Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Political Psychology - MSc

2018

The MSc in Political Psychology is an exciting new programme exploring the relationships between political and psychological processes. It combines modules from the School of Psychology and the School of Politics and International Relations to offer a unique interdisciplinary focus on key current issues in political psychology.

2018

Overview

This programme explores the relationships between political and psychological processes. There is now a growing interest among researchers and policy makers in the psychological underpinnings of individual and group behaviour in the political arena. This programme is one of the very few in political psychology in the UK, and is designed to provide you with an advanced understanding and training in the psychological roots of political behaviour.

Befitting a field that is growing in importance and relevance, the programme will provide a unique interdisciplinary focus on key current issues such as the nature of political ideologies, support for socio-political systems, perceptions of government, justice and inequality, beliefs in political conspiracies and political conflict and violence.

Students entering this programme will gain a rigorous training embracing cutting-edge theories and models, alongside research and analytical skills with a strong focus on quantitative methods. The programme thus provides an excellent grounding for students interested in a variety of careers, including survey and consumer research, marketing, public relations, political communications and government.

The programme combines modules from the School of Psychology and the School of Politics and International Relations, whose staff members work in the fields of social psychology, public opinion and international relations. As well as offering a range of modules, the programme involves a research project conducted under the supervision of expert staff from the two Schools.

Watch an additional video about Taught MSc Degrees in the School of Psychology and find out about the excellent support we give to our students.

About the School of Psychology

As a student within the School of Psychology at Kent, you benefit from our supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.

Conducting both basic and applied research in several areas, Psychology at Kent is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research. Our long-established international reputation in social psychology is complemented by our strengths in cognitive, developmental and forensic psychology. We attract excellent visiting scholars and postgraduate students from both within the UK and overseas.

Some of our PhD students are self-funded, and others are funded by grants or awards either from the School, UK or their countries of origin. Some are also paid to undertake part-time teaching within the School. We have a strong track record of attracting ESRC research studentship funding, which involves partnerships with external organisations such as Age UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and collaborative studentships with partners such as People United.

About the School of Politics and International Relations

The School of Politics and International Relations is a leading school within the discipline, with strengths in several areas related to political psychology, notably conflict analysis, negotiation and mediation and the analysis of public opinion. The School boasts a wide range of postgraduate courses, along with a dynamic programme of visiting speakers, including policy makers. 

In the Research Excellent Framework for 2014, the School was rated a top 20 department for research power. In addition 94% of our research has been ranked as world leading or of international significance. The School was also ranked joint first in the UK for our research impact, with 100% of our impact case studies evaluated as being either outstanding, or having very considerable impact.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Psychology was ranked 11th in the UK for research intensity.

An impressive 95% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 97% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The MSc in Political Psychology is composed of five compulsory modules and one optional module. The compulsory modules are Statistics and Methodology (SP801), Political Psychology (SP860), Advanced Topics in Intergroup Relations (SP813), Public Opinion: Nature and Measurement (PO956) and a supervised empirical or theoretical dissertation (SP861)

Modules are taught by both the School of Psychology and the School of Politics and International Relations.

Modules

The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Modules may include Credits

This module complements the core programme module ('Political Psychology') by providing students with a detailed introduction to the nature and study of public opinion. Opinion and attitudes are central to the choices that citizens make and to the way they behave, which in turn are core outcomes in politics. Yet the nature and formation of those attitudes are complex, and shaped by a range of individual and contextual factors, which are central subjects within psychology. This module therefore brings together perspectives from both political science and psychology, in helping students to understand how citizens form attitudes and opinions, the processes and considerations that underpin attitude formation, the factors and actors that influence these formative processes and the effect that citizens’ attitudes have on their behaviour. The module will also consider the principal ways in which we identify and measure public opinion. Underpinning the module will be the central question of whether the nature of citizens’ opinions are consistent with the assumptions and demands of modern democratic states.

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The aim of this module is to provide a postgraduate-level orientation to both basic and advanced contemporary statistical and methodological issues in psychology. It is compulsory for all our MSc students. The methodological issues considered include validity and reliability in measurement; experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational research designs in the laboratory and field; observational, archival, and qualitative research methodologies; and the problem of bias in psychological research. The statistical techniques taught include univariate and bivariate descriptive and inferential statistics; psychometric techniques; exploratory data analysis; basic and advanced topics in ANOVA and ANCOVA; multiple regression; factor analysis; and structural equation modelling.

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This module examines advanced theory and research in intergroup relations. We consider the nature of social categorisation processes and how stereotypes develop, persist and change. We then examine the relationship between intergroup perceptions and prejudice, and how intergroup relationships influence both variables. We consider how and why stereotypes and prejudice become manifested as discrimination and intergroup conflict, and then how groups become mobilised to perform collective action. Finally, we study the motivational and social elements in intergroup relationships, social identity as a group member, and how these issues can be studied both in the laboratory and in real world settings.

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This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on political psychology at an advanced level. It stresses how psychology and political science, in combination, can serve to analyse and explain political processes. Emphasis is on applying theoretical models and empirical findings to analysing real-world problems. Topics include political ideology, social justice and inequality, political engagement and extremism, political leadership and perceptions of government and authority. The module relies heavily on student participation and discussion.

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The course provides an overview and framework for considering the evolving field of international conflict resolution with an emphasis on negotiation and mediation. The module will focus primarily on the practical as well as on the theoretical aspects of negotiation and mediation, or more broadly third party intervention in conflicts. Its aims are to give the students an overview of the main problems involved in negotiation and mediation (broadly defined), but also to give them a chance to work individually and in groups on case studies and material related to the resolution of conflicts. The course is designed to introduce the students to theories of negotiation and bargaining, discuss the applicability of various tools and techniques in problem solving real cases of international conflict, and allow them to make use of such techniques in role playing and simulations.

This course is not taught in the conventional manner with lectures and seminars but, due to the nature of the material taught, involves block teaching and work over weekends. Students should consult the timetable and syllabus for further details.

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The module draws from comparative politics, international relations, and political thought to analyse the past, present, and future of the democratic national state, the dominant form of political system in today’s world. It addresses questions such as: Why are some states federal and others unitary? What explains the resilience of nationalism? Does economic integration leads to political disintegration? Why has regional integration gone much further in Europe than elsewhere? Is multi-national democracy possible? The module first charts the emergence of the modern state and its transformation into a national and democratic form of political system. Subsequently, it explores some key aspects of the formation, structuring, restructuring, and termination of states such as the unitary/federal dichotomy, processes of devolution, the challenge of secession, the question of the connections between the economic environment and the number and size of states, the phenomenon of supra-state regional integration, and the connections between nationality and democracy. It concludes by assessing the challenges facing the democratic national state in the 21st century and their likely trajectory in the foreseeable future.

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This module provides an understanding of current conceptual debates in Social Psychology together with an appreciation of how practitioners apply behavioural principles in their field of work. The module deals with the application of conceptual and methodological insights to significant real-world problems, and with the development of new theoretical approaches based on the lessons learned from applied research and practice.

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This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on group processes and intergroup relations at an advanced level and to familiarize yourself with the current small group perspectives on groups. It builds upon knowledge of social psychology and in places biological psychology gained at undergraduate level. We also consider how social psychological and evolutionary theories in combination can explain group processes. Topics addressed include group cohesion, intragroup and intergroup conflict, status and leadership, and group size. The module draws primarily on small group research in social and evolutionary psychology, but we also consider perspectives from other fields, such as economics and anthropology. The module involves a great deal of student presentation, participation and discussion.

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The module will stress the integration of psychology and political science as a way to analyse and explain political processes. You undertake a supervised empirical research project grounded in the area of psychology or political science and informed by the other discipline. This teaches you to plan, execute, analyse, and report a piece of independent research in the relevant setting. The dissertation consolidates theoretical knowledge of psychology and political science, fosters an ability to integrate findings from the two fields, and develops an appreciation of the ways in which that knowledge has been applied in previous research and practice and the methodological and statistical skills to set up a scientific investigation. Timetable: A research proposal is written and approved in the Autumn Term. All research with human subjects will require approval of the School of Psychology Ethics Panel. If appropriate, an ethical application is submitted to the panel (and, if required, outside ethics committees). The deadline for submission of dissertations is in July or August.

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is mainly by coursework assignment (4-6,000-word essays), examination (for the Advanced Statistics and Methodology module only), plus the dissertation.

Programme aims

Our aims are to:

  • Foster your intellectual development by providing you with specialised interdisciplinary knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches to political psychology and related disciplines, in order to take an effective role within the discipline.
  • Provide relevant statistical and methodological expertise, in order that you should be well equipped to make your own original contribution to knowledge.
  • Provide an excellent quality of higher education, with teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship and that requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Provide a multidisciplinary approach, with input from the School of Psychology, School of Politics and International Relations, and elsewhere.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain:

  • a sound knowledge of a range of conceptual, historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of political psychology;
  • specialist knowledge and systematic understanding of the key issues in political psychology;
  • a sound understanding of the major research and analytic techniques and methodologies employed by political psychologists, including statistical analysis;
  • an understanding of the utility of psychology and political science to the application of political psychology within political organisations;
  • knowledge and understanding of the use of relevant communication methods for the research and application of political psychology. 

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • Critical reflection on key themes with oral discussion and written analysis.
  • Critical thinking and creativity, in order to evaluate and generalise appropriately.
  • Ability to select and synthesise complex material through organising, developing, and evaluating relevance.
  • Systematic approaches to problem solving, individually and in groups.
  • Planning work and study independently and using resources in a way suited to further study or practice.
  • Communicating efficiently, persuasively and leading and cooperating within a team.
  • Managing a supervised dissertation

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • The use of major analytic techniques employed by political psychologists.
  • Evaluating and selecting appropriate methods for researching questions in political psychology.
  • Applying ethical values to research and practice related to political psychology.
  • Conducting political psychology research to address social and political issues.
  • Finding, recording, organising and contributing to knowledge on political psychology.
  • Understanding how psychological and political scientific theories and methods can be applied to political issues.
  • Communicating scientific research, theory, and practice across disciplinary, national, and ideological boundaries.
  • Applying theoretical approaches and specialised methodologies to a supervised dissertation

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • Numeracy: Data analysis skills to integrate numerical and other forms of information; understanding statistical analyses conducted by others in published works; understanding the limits of arguments based on quantitative analyses.
  • Communication: writing coherently, concisely, and in an organised way; oral discussion and presentations;
  • Working with others: reviewing the work of others; working cooperatively in groups and teams to recognise and maximise the contribution of self and others; understanding ethical issues and methods of obtaining ethical approval for research.
  • Personal development: exploring personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; autonomy; self-drive and self-management; respect for diversity in people.
  • Information technology: computer use for data analysis, research, word processing, reports, presentations, email, and bibliographic research.
  • Problem solving: identifying and defining problems; exploring and discriminating between alternatives; test solutions; scanning and organising data for abstract meaning and potential solutions.

Careers

You learn a set of skills that will allow you to pursue a career in areas such as:

  • Policy development
  • Political consultancy
  • Public relations
  • Polling and electoral analyses
  • Conflict management. 

Upon completing our Master’s courses, our graduates have also pursued doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has excellent facilities for both laboratory and field research, including advanced laboratory and teaching facilities. Resources include:

  • three fully equipped colour video laboratories for face-to-face group research, together with ten satellite laboratories connected via remote-control CCTV and two-way audio links
  • 58 research laboratories, all containing networked computers
  • a further 80 PCs available exclusively to Psychology students, including a designated MSc computer-networked room providing full email and internet access
  • shared offices and a personal, networked computer for research students
  • a full range of computer-based experiment generators and productivity software installed on all the School’s systems
  • an upgraded laboratory suite with equipment for digital sound and vision recording
  • 4 Brain Vision EEG labs (including one for simultaneous TMS & EEG, and one portable EEG system)
  • 2 Trans-cranial direct current electrical stimulators (GVS, Magstim)
  • Neuroconn tDCS/tACS electrical stimulator with facilities for simultaneous EEG
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) PowerMAG Research 100 High Frequency Stimulator
  • 2 Tobii eye-trackers (Tobii X120 & Tobii T60 XL portable)
  • 1 Arrington eye-tracker
  • a suite equipped with Bio-Pac recorders to allow for a range of physiological measures to be taken during stressful and other tasks
  • specialist laboratories equipped for face processing and vision research
  • CRS ColorCal II Colorimeter/Photometer
  • CRS Audiofile for synchronized audio-visual presentation
  • numerous PC and Mac labs to run behavioural experiments
  • Mirror Stereoscopes for dichoptic presentation and stereo vision research
  • immersive virtual reality lab (including integrated eye-tracker)
  • a social cognition laboratory
  • creation in 2010 of the Kent Child Development Unit and research team focusing on how children learn about their world, about other people and about the language they hear around them.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Child Development; Clinical Psychology Review. Details of recently published books can be found within the staff research interests.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with:

a. Adequate level of academic achievement

A final degree classification (grade average) of at least a 2.1 or Merit in the UK system (the second highest classification after First/Distinction). Results from institutions in other countries will be assessed individually according to this standard.

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in psychology or political science are preferred and those with related social sciences or science degrees are considered on a case by case basis.

b. Statistics and research methods training in the social sciences

This programme includes a one-year statistics sequence which you must normally pass in order to receive your award. The teaching assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:

  1. Means and standard deviations
  2. Distributions, hypothesis testing and statistical significance
  3. t-tests
  4. Correlation coefficients
  5. Variables and measurement

Therefore, your existing degree transcript should note that you have taken and passed a minimum of one term each in statistics and social science research methods courses (or two terms of a joint statistics and research methods course).

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research themes

The School of Psychology is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research, with an international reputation for excellence in social psychology (including group processes and intergroup relations); cognition and neuroscience; developmental psychology; and forensic psychology. We have staff who can supervise research degrees in all of these areas. The research environment is designed to sustain a strong, vibrant research culture, encourage collaboration, and unite staff and students with shared research interests. Our themes ensure critical mass and create a highly energetic and stimulating intellectual climate.

The School of Politics and International Relations has a strong international research profile in numerous areas, including: conflict and security, regional and comparative politics, and political and social theory. The School’s research is organised within four research centres: the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, the Centre for Critical Thought, the Centre for Federal Studies and the Global Europe Centre. The School also hosts the Comparative Politics Group, which includes various researchers pursuing empirical analysis of key issues within political science. Further details of the School’s research activities can be found here.

Research activity in the School of Psychology is supported by:

  • centrally co-ordinated provision and use of laboratories and technical support
  • selection of speakers for our weekly departmental research colloquia
  • weekly research meetings within each theme
  • to develop, report and analyse research, and host our many visiting scholars
  • several monthly small meeting series on specific areas of cross-cutting research (such as forensic, social development, emotion, social cognition and health).

Social Psychology

Much of our social psychology research is co-ordinated through the Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP), the largest research group in this area in Europe. The Centre attracts a stream of major international social psychology researchers, who regularly visit to work with our staff and are officially affiliated to the Centre. The Social Psychology group also includes the co-editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Abrams).

Social psychology research at Kent is funded by a variety of British and international sources, currently and recently including ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme, Age Concern, European Commission, European Science Foundation, Home Office, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Nuffield, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well as government departments such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Social Psychology group includes the following themes:

Prejudice, intergroup contact and social categorisation

This research is carried out in our social psychology laboratories, at schools and in business organisations. For example, research within this topic focuses on questions such as: how contact between members of different social groups is represented psychologically, how intergroup contact affects prejudice, when outgroups are seen as less human, when and why children show prejudice, and why organisational mergers sometimes fail.

Social inequality and cohesion

Research on this topic combines theory-driven research and engagement with policy. It is conducted in real-life settings such as the workplace, and involves national and international surveys. For example, the research focuses on the well-being of elderly people in Britain, work participation and motherhood, and discrimination against different groups in society.

Group dynamics and social influence

Laboratory studies and community-based research are conducted on this topic. For example, research focuses on co-operation in small groups, group decision-making, perception and influence of leaders, social communication and language, subjective group dynamics in adults and children, the dynamics of prison gang activity, and the impact of alcohol on group processes.

Personality and social motivation

Much of this research is carried out in laboratories, through surveys and in clinical or other applied settings. For example, research has examined aggression, the adaptive functions of perfectionism, and consequences of mortality salience.

Cognition and Neuroscience

Research under this theme has an international reputation in the topic areas of Visual Cognition, Attention and Memory, and Language and Communication. Some of this research activity occurs in the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, a strategic partnership between the Schools of Psychology and Computing.

Visual cognition, attention and memory

Research on this topic focuses primarily on the role of vision and visual perception in human performance. The fundamental aim of this work is to identify the cognitive processes and neurological mechanisms underlying various visual tasks. Studies involving neurologically healthy volunteers examine issues such as face recognition and identification, eyewitness testimony, person detection, emotion processing, episodic memory and pattern and motion recognition.

Language and communication

Research in this group examines various aspects of semantic, pragmatic and syntactic understanding. Research questions on healthy populations include the role of executive functions in successful language use and communication, how language influences attentional processes and perspective taking, anomaly detection, and the effect of interruptions on reading. Work on developmental populations examines issues such as how children learn to understand and produce sentences in their own language, and how they learn conversational conventions and self-repair. Research also examines developmental disorders of communication, including autism spectrum disorders and dyslexia. This research group has links with researchers in the School of European Culture and Languages, as part of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology research at Kent and all forensic-related teaching operates through our newly constituted Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP). Current research is focused on bullying in prisons, prison gang behaviour, jury decision-making, child sexual offending, rape, rape proclivity, female sexual offending, theories of offender rehabilitation, firesetting, sexual harassment, violence, aggression and alcohol, and the infrahumanisation of offenders. Other areas of research include social cognition, social and moral emotion, and group process theory, all of which are applied to the study of offending behaviour or court process issues.

Forensic psychology research at Kent is funded by various national and international sources, which include: The British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, Home Office, Leverhulme, Ministry of Justice and the Nuffield Foundation.

Research may be carried out with staff or offenders/ex-offenders in a variety of settings, including prisons, youth offender institutions, secure mental health units and probation offices. Alternatively, research may take place with students or members of the community in our newly equipped laboratories.

Developmental Psychology

Much of the research conducted by members of the Developmental Psychology group is conducted with neurotypical infants, children, and adolescents.  However, we also take a lifespan approach to the study of development and conduct research with older adults.  Moreover, a key focus of our research is on neuro-developmental disorders.  Central research topics include:

Social development

Developmental group members are particularly interested in the expression and control of ethnic and gender prejudice, social ostracism and inclusion, conversational norms and group identity in children.  We also conduct research on social aspects of older adulthood, in particular self-stereotyping and prejudice against elderly people.

Cognitive development

Cognitive development is a major focus of many of our developmental psychologists.  In particular, members of the Developmental Psychology group actively research topics such as the development of social cognition and theory of mind, language, information and sensory processing, and conversation and pragmatic skills.

Forensic research

Our developmental research also focuses on adolescence, as well as infancy, childhood and older adulthood.  In particular, we are interested in the emergence of gang activity and antisocial behaviour during this period of development.

Developmental psychopathology

We also conduct cutting-edge research into neuro-developmental disorders, such as autism and language impairment, with a view to understanding the nature and basis of, and best ways to treat, these disorders.

Research centres

The School of Psychology currently includes three formally constituted research centres, representing areas of concentration and excellence in research.

Centre for the Study of Group Processes

The Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP) was set up in 1990 to consolidate the School’s excellent international reputation for social psychological research into group processes and intergroup relations. CSGP is now a thriving international research community, including 15 full-time academic staff and a large number of research fellows and PhD students. The Centre also attracts a stream of major international group researchers who are officially affiliated to it and regularly visit to work with our staff. The Centre also edits an international journal, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

The objective of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems (CCNCS) is to harness the potential for cross-disciplinary research at the junction of cognitive psychology and the computational sciences. The Centre focuses on how behavioural and neuro-physiological experimentation needs to inform and be informed by the construction of computational models. Furthermore, the results of such studies should inform the construction of artificial systems, such as forensic imaging, human-computer interfaces and robotic systems.

Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology

The main aim of the Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology is to conduct high-impact psychological research to further understand key forensic issues of social significance, and to lead to cutting-edge teaching and research opportunities for postgraduate students. Forensic psychology is an extremely popular and rapidly developing branch of psychology that seeks to understand the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour (including group processes), the reduction and supervision of offending behaviour (ie rehabilitation, treatment and management of community risk), victim responses to offending, the mechanisms underlying the criminal justice system more generally (ie jury decision-making and the courts), and attitudes to offenders and offender reintegration in society.

Staff research interests

For information about the interdisciplinary links between psychological processes and politics, please see the Kent Political Psychology Lab website.  

Full details of School of Psychology staff research interests can be found on the School's website

Information about expertise in the School of Politics and International Relations is available from their website.

Dr Kirsten Abbot-Smith: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

The development of verbal communication in typical children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Use of a range of cognitive-experimental techniques with a current focus particularly on pragmatic language development.

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Professor Dominic Abrams: Professor of Social Psychology

Social identity and intergroup relations; prejudice; sexism; deviance; social identity in organisational contexts; group consensus processes; the selfconcept and self-regulation of behaviour.

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Dr Emma Alleyne: Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Socio-cognitive and group processes that underlie group offending e.g. what differentiates gang youth and non-gang youth with similar social/environmental backgrounds; multiple-perpetrator rape (MPR) and psychological factors that distinguish MPR from lone perpetrators; firesetting behaviour and clinical treatment of firesetters.

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Dr Zara Bergstrom: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

The neurocognitive mechanisms of episodic memory; control processes and long-term memory retrieval; cognitive neuroscience techniques; applied memory research; memory in old age.

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Dr Markus Bindemann: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Face and person perception; detection of people in natural settings; person memory and eyewitness identification; perception of eye-gaze and emotion from faces and other aspects of social cognition.

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Dr Anna Brown: Senior Lecturer in Psychological Methods and Statistics

Quantitative modelling of psychological date; modelling response processes to cognitive and non-cognitive assessments using Item Response Theory (IRT).

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Dr Lindsey Cameron: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Social developmental psychology: development and reduction of intergroup prejudice in children; direct intergroup contact and extended intergroup contact; development of ethnic and national identity in children and adolescents; acculturation in childhood; experience of prejudice and discrimination, and its consequences for social development.

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Dr Aleksandra Cichocka: Lecturer in Political Psychology

Links between the self and various social and political realities; how self-concept and group image relate to intergroup attitudes, political ideology and support for status-quo.

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Dr Kristof Dhont: Lecturer in Psychology

Dispositional and situational determinants of explicit and implicit racism: the role of intergroup contact and ideology; political psychology: ideology, political extremism, political cognition.

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Professor Karen Douglas: Professor of Social Psychology

Understanding beliefs in conspiracy theories, language and stereotyping, sexist language, lay theories of persuasion, social psychology of the internet, interpersonal and intergroup communication.

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Dr Heather Ferguson: Reader in Psychology

Language and communication; perspective taking; comprehension of counterfactuals and negation; mental representations involved in language understanding; time-course and brain processes involved in various cognitive functions; autism spectrum disorder.

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Dr Michael Forrester: Reader in Psychology

Children’s conversational skills; discourse and conversation analysis; psychoanalytic developmental psychology; the development of singing and musicality.

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Professor Theresa Gannon: Professor of Forensic Psychology

The cognition of child molesters, rapists and violent offenders; detecting fake-good responses in prison populations; the rehabilitation and treatment of sexual offenders; applied cognitive-experimental psychology; the characteristics and treatment of female sexual offenders and firesetters. 

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Professor Roger Giner-Sorolla: Professor of Social Psychology

The role of emotions in prejudice and self-control; moral judgements and emotion (anger, disgust, guilt and shame); cross-cultural differences in moral beliefs; intergroup emotions.

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Dr Tim Hopthrow: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Small group performance and decision-making especially in the context of co-operative behaviour in social dilemmas; the effects of alcohol consumption on group performance.

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Dr Mark James: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Developmental pathways to street gang membership, assessing stable and dynamic risk and protective factors associated with gang membership, as well as gang members' thoughts and feelings concerning their membership; public and professional (e.g. the police and courts) reactions to crime.

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Dr Amir-Homayoun Javadi: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience

Refining and improving non-pharmacological approaches to the enhancement of memory, learning and decision making, using a variety of methods (eg, physical exercise, electrical and magnetic brain stimulation and sleep); imaging methods including eye-tracking and EEG.

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Dr Lydia Kearney: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

Social anxiety and experience of mental imagery; ways anxious self-imagery reflects cognitive biases in attention and interpretation; imagery and rumination; imagery and emotion; cognitive and behavioural precursors of depression and anxiety.

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Dr Erika Nurmsoo: Lecturer in Psychology

Language acquisition, focusing on word learning; theory of mind development; source monitoring and use of testimony in preschoolers; children’s comprehension of partial and ambiguous input; understanding and use of symbols, drawing, and pretence.

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Dr Caoilte O Ciardha: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Treatment needs of offenders and causal factors in offending with a particular emphasis on the role of cognition; research methods that offer potential in tapping into cognitive constructs in an indirect way, such as looking at people’s response patterns to sexually salient stimuli and how that relates to problematic sexual interest, for example paedophilia. Work to date has primarily focused on behaviours such as sexual offending and firesetting.

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Dr Afroditi Pina: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Sexual violence, gender equality and victimisation, in particular rape and the myths that surround it; sexual harassment, its impact on its victims, women’s coping strategies, and the link between sexual harassment and the emotions of anger and fear; self and sexual objectification and its effects on women’s self esteem; victim blaming; coping strategies.

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Dr Marta Ponari: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

Interaction between cognition and emotion; embodied semantics, especially the role of sensory-motor and emotional information in how we acquire and represent meaning; facial expression recognition; emotional processing in ageing.

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Dr Georgina Randsley de Moura: Professor of Social Psychology

Intra and intergroup dynamics and social psychology in organisations, especially leadership, innovation and what happens when group members break rules or norms.

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Dr Dinkar Sharma: Reader in Psychology

Cognition and emotion; selective attention; priming; cognitive approaches to addiction.

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Professor Joachim Stoeber: Professor of Psychology

Perfectionism, well-being and performance; coping; personal goals in adolescence; stress and health in the workplace; motivation; personality and individual differences.

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Professor Robbie Sutton: Professor of Social Psychology

Just-world beliefs and system-justification; social norms and communication processes especially as they relate to prejudice, stereotyping and the perpetuation of injustice and inequality; the inner logic of apparently irrational behaviours such as mutually destructive conflicts and environmental despoilation; implications of these processes for gender (sexism, fear of crime and views of rape complainants) and global warming (climate change). 

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Dr Hannah Swift: Eastern ARC Research Fellow

Ageism; attitudes to age across Europe; consequences of age-stereotypes; age-based stereotype threat and stereotype priming; social identity and the social construction of age; loneliness in later life and the factors that contribute to healthy, active ageing. 

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Dr Giovanni Travaglino: Lecturer in Social & Organisational Psychology

Social and cultural psychology of collective action and protest. Factors predicting intentions to oppose criminal (mafia-style) organisations collectively in the South of Italy. Social psychology of deviance and groups’ responses to disloyal members.

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Professor Ayse Uskul: Professor of Social Psychology

Cultural conceptions of honour and roots of honour-related aggression; ecocultural influences on cognitive and social psychological (eg, social exclusion, honour) processes; social, cultural, and religious correlates of attitudes toward inter-ethnic and inter-faith intimate relationships; the role of self-regulatory mechanisms in social cognition (eg, processing of health messages); social interaction (eg, aggression); well-being (eg, depression).

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Dr Eduardo Vasquez: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Aggression and displaced aggression; anger, rumination, and aggression and violent behaviours; inter-group relations; personalisation, self-disclosure and liking; inter-group conflict and aggression; intergang violence; alcohol and social behaviours: alcohol and aggression, alcohol and inter-group anxiety; applications to criminal behaviour.

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Dr Mario Weick: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

The impact of social and situational factors on people’s perceptions, judgements and actions; the role of power and control – specifically how powerful and powerless people differ in their perceptions, the way they make judgements and their actions.

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Professor David Wilkinson: Professor of Psychology

Visual cognition; perceptual and attentional performance in healthy and brain-damaged individuals; the use of sensory stimulation to rehabilitate stroke patients.

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Dr David Williams: Professor of Developmental Psychology

Various forms of developmental psychopathology, including autism spectrum disorder and specific language impairment; the nature and neurocognitive bases of developmental disorders, as well as what these disorders tell us about typical development; use of cognitive-experimental techniques among typical and atypical populations.

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Dr Arnaud Wisman: Lecturer in Psychology

Coping mortality salience; terror management theory; the self-concept, self-esteem and selfregulation; groups, automatic social behaviour, conformism and cultural worldviews; evolutionary social psychology, attraction, scent and sexuality.

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Dr Jane Wood: Reader in Forensic Psychology

Street and prison gang formation and activity; public attitudes to crime and punishment, bullying in prison and schools; resettlement and rehabilitation of ex-offenders and the role of emotions in judging offenders.

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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Political Psychology - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7300 £15200
Part-time £3650 £7600

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: