Research Methods in Psychology (MSc) 2020 entry

The MSc in Research Methods in Psychology is designed to train students wishing to pursue a higher research degree in Psychology and equips them with the specific skills necessary for undertaking a career as a research psychologist.

Apply now

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Research Methods in Psychology MSc page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Apply now

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £23,090

Application deadline

29 May 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé
  • personal statement (500 words)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MSc in Research Methods in Psychology is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience. The course is based on an initiative to provide interdisciplinary training in the social sciences plus advanced research training in psychology.

Highlights

  • The course provides interdisciplinary training in the social sciences plus advanced research training in psychology.
  • Students have access to laboratories in neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, psychophysics, animal learning and cognition, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology.
  • The MSc is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as an accredited course.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students will take five compulsory modules, a research project module and one optional module. These are taught through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. On average, class sizes range up to 80 students for lectures and 20 students for seminars.

Assessment comprises entirely of coursework; there are no exams. 

The final three months of your course will be dedicated to a 15,000-word research project dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

  • Generic Research and Professional Skills in Psychology: introduces students to the various skills and issues that are important to academic psychologists irrespective of their particular area of research.
  • Methods of Data Analysis in Psychology: advanced training in research design, statistics, qualitative methods and modelling.
  • Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences: introduces students to the basic theoretical approaches in the social sciences, covering the methodological and epistemological issues involved in conducting social scientific research.
  • Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
  • Quantitative Research in Social Science: provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.

Students must choose one optional module.

  • Being a Social Scientist: focuses on how to design and produce a research dissertation and addresses issues of professional development (e.g. ethics, careers, grant writing).
  • Computer-aided Research: builds on statistical techniques learned in previous modules and introduces modelling techniques, imaging, stimulus presentation and data visualisation.
  • Methodologies for Psychology and Neuroscience: practical experience in a number of laboratory techniques and research methodologies as are employed by the principal investigators in the School.

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

Sign up

Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Sunday 18 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 22 October at 9.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 29 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 5 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)

Register

Conferences and events

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience hosts a weekly seminar programme typically held in the Old Library of the Psychology Building. These seminars include public lectures, open School discussions and papers presented by a variety of guest lecturers from the UK and abroad. Following the seminar, a wine reception is held in the staff common room.

The School also hosts an annual Jeeves Lecture as part of its seminar programme. The lectures are given by eminent psychologists and neuroscientists. Staff, students and members of the public are welcome at this lecture.

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MSc

Research degrees

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. The MSc in Research Methods in Psychology is accredited for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 PhD studentship programme.

PhD in Psychology

Careers

Many students progress from the MSc to PhD study, and some graduates have been successful in applying for EPSRC PhD studentships. Others have successfully applied for research assistantships to initiate their research careers.

Some graduates have applied for positions in government, health care, and management services.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact

School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JU

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2157
Email: pgsecpsych@st-andrews.ac.uk

Psychology and Neuroscience website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).