Research course

Social Psychology

Institution
University of Kent · School of Psychology
Qualifications
PhDMSc by research

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Entry requirements

Before making your application, we recommend that you contact a staff member whose expertise matches your area of interest to discuss your proposed project, CV and potential supervisory arrangements.

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with:

a. Adequate level of academic achievement

A final degree classification (grade average) of at least a 2.1 or Merit in the UK system (the second highest classification after First/Distinction). Results from institutions in other countries will be assessed individually according to this standard.

Your existing degree does not have to be in psychology as long as the statistics training requirement is met (please see below) and your proposed supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies (Research) are satisfied with the suitability of your academic background. If it is in a different subject, or if it is not accredited by the British Psychological Society, please ask your academic referee to complete our Pro-forma for graduate research programmes and email it to psypgadmissions@kent.ac.uk.

b. Statistics and research methods training in the social sciences

This programme includes a one-year statistics sequence which you must normally pass in order to receive your award. The teaching assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:

  1. Means and standard deviations
  2. Distributions, hypothesis testing and statistical significance
  3. t-tests
  4. Correlation coefficients
  5. Variables and measurement

Therefore, your existing degree transcript should note that you have taken and passed a minimum of one term each in statistics and social science research methods courses (or two terms of a joint statistics and research methods course).

It is possible to be exempted from the statistics training at Kent if there is sufficient evidence that you have already completed equivalent training in a previous qualification.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry

January, May, September

Course content

Study psychology at postgraduate level and you become part of a diverse, dynamic and supportive community in which to research and learn. Some of the areas that Social Psychology research at Kent covers are prejudice and discrimination, justice and morality, leadership and power, conspiracies and social movement, and culture and social interaction.

A Master's by research degree focuses on research expertise and prepares you for professional work or PhD study. A PhD is a doctorate of philosophy based on mostly independent study.

Both research degrees are assessed formally on the basis of one piece of work, a dissertation (or thesis), that reports your original thought and research. You must also successfully complete all required training.

If, rather than a research degree, you are interested in a Master's degree in this area comprising specialist modules and a dissertation element, our taught MSc in Social Psychology is a great choice.

Choosing a topic

Although sometimes we have specific PhD research projects related to funding awards, most of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should then contact the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research and ask them if they will act as your supervisor. Master's by Research applicants should also follow this procedure.

You then work with your proposed supervisor on refining your research proposal which provides the starting point for your subsequent research.

Supervision

During your research, you are supported by your supervisory team, normally comprising one main supervisor and a secondary supervisor. Your will have agreed your main supervisor, based on their compatibility with your research interests, prior to registration. Typically, you have one formal meeting per month with your main supervisor to discuss your work and progress (bi-monthly for part-time students).

Training

Through the Graduate School, you have access to training in research-specific and broader transferable skills, including academic writing, career management and presentation skills.

PhD students in receipt of a teaching studentship (GTA), must also complete the Associate Fellowship Scheme (AFS). The AFS registration period is one year.

The Statistics and Methodology module from our taught MSc programme is available for doctoral students who have not already completed an advanced statistics and methods course. Master's by Research students are usually required to undertake this module.

Information for international students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current information and application details.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    60-72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MSc by research
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    Start date - MSc: September; PhD: September, January, May

Course contact details

Name
School of Psychology
Email
psypgadmissions@kent.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1227 824775