A postgraduate degree in Psychology is an excellent opportunity to expand your skills and consolidate your knowledge of psychological concepts and theory; it’s also the next step in the path towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. The Lincoln School of Psychology offers three taught postgraduate courses: MSc Forensic Psychology, MSc Developmental Psychology, and MSc Psychological Research Methods.
The University of Lincoln has emerged as a centre of excellence in teaching and research. Lincoln was awarded gold in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework, a national assessment of teaching quality determined by an independent panel of experts. The university has also produced world-leading research, with 90% judged to be of international quality and significance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. In addition to academic excellence, Lincoln offers an unmatched student experience, rating very highly in course satisfaction in the National Student Survey. Those aren’t the only upsides to staying at Lincoln; thanks to the Alumni Scholarship, if you choose to continue your studies at Lincoln, you will receive a 25% reduction in your postgraduate tuition fees.
MSc Forensic Psychology
The MSc Forensic Psychology covers a wide range of topics, including criminal behaviour, judicial process and the criminal justice system, forensic mental health, violent and sexual offenders, and forensic child psychology. The course acts as the first stage of professional training for those who wish to become a Forensic Psychologist.
This programme consists of eight core modules. In Understanding Criminal Behaviour, you will learn theories behind the psychology of crime, and the many factors that affect it. In Working with Client Groups, you will cover different types of offenses and offenders, including violent and sexual offenders, acquisitive offenders, arson, and crimes related to substance abuse. You will also complete a thesis, where you will conduct empirical research under the guidance of an academic and write a detailed report of your results. Other modules include Forensic Child Psychology, Processes of Investigation and Justice, Professional Practice and Risk, and Research Methods and Skills.
Graduates of this course may work in a number of settings, including the prison and probation services, the police service, secure hospitals, and victim support work.
MSc Developmental Psychology
The MSc Developmental Psychology focuses on the social, emotional and cognitive development of children and is designed for graduates who want to acquire a specialism in child development. As a student on this course, you will study seven core modules and two elective modules. Core modules include Forensic Child Psychology, which considers the effect of forensic issues on children, including developmental trauma, victimisation, and offending by children and youths. You will also study Social and Emotional Development, where typical and atypical child development will be explored in depth and across many contexts.
Other core modules include Advanced Research Methods and Skills, Theories and Mechanisms in Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods in Developmental Psychology. You will also complete a thesis, where you will conduct empirical research into a topic of your choosing, and write a detailed report of your findings. Optional modules include Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology, Basic Programming Skills, the Advanced Research Internship, and Seminar Diaries in Psychological Science; you may choose one of these per semester.
We spoke to programme leader and module co-ordinator Dr Karen Pfeffer, who said: “the School of Psychology has a growing reputation as a centre of expertise in developmental psychology. Students may have access to the specialist Lincoln Babylab, as well as a motor lab, eye-tracking facilities, and a range of developmental tests. As specialists in developmental psychology, graduates may work in a range of areas that value expertise in child development including hospital and care settings, schools, social services and children’s services. The programme can also provide an ideal springboard for further study such as a PhD in Psychology.”
MSc Psychological Research Methods
This programme provides an excellent foundation for students who wish to pursue a PhD in Psychology or a career in research.
The course consists of three core modules; in Research Methods and Skills, you will cover both quantitative and qualitative research methods, research designs, data collection, and data analysis. In Advanced Research Methods, you will develop an understanding of more complex methodologies and research skills in an applied context; you will also be introduced to advanced statistical analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, and the software used to perform these analyses.
You will also complete a thesis, where you will explore a specific research question, design and implement an empirical study, analyse the findings, and produce a detailed report of the results.
Six electives, covering a wide range of topics and disciplines, are also chosen: these include Psychopharmacology, Applied Neuropsychology, Basic Programming Skills, Research Methods in Perception and Cognition, and the Advanced Research Internship. You may also study modules from the Forensic and Developmental programmes, such as Forensic Child Psychology and Research Methods in Developmental Psychology.
Programme leader Dr Louise O’Hare said, “this course aims to give students the tools they will need for a career in research. The course consists of three core modules and six elective modules, allowing students to shape their own learning experiences. Students may have the opportunity to gain practical experience alongside research active staff members, including experts in areas such as perception, sleep, neurostimulation, and electrophysiology. The new Sarah Swift Building has facilities including specialist experimental laboratories. Several of our previous students have been offered PhD or other research-based positions. This course is suitable for ambitious, motivated students with a First or 2:1 in Psychology.”