Applied Social and Political Psychology
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Natural Sciences
- Dr Masi Noor
- Subject Area
- Natural Sciences, Psychology
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.
About the course
Application closing date: 31st July
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
Other related courses you may be interested in:
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.
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 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each subtest.
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.
All MSc Psychology students undertake the following core modules designed to help you engage with the pluralistic nature of psychology and understand the broader field within which your specialised interest sits:
- Contemporary Research in Psychology (15 credits)
- Advanced Research Skills and Design (15 credits)
- Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
- Research Apprenticeship in Psychology (15 credits)
In addition to the core modules all students can tailor their research methods training to suit their needs and interests by choosing one of the following option modules:
- Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)
- Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods (15 credits)
Research is a key emphasis in our programmes and you will be supported by a specialist tutor in your chosen field to undertake original research as part of the Research Preparation (15 credits) and Dissertation (60 credits) modules. In addition to your Dissertation, 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.
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.
Teaching and assessment
Each module has different prescribed learning activities, including formal lectures and seminars, discussions and consultation with staff. You should expect some lively debates and interesting discussions. Please be aware that you will be expected to contribute to the programme, in the form of advance reading (of which there is a substantial amount), preparing presentations and contributing to discussions in seminars, and bringing your own ideas to bear on the teaching material.
The programme is assessed through a range of formats including:
- Blog portfolios
- Personal skills audits
- Research Critiques
- Lab Reports
- Unseen exams and class tests
- Verbal presentations
- Independent research written up as a dissertation.
Full time and part time students all study together for the taught/seminar/class discussion elements of the programmes, but in certain modules part-time students have more extended deadlines to enable them to complete work without placing too much burden on them. Attendance is compulsory at all teaching sessions.
In order to obtain an MSc degree, every student is required to obtain 180 M level credits:
- Full time students complete the course in 1 year (51 weeks). In order to obtain an MSc degree, students are required to obtain 180 M level credits, including a 60-credit dissertation.
- Part time students complete the course in 2 years (103 weeks), taking 90 credits in each year.
A Postgraduate Certificate is available for students who have completed 60 credits of their programme and a Postgraduate Diploma is available for students who have completed 120 credits of their programme. There are no restrictions on which modules need to be passed.
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.
Tuition fees and bursaries
For information on fees please see the latest information here for postgraduate fees.
There are a number of bursaries on offer to both home and overseas postgraduate students. Please see this page for more information.
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.
“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)
“The 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).
“…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).
“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
MSc in Applied Social & Political Psychology