Structure and content
The course consists of a number of different modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of research methods. They emphasise different types of skills, from explicit hands-on demonstrations of tools, to discussion of different approaches to research. Students may select some alternative modules from the other taught MSc courses at the discretion of the Programme Coordinator.
This course includes the following modules:
- Evolutionary Psychology: A series of seminars will address both theoretical and practical issues relating to the study of evolution and behaviour across topics and research settings. Students will also be expected to participate in our weekly Behaviour and Evolution Research Group meetings, in which they will hear about the current work of staff, other graduate students and also regular presentations from external speakers
- Psychological Research Methods I and II: These modules cover a wide range of techniques used in psychological research and to demonstrate these techniques in relation to topics in a range of areas
- Advanced Statistics: This module assumes a reasonable knowledge of statistics, although an additional introductory module is available for those who wish. The main statistics teaching is aimed at introducing advanced methods such as multivariate statistics and at the rationale of using statistical methods
- Key Skills for Psychology Researchers: This module focuses on the research process, including ethical reviews, professional conduct and disseminating research
- Qualitative Research Methods: This module provides a broad but solid grounding in qualitative research methodology
This month-long placement is carried out in January/February, allowing students to broaden their practical research experience. The placement may be external to Psychology and can be in a non-academic environment
For those who go onto the MSc, approximately half of your time is devoted to a research project, leading to a 12,000-word dissertation.
Delivery and assessment
Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught within small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc programmes).
Both taught and research postgraduates are integral to our research group and expected to participate in our regular meetings. All students allocated a peer mentor are provided with appropriate office space and equipment. In addition, each student is associated with an academic from Psychology.
The individual modules contribute towards 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.