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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

MSc Research Methods in Psychology (1 year)

Studying during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
This course is running in September 2020. Find out how we’re safeguarding our students and staff during coronavirus.

Acquire the methodological skills to become a successful PhD student or professional researcher in psychology or within a career in which analytic techniques are required. Our students go on to pursue postgraduate clinical training, to take up research assistant or assistant psychologist posts in the NHS and private sector or to take up non-psychological posts in industry.

Introducing your course

The programme provides advanced training in a variety of research methods and data analytic techniques equipping you with the expertise to conduct high quality and impactful research in your chosen field. You’ll learn how to apply your taught skills to your own research questions and in addition to classroom instruction will receive structured support as you develop your research questions, plan and execute the research, analyse the data, and prepare reports describing your findings.

Photo of Matt Owens
Studying at Southampton was a great experience with good lecturers being informed by their own state-of-the art research.
Matt Owens, MSc Research Methods, PhD
Research Methods in Psychology

Not only will you have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned researchers in the School of Psychology you will also have the opportunity to link with students from other programmes such as the Doctorates in Clinical and Educational Psychology, the MSc Health Psychology and the MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology.

We welcome students from across the globe. Our international students have gone on to help contribute to the economic and social development of their home countries, through the acquisition and application of research knowledge and skills. Our home students often continue their studies to pursue PhDs, work with the Office for National Statistics, work within the NHS or in private organisations compiling survey data.

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2021/22 entrants

To Apply

Apply using the University’s on-line application form.

International students, please note, you will need to allow time to get your visa. Explore our pre-arrival page to learn more.


The Masters in Research Methods in Psychology is recognised by the ESRC as a research training Master's degree, so ideal if students are looking for research funding. To learn more visit the ESRC funding page.

Programme Structure

All master's in research methods in psychology students complete eight modules in two semesters (eight months), which cover the theory, practice and context of a wide range of research approaches, using a combination of lectures, workshops, small group discussions, collaborative group research projects, and independent study. Students receive personal guidance and feedback from experts in the methods used and the research topics in which the student wishes to specialise. Assessment on this MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is based entirely on substantive pieces of research-related work carried out on in the student's area(s) of interest. Students taking the MSc then complete a further piece of independent research (four months).

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Typical entry requirements

The IELTS requirement

IELTS requirement will be an overall score of 6.5 with no individual score below 6.0.

Selection process

Intake: 20

Average applications per place: 3

On this MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme, selection is completed on the basis of an application form, two academic references, a curriculum vitae, degree certificate and transcripts and English language results (if applicable).

We normally admit graduates in Psychology with a first or second class (upper division) honours to this master's in research methods in psychology. Graduates in other disciplines or with other qualifications are sometimes admitted if their earlier training has special relevance to the psychological problems they wish to investigate.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

All master's in research methods in psychology students complete eight modules (six core modules and two compulsory modules) and a dissertation. The eight core modules are: 

Four modules covering Applied Research Methods (10 CATS/ 5 ECT credits each)

Psychological Research Design, Correlational Methods in Psychology, Qualitative Psychology, and Group Comparisons. These modules comprise lectures, group work and hands-on sessions which cover the nature, purpose and application of a wide range of research methods, including different research designs, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.

Concepts and Skills (20 CATS/ 10 ECT credits)

This module comprises group lectures and/or staff-led seminars in which MSc Research Methods in Psychology students are asked to work with self-chosen examples to develop their evaluation and presentation skills. Students are expected to contribute to the formative evaluation and feedback of other students in the group,

Advanced Statistics in Psychology (20 CATS/ 10 ECT credits)

This module comprises lectures and hands-on practical application. The practical exercises focussing on data analysis ( SPSS/AMOS) and students are introduced to alternative software packages (including SAS, HLM, R, Lisrel, etc.).

Open Science in Psychology (20 CATS/ 10 ECT credits)

This module focuses on training students in current open science practices – practices which are becoming increasingly popular in modern psychology research.

Statistical Programming in R (20 CATS / 10 ECT credits)

This module is focused on extending existing skills in analyzing quantitative data. The focus of this module will be on acquiring practical skills such as scripting, flexible matrix manipulation and advanced data visualization.

Dissertation (60 CATS/ 30 ECT credits)

This provides master's in research methods in psychology students with an opportunity to integrate and apply what they have learned in an extended, in-depth study. This permits students to begin to learn and demonstrate the ability to develop and apply their own specialist research methods and skills, as they will be required to do for further postgraduate study or for research carried out in work contexts following completion of their masters degree. Find out more about psychological research at Southampton on our Research pages.

The independent work on this MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme (including the dissertation) provides the opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate your learning by creatively applying the concepts, methods and skills learned in the modules to a topic of interest to you.

Year 1

Semester One
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Research Methods in PsychologyMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£23,136
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: You are eligible for a £50 research allowance to help you cover the cost of your dissertation research. Normally you would be expected to cover any additional costs.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
Conference expenses One module (Concepts and Skills) may include a visit to a one-day conference. The Psychology academic unit normally covers the cost of travel and admission. This will be specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

The modular structure of this master's in research methods in psychology programme provides breadth of exposure to a wide range of methods and research-related issues, ensuring that you have an understanding and also some experience (through group and hands-on sessions) of these methods. Equally, the structure permits you to pursue your particular interests, which we find is an excellent means of promoting intrinsic motivation and initiative in the learning process.

Teaching and assessment on each of the MSc Research Methods in Psychology modules has been very carefully designed to ensure integration and complementarity, logic and coherence in the order in which different aspects of research are taught, and progression in the complexity of the concepts and skills learned. For example, in the first semester of your master's in research methods in psychology you will be taught the fundamental principles of statistical analysis, which ensures that you are equipped to understand the more advanced teaching on multivariate statistical analysis in the second semester.

Study locations

Shackleton Building

Highfield Campus, Shackleton Building (B44)

This is Psychology's main base. It is also known as Building 44, and i...Find out more

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