The MRes programme provides training in a set of analytical and practical research skills that will thoroughly prepare students to continue on to a PhD. The programme is ideal for students who are thinking about continuing their studies to PhD level, but it is a highly flexible course that will be useful for many different career paths. The centrepiece of the program is an independent research project culminating in a dissertation.
'I recently completed the MRes last year - I really enjoyed the ability to take part in a wide variety of research and the sense of community the MRes group had. My project was on face perception, and I'm now taking this onto a PhD here at York'
The focus of the course is on acquiring the knowledge and skills to design, conduct, evaluate and disseminate psychological research. You will acquire these skills through seminars, independent study, and through hands-on experience in one of the research labs in the Department. During the second half of the year you will put these skills to use in designing, running and reporting on your own independent research project. The empirical project is an opportunity for you to provide a scientific answer to your own research question, or to explore an area of research that you may be thinking of taking further in a PhD. Many MRes projects have led on to further PhD research, and several have been published in international peer reviewed journals.
The typical candidate for the programme is a person who already holds an Honours degree in Psychology or a cognate discipline. Many of our students are international and come from countries including China, Hong Kong, India, USA, Canada, and Denmark. All our courses are taught in English but we welcome applications from all countries and there are good support services available for international students.
Many graduates from the programme have moved on to PhD positions. Others are pursuing career paths within clinical psychology or are using their psychological skills in industry.
The course combines taught courses in research methods and research skills with opportunities to study a wide range of topics at MSc level. Students also undertake a substantial empirical project with a member of faculty, providing them with extensive hands-on research experience.
|Autumn||Spring||Summer / vacation|
|Research Design and Statistics
|Additional Research Methods
|Topics in Psychological Research
|Transferable skills |
|Either: Specialist Option
Or: Laboratory Placement
Each is worth 20 credits
|Either: Specialist Option|
Or: Laboratory Placement
Each is worth 20 credits
Modules are assessed through a variety of different assignments and exams including laboratory reports, multiple choice questions, critical analysis of published papers, short notes on a range of topics, and a dissertation and poster presentation based on the Empirical Project.
The empirical project enables students to participate in the design and implementation of a theoretically-motivated piece of pure or applied research in Experimental Psychology interpreted in its broadest sense. Many of the projects are published in academic journals.
Here are some examples of recent projects completed by students on this course:
This course will follow closely Andy Field's book "Discovering Statistics Using SPSS". The course as a whole is an advanced 'refresher' course. It assumes a basic knowledge of statistics and experimental design, but starts from first principles. In this sense no common background is assumed. By the end of the course, you will be proficient in the more common statistical techniques used in experimental psychology, and for those techniques that we are unable to cover in detail, you will develop the confidence to find out about them through reading those parts of the Field book which won't be covered on the course.
This module will provide additional methodological skills relevant to a wide range of research in psychology and social science.
A degree or equivalent qualification, normally in Psychology, and normally at the level of an upper second class honours award.
For international applications, one of the following English language qualifications:
An online application form is available from Student Recruitment and Admissions .
Who to contact for further information:
As an MRes student you can conduct your own independent research in any area in which the Department has expertise, including adult cognitive processes, cognitive development, perception and attention, comparative psychology, social and personality psychology, and applications of psychology.
Here are some more specific examples of research areas that you could get involved in as an MRes student.
Professor Andy Young examines how we perceive social characteristics in faces. One question he is interested in is whether dimensions of perceived face variability are 'universal' and therefore likely to have an evolutionary basis, or variable between ethnic groups and therefore likely to be learnt.
Another interest is in the commonalities and differences between visual cues involved in recognising relatively invariant characteristics of a face (e.g. its identity) and characteristics that can change from moment to moment (e.g. emotional expression).
Which visual cues contribute to memory for places? What factors influence individual differences in spatial memory?
Dr Slocombe’s research focuses on chimpanzee vocal communication and in particular, the extent to which our closest living relatives can use calls to refer to objects and events in the external environment and the psychological mechanisms underlying call production. This behavioural work is conducted with both wild and captive populations of chimpanzees.
Dr Andrews is interested in the neural basis of object and face perception. For example, is sensitivity to the configuration of an image evident with non-face objects?
Dr Barraclough’s research investigates the brain mechanisms underlying perception of motion, human actions and social stimuli. Some of his current projects include:
Professors Gareth Gaskell and Andy Ellis research the role of sleep in learning and memory, particularly as it applies to learning language. They have two specific projects that make use of the department’s dedicated Sleep Lab:
Dr. Zentner is interested in personality, individual differences in musical ability, and music-evoked emotion. With his students he devised a test that assesses perceptual sensitivity in various areas of music, including tempo, tuning, melody, rhythm, and timbre perception. He now plans to investigate how music appreciation and ability relate to non-musical skills, such as linguistic ability and emotional intelligence.
The standard tuition fees for 2012/2013 are:
Further information on fees is available from Student Recruitment and Admissions.
Who to contact
For more details, please contact:
- Postgraduate Administrator