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.
Each pathway involves two specialised modules developing practical skills and knowledge relevant to current research. More details are given on the pathway pages:
* Clinical modules are capped at 90 places and have a separate application process. Only students in Year 3 can apply for the Clinical modules.
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.
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.
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%.