Taught course

Applied Psychology

Heriot-Watt University · School of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

For MSc entry, students will typically have a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Psychology or a related discipline from a BPS-accredited programme.

If the first language is not English, or a previous degree was not taught in English, evidence of English language ability will be required.
The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.
If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)

Months of entry


Course content

Overview of Programme

Our MSc Applied Psychology programme is a one-year postgraduate degree for graduates who aspire to have a career in academic psychology or one of the many industries where psychology can be applied. It is led by research-active academics working in applied fields of psychology at our Edinburgh campus.

As a postgraduate degree, MSc Applied Psychology follows on from our established, BPS Accredited undergraduate degree in BSc Psychology. It will allow you to explore key topics related to Heriot-Watt’s three important psychological research, including:

  • Cognition, Brain and Behaviour
  • Lifespan Health and Wellbeing
  • Work, Society and Environment 

During this master’s programme, you’ll deepen your knowledge of contemporary research in psychology and consider its translation and application to real-world problems. You’ll understand theoretical models in psychology and be able to critically evaluate current research and application. You’ll learn how to demonstrate capabilities for managing research or practice, including data management, and be able to conduct and disseminate research in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the normal principles of research ethics. You’ll also understand how to craft impactful research by engaging with users and stakeholders.

Each course will equip you with highly employable expertise and skills in psychology. You’ll benefit from the industry relevance of the programme, which will set you up for life after graduation. Upon completion, you’ll be equipped with the transferable skills and qualities necessary to have a career in academic psychology or applied psychology.

Your learning environment

The MSc Applied Psychology programme at Heriot-Watt University has excellent research facilities such as eye trackers, driving simulators and consistent environment labs which will support your independent research projects.

The degree is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and applied practice, allowing you to get to know and build relationships with your peers, the teaching staff and academics. You will be assessed by an independent project and coursework – you’ll receive support and feedback throughout the programme. 

Customise your learning

You’ll learn from eight courses on the syllabus and take part in an independent project. Every course focuses on enhancing your subject-specific knowledge and will allow you to develop your research skills which can be applied to coursework and your postgraduate project.

Through your dissertation, you’ll critically evaluate relevant literature and psychological theories to support a rationale for a selected independent project in psychology. You’ll have the opportunity to learn and demonstrate a critical ability to use a range of techniques and research methods to produce this project. You’ll present your findings of the research in an appropriate academic form.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

See University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office