Psychology Postgraduate Research

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We invite applications from graduates, who should hold a first or good second class Honours degree in the field of psychology or equivalent, for registration for the degrees of MRes or MPhil in Psychology or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Undergraduates hoping to graduate in the current session will also be considered. Applicants for a PhD programme with no previous experience of postgraduate research will normally be expected to undertake research training via the MRes in Research Methods in Psychology (see above) in the first instance.

The MRes is available on a full-time (12 months) basis only and students are expected to receive instructional input during this period, as well as conducting research towards a dissertation. MPhil students focus more exclusively on research towards a thesis. Graduates who are unable to devote the whole of their time to the MPhil programme are required to follow the course for at least twenty-four months. For MPhil candidates, study outwith the University is possible subject to certain conditions. In both the MRes and the Mphil, each candidate has two supervisors who are responsible to the Senate for reports on progress.

Candidates for an MRes or MPhil degree may apply to be considered for transfer to the degree of PhD if their work is of sufficiently high standard. Candidates for the degree of PhD must normally undertake full-time research for a period of three years. Each candidate has two supervisors who are members of the academic staff of the University and may have a third supervisor if she/he is permitted to pursue her/his research outwith the University. Performance is normally assessed on the basis of a thesis and by oral examinations, although a compulsory instructional element may be included. Study for the degree of PhD on a part-time basis is possible subject to certain conditions and the minimum duration will normally be forty-eight months.

MRes Research Methods

The object of the course is to impart to students the skills and theoretical orientation required for conducting research especially in the fields of developmental and social psychology. It is designed to acquaint students with all aspects of the research process and to introduce them, mainly through active participation, to a wide variety of research techniques. This would enable students either to qualify for posts involving such skills in academic or research settings or, subject to the approval of the Higher Degree Committee of the University, to transfer to a course leading to a PhD. The course is also highly relevant to those entering such professions as educational or clinical psychology where research skills form an important part of job requirements.

Entry Requirement

Excellent first degree or other qualification equivalent to a first or upper second class degree, including Psychology as a single or joint honours subject. The course is of twelve months duration for full-time candidates.


Instruction in basic research methods, as applied to selected fields among those listed below, will be given by means of lectures, tutorials and seminars. Emphasis will be placed throughout on practical exercises in the laboratory and in such field settings as schools hospitals. Course components are :

  1. Quantitative methods, including statistical methods and computing; ethical and professional issues.
  2. Survey research methods: questionnaire design and interviewing.
  3. Practical Research Skills.
  4. Language and dialogue analysis.
  5. Observational methods and cognitive development.
  6. Psychometric methods and psychological testing.

During the last stage of the course students will be required to design empirical study and present a thesis on it of not more than 20,000 words.


Final assessment will be based upon both coursework and the thesis and an oral examination may be held at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

It is expected that some students will subsequently continue the investigation pursued in their thesis work with a view to obtaining a PhD.

Oct 2015 entry to full-time MPhil psychology (Admission Code : PYMPH)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2015 entry to full-time non-graduating psychology (Admission Code : PYNGR)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2015 entry to full-time MPhil psychology (Admission Code : PYMPH1)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2015 entry to full-time PhD psychology (Admission Code : PYPHD1)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.