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Masters in Applied Social Psychology

Program of Study
Work Term
Project Course
Financial Support


This program is designed to meet the needs of both students and employers. Students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to ask appropriate questions and conduct research in such applied settings as business, government and health care. Successful students will be qualified for either employment or entrance into a doctoral program.

The program meets students' and employers' needs by offering a combination of training in basic scientific methods and social psychological theory with practical experience in a variety of work settings. The faculty will provide training in methods and theory through the academic component of the program and the practical experience will be provided by the co-operative, work-term component.

The co-operative program differs from a traditional experimental M.Sc. program in two important ways. First, there will be a practical (or work-experience) component. Second, students in the program will complete Advanced Methods in Social Psychological Research and the Research Project course (instead of a thesis). The emphasis in these courses will be on an integration of the work experience with the knowledge of methods and theories acquired in the social psychology courses.

The program clearly has a more applied flavor than the regular M.Sc. program in social psychology but this emphasis on application will not come at the expense of basic theory and methods. A student needs a firm grounding in these basics to deal with situations encountered in the work place in a flexible yet experienced manner.


To gain admission, a student must hold an honors bachelor's degree normally of high second class standing, or its equivalent. All applicants are required to submit results from the General section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Application forms can be filled out on-line. Students are asked to submit their applications as early as possible as files (including letters of reference) will be evaluated before February 1. Letters of reference should be submitted directly to the School of Graduate Studies on the appropriate forms. Admission decisions are normally made by April 1. Late applications may be considered if openings are available.

Program of Study

Term Course Description
Fall 6000 Advanced Statistics in Psychology
  6400 Theory and Methods in Social Psychology
Winter 6001 Research Design
  6401 Social Cognition
Spring 601W Work Term 1
Fall 6402 Group Processes
  6403 Advanced Methods in Applied Social Psychology
Winter 602W Work Term 2
Spring 6404 Project in Applied Social Psychology

Work Term

During each work term the student works for a participating employer and earns a salary as if he or she were a regular employee. The Co-op Education Services Centre organizes the competition for work term employment. (Students may also obtain their own work term jobs outside the competition but this must be approved.) The Co-op Education Services Centre keeps a list of interested employers, available to all students in the program. Employers come to the campus and conduct interviews. Students are placed by the Psychology Department's Programme Coordinator with the aid of the Co-operative Education Services Centre to fit expressed preferences as far as possible. Placements are not guaranteed, but every effort is made to ensure that appropriate employment is made available.

The work term is evaluated in two ways:

  1. Student performance on the job is assessed.
  2. Each student has to write a work report for the work term. The report must contain original work related to the work term placement. The topic must be related to the work experience and will be chosen by the student in consultation with the employer.

All candidates shall complete four academic semesters and shall normally be required to complete two work terms. Courses in scientific methods and social psychological theory are taken during the academic semesters. Experience in work settings is acquired during the two work terms. The entire program takes six consecutive semesters. Students take two courses in each of the fall and winter semesters. In the third semester they go on their first work term. After this, academic terms alternate with work terms. Graduates from the program will have skills necessary to carry out research and find solutions to employer's problems or to go on to a doctoral program.

Project Course

Students in their last semester will write a report in which they demonstrate the ability to integrate material such as methodological issues and previous research. While on work-terms most students are involved in applications of material they have learned in their courses. However, most work-term projects are problem oriented and sufficiently demanding that students have little opportunity to think about and to integrate the material. This course will provide the "capstone" experience for students in the program. They will have the opportunity to produce a document integrating what they have learned in classes with what they have learned in their work terms. Some reports may include a review, evaluation, and comparison of methods used on two disparate work-terms, e.g., one in education and one in treasury. Other reports may involve an analysis of the problems studied from the perspective of social psychological theory.

Financial Support

Students are automatically considered for financial support. It is a policy of the department to attempt to offer all students admitted some form of support, but it is done so on a competitive basis. Such support usually consists of a combination of Graduate School Fellowships, departmental support and/or graduate assistantships. Faculty members may also offer grant-supported research assistantships. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek outside support as well.

Primary Faculty

Cathryn Button
Ken Fowler
Brent Snook