Interpersonal Psychology - not recruiting for 2014


This is the first MSc programme in Interpersonal Psychology in the UK. This unique and innovative programme explores the psychology behind our interpersonal relationships.

Campus Parkgate Road Campus, Chester
Course MSc
Length 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time
Start date September 2014

Why study Interpersonal Psychology at Chester?

Many people value their interpersonal relationships more than other aspects of their lives. We will explore our interpersonal psychology, examining the complex factors that contribute to harmonious or less optimal relationships. We will also explore how we may promote good interpersonal relationships in a range of settings.

Our lecturers provide a broad range of expertise relevant to interpersonal psychology, ranging from social psychology to positive psychology; from evolutionary psychology to workplace psychology; from child psychology to communication psychology. We will draw on a range of relevant methodologies to explore key questions in interpersonal psychology.  We encourage the use of social networking and communication technology to enhance the exchange of ideas during the programme.

The programme is aimed at graduates of psychology and related disciplines from the UK and overseas who wish to develop their understanding of interpersonal psychology. It is also aimed at people who work in professions in which interpersonal behaviour plays a large role (e.g. management, human resources, business, education, social care, healthcare, services), who wish to enhance their understanding of this aspect of their work. The programme is also suitable for people who may be interested in pursuing further research in interpersonal psychology.

Time commitment:

We currently schedule our teaching on Wednesdays to enable students to study via day release. You will be required to study independently in addition to scheduled teaching hours.


The programme in Interpersonal Psychology has a number of attractive features:

  • It is intellectually eclectic: we will use a wide range of theoretical psychological perspectives to examine interpersonal behaviours. This aims to open your mind, to enhance the flexibility of your thinking, and to promote advanced intellectual skills.
  • It has a strong applied focus: we will study how psychological understanding can enhance interpersonal relationships in the workplace and in personal life.
  • It is aimed strongly at enhancing your employability or career development. We aim to develop your transferrable skills.
  • It has a strong research element: your research skills are developed throughout the programme, and you will undertake your own research supervised by a member of the psychology team, culminating in the production of a dissertation. This will enhance your understanding of research design, data analysis, project management and research reporting.
  • It aims to promote collaboration and interaction with your peers, which will serve as material for reflection on interpersonal behaviours.
  • It aims to enhance or consolidate your understanding of ethics and values, which is of great importance in interpersonal psychology.

Throughout the course you will receive dedicated, expert teaching in lectures, seminars and workshops that are only delivered to postgraduate students. In this way we will give you the attention and focus that you deserve and deliver the material in ways that are appropriate for your level of study.

Programme structure

This programme is structured on a semester basis. You will complete three modules in each of the first two semesters and your research dissertation in the final semester.

Semester 1

In this semester you will start your journey with some training in research methods and skills, and cover one of the key specialist areas of this course.

  • Foundations of Interpersonal Psychology (PS7101) presents a synthesis of work across multiple areas of psychology that have relevance to interpersonal psychology, including attachment, empathy, emotion, communication, evolutionary psychology, social psychology, morality and values.
  • In Researching Thought and Behaviour (PS7301) you will learn about research method and data analysis. You will receive expert teaching and training in both quantitative statistics and qualitative research methods. This module includes an emphasis on practical as well as taught sessions to ensure you have a strong understanding of the use of statistical software packages.
  • In Advanced Skills for Research and Practice (PS7303) you will gain expert training in the successful management and completion of research projects in professional and applied settings. This innovative module will equip you with skills that will be beneficial in your current or future employment. You will cover the topics of professional standards and ethics in research, the development and writing of proposals, success in obtaining funding for research, project management, disseminating findings, and effective listening and influencing strategies.


Semester 2

In the second semester you will take three further modules on the course, developing your research and transferable skills along the way.

  • Interpersonal Psychology in Professional Life (PS7102) develops insights into the application of interpersonal psychology in professional settings. It will examine issues including leadership and management, networks in professional settings, dealing with difficult people, emotional labour, workplace bullying and positive psychology.
  • In Interpersonal Psychology in Personal Life (PS7103) focuses on interpersonal psychology in personal relationships, and examines issues including the reading of emotional cues, deception, body language, social networks, mate selection and conflict resolution.
  • Practical Skills for Research (PS7302) will develop your research and practical skills to an advanced level. We will cover advanced quantitative and qualitative methods and you will gain experience in using specialist software and technologies that supports advanced research techniques. This module will provide you with the opportunity to undertake practical training in the techniques of interviewing and data collection.


Semester 3

In the final semester you will work with one of our expert supervisors on your own research project (PS7112 Dissertation). This allows you to develop your knowledge and expertise in an area that particularly interests you. Your supervisor will guide you in this process, providing advice on how to design your study, collect and analyse your data and effectively write up your dissertation. You are likely to start preparing for this module in Semester 2, and then carry out your project in Semester 3.

Assessment on this programme will be entirely through coursework, using a range of formats. These will include essays, critical reviews, a simulated consultancy report, reflective writing, research reports (both qualitative and quantitative) and presentations (individual, group and by poster). Formative feedback will also be provided in relation to group discussions that are held within seminars and workshops and that will encourage students in their use of critical reflection. The assessments have been designed with an aim to embedding professionally-relevant transferrable skills, which may enhance your employability or career development.

The programme will be relevant to individuals wishing to update their knowledge base as well as updating skills and acquiring new ones, to those taking an MSc as a precursor to doctoral research, and those seeking careers in research, policy or practice. 

Graduates from this programme will be equipped with an excellent set of transferable professional skills. The knowledge and understanding gained in the interpersonal psychology modules is relevant to a range of careers that involve interaction with people. People skills are further enhanced by the use of interviews and team work in the programme. The research methods and skills modules promote an understanding in advanced research methods (both quantitative and qualitative), techniques for supporting research and the development and management of research. All modules will enhance your cognitive skills through critical awareness and evaluation of advanced social scientific literature as well as problem solving. Your written and oral communication skills are also developed throughout this programme, as are your Information Technology skills. You will also develop self-awareness and insight into professional and ethical issues relevant to a range of careers.

In all, the programme aims to enhance your employability in a range of careers. The skills are particularly relevant to those in careers that involve a large element of interaction with people, who work in professions in which interpersonal behaviour plays a large role (e.g. management, human resources, business, education, social care, healthcare, services), who wish to enhance their understanding of this aspect of their work.

The programme is aimed at graduates of psychology and related disciplines from the UK and from overseas who wish to develop their conceptual understanding of interpersonal psychology. It is also aimed at early and mid-career professionals working in many business or service-related fields. Finally it is aimed at individuals wishing to develop skills in research methodologies and in undertaking applied research.

Candidates will normally possess an honours degree in Psychology (minimum 2.ii) or other related discipline. Exceptionally, consideration will be given to those with commensurate professional qualifications or experience, where there is evidence of ability to carry out research at postgraduate level. Where appropriate, applicants will be interviewed by a representative of the programme team. Applicants whose first language is not English must have an appropriate level of English proficiency certification before applying (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL).