Taught course

Psychological Science, Research Methods of

Institution
University of Glasgow · School of Psychology
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

At least a 2:1 Honours degree in psychology or neuroscience or acceptable equivalent(s).

As part of the admission process we prioritise matching your interests with one of our academic supervisors to ensure that we have the expertise to adequately supervise your research project. Please state your research interests in the application and/or contact the programme co-coordinator, Dr Martin Lages about your research interests. We will establish if you can conduct a research project according to your research interests.

Months of entry

September

Course content

This Masters in Research Methods of Psychological Science will provide you with both theoretical instruction and practical experience in the methods appropriate for scientific research in psychology.

Why this programme

  • This MSc complies with requirements for the PhD research training programme of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and can either be the first year of a ‘1+3’ funding package or qualify you for future ‘+3’ funding.
  • Psychology at the University of Glasgow is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 in the UK recently achieving 4th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2017).
  • You will benefit from innovative assessment, including portfolio of professional skills, peer review and writing up a research project in the format of a journal article.
  • You will benefit from access to the resources of the University’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi), including a 3 Tesla fMRI scanner, MEG system, two TMS labs, and several EEG labs, including fMRI compatible systems. Dedicated motion capture suites record precise 3D body movements and facial animation sequences. Eye movements can be followed remotely using our SR Research EyeLink systems.
  • The programme has excellent career prospects and a very good track record of previous graduates.

Programme Structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Research Methods of Psychological Science include lectures, seminars and tutorials and lab work.

Core courses

  • The research cycle
  • Introduction to Matlab programming
  • Professional skills
  • Research methods in cognitive science
  • Statistics and research design
  • Qualitative methods

Optional courses (one chosen)

  • Cognitive brain imaging methods
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Formal models and quantitative methods*
  • Psychology of language*
  • Sleep and circadian timing*
  • Visual perception and cognition*

* Each of these options will only run if the minimum number of students (>3) enrol.

You will also attend Scottish universities’ psychology postgraduate meetings, research seminars and journal clubs

Research excellence

Research across the subject of Psychology attempts to advance our understanding of behaviour and the underlying mental processes and brain functions at multiple levels of analysis. This effort entails the integration of diverse approaches and paradigms from experimental psychology, cognitive science and the cognitive neurosciences.

We are committed to producing basic and applied research of the highest quality with a focus on three main areas:

  • An interdisciplinary effort to advance the understanding of the complex relationship between the brain, cognition and behaviour. This brings together researchers with an interest in cognitive neuroscience, functional neuroimaging, neuropsychology and computational modelling. The Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCNi) aims to develop new methods for understanding brain mechanisms, and to train interdisciplinary scientists in the use of those methods and techniques.
  • The new science of social interactions, a science that blends behavioural, computational and neuroimaging techniques to investigate human social function, communication and cooperation. Our research examines a range of mechanisms that underlie social interaction: from gestures and expressive signals, from the face, voice and body to language-based communication. We have special interest in how such local interactions affect the dynamics and structure of larger scale social networks.
  • Further research areas include sleep, language, visual perception, computational methods, memory, thought and social interaction.

Resources and facilities

We use a variety of specialised equipment for capturing the behavioural activity of participants in experiments. This can be either for generating experimental stimuli, or for recording behavioural responses in a laboratory setting or through a web survey.

Recording the body
We use a dedicated Motion Capture Suite comprising 12 F40 Vicon Cameras for recording precise 3D body movements.

Recording the face
A Dimensional Imaging 4D capture system is used to capture 3D facial animation sequences using passive stereo photogrammetry.

Recording the eyes
Eye movements can be followed remotely using our SR Research EyeLink 2000 Desktop System.

Recording neural activity
The CCNi houses state-of-the-art imaging equipment for measuring brain activity. Facilities include dedicated fMRI, MEG, EEG, and TMS systems.

fMRI lab:
3 Tesla Tim Trio Siemens scanner
Nordic Neuro Lab System (NNL) stimulus presentation and eye tracking system.

MEG lab:
4D-Neuroimaging Magnes 3600 WH (248 sensors) MEG system
Optotrak Certus motion capture system
Applied Science Laboratories (ASL) LRO-6 eye tracking system
Digital Projection dVision 1080p Projector

EEG lab:
Biosemi Active 2 (128-channel) EEG system

TMS lab:
Magstim Bistim Module
Magstim Super rapid2
Frameless stereotaxy system (Neuronaviagor): Brainsight
TMS- and fMRI-compatible EEG amplifier: 64 channel BrainVision BrainAmp MR plus
EMG amplifier: Cambridge Electronics Design 1401 data acquisition system and 1902 amplifiers

Career prospects

As this programme complies with ESRC requirements, successful graduates from the programme are eligible for +3 ESRC PhD studentships. The majority of our graduates have obtained PhD funding or secured a research or teaching position. Others have opted for further professional training in specialised fields of psychology. Some graduates have used the qualification and skills to advance in their current employment.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as: Assistant Psychologist at NHS and PhD studentships at Glasgow University or other HEIs in UK or abroad.

Information for international students

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding

UK students
£7250
International students
£19500

See website for details http://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/psychologicalscienceresearchmethodsof/#/feesandfunding

Qualification and course duration

MSc

full time
12 months

Assessment

AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations11
Written coursework / continuous assessment45
Dissertation35 (7500 words)
Oral Examination9

Course contact details

Name
Dr Martin Lages
Email
Martin.Lages@glasgow.ac.uk