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MSc - Psychology: Applied Social Science

If you have a background in psychology, sociology or criminology, this course is ideal for you.

You'll have a choice in the areas you which to focus your study; this means you have flexibility in the topics and research methods where you wish to gain expertise. You'll have the chance to examine practice and research from theoretical perspectives.

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Course Overview

We offer a stimulating and challenging environment where you can build on your existing learning experiences to advance your academic and professional development. You will gain specialised knowledge and a critical awareness of issues at the forefront of social science.

This pathway recognises the status of the student as an expert in identifying what they want or need to study and presents an exciting opportunity to exit with a rigorous Masters award bespoke to each individual student’s interests and career needs. The range of options you can select is both extensive and coherent. The options may be grouped thematically with a strong emphasis on legal and criminological psychology, interpersonal violence and abuse, organisational psychology, and research methods. Teaching is done through a variety of blended learning and campus-based activities explicitly designed to meet the needs of learners working in a range of contexts.

On this course you will...

  • Be able to explore and apply psychological literature to current issues, contexts and experiences around issues related to applied social sciences.
  • Be given high quality support and guidance by our lecturing team who are active in their research and practice.
  • Learn valuable transferrable skills in PG research, which are highly sought after by employers.
  • Have the opportunity to choose topics and areas that you want to learn more about to tailor your learning experience.
  • Have the opportunity to shape your MSc experience to your own interests and career goals, allowing our team to help you to reach your ideal future career.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

The Psychology: Applied Social Science course provides a set of modules that will enhance specialist subject knowledge and key skills for working in a range of settings, all delivered by subject specialists. It is designed to build on your existing learning experiences and offers flexible learning opportunities to improve your career prospects.

The range of options from which you may select is both extensive and coherent. The options may be grouped thematically with a strong emphasis on legal and criminological psychology, interpersonal violence and abuse, organisational psychology, and research methods with each theme underpinned by sociological, psychological and criminological theory. You can select from within or between themes dependent upon your personal preferences.

All MSc Applied Social Science learners will require you to have undertaken the following core modules: Research Skills and Methods (20 credits), Professional Values and Ethics (20 credits) Negotiated Learning (20 credits), and the Dissertation (60 credits), as well as the compulsory module Theories of Contemporary Society (20 credits). The remaining 40 credits may be selected from the list of optional modules.

Compulsory modules
  • Research Skills and Methods
    Introduction to a range of qualitative and quantitative methodology. You will be trained in the methods required to design and execute an empirical study, ways to keep the methodology scientific and other research design issues.
  • Theories of Contemporary Society
    Develop a critical appreciation of the current theoretical issues being advanced by social and cultural theorists attempting to understand recent social and cultural changes and how these impact on people's lives.
  • Professional Values and Ethics
    Engage in a series of critical debates; providing you with a knowledge and understanding of a number of ethical and practice issues that you may face within the workplace.
  • Negotiated learning
    Undertake an independent piece of work to develop your specialist knowledge and expertise in an area that is pertinent to your chosen pathway.
  • Dissertation
    An independent project that provides the opportunity to demonstrate your competence in critically reviewing, synthesising and drawing conclusions from the literature and research.
Optional modules

You will be able to chose two optional modules, subject to availability.

  • Critical Perspectives in Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
    Achieve an in depth awareness and critical viewpoint about the issues underpinning the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
  • Psychology of Violent Behaviour
    Understand the psychology of interpersonal violence and other violent behaviour.
  • Criminal Psychology, Offending Behaviour and the Criminal Justice System
    Explore the UK justice and prison services, including the roles and functions of the courts, police, probation, and secure NHS services.
  • Working with Specialist Populations in Forensic Psychology Settings
    Develop an understanding for working with adults, children and young people within specialist populations.
  • Qualitative Research Methodologies and Techniques
    Explore a range of techniques and methods for collecting and analysing qualitative data in psychology.
  • Implementing Psychological Research Techniques
    Learn to develop a research proposal in a range of areas, identifying research problems and appropriate solutions.
  • Organisations and the environment
    Develop a critical understanding of the interrelationship between organisations and the environment.
  • Environmental psychology (online)
    Take an in-depth and critical look at environmental psychology as a multidisciplinary theoretical and practical area.
  • Interpersonal Violence and Abuse
    Explore differing forms of interpersonal violence, to critically assess theories of violence produced within Cultural Studies, Criminology, Political Science, Philosophy and Psychology.
  • Advanced Statistics
    Develop the skills and knowledge required to analyse and report your own empirical research in psychology.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

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