School of Psychology

MSc Advanced Psychology

Carve out your future career in psychological research or practice with instruction in the advanced theory and methods that underpin psychological science. With a hands-on approach to learning, practical activities built into all elements of learning give you direct experience of the connections between theory, evidence, and practice.

A wide range of elective modules allows you to tailor the programme to your requirements, and provides instruction in the specialist techniques and transferable skills you need to shape the psychologist you want to be.

Careers with this subject

The programme provides advanced training and experience that puts graduates at a competitive advantage in academic or professional psychological practice. Insight and instruction of core psychological research competencies provide a foundation for the exploration of the knowledge and skills specific to particular career-pathways. Selection amongst the wide-range of elective modules provides experiential-learning of advanced topics relevant to clinical practice, techniques in behavior change, and human neuroscience. These options allow you to shape the psychologist that you want to become, with the skills and experience requisite for doctoral training, or immediate professional or commercial practice.

Key features

  • Our hands-on approach to learning embeds practical activities throughout the programme, so you can put new knowledge into practice and build the skills for future careers.
  • Wide range of elective modules allows you to shape the psychologist you want to become, allowing a deep-dive on techniques in clinical practice, neuroscience and behaviour change.
  • Taught lectures are concentrated on two specific days of the week, allowing full or part-time study to be combined with research, work experience, or external commitments.
  • Advanced instruction on all aspects of the research cycle: from the formulation of the research question, experiment design, data analysis, through to the written and oral communication of your findings and applications for further research funding.
  • Work with world-leading researchers and practitioners in the exploration of a research topic of your own choosing.
  • Our extensive range of specialist facilities and laboratories, including neuroimaging, observation, virtual reality, and the Plymouth Babylab, allow you to make an original contribution to your chosen area of specialism. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • With the supervision and guidance of world-class researchers and academics, you will acquire an advanced understanding of psychology that cuts across theory, methods and practice. Core modules provide the training on the core concepts and skills used in research and practice. This includes advanced instruction in data fluency, experiment design and the communication of research, and the role of qualitative and interpretative techniques in the application of psychology to everyday problems. A wide range of specialist techniques are offered as options, allowing you to build a suite of specific techniques required for your future career in research or practice clinical psychology, neuroscience, or behaviour change techniques.

    Core modules

    • PSYC751 Asking psychological questions
      This module explores what it means to ask psychological questions, what good research questions look like, and how they shape how we produce new knowledge. Practical exercises will guide you to identify, critique and refine your own research questions.
    • PSYC752 Advanced research design for psychology
      Engage with advanced concepts in psychological research design, and learn to critically evaluate current research practice with exercises that will help you to operationalise your own research questions.
    • PSYC753 Data fluency
      Become fluent with numerical and textual data and learn the practical skills to visualise and communicate your insights, using best practices for reproducibility and transparency.
    • PSYC754 Advanced techniques for psychological research
      Advanced coverage of foundational techniques and introductions to specialist techniques for collecting and analysing psychological data.
    • PSYC755 Advanced Interpretative methods
      Extending basic thematic analyses, this module provides an advanced treatment of interpretive and discursive techniques in psychology, introducing interpretative phenomenological, narrative, discourse and conversation analyses.
    • PSYC756 Communicating psychological research
      Learn to communicate your research, both in writing and orally. In this module you will learn the skills required to write journal articles, present conference papers and posters, review journal articles and write grant applications.
    • PSYC757 Success in science
      Science is a collaborative, social activity. This module explores psychological evidence and practical strategies that will help you make an impact in academic and professional life.
    • PSYC781 MSc Research project
      A research project conducted under the supervision of research academics and clinical tutors give you the opportunity to conduct an in-depth exploration a research question of your own choosing. 
    Optional modules

    • PSYC771 Issues in cognitive and brain science
      This module focuses on how cognitive and neuroscience approaches and techniques are combined to provide a convergent perspective that allows an improved understanding of behaviour and the mind.
    • PSYC772 Issues in behaviour change
      Focusing on topical problem behaviours, this module examines contemporary issues in behaviour change, as well as the theoretical and ethical issues the approach raises. 
    • PSYC773 The brain and its disorders
      Learn how the biological, psychological, and social aspects of neurological disorders are informed through investigations of functional neuroanatomy, including both congential and developmental disorders, as well as acquired neurology. 
    • PSYC774 Supporting behaviour change
      What makes a psychologically based intervention effective? Covering a range of contemporary interventions for clinical psychological and behavioural problems, you will learn to critically analyse the psychological mechanisms that underlie them, and the role that research plays in developing new interventions. 
    • PSYC791 Foundations of clinical psychology
      This module provides foundational knowledge in the theory and practice of clinical psychology, and the social, cultural and legal context in which mental health professions operate.
    • PSYC792 Understanding clinical interventions
      Learn the fundamental principles and techniques of the cognitive behavior approach, and the contemporary developments that address individual psychological difficulties within a biopsychosocial framework. Core clinical skills are introduced, including frameworks for listening, building a therapeutic alliance, communication, group-work, techniques for working with families, collaborative working, and monitoring change.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Advanced Psychology programme specification 6479

Entry requirements

Most students will hold an honours degree, usually a 2:1, although we would also consider applicants who can demonstrate their ability to thrive on this programme due to professional experience.

This programme provides a privileged route for students seeking to advance their knowledge of psychology. While well suited to students with a current background in the field we would also welcome applications from students from other backgrounds, such as education, humanities, social sciences, biology and other life sciences, pure science, and engineering.

Please note that this programme does not confer graduate basis for recognition by the British Psychological Society, applicants seeking this recognition should apply to our MSc Psychology.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required, with a normal minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency of 6.5. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed To be confirmed
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Alumni loyalty reward for postgraduate study

From September 2018, the University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward.

For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.

How to apply

Apply for postgraduate study using our postgraduate online application form.

Within your online application please attach a copy of your current CV in the section entitled ‘work experience’, outlining your academic progress and/or work experience.