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MSc Psychological Research Methods (Psychology of Faces)

Become part of a vibrant research community as you study the key methods for face research and put your learning into practice during a placement.

Psychological Research Methods (Psychology of Faces)

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

The University of Stirling has a long history of expertise in the diverse aspects of face research. This course will help you increase your understanding of psychological research methods and allow you to focus the majority of your efforts in face research.

Our internationally renowned team of experts studies almost all aspects of face perception, including:

  • low-level visual processing
  • adaptation
  • gaze perception
  • social perception, such as mate preference and attractiveness
  • mechanisms of recognition
  • forensic aspects such as unfamiliar face matching and eye-witness recovery of memories for faces

Our research has led to EvoFIT, a unique system for constructing facial composites of offenders by witnesses and victims of crime, which has a suspect identification rate ten times higher than traditional methods used by police.

You’ll become part of this vibrant research community as you study the key research methods related to face research and will put your learning into practice during a month-long placement.

You’ll be based in a dedicated MSc office, or within an appropriate research group, and 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

    You’ll carry out a month-long placement.

  • 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.

    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 was 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 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

  • Pre-sessional 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 consists of a number of different modules designed to provide you with training in the fundamentals of research methods. The modules cover different types of skills, from hands-on demonstrations of tools to discussion of different approaches to research.

An important part of the course is learning the skills to generate stimuli for research, from controlled photography to morphing and editing, in both 2 and 3D. We offer some flexibility in what you can study, allowing you to choose a module from another subject area if this can meet your personal training needs.

You’ll also undertake a research placement and dissertation.

Part-time students take the same modules spread over two years.

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 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course Details

  • Teaching

    Teaching is done in a variety of 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 £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 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 made based on both previous experience and academic record, but preference will be given to applicants intending to stay at Stirling to pursue a PhD following completion of 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 course provides advanced training for a career involving face research. It is intended primarily for students who already have a degree in Psychology, or a similar discipline, and who plan to do a PhD in this field.

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)

The academic knowledge and research skills gained throughout the MSc have helped me tremendously to secure a fully funded PhD studentship and pursue a career as a psychology researcher.
Anna Bobak
MSc Psychology of Faces
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