Carve out your future in professional and research psychology with our range of MSc courses. Our hands-on approach to learning embed practical skills and training throughout our courses, giving you direct experience of the specialist techniques relevant to your chosen discipline. The wide range of elective modules are designed to give you the freedom to select the knowledge, training and skills to fast-track your career.
The MSc Psychology is a ‘conversion’ course, designed to allow graduates from other disciples to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
GBC is the form of professional accreditation that is required for many careers that you may pursue with a psychology degree, as well as for advanced professional training in psychology, including the clinical doctorate (DClinPSY) or chartered status as a health or occupational psychologist.
Find out more about MSc Psychology.
Insight and instruction of core psychological research competencies provide a foundation for the exploration of the knowledge and skills specific to research career-pathways. Selection amongst the wide-range of elective modules provides experiential-learning of advanced topics relevant to clinical practice, techniques in behaviour change, and human neuroscience. These options allow you to shape the psychologist that you want to become, with the skills and experience requisite for doctoral training, or immediate professional or commercial practice.
Examples of MSc student research projects
Nuria Sinol-Llosa/Professor Sabine Pahl:
Does green space make us more active?
Nuria’s MSc research built on a growing body of evidence that green space is psychologically healthy, and showed that behavioural intentions to exercise are significantly higher when physical activity is presented in a natural context.
Konna Beeson/Dr Giorgio Ganis:
Is lack of pleasure (anhedonia) a motivational deficit?
Konna made EEG recordings from 17 volunteers and found clear correlations between anhedonia and motivational deficits. EEG analyses found anhedonia-specific activity within frontal regions, as well as an interaction between anhedonia and motivation. Konna’s results expand upon a growing consensus that anhedonia is a motivational deficit, and suggest reward-based interventions may be undervalued as part of broader packages of treatment for affective disorders, including depression.
Helena Rant/Dr Alison Bacon:
How does Burlesque impact on female wellbeing?
Helena’s MSc project addressed concerns that the recent popularity of Burlesque theatre, and claims that it empowers and boosts body image and confidence in participants, might be overblown. Helena found that although burlesque enhanced wellbeing for some, body image might also be harmed, and her research highlights risks attached.
Matt Holland/Professor Sabine Pahl:
Empathy for pigs: Can an immersive animal welfare film influence attitudes and intentions towards pork?
Animal welfare films are often ineffective at persuading viewers to stop eating meat. Perspective-taking has been found to increase empathy and prosocial behaviour, and so Matt utilised a virtual reality film to give an immersive experience of the conditions on an intensive pig farm. This investigated how the style of narration – blame-focused, objective, or perspective-taking – affects empathy towards farm animals and the willingness to reduce meat consumption.
Stephanie Hartgen/Prof Chris Mitchell
Cue-elicited choice: Why do we ‘choose’ unwanted foods?
Food cues, such as colourful packaging, can profoundly impact our food choices. Stephanie investigated how Pavlovian and instrumental response systems interact to bias us to choose foods we do not want. Popular behaviourist theories suggest these cues automatically control our behaviour, but more recent evidence suggests we may deliberately choose low-value foods when they are cued because they are inferred to be available. Understanding which mechanisms underlie cue-elicited choice is important for informing interventions towards a healthier lifestyle.
Dan Waterfield/Sabine Pahl
Can a better smart meter display encourage reduced energy consumption in the home?
In an effort to reduce household energy consumption, the UK government has mandated that energy companies must provide their customers with smart meters. These enable tenants to monitor their energy use, and aim to encourage energy savings, but the most common design lacks the ability to draw attention and incite behaviour change. Dan evaluated three alternative smart meter displays using a novel eye-tracking paradigm, which may prove to be a useful tool for introduction into future research.
Emily Sleeman/Professor Jackie Andrade:
Using Functional Imagery Training to reduce State Anxiety and Enhance Self- Efficacy in Female Amateur Soccer Players
Emily delivered a new motivational intervention to Plymouth Argyle’s women’s football team. Functional Imagery Training was developed by an international team of psychologists at the University of Plymouth and Queensland University of Technology. The footballers were enthusiastic about Functional Imagery Training and felt it helped their confidence in matches. Emily’s research has shown the potential for Functional Imagery Training to benefit athletes even when delivered in group settings.
Sophie Davidson/Dr Sylvia Terbeck:
A comparison of immersive virtual reality with traditional neuropsychological measures in the assessment of executive functions.
Sophie developed a new, innovative, immersive virtual reality (IVR) measure of cognitive functioning in age. In VR, participants simulated events which involved functions such as memory, planning, or parking a car. Sophie and Sylvia found that their measures in VR were potentially better than traditional tests to predict age-related decline in executive function. Elderly and younger participants thoroughly enjoyed the VR experience.