Postgraduate study
Study different psychological research methods, preparing you for a career in research or further study.
MSc Psychology Research Methods
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent)
Other requirements
Students must have experience of, or a background in research methods or statistics, and ideally a background in psychology or a related discipline such as neuroscience or social sciences
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in each element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£8,235 - Terms apply
International fees
£21,375 - Terms apply
University Park and Jubilee Campus




Psychology is a fast-moving field. To conduct groundbreaking research that can transform lives, researchers need to be familiar with the latest methods. This course will help you discover different approaches that are available to address your own research questions and to develop your research skills.

Psychology postgraduate event

Find out more about our courses and talk to staff and students at our open afternoon on Wednesday 12 June 2–4pm.


The School of Psychology has a large number of staff working in a wide range of topics. Whatever your chosen area, you will be exposed to leading academics who are shaping the world with their research, and can help you to develop your research interests.

In addition to the core material, we offer a wide range of optional modules from inside and outside the school, and you will also conduct an independent research project. We will encourage you to follow your passions to help you with your future career goals.

The course will help you:

  • understand qualitative or quantitative research methods
  • critically evaluate psychological research methods and various types of data
  • develop skills in literature search and reviewing
  • examine the professional skills required for an advanced researcher (including applying for funding) in the academic, public and private sectors

Completing this course was one of the most challenging yet rewarding periods of my education so far.
This masters fully equipped me with a variety of research skills; many of which I now practically apply within my PhD.

Luke Holden


Inspiring academics

Dr Matias Ison
Assistant Professor

I studied physics and obtained a PhD in Statistical Physics from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). After postdoctoral experience in France and the UK, I was appointed lecturer in bioengineering at the University of Leicester. My interdisciplinary research allowed me to be part of successful clinical and academic collaborations with international institutions, including UCLA Medical Center (USA) and King’s College Hospital (UK).

I joined the School of Psychology in 2016. I am interested in several areas related to how the brain works, from how we form new memories to how we perform complex real-world tasks such as visual search. To address these challenging questions, it is crucial to use a variety of research methods. This is why I study neural activity at different scales, from single neurons to macroscopic brain dynamics, using a range of techniques including single-cell extracellular recordings in humans, eye tracking, EEG/MEG and computational modelling. 

I convene the module ‘Psychological Research in Context’ (Psychology Research Methods MSc) and teach other undergraduate modules. 



Full course details

Male postgraduate analysing data on a computer

Individual research project

This course is linked to the research groups in the school:

We also offer optional modules from other areas in the University including the School of Medicine’s Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology and the Faculty of Social Sciences. Some projects may also be available in these areas.

Our expansive research means we can offer a variety of research projects. Past project titles have included:

  • Narrating Life Stories of Adversity, Challenge and Failure
  • Brain Mechanisms of Speech Communication
  • Is the McCollough Effect Reduced in High Schizotypy Participants?
  • Attitudes Towards Harm Minimisation Approaches for Self Harm
  • Understanding Student Satisfaction

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • peer discussion groups
  • dissertation work
  • project work

Assessment can vary depending on the module being studied but you can typically expect:

  • coursework
  • exams
  • presentations
  • research project


The School of Psychology has a range of facilities for students to use for their projects. These include:

Driving Simulator Driving simulator

Eye scanning Eye-tracking suites

EEG cap EEG suites

Other facilities include iMac computer labs, student common areas, and study spaces.

If you do your project outside of the school, you will have access to other specialist equipment.


Study full or part-time

The course is based on two taught semesters of full-time study, from late September to mid-June, plus the summer period, ending in September, when you undertake your research project. The course can also be based on two years of part-time study. 

Part-time students on this course are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between student and course director.

Part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.





Throughout the course, we will encourage and support you in the development of your own research ideas and directions.

Core modules

You will be required to study the following core modules:

Psychological Research in Context

Students elect to study one of the following areas:

  • Clinical
  • Cognitive
  • Developmental
  • Educational
  • Experimental
  • Health
  • Occupational
  • Social Psychology

Students explore their chosen area in depth and its related methodological issues with the view of applying basic theory to their own research interests.

Professional Skills

This module aims to help develop the professional skills required in researchers.

It contains a number of workshops examining areas such as presentation and writing skills, careers, understanding the wider context of research, consultancy, and practical and ethical issues, along with appropriate Graduate School courses.

Advanced Methods in Psychology

This module provides an insight into some more advanced or specialised techniques of data collection, organisation and analysis in psychological research, for example, eye-tracking, EEG, fMRI, TMS, computational modelling, diary methodologies and workshops.

Lectures will include implementation of analytical procedures in for example specialised data management and statistical packages and on specialised data gathering equipment and software.

Empirical Research Project (Psychology)

The project is designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in, and learn from, supervised project work in their chosen field of study.

The emphasis is on applied research and associated methods.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:·

  • Design, manage, analyse and report on an empirical study
  • Appreciate the ethical implications of such a study
  • Understand the social, psychological and research management skills necessary for the successful completion of such a study.

Optional modules

You can choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Social Psychology Methodology 

  • Principles and Process of Comprehensive Systematic Review
  • Evaluating Services, Interventions and Policy
  • Mixed Methods in Health Research
  • Social Epidemiology: theories and methods for understanding the social determinants of health
  • Philosophy of Research - Social Science

Health Psychology 

  • Assessment of Cognitive Function
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation and Evaluation
  • Models and Approaches in Mental Health Research
  • Topics in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry

Clinical and Forensic Psychology

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Dyslexia: Psychological and Educational Perspectives
  • Forensic and Mental Health
  • Understanding Developmental Disorders
  • Clinical Neuropsychology

Experimental and Applied Psychology 

  • Applied Psychology: Road User Behaviour
  • Educational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology of action: The body in the brain
  • The Visual Brain: Evolution, Development, Learning and Adaptation

Neuroscience and Psychology

  • Experimental Design for Functional Imaging
  • Introduction to Matlab Programming
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging


  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics
  • Foundations in Qualitative Methods
  • Fundamentals of Quantitative Analysis
  • Intermediate Quantitative Analysis
  • Measurement models
  • Structural Equation Modelling
  • Individual and Group Interviews (2)
  • Individual and Group Interviews (3)


  • Research Internship

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

UK/EU Students

The Graduate School website provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

University of Nottingham graduates in front of the Nottingham sign

This course can help you with: 

  • supporting your application for PhD study or other advanced degree positions
  • preparing for a broad range of research careers in industry, charities, healthcare or public sector research

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers in private and public sector organisations because of the solid academic foundation and transferable and analytic expertise they gain during their degree course.

Beyond that, you will be well placed to pursue a career in research, although you will also gain an impressive skill set that will make you suitable for a broad range of careers, including in industrial or corporate research, research in the public or third sector and work with evidence based policy.

Programme directors will be happy to provide general information about career prospects in relation to their courses and to advise you on the most appropriate course depending upon the career path you have in mind.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 94.7% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,000 with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers – ranked in the top 10 in The Graduate Market 2013-2019, High Fliers Research.

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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