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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 September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

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’. 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.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

  • English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

The course is made up of four core modules, a research placement and a dissertation. We also offer some flexibility, allowing you to choose a module from another subject area if it can meet your personal training needs.

Modules

The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2017/18 on this course of study.

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Course Details

  • Teaching

    Teaching is done in various ways, including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based.

    You’re 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).

    As a postgraduate student we expect you to attend regular research seminars and relevant research group meetings. You’re also encouraged to attend ‘Scottish Postgraduates in Psychology Research Training’ events in participating universities across Scotland.

  • Course director
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £6,300 TBC

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £15,250 £15,950

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships

    There are typically five £1,000 bursaries to contribute towards fees or maintenance costs for students beginning a taught MSc course. All students formally accepted onto the MSc course are eligible to apply for these awards. Awards will be decided on both previous experience and academic record but preference will be given to applicants intending to stay at Stirling to pursue a PhD following the MSc course.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.

    To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support. .

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

This Evolutionary Psychology pathway will prepare you for a research career in evolutionary approaches to behaviour, especially if you’re intending to proceed to a PhD. You will become an integral member of our lively and active research group and will be supported in making the complex transition towards being an independent research scientist.

The placement opportunity also allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers. The course also seeks to meet the continuing professional development needs of those already working in related applied contexts.

Students who complete this MSc may also be eligible to apply for an ESRC 1+3 studentship.

98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16)

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