Programme structure and assessment

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

This programme contains two semesters of taught compulsory (40 credits) and optional (80 / 90 credits) courses followed by a dissertation (60 credits). The taught courses and their assessments take place between September to December (Semester 1) and January to April (Semester 2). Planning for the dissertation will take place until April and carried out between April and August.

Compulsory Courses

Compulsory courses cover general research skills (how to plan for, conduct, publish and communicate research) and statistics, and also provide a grounding in computer programming using R language. The courses have lectures and other learning activities and are assessed with reports, research projects and proposals.

Optional Courses

For optional courses, you select 80 credits from a range of MSc (Level 11) courses specifically offered to Psychological Research students that cover social psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, individual differences, language psychology and qualitative research methodology.  The courses comprise of lectures and other learning activities, such as group work, presentations and written coursework. The assessments involve quizzes, presentations, essays, research proposals or other types of coursework.


The dissertation (up to 8, 000 words) is the capstone component of the programme and involves conducting original empirical research in a chosen area of psychology, and in close collaboration with a supervisor. You can choose to work in groups for your dissertations, although the write up is individual. Sometimes dissertations are subsequently published as journal articles.

Over 20 staff within the department are available for supervision.

Full programme structure