Applied Social and Political Psychology
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- September 2020
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
- Dr Masi Noor
- Subject Area
- FEES (2020/21 academic year)
- UK/EU - £8,500
- International - £15,500
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.
Closing date for applications: 31st August
Jane Quek, MSc Applied Social and Political Psychology student
"As a mature international student with previous working experience, I think that the MSc in Applied Social and Political Psychology in Keele equips their students with the essential skills and realistic expectations for the real world. "Read more
About the course
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 in 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.
You will develop these skills in the context of your chosen specialism.
How the course is taught
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.
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.
Core Taught Modules
You will undertake a triple weighted module called Advanced Study in Applied Social and Political Psychology (45 credits) that spans both semesters of the programme.
Through combining the applied social aspects of human psychology with its political psychological dimensions, this advanced module offers a unique opportunity to understand and analyse contemporary applied social and political issues in modern society. You will study three to five topics drawn from the following indicative topics: crowds, riots and policing, genocide and intergroup conflict, conflict mediation and post-conflict reconciliation, gender inequality, nationalism, leadership, cyberpsychology, discourse and social constructionism, terrorism and radicalisation, minoritised groups and social justice, community health and suicide, etc. In addition to research active staff, where possible, teaching will be supported with inputs from a range of non-academic professional experts, activists and NGOs from applied settings, who will share their real-life experiences to validate and challenge psychological theories and research.
Additionally, all MSc Psychology 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||
This is a breadth module that enables you to engage with psychological research across a range of topics and sub-disciplines at the cutting edge of contemporary research in psychology. You will attend research seminars given by experts within and outside Keele and reflect on and critically evaluate the theoretical, methodological and ethical issues associated with a wide range of contemporary topics and issues in psychological research.
|Advanced Research Skills and Design||15 credits||
This innovative module gives you a broad range of advanced research skills and familiarity with a range of cutting edge research designs in psychology, the help you progress through the rest of the programme being able to set your work in wider context. It introduces new techniques not typically covered at undergraduate level as well as equipping students with the advanced research skills or critical literature reviewing, generating a suitable research question, identifying a suitable method, ethical issues in research, and managing time and research relationships. You will complete a detailed skills audit and engage in some complex reflections of your own abilities and how you can progress through the course - an innovative assessment praised by our external examiners for encouraging engagement and thinking about personal development.
|Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis||15 credits||
The topics covered in this module are: extensions of the regression model, analysis of variance, logistic regression, and multivariate data reduction techniques such as factor analysis, together with a few more specialist methods, which you can select between based on your interests. The material is taught using SPSS, and although the module encourages a sound understanding of statistical principles, the primary emphasis is on practical data analysis.
|Research Apprenticeship in Psychology||15 credits||
Every year we run apprenticeships in which students join staff working on real research projects across a broad range of areas of psychology. Students are allocated to an apprenticeship based on the self-development goals you each identify in your personal skills audit. This ensures the apprenticeship provides you with experiences and opportunities that will support your future career ambitions and encourage you to learn new skills.
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||
This module will give you an appreciation of different approaches to qualitative data collection and analysis. We encourage you to try out data collection and analytic methods you haven't used before. During the module you will design, conduct, analyse and reflect on a qualitative research study based on a topic you are interested in. Students often choose to explore something that complements or extends their dissertation research.
|Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods||15 credits||
This module develops your knowledge and practical skills with contemporary methods in cognitive psychology and cognitive neurosceince such as electroencephalography (EEG), eyetracking, and other contemporary methods. It prepares you to design, conduct, and critically appraise research using these methods. Lectures cover the theoretical background of the methods and, for several months, you will gain hands-on experience with data collection, data analysis, and use of specialist software and equipment. This module will emphasise a framework which will allow you to understand existing methods and follow the development of new methods going forward.
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 Dissertation (60 credits) module.
Students choosing the MSc in Applied Social and Political Psychology will engage with the following research opportunities:
Action Research Project
Using what you learn about theories and research in applied social and political psychology, you will also engage in the design and implementation of an action research project to implement a tangible change on or off campus with the support of your fellow students and under the supervision of your Module Leader.
You also 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.
In addition to your dissertation project, you will have the opportunity to work closely with a second academic to expand your research experience to other aspects of social and political psychology.
Academic 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.
English Language entry requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional english language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2020/21 academic year)
UK/EU students £8,500 per year
International students £15,500 per year
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
International students - more information on scholarships and funding
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
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)
MSc in Applied Social & Political Psychology