Structure and content
The course consists of different modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of Psychological Research Methods. We aim to be flexible in meeting personal training needs and students may select some alternative modules from other taught MSc courses at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
This course includes the following modules:
- Psychological Research Methods I and II: These modules cover a wide range of techniques used in research and demonstrate these techniques in relation to topics in a range of areas, including social, cognitive, comparative and developmental work
- Research Methods in Cognition and Neuropsychology: A series of seminars and practical classes covering the range of methods that are used to study issues in cognition, including computer-based modelling, neuropsychological methods for brain-injured patients and neuroimaging
- Advanced Statistics: The teaching is aimed at introducing the packages available to psychologists, at advanced methods such as multivariate statistics and at the rationale of using statistical methods
- Qualitative Research Methods: This module provides a broad but solid grounding in qualitative research methodology
- Key Skills for Psychology Researchers:This module focuses on the research process, including ethical conduct and disseminating research to both academic peers and non-specialist audiences.
- Research Placement: This month-long placement is carried out in January/February, allowing students to broaden their practical research experience. The placement may be external to the department and can be in a non-academic research environment.
The different modules emphasise different types of skills, from explicit hands-on demonstrations of tools, to discussion of different approaches to research. All our postgraduates are also expected to attend regular research seminars and relevant research group meetings.
Students are also encouraged to attend ‘Scottish Postgraduates in Psychology Research Training’ events in participating universities across Scotland.
Finally, for those who go onto the MSc:
- Research dissertation: 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 in small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses).
The individual module components provide 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.