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The University of Edinburgh: Social Psychology

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
Telephone 0131 651 5002
Study type Taught


This programme provides an opportunity for intensive advanced training in social psychology. It will teach you how to think as a social psychologist, how to answer questions about social phenomena, and advance your knowledge of the theories, concepts, and research that make up social psychology’s distinctive perspective.

Key research areas

Building on the research methods training, you will take topical courses in the core research areas of our department including theoretical and methodological aspects of social psychology.

Your MSc culminates in a research dissertation in a core research area: an original, publication-quality piece of research, undertaken in close collaboration with researchers in the relevant group.

The staff involved in teaching and supervision include internationally recognised researchers from our Social Psychology group. Staff expertise covers a range of topics including:

  • perceptions of animals

  • sexism

  • collective action

  • romantic relationships

  • crowd behaviour

  • culture and identity

Staff use a variety of research methods to address their research interests, including both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Psychology at Edinburgh is rated 3rd in the UK by Times Higher Education for the quality and breadth of the research using the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

What will I learn?

You will take courses on the theoretical and methodological aspects of social psychology and conduct an original research dissertation in your area of interest.

You will receive thorough training in advanced academic skills and research methods within psychology, including a comprehensive coverage of statistical modelling and research design using the R statistical language and qualitative methods.

Is this MSc for me?

This programme teaches you core research methods and specialist techniques, and you can flexibly choose optional courses to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about.

It provides an excellent preparation for further research, whether you choose to pursue this in a professional setting or as part of a PhD programme. Whether you want to continue in academic research or move into professional training in social psychology, this programme is for you.

Reputation, relevance and employability

The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of research expertise in social psychology. Our large Psychology department is home to academics leading research in the field.

You will benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, having the opportunity to select option courses and attend research seminars across different disciplines.

Our students’ research projects are often published in academic or professional journals.

Our programme has an excellent reputation amongst employers and further research opportunities. Many of our graduates have gone onto PhD training, academic careers and advanced professional training in psychology.

We maintain close contacts with professional organisations such as British Psychological Society (BPS). All postgraduate students of psychology are automatically members of Psychology Postgraduates Affairs Group (PsyPAG). PsyPag provides support, communication and representation for postgraduates within the BPS. It also brings together postgraduate students from around the country.

Find out more about our community

The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences is home to a large, supportive and active student community, hosting events and activities throughout the year which you can join.

As a postgraduate student you will have access to a range of research resources, state of the art facilities research seminars and reading groups.


University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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