The MSc was fantastic in giving me skills that would help me become a researcher

A profile photo of Emma Blakey stood in front of a lake
Dr Emma Blakey
Lecturer in Developmental Psychology
MSc Psychological Research Methods
Emma came to Sheffield to study Psychology as an undergraduate and after discovering a passion for Developmental Psychology research, chose to progress onto the MSc Psychological Research Methods course to develop the skills to become a researcher.

I became really passionate about research and Developmental Psychology while studying on the undergraduate course at Sheffield. I completed a Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) research placement in between my second and third year and this really sparked my interest in developmental research.

I also became aware, through this scheme, what fantastic facilities the department has for doing developmental research. The developmental lab has connections with local schools and a database of lots of local families that have kindly volunteered to take part in our studies.

I decided to study the MSc Psychological Research Methods to continue the research I started at Sheffield as an undergraduate, and to gain skills that would help me become a researcher.


I chose to stay at Sheffield because the facilities and expertise for developmental research are excellent, I had a very supportive and knowledgeable supervisor and I felt a close connection to the University and their ethos

Dr Emma Blakey

MSc Psychological Research Methods


The MSc was fantastic in giving me skills that would help me become a researcher. I learnt advanced statistics and research methods, gained experience running systematic literature reviews, and even got practice writing grant applications. I continued to specialise in Developmental Psychology and completed my Masters dissertation project on how children learn to flexibly switch their attention.

The MSc course was interesting and stimulating. It was challenging at times: I was juggling studying with several part-time jobs but I was lucky that one of my jobs was being a University science and engineering ambassador which was a lot of fun.

At all times, I felt part of a supportive community of other students and academic staff. I particularly enjoyed being able to run a larger-scale research project as part of the dissertation and then presenting the findings at the MSc conference towards the end of the year.

Completing the Masters really confirmed for me that I wanted to be a researcher, and so I decided to apply for a PhD. I chose to stay at Sheffield because the facilities and expertise for developmental research are excellent, I had a very supportive and knowledgeable supervisor and I felt a close connection to the University and their ethos.


The MSc at Sheffield provided me with an excellent foundation to becoming an academic.

Dr Emma Blakey

MSc Psychological Research Methods


I was successful in getting funding for my PhD and I continued to work on a similar research topic. In fact, I'm still working on that area now! There are always so many more questions to answer and I am still very passionate about understanding early attention and cognitive skills.

During the final year of my PhD, I was awarded funding to visit a Developmental Psychology lab at the University of Alberta in Canada. Then, after finishing my PhD, I was a post-doctoral researcher at Cardiff University working with a great interdisciplinary team examining how causal beliefs influence children and adults' time perception.

I returned to the University of Sheffield in 2017 as a lecturer in Developmental Psychology. I find research and teaching such a rewarding and stimulating career. You get to be at the forefront of new knowledge, make contributions to our understanding of the world, and teach the next generation.

No day is ever the same. I love that my job is a combination of teaching students, conducting research and disseminating this, and now supporting and supervising my own research students. The MSc at Sheffield provided me with an excellent foundation to becoming an academic.


Explore all postgraduate courses

A masters from Sheffield means in-depth knowledge, advanced skills and the confidence to achieve your ambitions.