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Degree type

MA

Course length

1 year full-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

C8K507

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Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Course details

The MA in Research Methods (Behavioural Science) is a Social Sciences faculty degree that involves other departments within the University.

Students intending to have a career as a research psychologist or behavioural scientist need to acquire a high level of research skills at postgraduate level. Research methods training therefore forms a central part of the MA course, including both quantitative and qualitative research methods. One third of the course is also devoted to the dissertation which may be carried out in any area of psychology related to behavioural science. The taught course modules include both generic and subject level components, providing an introduction to broad issues and methodological approaches in behavioural science and the social sciences.

Discipline-specific modules

Core modules:

  • Advanced Topics in Behavioural Science (30 credits)
  • Methods modules (60 credits)*

*Students undertake 60 credits of methods modules co-ordinated through the Durham Research Methods Centre. There will be a range of modules to choose from covering qualitative and quantitative methods, and statistics.

Examples of optional modules (30 credits from a choice of)**:

  • Power and Influence (15 credits)
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Practice (15 credits)
  • Behavioural Insights for Public Policy (15 credits).

**Not all optional modules will necessarily be available in any one year

Course Structure

Teaching is generally organised into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops. Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of formative and summative assessments. The summative assessments count towards the final degree outcome. For the course as a whole, the assessments include examinations, written assignments, oral presentations, and the dissertation.

Learning

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Lectures provide key information on a particular topic. Seminars are held in order that smaller group teaching can take place, with focused discussion on specific topics. Finally, practical and workshop classes allow you to gain direct experience, particularly in how to use statistical tools.

The balance of this type of activity varies as a function of the module. This is a one year course, with students having the summer term to work on dissertation related activities. You will typically attend approximately 12 hours a week comprising lectures, tutorials and seminars. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge, as well as conduct your dissertation. Independent study is a key element to the course, with complex factors raised in lectures that do assume some prior knowledge of the topic area.

The course is divided into three parts. One third, is of subject specific topics related to behavioural science. Across these modules the material is delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and discussions. A further three modules focus on placing psychology in the larger framework of social science research and providing generic research skills. For example, skills such as qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The final third of the course is the dissertation module, which reflects the culmination of learning and practical endeavours from throughout the course via the production of an independent and original body of research material. This is performed under supervision with a member of staff, with meetings varying in duration and frequency throughout the year as a function of the needs of the research project and student.

Entry requirements

2:1 in Psychology, Economics, Business or related subject (or equivalent).

English language requirements

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2022/23 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Psychology

Career destinations for graduates include consultant, advisor, human resources professional, talent manager, business analyst, market researcher, public relations professional, marketeer, administrator, manager, civil servant, coach, trainer or teacher. However, the broad nature of the curriculum ensures that graduates also qualify for career destinations in clinical and healthcare settings.

Department information

Psychology

The Department of Psychology provides a world-class teaching and research environment for postgraduate students in biological, cognitive, social, developmental psychology and neuroscience. We offer both postgraduate taught courses and postgraduate research degrees. Our Masters courses provide you with core skills – ideal if you want to continue on to complete a PhD, take on a research position or enter the workplace.

To find out more see our department pages.

Rankings

  • We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN silver award, underlining our commitment to equality and diversity.
  • World Top 150 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the Psychology Department pages

Facilities

Staff and students benefit from access to a wide range of cutting edge facilities and laboratories which allow us to understand the mind and behaviour through both high precision experimental methods, and ecologically valid controlled environments.

More information on our facilities and equipment.

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