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Psychology and Education

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I consider the MEd/MPhil in Psychology and Education to be perhaps the best course of its kind in the country.
(Professor Neil Humphrey, University of Manchester, External Examiner)
Key Facts
Route Co-ordinator: Dr Jenny Gibson

Full-time enrolled 2016-17: 18

Open to:  MPhil, 2 Yr MEd

Part-time enrolled 2016-17: 11
Full-time deadline: 30/03/17 % International: 34%
Part-time deadline: 31/05/17 % Home: 66%
Written task FAQs

Are you interested in the psychological processes involved in learning and development? Would you like to explore your ideas through a research Masters? Are you preparing for work as a practicing psychologist, planning for further study through a PhD or EdD, or hoping to apply your knowledge and skills in an educational context? We offer full-time (one year, MPhil) and part-time (two-year, MEd) programmes that will allow you to explore topics in psychology and education that are close to your heart. The full- and part-time options are identical, except in length. We also offer a conversion course add-on accredited by the British Psychology Society.

Academic staff in the Psychology and Education group comprise an international team. We share expertise across a wide range of ages, subject areas and research methods in psychology and education. We invite you to read more about the research we are doing. We are also very excited about our recently refurbished laboratory, offering state-of-the-art research facilities for our staff and students to conduct observations and experiments.

Why choose us?

  • Study a range of topics in psychology and education on our unique course covering a wide range of ages from infancy to adulthood
  • Focus on a research topic of your choosing in an in-depth Masters thesis
  • Benefit from teaching by internationally renowned Faculty staff who are actively involved in cutting edge research and policy advice
  • Closely engage with the work of the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning and the Faculty's Psychology and Education Academic Research Group
  • Option to join our accredited program for British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (conversion course)
  • Join a select group of no more than 30 students per year
  • Experience a teaching approach that promotes active, participatory, inclusive and research-orientated pedagogy
  • Enjoy personalised support and mentoring through one to one supervision
  • Connect with a friendly and vibrant community of students from across the world
  • Benefit from access to research groups and networks across the University of Cambridge
  • Develop skills for employability across a range of organisations

What does this course offer?

You will:

  • Engage with contemporary issues in psychology and education in order to interrogate the latest theoretically-grounded and evidence-based research
  • Critically investigate dominant paradigms in psychology and education, and engage with topical issues of relevance to educational policy and practice
  • Develop research and career paths within the wider research culture of both the Faculty and the broader university

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How is the course organised?

You will have 64 hours of thematic route sessions in Psychology and Education. There are 5 core topics providing an introduction to key ideas, theories and research:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Individual Differences
  • Additional elements will support your development of research skills: practical work in psychology (for BPS students only), research seminars, quantitative data analysis, research workshops and a research thesis.

Further detailed information.

In addition to the above, you will attend the Research Methods Strand (see below) where you will also mix with students and staff from other specialisms within the Faculty . Most of your interactions will be with other students and academic staff within the Psychology and Education route.


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Research Method Strand

Alongside these modules, you will benefit from 32 hours of Research Methods teaching. This is taught across all thematic Masters within the Faculty of Education, allowing you to interact with others on different routes. It covers a broad range of social science research methods and is essential for Masters level understanding and critical engagement with the research literature in many specialist areas and in education more generally. Through this strand you will acquire the skills necessary for designing, conducting, analysing, interpreting and reporting a research study for thesis.

Detailed information


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Who are the course team?

Dr Jenny Gibson (coordinator) is happy to be contacted with questions specific to the route, which aren’t answered in our FAQs page. Administrative queries should be addressed to the HD office. Other team members are:

Dr Sara Baker

Dr Michelle Ellefson

Professor Jan Vermunt

Dr Ros McLellan

Dr Ruth Kershner

Professor Christine Howe


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Where do our students go?

Our graduates are the future leaders in their field. They have a wide choice of career options, including further PhD study, doctoral training in educational psychology, work in schools, with charities and government departments, as well as think tanks and universities.


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What our students say

Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and they pursue many different paths after leaving us. Many carry out fieldwork in their country of origin or in an educational setting they are familiar with.

Hear about Connor Quinn’s experience as an MPhil:
Audio file http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1394212

Hear about Susan Potter’s experience as an MEd:
Audio file http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1394230

Examples of past thesis topics include:

  • How bereavement is handled in the classroom
  • Personality factors in organisational success in graduates and managers
  • Effect of word length and level of abstractness on short-term memory retention
  • Relation between musical play and self-regulation in primary school children
  • Resilience and coping by adolescents in the context of peer-stress

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British Psychological Society Accreditation

Please address all BPS related queries (in particular those related to accreditation of prior learning) to the BPS coordinator, Helen Demetriou

The Psychology and Education Masters in the Faculty of Education is accredited as a graduate conversion course by the British Psychological Society (BPS), provided students complete work in addition to the Masters during their time with us. This additional element carries an additional fee (for further information, see the Finance tab in the Course Directory). Graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC), granted by the BPS, allows you to proceed onto courses offering professional training as a Chartered Psychologist (for example, educational or clinical psychology).

If you are not planning to become a chartered psychologist in the UK then GBC is not a necessary element for your Masters work with us, so you can simply follow the Psychology and Education Masters without the additional BPS element.

To be eligible to obtain GBC through our Masters route, you must have the equivalent of 6 months full-time study of psychology at undergraduate level (or 60 credits) prior to starting the Masters (but not prior to applying). Please note that we cannot evaluate your prior learning in detail before an application is made.

To obtain GBC you attend the same lectures as everyone else. Then you must write five practical reports in addition to the standard coursework for the Masters alone (two essays and a thesis).

If you wish to apply for the BPS component please upload the BPS registration form at the time of application. The above deadlines are for full applications (i.e. they must include both references and the written task). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

On successful completion of the Masters and the additional BPS assessments, you will need to apply to the BPS for GBC. Details of the requirements and application procedure can be found on the BPS website.