Psychological Research Methods (Bilingualism Research)

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


The MSc in Psychological Research Methods (Bilingual Research) course is for students who already have an honours degree in Psychology, linguistics or a closely related subject. The course provides solid research training for those students interested in pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at a later stage.  Modules are at level 11 and are shared across existing Psychology MSc courses:

HPSP113 Analysis Methods in Psychological Research (40 credits)

PRMP131 Research Methods in Psychology 1 & 2 (20 credits)

PRMP134 Key Skills for Psychology Researchers (20 credits)

PRMP138 Research Placement (20 credits)

PRMP135 Dissertation (60 credits)

The specialist module, Current issues in Bilingualism (20 credits), will provide students with a thorough theoretical background in bilingualism and bring students up to date with the state of the art in bilingualism research and methods.  Students will be able to undertake advanced research in an area of bilingualism and advice on bilingualism matters (e.g., second language provision in schools). 

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time, Part-time
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Jan Kuipers
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download postgraduate prospectus

Linda Cullen
Postgraduate Secretary

University of Stirling

Course objectives

The primary aim of the course is to

  • Bring students up to date with the state of the art of bilingual research across different domains.
  • Make students confident in verbalising arguments for and against opinions and experimental findings in bilingualism.
  • Make students able to formulate a relevant research question regarding bilingualism and design an experiment addressing it.

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.


What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

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.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in Psychology or a closely related subject (e.g., Linguistics).

English language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 7.0 in each band overall.

For more information go to

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.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

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.

Information on other possible sources of funding

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The course comprises modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of research methods and how these apply to the study of bilingualism. Our styles of teaching research skills range from explicit hands-on demonstrations of tools, to discussion of different approaches to research.

The modules include:

  • Current Issues in Bilingualism
  • Psychological Research Methods I and II
  • Analysis Methods in Psychological Research
  • Key Skills for Psychology Researchers
  • Research placement
  • Dissertation


Delivery and assessment

Delivery is by seminars, lectures, a research placement in a relevant context, and research supervision. Master's students have their own dedicated suite and are integrated into the thriving research culture of the Division.


Semester 1

  • Current Issues in Bilingualism
    PRMP142 (core) (20 credits, level 11)
  • Key Skills for Psychology Researchers
    PRMP134 (core) (20 credits, level 11)
  • Analysis Methods in Psychological Research
    HPSP113 (core) (40 credits, level 11)
  • Psychological Research Methods 1 & "
    PRMP131 (core) (20 credits, level 11)

Semester 2

  • Research Placement (4 weeks)
    PRMP138 (core) (20 credits, level 11)

Semester 3

  • Dissertation
    PRMP135 (core) (60 credits, level 11)

Modes of study

Two semesters for Diploma, 12 months for MSc

Four semesters for the Diploma, 24 months for MSc

Study method

Part-time; Full-time

Why Stirling?


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.

International Students

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.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The course would provide solid research training for those students interested in pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at a later stage.


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