Why choose this course
Social psychology is the science of how we think, feel and behave in social contexts. Our MSc Social Psychology course will immerse you in the theories, methods and evidence-based research within the field, while allowing you to explore the historical and philosophical background of social psychology.
You’ll use our facilities to delve into the science of how we think about ourselves and other people, and how we influence and relate to one another.
What you will study
You’ll explore topics such as prejudice and discrimination, moral judgement and emotions. You’ll examine how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities, and the links between psychology and social change, families and relationships.
We’ll provide you with an in-depth understanding of contemporary approaches, and the skills required to conduct research in the field, through cutting-edge methods and techniques. We’ll also give you an insight into qualitative and quantitative research methods, including the use of statistical software, ensuring you have a solid foundation to collect, analyse and interpret data.
You’ll complete a research dissertation that will allow you to carry out experiments and projects on important topics in the field, with previous students researching:
- Humour and attitude change. Can exposure to affiliative comedy improve attitudes towards minority groups?
- Is vegaphobia the new racism of our times?
- Perception of body ideals and sexual objectification in Iranian women living in western societies.
We’ll match your interests with the expertise of our academic staff, ensuring you get the best support. These collaborations have seen previous students’ work being published in top-tier journals.
Our facilities have recently undergone a £5 million investment, giving you access to the latest equipment, including a six-room virtual reality suite to simulate real-life scenarios, and two observation labs. You'll be able to monitor eye tracking and physiological measures such as earlobe temperature, heart rate and galvanic skin response, both in the lab and remotely, using mobile data loggers. As one of our students, you’ll get access to 20 bookable project rooms, a breakout space, equipment lockers and a computer lab.
We have a research-led focus to our teaching, ensuring everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers. You’ll be taught by the following lecturers who are active researchers:
- Dr Fabio Fasoli
- Dr Peter Hilpert
- Dr Aife Hopkins-Doyle
- Dr Terry Ng-Knight
- Dr Rosemary Lobban
- Dr Patrice Rusconi
- Dr Sophie Russell
- Dr Harriet Tenenbaum.
You’ll be invited to join our Social Emotions and Equality in Relations Research Group (SEER), where our members conduct research for the EU, UK research councils, UK Government departments and agencies, industry organisation, and charities. Recent projects have included:
- Beyond ‘Straight Talking’: The Consequences of Vocal Cues to Sexual Identity for Modern Prejudice
- Heroes Against Homophobia
- Humour to Counteract the Effects of Sexual Objectification.
You’ll participate in discussions about research topics, findings and publications, and you’ll benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work, and a collection of seminars and workshops, allowing you to network with like-minded individuals.
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. Alumni take on roles as consultants, market researchers, social researchers, and support workers. Our students go on to work for governments, charities, think-tanks and pressure groups, with previous graduates employed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Office for National Statistics.
The skills you gain are highly relevant in other fields, including analysis, design, development, and healthcare. Many of our graduates also go on to complete a PhD, investigating an area of personal interest.
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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
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, 75 and 120 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 Academic Hive. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
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 will be based upon the candidate’s application and references. Applications that do not meet the standard criteria are referred to the admissions tutor.
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.
- 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.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
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 an example of 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 generally 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 and changes for the specific academic year.
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.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.