University of Plymouth

Degree level: Postgraduate

Research Methods in Psychology (Taught)

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Course summary

The MSc Research Methods in Psychology (RMP) programme offers advanced training in the methods and application of psychological science, linked to advanced treatment of the psychological theories and methods in a student’s chosen area of specialisation. Students will gain in-depth and highly specialised expertise with cutting edge theory and methods in their area of interest, using elective modules to tailor their path through the programme to their chosen specialty, undertaking novel research, and extending the boundaries of current knowledge under the guidance of experts. A thorough, experientially-based training in psychological research methods Through core modules in advanced research methods, students on all programmes will gain a secure understanding of the theory, application and limitations of quantitative statistical methods for experimental and observational data. Enhanced emphasis will be placed on fluency in data manipulation and visualisation, and in developing insight and understanding for the ways in which assumptions and theory form the basis on which statistics can be used for scientific inference. Specialist techniques (e.g. Bayesian inference, approaches to causal analysis in non-experimental data) will be offered, to ensure students can extend this conceptual understanding with practical experience applying specific techniques required in particular research domains. Advanced training in theoretical and empirical advances in cognitive and brain science, behaviour change, or clinical psychology Through the Issues in Cognitive and Brain Science and Foundations of Clinical Psychology modules students will develop awareness and understanding of new research questions, debates and findings in their chosen field. Elective modules will enable students to extend this knowledge, tailoring their learning according to their specific interests. These modules are cross-cutting in nature, designed to integrate multiple research perspectives and prove relevant in different combinations for a variety of students. Deep and thorough conceptual understanding of chosen areas of study All aspects of these programmes aim towards deepening conceptual understanding of the theoretical, empirical, and methodological advances in their field. Students’ achievements on each module will be assessed entirely through coursework, which will provide a stimulus and opportunity for them to critically evaluate the material covered, to apply it to new problems, and to develop new ideas for future research. Professionalism and professional identity For all programmes, we shall organise the academic year such that students are encouraged to think of psychological research and practice as an iterative, cyclical process involving: enquiry, design, technique, communication, practice, and reflection. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their learning regularly throughout the year, and tutorial activities will ensure this is integrated within their own research practice. The work undertaken in all modules aims to develop students’ critical understanding of research methodology, and apply it to the design of their own research projects. A considered approach to PT study PT study will allow some students to combine PT research assistant or similar work with study, again enhancing their skills and experience and increasing the chance of successfully accessing PhD funding or graduate-level employment on graduation. As appropriate to master’s-level study, students will be expected to develop their own research ideas and hypotheses, based on a thorough review and understanding of the relevant literature, and to develop methods and analyses with increasing autonomy, with the support and guidance of a project supervisor. The absolute proportion of students’ contributions will necessarily vary depending on the complexity and familiarity of the methods used, but this contribution should be substantially greater than for an undergraduate project.

Course details


Assessment method

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

How to apply

International applicants

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated International Student Advice (ISA) service who will support you from the day you accept an offer at the University, right through to graduation. They will offer help and advice so you can get the most out of your studies, and your time in the UK, visit for more information. You can apply for one of our postgraduate courses directly using our online application form. For details on how to apply, and to access the online application form, please visit Once you have applied, your conditional offer letters will also be sent to you by email, so be sure to enter your current email address on your application and to check this email regularly. You'll need your unconditional letter, and the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that we'll send you, when applying for your student visa to the UK. A minimum £2,000 tuition fee deposit will be required before we'll send you the CAS. We're a licenced Sponsor under the Points Based System. To comply with our duties as a Sponsor, we're required to check other aspects of your application in addition to your academic achievements, for example any previous studies, financial status and your immigration history in the UK. For course entry requirements (inc English requirements) please refer to the specific page for the course you are interested in ( A recognised English language qualification (e.g. IELTS) would be required or successful completion of one of the University's pre-sessional English Language courses. Check our country pages to find out more about application from your specific home country If you have any questions please contact [email protected]

Entry requirements

Students should have an honours degree or equivalent, preferably in psychology but also in cognate subjects (e.g. computational neuroscience). BPS graduate membership is not required for entry. Wherever possible, established relationships or equivalencies to other international qualifications will be used, with reference to current University guidance on these matters. However, the admissions policy is based upon the principle that students will be admitted if we believe that they can benefit from the experience, and this principle will be used to make decisions where equivalencies are not available. Those with lower qualifications but relevant industrial experience will also be considered for entry, subject to interview by the programme lead. Candidates with existing achievements may be considered for exemption from specific modules under the University guidelines for accreditation of prior learning (APCL) and assessment of prior experiential learning (APEL). The Director of Postgraduate Programmes has responsibility for approving exemption under these guidelines. Their decision will be made after consulting with the Programme/Module Leaders.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5With 5.5 in all elements.

Full details of English Language requirements can be found on our website.

English Language Requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

For all information about tuition fees, please visit our fees and funding pages at * Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Research Methods in Psychology at University of Plymouth - UCAS