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This MRes degree programme provides you with comprehensive training in the skills required for psychological research. You will attend lectures and participate in hands-on workshops, and complete a research project supervised one-on-one by an academic member of staff.
This programme is studied on campus.
The University of Aberdeen has one of the longest established departments of Psychology in the UK with a long tradition of high-quality research training. The School of Psychology was ranked in the top 20 in the UK for its research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework audit.
The Masters of Research (MRes) course consists of six smaller taught modules and one large research module, lasting for one year of full-time study. The taught courses develop core skills required for research, including reviewing the literature, managing projects, preparing funding applications, disseminating your research through presentations and papers, and communicating with non-academic audiences. There will be training in IT skills, advanced statistics, and sessions on both quantitative and qualitative research design. These are taught using a combination of lectures and workshops, and use frequent assessment and feedback to ensure you develop a deep understanding of the skills and knowledge needed for a successful research career.
A major component of the MRes is the individual research project, supervised by an academic member of staff. These present an opportunity to put the acquired research skills into practice and work with experts in the field to answer cutting-edge questions in psychology. Please see a list of potential research projects that staff are willing to supervise.
The initial lectures of this course provide introductory information that is essential for new postgraduate students. The subsequent lectures and assessments develop essential research skills and knowledge such as academic writing, ethics and philosophy of science.
In order to conduct research in Psychology, students will need to use specialized software and learn some basic programming. This course provides instructive lectures on how to use some of the more widely adopted and useful software suites and programming languages, accompanied by workshops in which students perform PC based exercises to practice their skills.
A thorough understanding of common statistical techniques and the ability to apply them is essential to conduct research in Psychology. This course provides lectures on the most important statistical techniques in Psychology accompanied by workshops in which students perform PC based data analysis exercises.
This course covers statistical topics that go beyond the scope of what is normally taught at undergraduate level. The topics covered help researchers surpass the limitations of standard statistical approaches (e.g. NHST).
A major component of the MRes is the Research Module. For this, students complete their own research project supervised by a member of staff who is an expert in the relevant field. They also attend departmental seminars, present their research at a postgraduate psycholoquia and take part in journal clubs.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. A lot of research training is through hands-on learning by designing and running studies and analysing data in close coordination with supervisors. Most of the teaching proceeds in small groups, allowing for individual support and feedback. The research project is guided by individual meetings with the supervisor. A further member of staff, the assessor, will provide feedback on all assessments related to the research module.
You can supplement your required courses with a wide range of other courses and skills training sessions offered by the University of Aberdeen. Being part of an active and collaborative research unit means you are also welcome at our many informal seminars, research meetings, and workshops.
Assessment includes weekly worksheets, small projects, essays, exams, oral ad poster presentations, and a final thesis reporting your research project.
Why Study Psychology?
You will be introduced to state-of-the-art research concepts and theories taught by award-winning teachers and world-class researchers, exposing you to the latest thinking in the field.
You will benefit from the key research strengths within the School of: social psychology, neuroscience, language, perception & attention and cognitive psychology.
A major focus of the MRes is in designing and running a unique research project to a professional level and working closely with an academic supervisor. Many of our MRes projects have been published in internationally renowned journals.
You will have the opportunity to gain experience using specialised laboratories and equipment including those for brain imaging, eye movement recording, movement analysis and visual neuroscience.
You will learn skills in communication, analysis, statistics and critical thinking which will be an excellent preparation for a future career in research.
To help you get a job we have an employability programme for our students which includes online resources, career talks and networking events.
The School of Psychology is ranked in the top twenty for research in the UK (REF 2014).
The MRes in Psychology is recognized as compliant with the UK Economic and Social Research Council training guidelines, and the school is a member of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.
Founded over 100 years ago, the School of Psychology at Aberdeen is one of the oldest in the UK.
View the list of potential projects and staff research interests on our School website to select areas of research which interest you. You should specify in your personal statement three members of academic staff that you might be interested in doing a research project with during the MRes. Note that this does not commit you or the School to carrying out a project with these particular supervisors. You are welcome to contact potential supervisors during the application process to find out more about their research interests. You do not need to prepare a research proposal at this stage.
A list of staff and their research interests and example projects can be found on our School website.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
A 2:1 degree in Psychology or a cognate discipline.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person
In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More information can be found on our Finance and Funding page.
This programme provides an excellent platform for those students wanting to pursue a career in psychological research, particularly those wishing to study towards a PhD. The transferrable skills included in the MRes programme would also be useful for careers in other fields. Potential careers for MRes Psychology graduates include clinical psychology, human factors, industrial research, and business administration. Many employers seek psychology graduates as people with an understanding of human behaviour and knowledge of data processing.
What our Alumni Say
Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher
I really enjoyed the freedom to work on my own research project, while receiving all the support I needed from my supervisors. The taught component of the degree helped me build the skills I needed to become a better researcher.
The MRes course taught me not only different research skills that are now vital for a PhD but also enabled me to become a more independent and self-directed researcher than was previously afforded to me in my undergraduate course.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
This facility consists of several spacious rooms that house electroencephalographic (EEG) equipment and sound-attenuated, shielded testing booths.
Eye Tracking Facilities
The School of Psychology has four in-house eye trackers. The Eyelink 1000 system allows the recording of eye gaze at a sampling rate of 1000 Hz.
Sir Duncan Rice Library
The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.