Masters in Applied Psychological Science (Co-op)
Please view our current program brochure
This is a two-year program, designed to meet the needs of both students and employers, that alternates academic and co-op terms after the first 2 semesters. Students also complete an independent research project in their final semester. Successful students will be qualified for either employment or entrance into a doctoral program.
The program has a more applied focus than the regular M.Sc. program in psychology, with an emphasis on application of science in real world settings. Students acquire a firm grounding in theory and methods to deal with situations encountered in the work place in a flexible, yet experienced manner. The program offers a combination of training in basic scientific research methods and psychological theory with practical experience in a variety of work settings. The faculty provide training in methods and theory through the academic component of the program and the practical experience is provided by the co-operative, work-term component.
The key program goals include:
• application of psychological methods and knowledge to the development and improvement of social programs.
• application of critical thinking skills and evaluation technologies to evaluate social programs.
• development of program evaluation skills that are broadly applicable across all types of social programs (e.g., government, industry, community, health, education and justice systems).
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). In recent years, a combined score of 300 on GRE (verbal + quantitative) has been the cut-off for consideration.
Application forms can be filled out on-line. Students are asked to submit their applications by February 1st, keeping in mind that files (including letters of reference) will also need to be evaluated at that time. 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.
(Academic Term 1)
|6400||Theory and Methods in Social Psychology|
(Academic term 2)
|6000||Advanced Statistics in Psychology|
(Work Term 1)
|601W||Work Term 1|
(Academic Term 3)
|6403||Program Evaluation and Applied Research|
(Work Term 2)
|602W||Work Term 2|
(Academic Term 4)
|6404||Project in Applied Psychological Science|
During each work term the student works for a participating employer and earns a competitive salary as if he or she were a regular employee. The Co-op co-ordinator 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 co-ordinator keeps a list of interested employers, available to all students in the program. Employers conduct interviews and select candidates. Placements are not guaranteed, but every effort is made to ensure that appropriate employment is made available. In recent years, the placement rate for students has been in excess of 95%.
The work term is evaluated in two ways:
- Student performance on the job is assessed by the employer and by self-assessment. The student and employer then jointly review the performance. The final assessment is submitted to the co-op coordinator and to the program chair (Dr. Cathryn Button).
- A work term report written by the student. Note. 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. The work-term reports are evaluated by the chair of the program.
All candidates shall complete four academic semesters and shall be required to complete two work terms. Courses in scientific methods and 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, students go on their first work term. After this, academic terms alternate with work terms.
Supportive Housing Initiatives, Newfoundland & Labrador AIDS Committee.
Enterprise Olympics Program, YMCA.
Evaluating the Arts, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Government of NL.
Tendering and Information Collection, Department of Transportation & Works, Government of NL.
Strategic Planning for the Botanical Gardens, Office of Public Engagement, Memorial University.
R & D Vouchers program, Research Development Corporation.
Graduation requirements review, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Government of NL.
Privacy practices, Department of Transportation & Works, Government of NL.
Project for Enhanced Rural & Remote Training, Primary Healthcare Research Unit.
Curriculum Program Review, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Government of NL.
Evaluation of Harm Reduction Workshop & Webinar, NL Housing & Homelessness Network.
Food Security Initiatives, Food First NL.
Violence Prevention Initiative, Womens’ Policy Office, Government NL.
Students in their last semester carry out an independent research project and write a report that demonstrates their ability to integrate theory, research, and practice. The project is similar to a thesis in that it is an independent piece of research. It is different from a thesis because it is usually based on data from an applied setting, concerning a social problem or issue.
While on work-terms, most students are involved in applications of material they have learned in their courses. This project 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 health). Other reports may involve an analysis of data collected during a work term or the study of an applied problem from a psychological perspective. However, the research project must be separate from work term reports and cannot include material from the work term reports. Please see below a list of previous work term reports.
In all cases, the project involves the design of a study and the analysis of data. The data, which the student may collect, which may be part of a data archive, or collected on a work term, forms an essential part of the project
Drover, Justin. Assessing pre-licensure collaborative skills using a simulated interprofessional team consultation exercise.
Dyson, Kristen. Youth engagement in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada: A jurisdictional scan of agency approaches and best practices.
Inwood, Samantha. No child left behind: Attitudes towards redistributing donations made to US public schools.
Learning, Maria. Exploring the relationship between positive mental health and contact with police among Canadians.
Matt, Al. Immigrants experiences accessing healthcare across provinces.
Rebecca Wilson. Eastern Health Community Health Assessment: Survey Report.
Emma Meulemkamp. Parkinson’s Society NL Exercise Program Evaluation.
Scott Taylor. Incorporating Students in Public Engagement Assessment: An Exploratory Data Analysis.
Nikki Randell. Examining Tobacco Use in Vulnerably Housed Individuals with mental Illnesses.
Amy Dowden. Newfoundlanders at Work: an Exploratory Survey on Workplace Climates in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Katherine VanKoughnet. Exploring the Differences in Visitors’ Experience of Contemporary Art by Age and Frequency of Art Gallery Visitation.
Keshabyan, Anna. Ever wonder if you'll make it in life? Status Anxiety Uniquely Explains Job Satisfaction.
Piotr Krajewski. Evaluation Capacity of Non-profit Organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mary Pryor. School Development Demographics: A Closer Look.
Scurrey, Samantha. Evaluating the Experience of Rural Individuals with Prostate and Breast Concern Participating in Research via Telehealth.
Ryan, Michael. Economic Mental Models and Other Psychological Predictors of Economic Inequality.
Alex Tumilty. Newfoundland and Labrador Small Schools report: A Systematic Approach to School Development.
Fallon, Laura. Interrater Reliability Reporting Practices in Published Forensic Psychology Research: A Descriptive Study.
Gibson, Demi. Clientele Preferences: Streamlining Programs and Services Offered by the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Lewis, Leanna. Circadian Rhythms in Adolescence: The Relationship Between Sleep Factors, Eating Behaviours and Stress on Cognitive Functioning in an Adolescent Population.
McDonald, Janet. Predictors of Satisfaction with Self-Esteem at Emmanuel House.
Qin, Yirong. Qualitative Interviews with Community Supports Program Users.
Rodrigues, Marshal. Perception of Healthcare Services Provided by the Gathering Place.
Walsh, Colin. Evaluation of RDC’s Employ R&D/IRDF Program.
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. Such support usually consists of a combination of Graduate School Fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships. In addition to the standard University funding that is afforded to all students, the two paid work terms provide additional financial support. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek outside support as well (e.g., SSHRC CGS-M). If you decide to apply for Tri-Council funding (SSHRC), please consult with a faculty member in the department regarding a project and supervision.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is my supervisor?
All incoming students are initially assigned to the program chair, Dr. Cathryn Button.
2. Who supervises my final project?
The default supervisor is the program chair. However, depending on their research interest, students may seek any departmental faculty member to supervise their final project.
3. How do I apply for work terms?
The application process is organized and administered by the co-op coordinator, who meets with students early in their first semester to provide the details for the process.
4. When do I start working on my final project?
Normally, the project is completed in Academic Term 4. Students are encouraged to begin working on their project as soon as they have determined their interest and have supervision in place.
5. Is this program only about program evaluation?
No. This program is designed to transfer psychological knowledge and research skills to real world settings so that graduates can conduct research across a range of settings to make evidence-based decisions and policies. Program evaluation is but one aspect of these more general research tools.
6. What are the chances of getting a work term?
Great. In recent years, all of our students have obtained placements. Note, however that placements are not guaranteed.
7. What are the chances of getting a job?
Great. In recent years, all of our students have obtained positions in a range of work place settings, such as the Provincial Government (e.g., Department of Health, Department of Transportation and Work), Federal Government (e.g., Statistic Canada), Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Research Development Corporation (RDC), Goss-Gilroy Consulting, Market Quest, M5 Marketing, a wide range of community organizations (e.g., Stella’s Circle, Community Services Council, Kids Lunch Program, Emmanuel House), and others.
8. Can I find my own work terms?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to find work terms that match your interest. Note, however, that the placement must be approved by the co-op coordinator and the program chair.
9. Do the work terms have to be in Newfoundland and Labrador?
No. In fact, we encourage you to find work terms that match your interest. Note, however, that the placement must be approved by the co-op coordinator and the program chair.
10. How much money will I make on a work term?
It depends. The amount of financial compensation for each work term varies. On average, students earn approximately $6,000 to $7,500 for a work term.
11. How long are the work terms?
Work terms require a minimum of 12 weeks, but may be as long as 16 weeks.
12. What is the minimum grade needed to pass a course?
A minimum grade of 65% is required to pass all graduate courses. Work terms are graded as: pass with distinction, pass, or fail.
13. How is the final project evaluated?
The final project is evaluated by the program chair and one other faculty member. The evaluation rubric is similar to that of a thesis.
14. Can I work full time while completing Academic Term 4?
No. Graduate student regulations stipulate that students can work a maximum of 24 hours per week during any given term.
15. How many students are accepted each year?
It depends. In recent years, cohort sizes have ranged from a minimum of 4 students to a maximum of 8 students. Acceptance into the program is competitive and based largely on academic excellence (e.g., GPA, GRE Scores). Students must have an interest in conducting research in applied settings.
16. Can work terms and academic terms be taken in any order?
No. The program must be completed in the sequence outline under the program of study.