Psychology MSc

As Psychology reaches out to tackle the big questions facing society today, skills and experience in psychological research are becoming more and more in demand.

Our MSc in Psychology offers students an exciting path, giving them the opportunity to deepen their specific interests whilst at the same time developing the technical and transferable skills they need to succeed in a wide range of research-related positions. It is aimed at students who wish to engage with research and want to further their practical research skills.

The MSc Psychology is not a Psychology conversion course and is therefore not suitable for students who seek to acquire UK GBC (Graduate Charter Membership of the BPS).

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The course covers skills in experimental design and analysis, research skills, critical thinking and reading, oral presentation, and scientific writing. The course provides the opportunity to build knowledge in at least one area of contemporary psychology, linked to current research within the School of Psychology. The course also offers opportunities to be part of front-line psychological science using the latest technologies and methods.

Key features of the course are:

  • One to one contact with research active staff
  • An opportunity to specialize if you already know what area excites you most, or if you are still developing your focus, design your course to be broader, developing your knowledge in more than one sub-speciality
  • Find out what’s really hot or not in contemporary Psychology
  • Learn transferable skills that enhance employability

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 359Kb)

See some of the recent projects (PDF 331Kb) undertaken by students on the course.

Why study this course

This course offers an excellent opportunity for advanced learning in Psychology. For many students this course helps them to develop a more focused set of interests and skills within Psychology so that they can choose the next career step that is best for them. For others, who have already identified the sub-specialty that fires their career aspirations, the course allows them to delve more deeply into their subject and to gain more specific skills and knowledge needed to build their chosen career.

An aim of the course is to give students a boost in securing an interesting and exciting job in the workplace or a place on a high quality PhD course after graduation.

Modules

The course comprises of a series of taught core and optional modules. The core modules are designed to promote development of skills in experimental design and analysis, research skills, critical thinking and reading, oral presentation, and scientific writing.

Core taught modules currently include:

  • Current Research in Psychology
  • Foundations in Critical Thinking
  • Introduction to Neuroscientific Methods
  • Proposing Research in Psychology
  • Practical Research Skills

Optional taught modules currently include:

  • Design and Analysis 1 or 2
  • Research Reviews
  • Public Engagement in Psychological Research

Students also select one advanced specialist Psychology module, with topics reflecting the areas of research expertise in the School. For a list of example modules, please see list provided under Year 3 option modules available here.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Students also undertake a supervised research project, leading to a 6,000-word research dissertation. See some of the recent projects (PDF 331Kb)  undertaken by students on the course.

See a full list of modules and descriptions (PDF 156KB).

Fees and funding

Fees for 2018

  • Home/EU students £9,000 FT (£4,500 PT)
  • International students £18,450 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

Typical offer:
A good Honours degree in Psychology or related discipline.

Applicants should have obtained a good Honours degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent) in Psychology or a related discipline and have gained at least a 2:1 (or equivalent) in the research dissertation (i.e., experience of planning and conducting research and analysing data).

Personal statement

(approx. 800-words in total)

The personal statement should describe research experience and research interests, supporting the applicant’s reasons for applying and demonstrating the motivation for studying the MSc.  The personal statement should include the following key information:

Section 1: Research Experience

  1. Briefly describe the research project you completed in the final year of your undergraduate degree.
  2. Briefly describe any other projects you have worked on as a volunteer or paid research assistant.
  3. Do you have any experience of programming? If Yes, briefly describe your experience.

Section 2: Research Interests

  1. What are your research interests? Briefly describe how your research interests fit within the areas of research expertise in the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham.
  2. What research methods and analysis techniques would you like to use or develop as a student on the MSc?
  3. What are your future research/career plans? How will a place on the MSc help you to achieve your future research/career plans?
  4. Please state the names of three academics within the School that, given the opportunity, you would like to work with.  Please note: If you are offered a place on the MSc, we will contact you about identifying relevant, available supervisors before the course starts.  When allocating a supervisor, we will take your preferences into account, but there are a number of other factors we consider, so your supervisor may not be one of the academics you have listed. [FJ1] 

Section 3: Other Experiences (maximum 200-words)

Provide here details of voluntary work experience, other aspects of your CV, and/or other points of achievement

A personal statement template is available to help you ensure your personal statement meets our requirements. Failure to include the requested information in the personal statement will result in delays to processing the decision on your application.

Examples of research interests in the School can be found on the following webpages:

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Please apply as soon as possible, as places are limited and the programme may close when full. Please ensure that your personal statement meets our requirements as failure to do so will result in delays to processing the decision on your application.

International students requiring visas

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019.

Home/EU students (and International students NOT requiring visas)

Friday 21 September 2018 is the application deadline for 2018 entry. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019.

Applications will reopen for 2019 entry on Monday 1 October 2018.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The course includes a variety of learning and teaching activities, including lectures, seminars, journal clubs, and workshops. For research-based modules, students will have regular supervision and directed research work. Activities include both individual and group work.

Assessment methods

Students are assessed by a variety of methods including essays and reports, oral and poster presentations, and peer assessments. 

A surprising range of careers are open to students graduating with an MSc in Psychology. Potential positions might involve health or education programme development or evaluation positions or consumer product (or services) research and testing. Our students are excellent candidates for research-related employment in both private and public sector organisations because this MSc develops key skills that are highly attractive to employers, namely analytical and statistical skills, as well as presentation and report writing skills.

This MSc is also excellent preparation for PhD or other advanced degree positions.

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