University of Chester

Programme Specification
Psychology MRes
2016 - 2017

Master by Research



University of Chester

University of Chester

Department of Psychology, Chester Campus.

Postgraduate (MRes)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

4 Years

Annual - September


17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Psychology

QAA Code of Practice for Research, Master's Degree Characteristics Consultation Document (2014).



Monday 13th July 2015

The aims of the programme are:

  • To provide graduate students with the opportunity to develop an independent, substantial piece of scholarly research into an area that fits with supervisory expertise of staff within the Department of Psychology.
  • To be informed by, and to contribute to, broader academic debates about the methods, approaches and practices that underpin psychological research.
  • To provide students with advanced scientific research training appropriate for both Level 7 and doctoral research.
  • To develop students' self-management, planning and communication skills.
  • To prepare fully those students with suitable interests for further postgraduate research at the Master/Doctor of Philosophy level and beyond.

Upon completion with respect to knowledge and understanding students will have:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the nature of the relevant psychological domain.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of selected themes and issues within their chosen area.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the range, nature and value of primary sources in the relevant area of study.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the theoretical arguments surrounding research method application.

Upon completion with respect to cognitive skills students will have:

  • Demonstrated the ability to read and critically evaluate primary empirical research evidence  and other source while addressing content, context and perspective.
  • Demonstrated the capacity to plan, conduct and present a programme of original research.
  • Adopted and applied scholarly conventions to each stage of the research programme development.


Upon completion with respect to practical and professional skills students will have:

Demonstrated research skills commensurate with level 7 including; bibliographical skills, literature synthesis, research design, ethical principles and data handling and management.


With respect to practical skills students will have demonstrated the ability to:

Develop, execute and manage a research project and all associated factors and phases including but not limited to factors such as; pilot testing, protocol design, participant recruitment, data generation, analysis and storage.

Upon completion with respect to communication skills students will have:

Developed and be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing to a variety of audiences such as field based professionals, academics and lay people.


The MRes. Psychology programme is composed of two taught 20 credit modules and a 140 credit dissertation module. In the first term students undertake the two taught modules which provide a foundation in research project development and research skills including data handling. During this first term students will also work with their supervisor to develop their research question and be required to attend two core tutorials, the first designed to address practical skills in literature searching and research question development and the second focusing on presentation skills.

In the second and third terms of the full-time programme students will be supported in their research through regular meetings with their Supervisor and also attend 3 core tutorial sessions which focus on writing a research proposal and seeking ethical approval (term 2) and writing a MRes research report (term 3).

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
PS7002 7 Research Dissertation (MRes) 140 Comp
PS7301 7 Researching Thought and Behaviour 20 Comp
PS7303 7 Advanced Skills for Research and Practice 20 Comp

 180 credits entitles the student to a Masters Degree



Possession of an upper, second class honours degree in any area of psychology or social science relevant to the proposed area of study which fits within the Departments research portfolio,  with additional emphasis placed upon the student's preparedness for study and performance at interview which will inform the selection process. 

A lower, second class degree can be mitigated by experience. Decisions concerning the allocation of credit, either for admission or advanced standing, will be the responsibility of a Credit Allocation Panel. Credit value will be given for appropriate certificated or experiential learning completed within the previous five years and through which an applicant can demonstrate prior achievement of learning outcomes related to one or more programme modules.  A student seeking advanced standing must apply before enrolment.

Each student will be interviewed as required in all Chester Research Degrees and the Interview record form will be completed and submitted to the Graduate School with the completed application.

There is currently no MRes in the Subject area Benchmark Statements but the QAA code of practice for research degrees is relevant and has been drawn upon as has the Master's Degree Characteristics Consultation Document (2014) in the programme design and thus student experience.

In line with generic expectations of MRes study this programme has a minimal number of taught components and a substantive research element. The research element has been designed to be flexible and thus personal to the student and, their area of interest. The oral presentation and written assessments have been designed to reflect the students individual research experience and journey.

Acquisition of core knowledge in the two taught modules is achieved through lectures, seminars, workshops, audio-visual presentation, tutorials and private study, supplemented, where appropriate, by contributions from guest and visiting lecturers. For the research element students engage in self-directed study supported by a primary supervisor.

The proposed psychology master by research degree offers students the opportunity to undertake two taught modules relevant to research knowledge development and to complete a substantial dissertation in a specified area of psychology and will prepare students for a career in research, academia and/or industry, given that the student can orientate a substantive portion of study to a personally identified area of interest.



The Faculty of Social Sciences programmes respect the standard University policies regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and APL, as applied centrally by the University.  Consistent with the University's commitment to widening access and participation, the programme conforms to the University's flexible approach and welcomes applications from mature students and from groups normally under-represented in higher education.The University of Chester values the diversity of its student body and aims to provide equality of opportunity in all its activities.  All suitably qualified students are welcome on this programme, irrespective of race, gender, disability or age.  Every effort will be made to accommodate students with specific learning or physical needs and to ensure that all students benefit equally.  Each case will be examined individually and the University's Inclusion Plans will provide guidance and support, as appropriate.  International students who meet the admissions requirements are welcome and will enrich both the programme and the postgraduate community at the University; support and guidance are provided for international students at the institution, particularly through the International Student Welfare Officer.

All students are issued with a comprehensive programme handbook and a module handbook at the commencement of each module.  Students needing further advice are welcome to consult the Programme Leader (who acts as the Personal Academic Tutor for students on the programme),  the Module Tutor or when working on their research project their supervisor.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel