The journey from BSc to MSc to PhD!

The journey from BSc to MSc to PhD!

With a competitive job market and the availability of postgraduate student finance, more graduates are considering MSc and PhD level study. Within the department of Health, Psychology and Social Studies we offer a number of MSc programmes that prepare students for the next stage of their careers, including for further PhD level study.

PhD level study involves undertaking research in a specific area and using key research and analytical skills. A PhD is a desirable, and sometimes essential qualification to pursue an academic career or a career in research. Whilst not always essential, an MSc is an opportunity to develop these research skills in preparation. The MSc programmes offered within our department give students the chance to develop their subject knowledge in psychology and social sciences, as well as engage in many of the extracurricular opportunities we offer (e.g. staff-student conference, the chance to publish in our in-house journal, voluntary research assistant experience).

Here two of our PhD students explain the way their MSc prepared them for the next step in their academic journey:

Joe McCann

A PhD is all about research. In order to better prepare myself for undertaking a PhD, I chose to do a MSc in Psychological Research Methods. The course was fantastic, and was a perfect stepping stone towards my PhD journey. The course allowed me to develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of research methods and techniques, by building upon my existing research experiences. For anyone considering doing a PhD in Psychology, I would highly recommend a MSc in Psychological Research Methods, as it gives you a robust foundation to go onto further study.

Ged McElhone

In anticipation of applying for, and beginning a PhD, completing the MSc Applied Forensic Psychology offered me a number of opportunities to consider many aspects of what continued studies may mean for me. The MSc, in the first instance, allowed me to broaden my subject knowledge.  Modules that considered matters, for example forensic, or methodological, helped further develop and build upon a foundation of taught learning and experience that ultimately can only be of benefit as I move forward into the journey that the PhD will certainly be. Additionally, the time taken to complete the MSc afforded me the opportunity to polish and develop my application, proposal, and motivations further through the direct application of learning, to the proposed research itself; in a small way this may be a reflection of the nature of the lone working that a PhD may entail, but also allowed me to consider carefully whether or not this was definitely what I wanted for myself at this time.

For more information about the programmes, please click on the links below: