Programme structure and assessment

This programme comprises two semesters of taught compulsory and optional courses, followed by a dissertation

The 120 credit course comprises core courses and optional courses. The core courses ensures you have specialist knowledge in personality and reasoning, as well as a solid grounding in methodology. There is more flexibility with optional courses - you will have an opportunity to discuss which options best serve your needs in the first few weeks of the programme.

The major project of the degree is a dissertation (60 credits). This involves conducting a research project on a specific topic in the Psychology of Individual Differences. It is developed over the year in collaboration with your supervisor, and becomes the main focus in the latter part of the programme. Several of these have led to publications.

Sample structure

On average, full-time students will spend about six hours per week in lectures/seminars, about three hours in tutorials and about three hours in practical classes. The number of contact hours and teaching format will depend to some extent on the option courses chosen.

The remainder of your time will be spent on independent study. After classes finish in April, you will spend all your time working independently on coursework and on your dissertation.


This programme comprises of two semesters of taught compulsory and optional courses followed by a dissertation. Most courses are taught by a combination of lectures, seminars/tutorials and practical sessions.

The content of seminars and tutorials varies, but often consists of presentations and discussions based on readings. Practical sessions typically involve learning research skills and are supported by homework tasks and other exercises.

The courses include individual and group work

When you carry out your supervised dissertation research, you will receive guidance from your supervisor through one-to-one meetings, comments on written work and email communication.

The assessments vary and are designed to support different aspects of your learning but will include research reports and proposals, essays, oral and poster presentations, methodological exercises, statistical and qualitative analyses, and an 8,000-10,000 word dissertation.