Programme overview

The MSc Psychology of Individual Differences is an exciting opportunity to gain skills in the two key subdivisions in the study of human individual differences: personality and mental abilities

This includes factors related to life-course attainment, health, and positive psychology. We focus on leading-edge research in these fields, as well as modern methods of study including multivariate statistics, psychometrics, and behaviour genetics.

Why are some people more productive than others? Or have closer relationships? Does mindset determine cognitive development? Are we at the mercy of situations or do we bring positive resources to them? What is motivation, or will power, or grit? How do children learn best when confronting new or difficult material? Is personality affected by genes? Does personality influence psychopathology? How do genes and environments interact in our lives?

Many of the most important questions surrounding the human condition revolve around individual differences. In this course you will learn how individuals differ, how these differences develop and whether and how they can be changed. You will also learn how these differences impact our daily lives and shape the societies in which we live.

We focus on replicable science. We teach and foster skills in formulating research questions, applying appropriate research methods. As you increase your understanding of individual differences in human personality and human mental abilities, you will also develop world-class analytic skills.

With exposure to advances in personality science, much of it based in teams collaborating with Edinburgh, you will learn about seminal findings and recent updates relating to the study of human individual differences and the ways in which individual differences are currently being studied or applied.

You will develop skills in research management, including managing data and disseminating research in ways consistent with professional practice in the field of individual differences and the normal principles of research ethics.