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MSc in Psychology - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to provide:

  • an advanced understanding of the dynamics of how concepts, theories, methods and debates in psychology develop
  • an ability to critically evaluate claims made within psychological studies
  • critical skills in appraising the design, analysis and reporting of psychological research, which involves a range of research methods
  • advanced skills in applying psychology to issues relevant to different publics and areas of public policy such as relational and social policy issues
  • the ability to communicate to specialist and non-specialist audiences in complex situations (including via online communication)
  • support and guidance to improve your own learning and performance, and to develop as an independent learner.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this masters degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of psychology, demonstrating a critical and advanced understanding of them
  • the complex interrelationships between theory and research, and related policy and practice in the field of psychology. These include everyday applications, socio-economic and professional contexts
  • the role of power, cultural values, and ethics for practices, concepts and assumptions that influence research and professional practice in psychology.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • critically examine and construct arguments in relation to concepts, theories and evidence in psychology
  • independently select, interpret, evaluate and use different forms of evidence and methods, with a clear awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different data
  • apply the study of psychology at an advanced level, to enable independent evaluation of evidence, method, research and policy
  • critically and independently review existing research evidence base
  • construct sophisticated, and explicitly reasoned arguments in relation to complex real-life scenarios using appropriate concepts, theory and evidence.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • apply self direction to identify and generate key questions and issues in the field of psychology
  • work independently to produce complex reports/proposals suitable for academic, professional and/or lay audiences
  • effectively use data of various sorts (numerical, textual), from diverse sources (academic, policy-research, secondary material), and from different media (print, electronic, verbal) in a sophisticated and critical manner
  • develop and display an advanced ability to learn through reflection, feedback and peer-to-peer review, using appropriate scholarly language, and apply these to various situations.

Key skills

On completion of this masters degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • apply self-direction to identify and generate key questions and issues in the field of psychology 
  • work independently to produce complex reports/proposals suitable for academic, professional and/or lay audiences 
  • effectively use data of various sorts (numerical, textual), from diverse sources (academic, policy-research, secondary material), and from different media (print, electronic, verbal) in a sophisticated and critical manner
  • develop and display an advanced ability to learn through reflection, feedback and peer to peer review, using appropriate scholarly language and apply these various situations.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding is acquired through published distance-learning materials, including specially written module materials, study guides, assignments and project guides; through a range of multimedia material; through work on original texts; and through feedback on assignments, as well as peer review, peer feedback and personal reflection.

Assessment is via tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessments (EMAs), including a substantial dissertation project in which you can choose your own relevant subject specialism. There will be low-weighted group tasks and assessments requiring non-academic styles of presentation (including blog and wikis). Overall, there is an emphasis on the selection (from diverse electronic sources), evaluation and use of material from a range of sources including original academic texts.

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