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, practicals, independent study, and through hands-on experience in one of the research labs in the Department. The course structure is highly flexible and allows you to either sample research from different fields, or concentrate in a research area of your interest. 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 and Canada.
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
Practical Skills in Psychological Research
Advanced Issues in Experimental, Cognitive and Social Psychology
Specialist options are selected from a set of available taught courses or Advanced Modules offered from the faculty in the department. These modules are roughly organized in strands, so that you can choose to concentrate in an area of research such as Language, Memory, Cognition, Perception and Action, and Social Psychology, or take modules from different fields. This means that you can have one or two taught modules and your dissertation conducted in the same research area, or you can choose to learn about different fields.
Modules are assessed through a variety of different assignments and exams including laboratory reports, programming exercises, multiple choice questions, critical analysis of published papers, short essays on a range of topics, and a dissertation and poster 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 increase students’ knowledge and understanding of advanced issues in Experimental, Cognitive and Social Psychology through a focus on applied questions. Topics will range from psychological research on human factors to social and cultural factors.
The aim of this module is to give students hands-on experience with programming and data management skills. Students will learn to translate a phenomenon of interest into an appropriate experimental paradigm. In addition, students will learn how to manipulate complex data they acquire using software packages that are widely used in research laboratories around the world.
You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.
If you have any questions about the course, please contact the course director, Silvia Gennari.
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:
As an MRes student you can conduct your own independent research in any area in which the Department has expertise. Research areas may include adult cognitive psychology (language, memory, perception, action and attention), comparative psychology, social and personality psychology, and applications of psychology.
Here are some specific examples of research areas that you could get involved in as an MRes student.
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 Barraclough’s research investigates the brain mechanisms underlying perception of motion, human actions and social stimuli. Some of his current projects include:
Professor Gareth Gaskell researches 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:
Current projects by Dr. Evans includes: the study of audio-visual search in complex environments; effects of context on visual recognition memory; investigating the time course and role of non-selective (global attention) and selective (focused attention) processes in natural scene perception; big data visualisation and summary statistic perception, expertise in medical image perception. Depending on the topic students are interested in pursuing, they will have an opportunity to learn how to acquire and analyse data with the method most suitable to study the relevant topic with the aim of applying their findings to further our understanding of visual and multi-sensory awareness.
When viewing someone make an action, such as a gaze shift or grasping an object, similar processes are activated in the observer. These processes are assumed to aid understanding of another person and predictions of their future behaviours. Behavioural techniques such as priming and electromyography (EMG) recording of facial muscles are mostly used. The use of the latter EMG technique is an attempt to measure on-line changes in emotion which result from action observation.
Dr Gennari works on language production and coprehension and the representations of real world event in language and memory.
For complete information, see also our list of faculty.
Who to contact
For more details, please contact:
- Postgraduate Administrator
01904 32 3189