MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
The Psychological Research Methods (General) course provides broad training in the fundamentals of psychological science - the modern approach to studying mind and behaviour. The course combines training in psychological theory with practical skills development, preparing our students for a future career in psychology. Individual modules provide a thorough introduction to quantitative and qualitative research, the analysis and interpretation of data, and a critical skeptical approach to psychological science.
The unique feature of the General pathway is flexibility - rather than specialising in one topic area (e.g., Autism or Faces) students are free to investigate a wide array of topics across the discipline. This flexibility allows exploration of different domains, rather than a focus on a single issue - encouraging students to engage in different methods and understand different perspectives within the field of Psychology.
Opportunities for practical hands-on skills development are built in, ranging from low-tech observational assessment to high-tech eye-tracking, and including training on giving oral presentations. A self-reflective approach to personal development is encouraged, and students on this course are an integral part of Stirling Psychology's research community, housed within a dedicated MSc office. The course will appeal to students wishing to develop a career in psychological research, either working towards a PhD in Psychology, or working in the wider public, private or third sector
The primary aim of the course is to provide advanced training as a preparation for a research career in Psychology. The course develops the theoretical understanding and practical and interpersonal skills required for carrying out research. Postgraduates are an integral part of our research community. Students are based in a dedicated MSc office, or within an appropriate research group, and allocated a peer mentor. Students have an academic supervisor in Psychology who supports and guides their development - including the research dissertation project. Our aim is to encourage students to make the complex transition to become a fully independent research scientist.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
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.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your course of study.
Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.
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There are typically five £1,000 bursaries to contribute towards fees or maintenance costs for students beginning a taught MSc course. All students, including international 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.
The course consists of different modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of Psychological Research Methods and students on this course have the opportunity to investigate topics across all of psychology, rather than specialising in one specific area for their coursework, placement and dissertation. Whereas students on the specialist Psychology MSc programmes are expected to tailor all of their work to be on the topic of particular interest, by contrast, a student on the MSc in Psychological Research Methods (General) course can switch topics from one piece of work to another, as their interest takes them. This approach offers total flexibility to students, who do not wish to specialise, to have the opportunity to do a broader MSc and sample from across the variety of topics in Psychology without restriction to a single specialised area.
As well as the core module, this course includes the following modules:
Psychological Research Methods I and II
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.
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).
MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
MSc: two years; Diploma:18 months
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).
Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.
Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.
The Psychological Research Methods (General) course is designed as a springboard for a career in psychological research and is ideal for students wishing to pursue a PhD in psychology. The course incorporates training in a wide range of skills that are required to conduct high-quality research in psychology, and students are encouraged to develop applications for PhD funding through the course.
One essential part of the course is the requirement to carry out a Placement (typically in an external company, charity or third sector organisation). This provides a fantastic opportunity to develop relevant work-based employment skills, and to develop a network of contacts relevant to future career goals. Students benefit hugely from the Placement experience, combining skills and experience with personal and professional development.
PRM graduates are well placed for careers in clinical and health psychology, educational psychology and teaching, human resources management and personnel, etc. The skills gained are also readily transferable to other careers: PRM positions students for the growing expectation that graduates have a good understanding of human behaviour, are able to interpret and analyse complex forms of data, and to communicate ideas clearly to others.