertations submitted by 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 (PDF) 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.


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

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

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:


Course 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, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.

Academic Skills and Development

Academic Skills and Development 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.

Disability and Neurodiversity Service

The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.

We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.

Find out more about the support available or contact the team directly for further information.

English language support

Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in Psychology, or a recognised international equivalent.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in each element.

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.

Selection process

Selection will be based upon the candidate’s application and references. Applications that do not meet the standard criteria are referred to the admissions tutor.

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.


Start date: October 2019


UK/EU £8,100

Overseas £20,400


UK/EU £4,000

Overseas £10,200

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

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.


Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH