Key Facts

Course Title: Applied Social and Political Psychology
Course type: MSc
Contact Details:Masi Noor
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Subject Area: Psychology


Applied Social and Political Psychology 

*** Application deadline is 31st May 2018  ****


This programme has been carefully developed for students who are interested in gaining advanced knowledge of psychological theory as this relates to social and political issues and the potential for such knowledge to generate progressive social change. The degree programme will equip you to engage critically and analytically with these issues and help you to develop novel ways of thinking about yourself, those around you and society at large. The theoretical and applied nature of this programme will offer you the opportunity to study how psychology helps interpret some of the most pressing social and political issues facing human society inPG Psychology the 21st Century and how it can contribute to tackling some of them.

In addition to your taught components, you will have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation project on a topic of your choice under the direct supervision of a member of staff. You will be able to use quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method approaches.

A further unique feature of this degree programme is that it involves you in the design and implementation of an Action Research Project that is aimed at bringing a tangible, positive change on or off campus in collaboration with your fellow students and under the supervision of your Module Leader.

The programme is aimed primarily at students with a degree in Psychology but will also be valuable and relevant to students with an interest or background in Criminology, International Relations, Politics, Sociology, History, and other relevant Social Sciences degrees. Applicants without a degree will be considered on a case by case basis, where they can provide evidence of relevant professional experience or other experiential prior learning.

Key features of your MSc programme in psychology will include: 

  • Strong focus on your personal skills development throughout the course to help you pursue your career goals
  • Opportunities to pursue your personal interests with expert support
  • A broad range of research methods training to maximise your employability skills
  • Small group specialist teaching in your chosen field from research-active tutors
  • A large cohort of MSc students sharing the core modules provides a lively and supportive peer community


Aims of the Course

  • Above all, we aim for this programme to have a positive professional and personal impact on you. 
  • An important aim of this programme is to develop your knowledge of research evidence and theory as this relates to a range of social and political issues.
  • The programme is aimed to provide you with opportunities to experience hands-on how research and theory (e.g., through the Action Research Project and your own dissertation project of choice) can be used to bring about social change in local communities and society at large.
  • To develop a range of advanced research skills.
  • Empower writing and presentations skills necessary to articulate your arguments and disseminate psychological theory and research.
  • To assist you to develop as a competent, empowered, and employable psychologist.


The overall aims of all our MSc Psychology programmes are as follows:

  • To equip you to formulate and conduct psychological research projects;
  • To develop your knowledge of different theoretical perspectives, philosophical traditions and methodological approaches to psychology;
  • To enable you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and different forms of data, and to evaluate their appropriateness for different research problems;
  • To enable you to define and formulate research questions and testable hypotheses, and to design appropriate research to answer these questions using relevant methods of data collection, consistent with British Psychological Society principles of ethics and research governance;
  • To provide you with knowledge of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and data analysis techniques;
  • To provide you with a range of opportunities to engage with advanced research in substantive areas relevant to their own research topic and to the discipline of psychology;
  • To provide you with opportunities to enhance and develop your written and communication skills, independent learning skills, and critical reflection and evaluation skills.

Entry Requirements

This course is open to graduates with a first or upper second-class degree in psychology (or a cognate discipline with some psychology study) or overseas equivalent. International students are very welcome, but will require IELTS 7.0 overall with 6.0 in each subtest. 

Course Content

Our MSc Psychology programmes are designed to foster a vibrant and collaborative peer culture amongst our MSc students. Several of our modules are shared by all four of our MSc psychology programmes. We also know it’s vital that you develop the advanced specialised skills you will need to pursue careers in your chosen fields. Throughout your MSc degree you are supported and encouraged to focus your work to help you conduct in-depth explorations of your specialist subjects and personal interests.
You will be taught by staff who are research active, some of whom are globally recognised for their research and impact, but also who genuinely care about using psychology to address major social issues and challenges in contemporary society. Our research activities, applied networks outside academia, and importantly our belief in your potential to develop as a powerful and yet thoughtful agent of social change will keep you engaged with this programme and ensure it equips you to undertake a wide range of professions.
Our staff offer expertise in various research areas, including (but not limited to): Crowds, riot, hooliganism and policing, protection of young people, cyber psychology and bullying, inter-group and inter-ethnic conflict and relations, wellbeing and inclusion, social justice for marginalised communities, critical and creative methodologies, gender inequality and cultural definitions of motherhood, the social construction of reality, the negotiation of power and authority in interaction, persuasive communication, victimhood, reconciliation and intergroup forgiveness, trust, prejudice reduction, social identity, collective action, the social and psychological dimensions of health and well-being, self-harm and suicide, terrorism and radicalisation, refugee integration, social influences on learning and effectiveness in the classroom – including the study of the relationship between gender and subject choice.
In addition to your dissertation project, you will participate in designing and implementing an Action Research Project with the aim to bring about a tangible, positive change on or off campus in collaboration with your fellow students and under the supervision of your Module Leader. This unique feature will provide you hands-on experience in understanding the psychology of organising social change.

Teaching and Assessment

The course is of one year duration for full time and two years for part-time.

The course is assessed through written coursework, verbal presentation of research, and independent research written up as a dissertation.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme. Limited support is available for research-related expenses.

For the latest information on postgraduate tuition fees for home, EU and international students please see the tuition fees page.

Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships

There are a range of bursaries and scholarships available for graduates wishing to undertake a taught postgraduate programme at Keele.

To check your eligibility for these bursaries and scholarships please click here.


Other Funding Opportunities

MSc Psychology students can bid for funding support to attend conferences or other extra-curricular activities to support their studies or present their research.

The quality, content and structure of our Applied Social and Political Psychology Programme has been highly praised by leading international experts in the field.


Professor Chris Crandall

 “The requirement of an action research component is excellent!” 

Professor Chris Crandall (Professor in Psychology at Kansas University and Past President of Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues)





Dr Eva Green PhotoThe graduates of this programme will be true political psychologists equipped to work in the field as well as qualified to pursue PhD-level research with high applied relevance.”

Dr Eva Green (Associate Professor in Social Psychology at University of Lausanne and President of International Society of Political Psychology).





Dr John Drury Headshot from Academic Profile: …the aims and scope of the proposed course fit well with the Impact agenda, and are likely to lead to MSc dissertations on applied, ‘real-world’ topics…

Dr John Drury (Reader in Social Psychology at University of Sussex and Co-Editor in chief of British Journal of Social Psychology).





Professor Bertjan Doosje:

It [the programme] is designed with a critical student in mind. A student that not only is eager to learn how to do rigorous research, but also with an eye to the real world out there and the important and pressing issues that we are faced with today.

Professor Bertjan Doosje (Professor in Psychology and Political Sciences at University of Amsterdam).

(Photo credit:  Jeroen Oerlemans)





Because we want this programme to be a key building block for a successful and meaningful career for you, this programme is designed to be as applied as possible (including opportunities to meet inspiring individuals from our non-academic networks), with ample opportunity for research training in diverse methods.

Following this programme, you will have an excellent basis to pursue the various career paths, including:

  • PhD research degree
  • Media political & social analysist
  • Researcher and advisor in local and national governments
  • Researcher and consultant in non-profit organisations
  • Researcher and advisor to community and mental health organisations
  • Development officer in educational and training settings
  • Human resources
  • Civil service
  • Setting up your own start-up company in social enterprise