For psychology graduates who wish to gain research training.
Cutting edge research equipment
You will conduct a piece of independent research in collaboration with a member of academic staff, in an area of your choice
The programme will lead to the award of the MSc in Psychological Research Methods. The course offers an excellent theoretical and practical grounding in research methods in Psychology, building upon the levels of skill and knowledge attained in your first degree in Psychology (as recognised by the British Psychological Society for Graduate Membership).
Why study this course at Dundee?
You will be given practical experience of working in an active researcher's laboratory and you will also design and carry out a substantial research project under the supervision of a different member of the academic staff. You will be given the opportunity to present and discuss your findings in written, oral and poster formats in a supportive and cohesive environment. Our aim is to significantly improve your prospect for employment in a wide range of contexts where insight into human behaviour and/or rigorous evaluation of information are key elements of good decision making.
At Dundee, you will benefit from dedicated MSc social and study areas, an active student society, and will be taught by academic staff who are the forefront of psychological research. You will have access to state of the art research equipment for, for example, tracking eye movements to measure attention, measuring brain activity, or conducting surveys and observational studies.
We are a small friendly department who offer focused teaching and research in psychology. This means that we get to know our students, and can provide them with the individual support they need throughout their studies. This is evidenced by us being ranked in the top 10% of Psychology departments in the UK for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016).
We are also situated in the School of Social Sciences, which will allow you to meet and socialise with students from other disciplines (e.g. business, geography, law, politics, and economics) and to attend seminars outwith psychology. This will allow you to situate your learning in a broader social context, as well as to network and make contacts across disciplines.
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
How you will be taught
All our assessments are coursework-based, including essays, presentations, group work, and a research dissertation.
- in-class group work
- talks by invited speakers
What you will study
By the end of the module, you will be able to survey, review, and critique psychological literature; understand ethical issues in research; generate research ideas, evaluate them, and present a coherent case for a research project. You will have the opportunity to develop your ability and confidence in presenting your work in group presentations, written work and research posters. Assessment is 100% coursework.
Approaches to collecting and analysing qualitative data, including interviewing (open, semi-structured or structured), ethnographic methods, single and multiple case studies, action research, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, textual analysis, content analysis, focus groups, and analysis of audio and video recordings. The class will involve student presentations and much classroom discussion. Formal assessment for this module takes the form of coursework exercises that require you to demonstrate knowledge about a broad range of methodological perspectives and debates.
You will undertake a substantial individual research project, jointly supervised by staff from the department of psychology and clinical psychologists from NHS Tayside. Assessment is via a written dissertation and a poster presentation.
This module will provide an understanding of statistical analyses used in psychological research. Quantitative statistics methods will be explained on a high conceptual level, aiming for students to see links between particular analyses. Using this knowledge, students are encouraged to explore and interpret statistical output as well as clearly present the results. Topics will be taught in the context of design issues and students will analyse published data and replicate research findings. Classes will last two hours combining both lecture and computer workshop methods of teaching. To foster learning, weekly quizzes will be given and knowledge will be assessed using a range of methods such as poster and open-ended questions.
Choice of two from the following list:
You will learn to analyse reading development from a biological, cognitive and behavioural point of view, and to consider the implications of this research for practical educational questions concerning the definition, assessment and treatment of reading difficulties.
Topics usually include:
- definitions of dyslexia
- brain areas involved in reading
- visual attention and reading
Provides an introduction to research and practical elements in infant mental health, fetal- and, neonatal psychology, child and adolescent developmental psychopathology.
Enables students to gain a detailed understanding of the theoretical issues and research methodologies within the field of decision making, including choice under uncertainty, social judgement theory, probabilistic models, heuristics and biases, covariation, causation and counterfactuals, utility and prospect theories, behavioural game theory, decisions across time, decision in groups, emotion/affect in decision making, and risk.
Situates behaviour and psychology in the context of evolutionary history, allowing students to develop an understanding of the evolutionary processes that shape behaviour and of the methods employed in such research. Includes evolutionary processes including natural and sexual selection, evolution of sociality, altruism and kin selection, mate choice, evolution of intelligence, mating and evolutionary medicine.
Introduces students to the interplay between group life and health, an interdisciplinary field of investigation that has produced very important findings over the last four decades. The dimensions of group life that will be discussed span from subjective group identification to extent of participation into group related activities. Includes social integration, actual and perceived social support, loneliness, stress, the dark side of social ties, and social identity.
Allows students to better understand the nature of communication and cognition from a comparative psychology viewpoint, developing understanding of a variety of contemporary topics in behaviours of domestic cats (Felis catus) and dogs (Canis familiaris) (e.g. perception, action, cognition, communication). Includes situating human communication and cognition with a comparative psychology framework, and contemporary approaches to cat and dog behaviours (e.g. perception, action, cognition, communication).
Students will gain a broad understanding of classic and current research on social, emotional and moral development in children and adolescents. They will learn about theories of development and gain experience in their critical evaluation. They will develop their awareness of a variety of methodologies and experimental techniques. Finally, students will gain experience in developing their communication skills. Includes the expression of emotions in infants, social referencing, attachment, social interaction, theory of mind, peer relationships, prosocial and antisocial behaviour, and morality. The impact of atypical development will also be explored throughout the course
Students from this course have gone on to do PhDs and have used the qualification to improve their chances of getting on to clinical and educational psychology courses. Several students take the course to improve their chances of getting jobs as support workers and Assistant Psychologists. The higher degree also generally improves job prospects when competing against other Psychology graduates in other fields of business.
Joanna Beaumont (current student)
"I chose to study the MSc Psychological Research Methods course at Dundee as I wanted to gain advanced research training in qualitative and quantitative research methods. In addition to the core research modules, I liked being able to choose two advanced modules that suited my interests. The course was very 'hands-on' and staff extremely friendly and supportive. Due to the success of this course, I was able to fulfil my ambition to pursue scientific research at the highest level."
You should hold, or expect to hold a first or second class honours degree in Psychology. If your degree is from a UK University, it should confer eligibility for Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society. If your degree is from a University outside the UK, we will assess eligibility on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Ben Vincent.
English Language Requirement
English Language Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.
The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.
You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.
You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.
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Dr Ben Vincent
+44 (0)1382 388308