Social and Applied Sciences

MSc Psychology by Research

Year of entry

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

The MSc by Research in Psychology, within the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, aims to develop researchers who are conceptually aware, who can utilise a range of skills and methods, and who can practise and develop their own research capabilities, and disseminate that research in a meaningful way.

By joining the Faculty MSc by Research in Psychology you will join a vibrant community of staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students. Psychology is one of the most diverse and fascinating subjects. We have an equally diverse team of research-active staff working at the forefront of their research areas, who will challenge, inspire and support you in your chosen career path.

This course is suitable for students who wish to continue their studies beyond undergraduate level.

The course is ideal if you:

  • may want to continue to doctoral level;
  • wish to enhance your qualifications for career reasons;
  • would like to undertake a research-based, rather than taught Masters;
  • recognise the need for research training in your chosen career;
  • wish to learn in a multi-disciplinary environment.

Programme structure

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

The MSc by Research draws students from a number of disciplines. The taught modules explore those philosophical, epistemological and methodological questions that are common to all research and allow for interdisciplinary discussion, exchange and insight. After these taught modules, students will then undertake an individual research project that will take the form of a dissertation or other research output agreed with their supervisor (e.g. two journal articles).

Full-time students will have 8 months to complete their research, while part-time students will have 20 months to complete. Upon successful completion of the Research Project students will be awarded an MSc by Research in Psychology.


Our research is concerned with social and cognitive development in children and adolescents.  In particular, we are interested in children’s learning and development in their social context.

Themes of work within the group include:

  • Parental scaffolding behaviour and home learning.
  • Prosocial helping and bystander behaviour.
  • Cyberbullying.
  • Young children and technology.
  • Achievement motivation and peer collaboration.

Read more about our Learning and Development research.


This theme brings together a range of academics with applied and practice-focused research interests across a wide range of psychological areas. 

Although diverse in specific research topics, members of the group share an interest in the following overarching themes: 

  • Attitudes, experiences and behaviours of people in real and particular social groups, e.g. migrants, adolescents, audiences.
  • The cultural and societal context of these processes, including public discourse and the mass media.
  • Developing theory and knowledge in an applied context with real and a priori groups.
  • Critical, qualitative, and mixed-methods psychology.
  • Sustainability, including public reactions to environmental policy; attitudes and engagement; discourses surrounding environmental issues. 

Read more about our Society and Environment research.


Thinking and creativity play a major role in everyday life. Whether in business, healthcare the media, science or education, thinking and creativity are a key to success. Research conducted by the members of the group includes:

  • Techniques used to enhance creative problem solving.
  • Creative writing ability.
  • How personality influences musical creativity.
  • The interpretation of art.

Read more about our Creativity and Cognition research.


This research theme brings together a range of academics with research interests across a wide range of psychological areas that are broadly related to the areas of health and well-being.

Research conducted by members of the group covers a wide range of topics including:

  • Well-being and anxiety in musicians and arts performers.
  • The influence of the environment on well-being.
  • The integration of the environment into therapeutic contexts.
  • The potential for intention and energy centres to enhance health and well-being.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and psychological flexibility.

Read more about our Health and Wellbeing research

All members of the Psychology team are research active and many are involved in research projects with external partners (e.g. schools, charities, BBC), as well as national and international collaborations. We employ quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods, which allows us to engage with, and supervise, a wide range of projects. As well as conducting research in applied settings, we also run studies from our psychology lab suite, which includes state-of-the-art facilities such as observation room, eye tracking and EEG, all under the supervision of our dedicated psychology technician.

Assessment will take many forms including traditional essays, team assignments, reflective logs, oral presentations, etc. All assessments will be completed before the end of the first term. You must pass all modules (40 credits) to progress to the research stage of the course. If any module is failed you’ll have one opportunity to resubmit prior to continuing with the research component of the module.

The largest part of the assessment will be based on your research output(s). Working with your Supervisor, you will have to decide what format the research output(s) will take. It may be a dissertation of approximately 16,000-20,000 word equivalent or a couple of research reports or research papers each of approximately 8,000 words in length. It may be possible that the research output could take some different form, e.g. an invention or patent, but a written component would still be required. The research output(s) will be assessed by an external examiner and you must pass this component of the module to receive the award of MSc.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  £5,380 £12,420
Part-time  £2,690  N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Before you begin your application you will need to consult with the relevant academic to help determine a viable research project. Once you have contacted a supervisor, you will need to complete the following application information form.

Once completed, please start your full application online. You will be required to upload your  application information form during the online application.

For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • A first class or upper second class honours degree in a relevant discipline is required.
  • Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.




Last edited 04/03/2019 09:51:00

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Last edited: 04/03/2019 09:51:00