Statistics banner

MSc Psychological Research Methods and Advanced Statistics

One year, full time programme code: PSYT35
Two year, part time programme code: PSYT36

This course has been set up to give psychology students the statistical skills that many employers are now looking for, at the same time as you learn a broad range of research techniques. You'll be able to develop specialisms based on your own career goals and research interests, while you complete specialist statistics training that is particularly relevant to jobs that ask for strong quantitative skills.

The availability of large behavioural datasets is growing thanks to, for example, social media, the healthcare system and consumer internet use. At the same time, the statistical methods and software tools used to model and analyse this data is becoming more and more sophisticated. When you graduate, you should be in a good position to pursue a career responding to these 21st century challenges.


To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Online application form

You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.

How to apply: applying essentials


Course Director: Dr Danielle Matthews

If you would like to know anything else about this course, contact: | +44 (0)114 222 6534

You can also visit us throughout the year:
Postgraduate open days, visit afternoons and online chats

Pathway programme for international students
Don't meet our entry requirements? Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering

About the course

This course can be taken as a full-time course over one year or a part-time course over two. Like our MSc Psychological Research Methods degree, it is designed to teach you a broad range of psychology research techniques, but comes with advanced statistical training to give you the quantitative skills that are central to many emerging employment sectors. Areas such as data science need graduates with the specialist knowledge to handle large amounts of information about human behaviour. You can read more about this growing demand in the following government report:

The Future of Work: Jobs and skills in 2030 (PDF, 3.3MB)

Statistical training is led by professional statistician Dr Chris Stride, who has been highly rated by our postgraduate students. The skills he can give you can be applied in many quantitative research careers – for example, if you are interested in clinical psychology and would like to work as a practitioner-researcher with strong quantitative skills. Training in other psychology research methods is led by experienced researchers in the Department of Psychology.

If you are considering a PhD project with a quantitative dimension, this course is an opportunity to gain the advanced statistical understanding and analysis skills that are required to carry out and write up quantitative studies for many high ranking journals. In particular, completing this degree can be a good basis for applying for an ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods scholarship.

Entry requirements

For this course, we usually ask for an upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent in psychology or a related discipline. You will also need to provide evidence of undergraduate training in statistics for psychology.

We can also accept qualifications from other countries. You can find out which qualifications we accept from your country on the University's webpages for international students.

Prospective international students: Your country

International pathway programmes

If you are an international student who does not meet our entry requirements, the University of Sheffield International College offers a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme. This programme is designed to develop your academic level in your chosen subject, introduce you to the study skills that will be vital to success and help with language if you need it.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at the University of Sheffield.

Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering

English Language Requirements

If you have not already studied in a country where English is the majority language, it is likely that you will need to have an English language qualification.

  • For 2018 entry, we are asking for International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): Overall grade of 7.0 with no less than 7.0 in writing and no less than 6.0 in reading, speaking and listening
  • For 2019 entry, we are asking for International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): Overall grade of 6.5 with 6.0 in each component

You can find out whether you need to have an english language qualification, and which other English language qualifications we accept, on the University's webpages for international students.

English language requirements

The English Language Teaching Centre offers English language courses for students who are preparing to study at the University of Sheffield.

English Language Teaching Centre

Fees and funding

Up-to-date fees and funding opportunities can be found on the University of Sheffield's webpages for postgraduate students. These may include scholarships for home and international students and a 10% discount for University of Sheffield graduates.

Tuition fees

Funding your postgraduate course

Current modules

The modules listed below are examples from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers.

Core modules:

Research Project with Advanced Statistics (60 credits)

Module leader: Dr Danielle Matthews
Project supervisors: All academic staff

You will conduct a complete empirical project including design, analysis and write-up, under the guidance of a member of academic staff. Projects may be published in peer-reviewed journals, for example:

  • Vabalas, A., & Freeth, M. (2016). Brief report: Patterns of eye movements in face to face conversation are associated with autistic traits: evidence from a student sample. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(1), 305-314.
Research Methods in Psychology (30 credits)

Organiser: Dr Jilly Martin

Seminars on the methods currently being applied by psychologists  are presented by experts in their application. Methods covered include behavioural genetics, eye-tracking, questionnaire design, experimental methods for working with infants and children, qualitative data collection and analysis, and neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI).

Intermediate Multivariate Statistics for Psychology (15 Credits)

Module leader: Dr Chris Stride

The course addresses a range of commonly applied quantitative methods including multiple regression (including testing for mediation and moderation), analysis of covariance, exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis. The emphasis is on conceptual understanding of when to apply these techniques and how to interpret the output rather than on the underlying mathematics. Additionally a three day course in using SPSS software is offered in the Spring sememster.

Advanced Statistical Methods for Psychologists (15 Credits)

Module leader: Dr Chris Stride

This module covers advanced statistical methods and software skills increasingly required by researchers and data analysts in psychology and other social science disciplines. Specific techniques covered include confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling (using Mplus software), multilevel modelling for both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, and generalised linear models. Lectures will be used to teach the rationale behind and principles behind these techniques, with practical sessions offering the opportunity to apply and develop student's knowledge.

Systematically Reviewing Psychological Research (30 credits)

Module leader: Dr Danielle Mathews
Review supervisors: All academic staff

Seminars address searching on-line databases such as Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar, the process of conducting systematic and narrative literature reviews and meta-analysis. The application of reference managing software to manage reference libraries is also addressed. You will complete your own literature review on a topic of your choice under supervision of an academic member of staff.

Professional Skills for Psychologists (30 Credits)

Module leader: Dr Mark Blades

Seminars address a range of skills that will important for psychologists in both academia and professional practice. Topics include ethical issues, presentation skills, grant proposal writing and managing conferences.