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MSc Psychological Research Methods (Evolutionary Psychology)

Our course is the ideal preparation for a research career, helping you progress to a PhD in evolutionary psychology, comparative cognition or animal behaviour.

Psychological Research Methods (Evolutionary Psychology)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date October
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

On this MSc you’ll benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have a particular interest in cultural evolution and language, social learning and ‘mate choice’. If you're already working in this field, this Masters can also be valuable for continuing your professional development. Our staff are also at the forefront of new developments in applying evolutionary principles to address real world issues.

Students interested in comparative approaches and animal behaviour will benefit from the knowledge of other members of our Behaviour and Evolution Research Group. Their world-leading research on behaviour and cognition in primates, dogs and elephants are being applied to real world problems, including conservation, human-animal interaction and animal welfare.

Under the research group's expert guidance, you’ll complete specialist modules, a research placement and a research project.  You can also take advantage of our on-site and overseas labs, field sites and links with industrial partners. For example, the University works closely with the Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

You’ll be based in a dedicated MSc office, or within an appropriate research group, and be allocated a peer mentor. An academic supervisor in psychology will support and guide your development, including the research dissertation project. We’re here to encourage you to make the transition to become a fully independent research scientist.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Work placements

    A research placement allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Faculty facilities

    The Psychology department has outstanding laboratory space fitted with high-quality equipment. It has excellent computing infrastructure, and both research and teaching activities are supported by in-house technical staff with computing, programming, electronic and audio-video expertise.

    We’ve invested heavily in research infrastructure, including our own pre-school playgroup, which provides an outstanding facility for developmental research and teaching. Purpose-built laboratory space has also been created to support human electrophysiology research (EEG/ERPs), health research (including GSR and heart rate monitoring), face research (including eye-tracking) and vision research (including stereoscopic displays).

  • Research
    • 100% of our Psychology research impact is rated as world-leading (REF2014)

    We have one of the leading psychology departments in the UK, which is ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014). It was one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so, the others being Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor (source: Times Higher Education magazine).

    Our quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. The relevance of our psychology research activity to society received the highest possible rating, which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

    Our MSc students get involved in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

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