Postgraduate study

Psychology of Individual Differences MSc

Awards: MSc

Funding opportunities

This programme provides an exciting opportunity to gain intensive training in the psychology of individual differences by a large team of world-class researchers.

It provides advanced graduate-level study in the field of the psychology of individual differences and psychological research skills, and forms a strong basis for further (typically PhD) study.

There are two key subdivisions in the study of human individual differences: personality and mental abilities. Psychology at Edinburgh has a uniquely large number of world-class researchers in both subdivisions.

The programme covers psychometric research methods, the foundations and correlates of human individual differences (including approaches involving information processing, brain-imaging, molecular genetics and biometric models), and the application of individual differences in personality to health. No prior experience of the psychology of individual differences is assumed.

This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a research-based dissertation supervised by a member of staff with similar research interests.

Compulsory courses:

  • Seminar in Personality
  • Seminar in Intelligence
  • Current Topics in Psychological Research
  • Multivariate Statistics and Methodology Using R
  • Psychological Research Skills
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R

Option courses may include:

  • Intelligence, Personality and Health (MSc)

The programme is aimed primarily at students who are considering advanced research in the area. Students who follow this programme will gain:

  • an in-depth understanding of current research issues, research and methodology in the psychology of individuals
  • the ability to formulate research questions and apply appropriate research methods to increase understanding of individual differences in human personality and human mental abilities
  • advanced understanding of seminal and recent scientific findings relating to the study of human individual differences and the ways in which individual differences are currently being studied or applied
  • 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
  • advanced knowledge of the basic principles of multivariate statistical data analysis techniques (including multiple regression, factor analysis and structural equation modelling) and epidemiological techniques (including logistic regression and survival analyses), and the ability to carry out data analysis on different data sets using appropriate statistical packages
  • a firm basis for subsequent advanced specialised research within the psychology of individual differences
  • a broad understanding and awareness of issues and findings in the psychology of individual differences through application to other disciplines such as human cognitive neuropsychology, molecular genetics, evolutionary psychology, epidemiology and health psychology

This programme has been designed to help you progress your research career and offers a firm basis for further postgraduate study.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in psychological, biological or social sciences, or any similar subject based on methodological and statistics studies.

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:

Featured funding

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:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • 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

References

You will be asked to add contact details for your referees. We will email them with information on how to upload their reference directly to your online application. Alternatively, they can email their comments to:

Personal statement

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a personal statement detailing the background of your interest and why you are attracted to the programme. We expect you to have a good understanding of the field you propose to study.

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

Further information

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • 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