Postgraduate study

Social Psychology MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Social Psychology

Why do we become attached to a particular person? How do relationship dynamics change over time? Does objectifying women lead to their mistreatment? When is gender made relevant in and for politics? What does it mean in practice to support someone with autism, and how can we assess support? Does self-modesty differ between cultures? How does economic inequality affect self-perception? What identities are invoked in interview interactions?

In this taught programme in Social Psychology you will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the theories, concepts and methodological tools that constitute social psychology’s distinctive perspective. You will be guided and supported in exploring the social psychological literature. You will be given rigorous training in qualitative and quantitative analyses. You will have diverse opportunities to build your own research experience, through seeking and implementing research-based answers to questions in the field or in the literature. You will participate in our unique problem based approach to providing empirical answers to social psychological questions.

In short, you will learn to think like a social psychologist, and you will learn to do social psychology.

You will benefit from being part of a growing group of friendly, enthusiastic social psychologists working within a vibrant department, in a lovely city. You will benefit from our expertise in working in different cultures, in the field, and with mixed methods. You will also benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, for example, by having the opportunity to select option courses, attend research seminars across different disciplines, take part in the social psychology reading group or in discursive psychology and conversation analysis data sessions.

You will undertake the following:

Core courses:

  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R (10 credits)
  • Multivariate Statistics and Methodology using R (10 credits)
  • Qualitative Methodologies in Psychological Research (10 credits)
  • Psychological Research Skills (20 credits)
  • Research Methods for Social Psychology (10 credits)
  • Problem-based social psychological research (10 credits)
  • Current Topics in Social Psychology (10 credits)
  • Critical Social Psychology (10 credits)

Option courses:

  • Chosen from a wide range of courses relevant to Social Psychology from Psychology or other disciplines, as approved by the Programme Director

And a Dissertation in Social Psychology (60 credits)

The overall aim of this programme is to advance your understanding of how social questions can be addressed using social psychology, and to provide you with the conceptual and research tools to do so.

More specifically, on successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • think as a social psychologist in seeking understanding of and solutions to practical and theoretical problems
  • address the challenges of researching individuals embedded in their social worlds
  • understand epistemological issues in social research
  • understand key theories and concepts in social psychology
  • conduct rigorous independent social psychological research drawing on the range of social psychological approaches and methodologies
  • evaluate published research in social psychology
  • make well-informed contributions to discussions about social issues

On completion you will also:

  • have acquired wider research skills, including giving conference talks, making poster presentations, writing research proposals, knowledge exchange and writing for a lay audience
  • be prepared for a range of career paths including PhD work, or the wide variety of careers in which it is valuable to be able to conduct sound social research or evaluation

The programme will provide relevant preparation for a range of career paths, including:

  • undertaking a PhD in Social Psychology or in a related field, possibly leading to an academic career
  • undertaking a Professional Doctorate/Masters training programme in Clinical or Health Psychology
  • a wide variety of careers where it is valuable to be able to conduct sound social research, or to develop and evaluate practices and policies relating to social behaviour or thinking; such as policy development in education, health, and social care or in areas surrounding marketing; such as opinion-generating, fostering multiculturalism and equality, and communication skills.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in psychology or in a related discipline, with at least one advanced course in psychology studied.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Admissions Officer
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions Officer
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD