Social Psychology MSc

Key information

Start date: October 2020

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Why choose this course

Does the science of how we think, feel and behave in social contexts inspire you? 

Social psychology is the study of these important aspects of our lives. Our MSc Social Psychology course allows you to look at a range of the latest social issues through the lens of psychology. With the use of our new facilities (including our new observation suite), you will look deeper into the science of how we think about ourselves and other people and how we influence and relate to one another.

5 reasons to study for a masters in psychology at Surrey

Read more

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. Throughout your studies, you will explore topics such as prejudice and discrimination, moral judgement and emotions. Other areas you will 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 provides you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology. We will also provide you with an in-depth understanding of contemporary approaches, as well as how to conduct research in the field through methods and techniques such as video image processing and eye-tracking.

Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group

Social Psychologists at Surrey form the Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group. The SEER research group will organise the next Summer School of the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) in 2020. Social Psychologists at Surrey carry out 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

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 Psychology students in the academic year 2017-2018:

  • Does the language used in online customer reviews influence purchase intention when the item is personal?
  • ‘John and Jane’ or ‘Jane and John’: What can the positioning of male and female names in a family tree tell us about implicit gender stereotyping?
  • Humour and attitude change. Can exposure to affiliative comedy improve attitudes towards minority groups?

Our academic staff

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

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.

Careers and graduate prospects

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

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.


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).

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 2020

Full-time - 1 year

UK/EU £8,300

Overseas £21,000

Part-time - 2 years

UK/EU £4,200

Overseas £10,500

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 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.


You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.

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.

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.

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