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Psychological Research Methods MRes / MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught / Postgraduate research
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: One year full-time / two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Our Psychological Research Methods Masters degree provides extensive training if you are looking to develop a broad range of transferable skills relevant to independent research and beyond. The course has been designed specifically to prepare graduates in Psychology or related disciplines for:

  • a PhD degree
  • research related careers in academic or applied psychological disciplines
  • careers in which data handling and analytical skills are of relevance.

You might also complete the course as a means of improving your research skills in preparation for further training as a professional psychologist (often as a clinical or educational psychologist).

Both awards are equivalent, although the MSc has a larger taught component whilst the MRes places greater emphasis on the conduct of independent research. You may wish to apply to the MSc in Psychological Research Methods in the first instance and then you can make a choice of award later, in conjunction with the Course Leader and teaching team.

What you’ll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

Choosing your route

The MSc emphasises a taught focus across a range of methods and will be suitable for students keen to develop a broad profile of independent research skills.

The MRes places a greater emphasis on independent study and is suitable for students who are already engaged in psychological research and wish to focus on a particular area.

The innovative course structure means you don't need to decide which award you want to focus on until the end of Term One.

In Term One, all full-time MSc and MRes students complete the same core modules, which cover:

Advanced Statistics One

This module examines the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of statistics used in experimental research (e.g., statistical inference, power and effect size). The framework for the module is a regression / GLM approach to statistics that focuses on the relationship between multiple linear regression, ANOVA and ANCOVA. The module also covers the application of these concepts in widely available computer software such as SPSS and the relationship between different experimental designs (e.g., factorial designs, multi-stage sampling, RCTs, cross-sectional designs, longitudinal designs or single-case studies) and statistical issues such as power and generalizability. Practical issues such as dealing with violations of statistical assumptions or missing data are also considered.

Psychometrics One: Developing Psychometric Scales in Research and Practice

This module will provide you with a basic knowledge of psychometric theory and how this theory can be applied to the different stages of test development. More specifically, the module aims to demonstrate the process of test development through practical application of theory, whereby you will work to produce your own psychometric scale.

Qualitative Research Design and Analysis One

Qualitative research is concerned with the subjective world and aims to investigate human experience in order to understand peoples’ opinions, motivations and feelings. As you find out on your exploration of this fascinating topic, qualitative research is not just one method but a constellation of designs and methods, each offering a unique perspective on a chosen research topic.

Observational Methods

This module will provide you with a knowledge of, and practical skills in, observational methods. You will work with other students on a collective observational analysis of video-taped material to build up your skills so that you will graduate from the module competent to use structured observational methods in your own research studies.

Psychological Experiments: Tools and Methodologies

This module will provide you with a better understanding of experimental design and methodology in Psychology. You will gain practical skills in building experiments using specialist software to run them and collect data. You will also gain a better understanding and practical experience of the how to generate or manipulate stimuli for your experimental needs. You will also explore open science in Psychology and issues of replicability. Many of these skills will be practical and transferable in other areas.

In Term Two, students pursuing the MSc award will complete five more taught modules and an empirical research project (worth 60 credits), under the supervision of a research active member of staff. MRes students complete either two 10credits taught modules of their choice, or one 20 credit taught module of thier choice, allowing them to concentrate exclusively on quantitative, psychometric methods or qualitative methods. MRes students complete a larger empirical research project (worth 100 credits) under the supervision of a research active member of staff.

Advanced Statistics Two

Advanced Experimentation and Statistics Two uses the regression framework adopted in Advanced Experimentation and Statistics One and introduces additional advanced statistical topics such as logistic regression, Poisson regression, meta-analysis and multilevel modelling. The module builds on practical topics introduced in Advanced Experimentation and Statistics (One) such as dealing with violations of assumptions and the limitations of standard research designs for real world data (e.g., handling unbalanced or missing data in repeated measures analyses). The module also introduces you to specialist statistical software such as R or MLwiN.

Psychometrics Two: Using Psychometric Scales in Research and Practice

This module builds on understandings developed in the earlier psychometrics module that you will have taken but considers how scales are actually used in research and practice. It also considers other forms of psychometrics beyond just surveys and questionnaires and you will tackle a range of problem based scenarios drawn from real world situations.

Qualitative Research Design and Analysis Two

This module will provide you with both the theoretical underpinnings and analytic practice of conversation analysis (CA) and discursive psychology (DP). The module includes lectures on theory / method combined with seminars where we look at data and perform analysis.

Structural Equation Modelling (SEM)

On this module, you will be introduced to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of structural equation modelling (SEM) and equipped you with the skills, and understanding, to appropriately construct, analyse, and interpret theoretical path analytic CFA, and SEM models.

Psychology Research Project

Your project is an independent piece of work that is supervised by a member of staff who will guide and support you as you work towards producing a final report for assessment. This will be the main opportunity for you to carry out an extensive piece of independent research of your own choosing and for you to demonstrate that you have the skills to devise, conduct, analyse, present and report an empirical study to postgraduate level.

Technological Tools in Psychology (MSc only)

In this module, you'll be introduced to some of the technologically informed tools (e.g., EEG, bio-packs, eye-tracking, TMS) and associated methods of contemporary psychology. This module will provide you with practical hands-on experience of a range of cutting-edge psychological research tools and the data they produce. You'll also learn about and critically consider a range of issues in and around the theory, methodology, and application of these tools and approaches.

You will also complete an extended essay on a methodological topic of your choice and an empirical research project (worth (MSc) 60 or (MRes) 100 credits), both under the supervision of a research active member of staff.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Victoria Barnes

NTU is special because of its breadth of research interests. There are a lot of research active lecturers publishing papers.

Sarah Proud

The knowledge I gained in regards to psychological research methods are transferable to the work I currently complete.

Adam Asmal

The key feature that attracted me to this course was the idea that I would be broadening my specialist knowledge of different methods within Psychology, while developing the skills for further employability.

Harriet Broadbent

The support offered by NTU is second to none in my opinion and the responses from previous postgraduate students were what really stood out when deciding to stay at NTU.

Jano Ramos Diaz

This masters has surpassed my expectations and I know that it's just the beginning for my career.

Chloe Linford

I chose the MSc option as I wanted to learn more skills rather than focus predominantly on a research project.

Paige Martin

he Taylor building was a major reason I chose this course, having access to technologies such as EEG, Eye tracking and TMS, all of which I could potentially use for my research project.

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How you’re taught

This course starts in late September. A dedicated induction day is provided for all students which introduces you to your course, to your teaching teams and to the university facilities. The day ends with an informal social event.

The course is completed in one year of full-time study (your final piece of coursework is submitted in late August) or two years part-time. The teaching terms run from late September to Christmas and then from January to Easter. Part-time students attend for two of the three days only.

Study and support

A mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops are used throughout the course to develop your knowledge and understanding, whilst small group tutorials are provided in order to support your development of both subject knowledge and a range of transferable skills.

The course adopts a pragmatic approach to research, arguing that all research methods and approaches, whether quantitative, psychometric, qualitative, or mixed, should be attuned to the subject-matter and the nature of the research hypothesis or question to be answered. Offering a balanced appreciation of all methodological approaches, their relative strengths and weaknesses, the course will leave you equipped to conduct research in any area of psychology.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways and on a modular basis through:

  • examination
  • coursework
  • essays
  • laboratory reports
  • oral presentations
  • research project.

An active research environment

Throughout the course you'll benefit from research-informed teaching and you may be interested in finding out more about our wide range of psychology research groups exploring areas such as cognition and perception; wellbeing; language and psycholinguistics; addiction and aberrant behaviours; development; interaction and social relations.

World-leading research

  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of NTU's research environment in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of quality.

In-sessional English language support

In-sessional English language support classes are available to all international (non-EU) students studying on degree courses at NTU. There is no extra charge for these classes.

Staff Profiles

Andy Grayson

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Andy Grayson

Daria Kuss

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Dr Daria Kuss is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, Associate Professor in Psychology, the Lead for the Cyberpsychology Research Group, and a member of the International Gaming Research Unit. She…

David Wilde

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

David Wilde

Mark Andrews

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Mark Andrews

Andrew Dunn

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Dr Andrew Dunn is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. He is an experimental psychologist interested in perception, memory, attention and evolution. His view is that humans have evolved…

Sarah Seymour-Smith

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Lorraine Smith

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Lorraine has been a Lecturer in psychology for a year and is heavily involved in Forensic Psychology, Mental Health, Intellectual Disability and Quantitative statistics, specialising in the assessment of prisoners

Careers and employability

Upon graduation, you'll possess the methodological and practical knowledge required to realise your potential as an independent researcher in various fields of Psychology or in closely related disciplines.

Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue an academic and / or research career in various areas of psychology (by working as a research assistant or associate, for example, or by studying for a PhD). You may choose to use your research methods qualification as a stepping stone to undertaking further training as a professional psychologist (for example, in forensic, clinical, and educational psychology) or to secure careers in data handling and analysis outside psychology (for example, in industry or the civil service).

The skills gained are transferable across a wide range of careers.Your qualification is likely to be popular with many employers because you'll have demonstrated an ability to write essays and reports, to master advanced methods of data analysis and to talk and present in front of other people.

Previous graduates have gone on to pursue careers as a:

  • research assistant
  • senior healthcare assistant

*Data extracted from the Latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Please note that for some careers, further study and / or a BPS-accredited conversion course conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership may be required.

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

Campus and facilities

As a psychology student you will benefit from our dedicated learning environment. We have specialist research laboratories including eye trackers, motion capture labs and an £80,000 EEG system. These facilities support staff research as well as student projects in the exciting areas of human cognition, behavioural neuroscience, human interaction and communication, and human development. Find out more about these specialist facilities.

You will also have easy access to fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings including:

  • Lecture theatres and teaching classrooms;
  • Open access PCs and secure wireless points;
  • Study areas and social spaces;
  • Chaucer cafe serving drinks and light snacks;
  • Our brand new School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across our City Campus, with PCs providing access to Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services, with a free printing allowance for each student.

Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Books and library resources

Our state-of-the-art Boots library will give you access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within the built environment. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our electronic resources, journals and books.

Within the library there is a liaison librarian who has specialist subject knowledge and can offer detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources, and also with areas such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

Entry requirements

    Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) in Psychology or a closely related discipline; or other recognised equivalent qualification.
  • Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters-level in their Personal Statement.
  • Good performance in research methods and statistics classes and / or in the conduct and presentation of a research project are likely to act as a mitigating factor where a 2.1 has not been achieved at undergraduate level.
  • Other requirements

    Your application form requires a written statement in which you should outline reasons for wishing to undertake the MSc / MRes Psychological Research Methods course. We will be looking to ensure that you have a sound rationale for joining the course based on a realistic appreciation of the discipline and profession of psychology.

    If you are unsure of your status and / or would like an informal discussion with the course leader, please contact us.

    NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

    All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

    Getting in touch

    If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

  • You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) in Psychology or a closely related discipline; or other recognised equivalent qualification.
  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters-level in their Personal Statement.
  • Good performance in research methods and statistics classes and / or in the conduct and presentation of a research project are likely to act as a mitigating factor where a 2.1 has not been achieved at undergraduate level.

Other requirements

Your application form requires a written statement in which you should outline reasons for wishing to undertake the MSc / MRes Psychological Research Methods course. We will be looking to ensure that you have a sound rationale for joining the course based on a realistic appreciation of the discipline and profession of psychology.

If you are unsure of your status and / or would like an informal discussion with the course leader, please contact us.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Study route Home (UK students)
Full-time £7,700
Part-time (cost per year of study) £3,850 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Study routeInternational / EU students
Full-time £15,850
Part-time (cost per year of study) £7,925 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

The course starts in September 2022 so in order to receive enrolment materials in good time we advise that applications are submitted before the end of July 2022.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through our NTU Applicant Portal.

If you're applying without prior qualifications, you'll need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. You may be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check depending on your project topic.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students from overseas choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. DBS checks only cover students from the UK, so unless you have been resident in the UK for five years or more, we will need a criminal record check from your home country if you plan to work with vulnerable populations. Checks from overseas can sometimes be referred to by a variety of names such as a Police Check or a Good Behaviour Record. To find out what it is called in your home country and how to apply for one, please visit the government website.

If you are an overseas student and are planning to collect data for your research project from vulnerable populations in your home country, you are advised to apply for a home police check to support your research. You will need to demonstrate in your ethics form that you have met all the requirements of your home country to work with vulnerable populations.

If you are unable to obtain a home Police Check and still wish to work with vulnerable populations in your home country, discuss this with your Course Leader in the first instance. It will need to be made clear in your written correspondence with any participants / organisations that the University has been unable to engage with any disclosure and barring service checks prior to you undertaking your research.

Once you have obtained your police check, a copy of the documentation (in English) should be passed to the relevant course administrator in the School of Social Sciences Office.