MSci - Course Overview

Introduction

These pages give an overview of the MSci programme at the University of York. The MSci is a four-year integrated Masters programme - one of the first such Psychology courses in the UK. It offers more extensive training in transferable skills than the BSc, alongside specialist modules reflecting a range of current psychological research areas, and a more substantial final year Project

We outline the overall structure of the course below, and you can find out more detail on the organisation of different elements of the course by following the links. Note that this guide describes the the course as it currently runs. The core structure of the course is stable but we may change some of the details from one year to the next (for example, the order and content of individual teaching blocks and range of advanced modules may change). These pages and the accompanying Handbook provide key information that you will need throughout the course. Once you are enrolled on a particular module you can find much more information about day-to-day requirements, resources (such as reading lists and lecture recordings) and announcements through the Yorkshare VLE (University login required). 



For 2023-24, there will be three pathways:

Neuroscience & Neuroimaging Pathway: how can behavioural and neuroscientific methods be combined to address questions about human cognition? This pathway provides the skills and knowledge needed to understand and design experiments in cognitive neuroscience and to undertake a project in the area.

Developmental Disorders Pathway: how do developmental disorders emerge, and how are they assessed and treated? This pathway provides grounding in research on typical and atypical development, from both theoretical and clinical perspectives, equipping students with the skills necessary to carry out a project in these fields.

Clinical Psychology “Clinical Psychology aims to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being using the agency of words” (BPS Website). What therapeutic practices do Clinical Psychologist use to achieve this aim? This pathway will provide an in-depth coverage of therapies and professional practice within Clinical Psychology.  There is also the potential for a placement within the Final Year.


Years 1 and 2

Teaching in the first two years consists of  three modules per Semester. Five of these modules form the Core Topics and run across both years. Together, these modules give a broad coverage of the main areas of Psychology, and this part of the course is the same for MSci and BSc Psychology Students.

  • Brain & Behaviour. These modules examine the structure and function of the brain as it affects behaviour. It will focus on how basic neuroscience, the effects of brain injury and the latest neuroimaging techniques can be used to explain the brain processes that underpin behaviour and cognition.

  • Perception & Cognition. These modules discuss the processes through which our senses gain and interpret information about our world. The strand describes in detail how information from our major senses passes to the brain for further processing. Cognitive psychology concerns the underlying nature of human intellectual abilities such as attention, thinking and memory.
  • Development & Language. These modules focus on how infants and children learn to perceive and interpret the outside world, how they acquire language and how they learn to reason. It also explores abnormalities of development and how development can be affected by deprivation.
  • Social Psychology & Individual Differences. These modules cover core themes of the social human being including personal relationships, co-operation, personality and individual differences. The clinical aspect of this strand examines the causes of mental illness, including schizophrenia, anxiety and depression.

  • Research Methods in Psychology. These modules provides students with the practical skills in experimental design, methods and data analysis needed for the programme. Practical classes linked to the other strands furnish the student with hands-on experience in all aspects of psychology as an experimental science.

Year 3

Pathway-specific modules

Each pathway involves two specialised modules developing practical skills and knowledge relevant to current research. More details are given on the pathway pages:

Advanced modules

In the third year MSci students choose one advanced module from a selection offered in Semester 2. The topics offered can change from year to year. 

These are the Advanced Modules for the academic year 2023-24.  Please click on the links to access the information about each of the modules.

BSc students take two modules each semester, one module from each cluster. 

Year 3 MSci students take one module in semester 2, which may come from either cluster. 

Year 4 MSci students take two modules in semester 1, one from cluster A and one from cluster B, and one module in semester 2 which may come from either cluster. 


SEMESTER 1 2023
Cluster ACluster B

Year 3: Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Emma Hayiou-Thomas/Lisa Henderson)

Year 4: Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Emma Hayiou-Thomas/Lisa Henderson)

Year 3: Forensic Psychology in Practice (Karisha George)

Year 4: Forensic Psychology in Practice (Karisha George)

Year 3: Mind and Brain (Philip Quinlan)

Year 4: Mind and Brain (Philip Quinlan)

Year 3: Neuroimaging of Vision (Tim Andrews)

Year 4: Neuroimaging of Vision (Tim Andrews)

Year 3: The Psychology of Consciousness & Free Will (Alex Reid)

Year 4: The Psychology of Consciousness & Free Will (Alex Reid)

Year 3: The Neurobiology of Depression (David Pitcher)

Year 4: The Neurobiology of Depression (David Pitcher)

Year 3: Moral & Political Psychology (Thomas Davies)

Year 4: Moral & Political Psychology (Thomas Davies)

Year 3: Bilingualism & Cognition (Angela de Bruin)

Year 4: Bilingualism & Cognition (Angela de Bruin)

Year 3: Body Representations (Catherine Preston)

Year 4: Body Representations (Catherine Preston)

Year 3: The Cognitive Psychology of Sleep (Gareth Gaskell)

Year 4: The Cognitive Psychology of Sleep (Gareth Gaskell)

Year 3: Applications of Forensic Psychology (John Fisher)

Year 4: Applications of Forensic Psychology (John Fisher)

Year 3: The Psychology of Number, Developmental Disorders and Mathematics Anxiety (Silke Goebel)

Year 4: The Psychology of Number, Developmental Disorders and Mathematics Anxiety (Silke Goebel)

Year 3: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Adolescent Decision-Making & Social Cognition (Maryann Noonan)

Year 4: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Adolescent Decision-Making & Social Cognition (Maryann Noonan)

Year 3: Developmental Social Neuroscience (Elena Geangu)

Year 4: Developmental Social Neuroscience (Elena Geangu)

Year 3 Students Only: Experimental Philosophy: The Psychology of Philosophy (Philosophy)


BSc only**: Literature Survey

BSc only**: Literature Survey

BSc only**: Advanced Research Methods (Dan Baker)

                                                                                              

Year 4 MSci Clinical & Developmental Pathways only

Year 4: Child & Adolescent Mental Health (Melanie Forster)

Year 3: Clinical Psychology and Applications of CBT*

(Sam Rankin & Laura Sweeney)  

Year 3: Clinical Psychology and Applications of CBT*

(Sam Rankin & Laura Sweeney)

* Clinical modules are capped at 90 places and have a separate application process.  Only students in Year 3 can apply for the Clinical modules.

** MSci students take a compulsory version of this module in Semester 1 of Year 3


SEMESTER 2 2024
Cluster ACluster B

Year 3: Animal Cognition and Communication (Katie Slocombe)

Year 4: Animal Cognition & Communication (Katie Slocombe) 

Year 3: The Transition to Parenthood (Liz Meins)

Year 4: The Transition to Parenthood (Liz Meins)

Year 3: Social Cognitive Development (Harriet Over)

Year 4: Social Cognitive Development (Harriet Over)

Year 3: Human Risk (Rob Jenkins)

Year 4: Human Risk (Rob Jenkins)

Year 3: Drug Addiction (Gavin Phillips)

Year 4: Drug Addiction (Gavin Phillips)

Year 3: Perception of Actions and Human Behaviour (Nick Barraclough)

Year 4: Perception of Actions and Human Behaviour (Nick Barraclough)

Year 3: Fear and Survival (Cade McCall)

Year 4: Fear and Survival (Cade McCall)

Year 3: Microanalysis of Communication (Maurice Waddle)

Year 4: Microanalysis of Communication (Maurice Waddle) 

Year 3: Applications of Forensic Psychology (John Fisher)

Year 4: Applications of Forensic Psychology (John Fisher)

Year 3: The Neurobiology of Depression (David Pitcher)

Year 4: The Neurobiology of Depression (David Pitcher)

Year 3: Cyberpsychology (Sally Quinn)

Year 4: Cyberpsychology (Sally Quinn)

Year 3: Psychology of Health (Karla Evans)

Year 4: Psychology of Health (Karla Evans)

Year 3: Memory and the Brain (Aidan Horner)

Year 4: Memory and the Brain (Aidan Horner)

Year 3: Adult Mental Health: Schizophrenia & Psychoses (Clara Humpston)

Year 4: Adult Mental Health: Schizophrenia & Psychoses (Clara Humpston)

Year 3: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Anxiety & Trauma (Alexandra Pike)

Year 4: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Anxiety & Trauma (Alexandra Pike)

Year 3: Identity & Prejudice (Lucy Grigoryan)

Year 4: Identity & Prejudice (Lucy Grigoryan)

Year 3: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention (Karla Evans)

Year 4: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention (Karla Evans)

Year 3: Face Perception (Mike Burton)

Year 4: Face Perception (Mike Burton)

Year 3 Students only: Cognitive Anomalies, Decision-Making & Democracy (Philosophy)

Year 4 MSci Clinical & Developmental Pathways only

Year 4: Clinical Research Methods (Hannah Hobson)

Year 3: Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology*

(Sam Rankin & Laura Sweeney)  

Year 3: Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology*

(Sam Rankin & Laura Sweeney)  

* Clinical modules are capped at 90 places and have a separate application process.  Only students in Year 3 can apply for the Clinical modules.


Literature Survey

Third year MSci students also undertake a literature survey which requires researching a clearly defined area of study of your choice. Recent examples include:

  • The effect of child abuse on self-esteem
  • Sensation seeking and risky sport
  • The critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition
  • Do environmental factors lead to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease?
  • The effect of birth order on personality development
  • The relationship between eating disorders and superficial self-harm.

Year 4

Advanced modules

In the fourth year MSci students choose a further two advanced modules in Semester 1 and one advanced module in Semester 2 from a selection offered each year (see tables above). Note that the assessment for fourth year MSci students differs from other undergraduate students, but you will attend the same classes.

Project

The final year research project is the single most important component of the MSci degree and requires students to conduct and write up an original piece of research, working closely under the supervision of a member of staff. The MSci project is significantly longer and more substantial than the BSc Psychology project.

Progression, transfer and assessment

  • Transfer from the BSc to the MSci at the end of year 2 requires an average mark of 55% in year 2
  • Progression from year 2 to year 3 of the MSci requires an average mark of 55% in year 2
  • The contribution of years 2, 3, 4 of the MSci to the final degree mark is weighted 2:3:3. This means that year 2 contributes 25% of the MSci final degree mark, year 3 contributes 37.5% and year 4 contributes 37.5%.


To contact the Student Documentation maintainers please email psychology-student-docs-group@york.ac.uk (use your University of York email address).