Psychology Research Methods MSc


Fact file

MSc Psychology Research Methods
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (Upper second class or international equivalent).
Other requirements
Students must have experience 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 any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park Campus and Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course provides a broad education in psychological research methods, as the first part of a training programme leading to a PhD, a career in research in business or the public sector, or working with evidence based policy.
Read full overview

This course provides a broad education in psychological research methods. Specifically, it:

  • provides students with an understanding of the range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, that are used in psychological research
  • helps students to critically evaluate psychological research methods and various forms of data used in psychological research
  • provides the opportunity to focus on the student's own research interests
  • provides the opportunity to develop skills in literature searching and reviewing
  • examines the professional skills required of an advanced researcher (including achieving funding) in the academic, public and private sectors
  • provides practical training in doing psychology-related research.

Key facts

  • Teaching within the School is informed by current research. We believe that research and teaching should be developed and delivered to help students and staff make a difference in the real world.
  • 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.

Course details

The MSc Psychology Research methods is based on two taught semesters of full-time study, from late September to mid June, plus the summer period, ending in September, when an empirical research project is undertaken. 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. In all cases, part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.


The course structure is hierarchical, progressing from generic skills relating to research and career development, through the knowledge and skills commonly required for effective psychological research, to those more specifically and particularly related to each student's chosen area of study. The final demonstration of their acquired knowledge and skills is the empirical research project, with a research management report. The project is written up as if for publication in a refereed scientific journal and forms a bridge into PhD studies or other research roles.

Teaching methods

Course teaching involves lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, peer discussion groups, dissertation work, and project work. The taught semesters comprise modules on research and personal development skills, social sciences and psychology research skills, general and advanced research methods, and research methods specific to individual students chosen areas of psychological research. As with outlines for all University degrees these details are provisional and may be subject to change.



Throughout the course, we will encourage and support you in the development of your own research ideas and directions. You will be required to study the following core modules:

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Postgraduate Taught Funding

Financial support and highly competitive scholarships are available, and we encourage potential applicants to explore all funding possibilities. Please check the Graduate School for opportunities you may be eligible for in addition to those outlined here.

The University's Careers and Employability Service also provides a useful information service about further studies and sources of funding for graduates.

NB: Please note that scholarship applications cannot be considered until an offer has been made.

Overseas students

Scholarships offered through the International Office

Through its International Office the University offers a range of Competitive Scholarships for international students.

It also offers a number of Non-Competitive Scholarships. These include the University of Nottingham Alumni Scholarship, an automatic 10% fees bursary offered to overseas and European Union graduates from the University of Nottingham who continue on to higher degrees at Nottingham.

Similar schemes exist for Alumni of Universitas 21 Institutions and non-UK former Study Abroad and International Exchange Alumni.

There is also a Family Scholarship (10% fees bursary) offered to students (European Union or overseas) who have family who are students or graduates of the University of Nottingham.

Further information is available on the International Office Scholarships page.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding

Applicants who will be employed by the NHS in the East Midlands while they are undertaking their studies may be eligible to apply for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding through the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.

See also: Fees


Many people use this Masters to support their applications for PhD study or other advanced degree positions. It also prepares you 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.

The University of Nottingham remains one of the UK's 10 universities most targeted by recruiters. Some 2,000 employers approach the University each year. Together with the University's Centre for Career Development (CCD), we will help you plan your future.

The quality of our graduates is widely recognised by employers and recent graduates from the course have been recruited to a wide range of major UK organisations.

  • Bath University
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC TV)
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
  • Cranfield University
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • English local government
  • Federal Express
  • Home Office
  • Kaizen Consultants
  • Leicester City Council
  • Manchester University
  • Ministry of Defence (Army)
  • National Health Service
  • National Westminster Bank
  • Network Rail
  • Pearn Kandola
  • Rail Safety and Standards Board
  • Rolls Royce
  • Shell
  • SHL
  • Southampton University
  • UK Government departments, for example Home Office (Police Training)
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham

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 2016, 97% of postgraduates from the School of Pharmacy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,212 with the highest being £50,000.* 

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

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.

The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

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.

Get in touch
+44 (0)115 951 5361
Make an enquiry


Postgraduate Administrator
School of Psychology
The University of Nottingham
University Park
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