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Psychology masters dissertation examples

May 19, 2018

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. Philip K. Dick

1. Introduction to Psychology Dissertations

This guide gives you some ideas for dissertation titles. Psychology covers many areas, so there should be plenty to whet your appetite here.   Psychology dissertations typically take one of two forms, focusing either upon collecting and analyzing primary data or upon appraising secondary data only. Either type can be appropriate to your area of study.  You will also find an overview of how to structure your dissertation in section three below.

2. Categories and List of Dissertation Titles

2.1 Developmental  and Educational Psychology

2.1.1   Are children’s eating behaviours and attitudes towards food affected by parents with eating disorders? A quantitative study.

2.1.2   Stranger danger?  Children’s internalizations of ‘the other’: a qualitative study.

2.1.3   Father figures and perceptions of masculine authority in the pre-adolescent children of single mothers: a qualitative study.

2.1.4  To what extent is Vygotsky’s theories of child development a product of his cultural background, and do they have application to our post-capitalist society? A critical analysis of the literature.

2.1.5 Can attachment theory be used to explain the development of a subjective self in the child?  A literature review.

2.1.6 Does identifying children’s learning styles help improve outcomes: a quantitative study of primary school children.

2.1.7 Can the concept of reflective practice be used to help children learn in UK schools:  a qualitative study.

2.1.8  What measures can be taken to help children suffering from anxiety disorders perform better in tests: a review of the literature.

2.2 Mental Health and Abnormal Psychology

2.2.1 To what extent does conflict over food in childhood impact on problematic attitudes to eating in  adolescence? A qualitative study amongst anorexia sufferers.

2.2.2 The extent to which perceptions of social stigma impact upon sufferer’s coping strategies: a quantitative study.

2.2.3 The impact of diet on depression: can a ‘Mediterranean’ diet reduce symptoms in those prone to depression? A literature review.

2.2.4 To what extent are people with learning difficulties less or more likely to suffer from phobias? A review of the literature.

2.2.5 Can yoga and meditation be effective treatment options for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A randomized controlled study amongst OCD patients.

2.2.6 Does personality type impact upon patient outcomes for hospitalization for mental disorders?  A quantitative study in a large UK hospital.

2.2.7  Is there a link between self-harm in adolescent females and use of social networking sites? A qualitative study amongst British teenage girls.

2.2.8 What is the relationship between children’s home routines and treatment for ADHD? A study of the literature.

2.3 Social Psychology

2.3.1  Conceptual models of riots and civil unrest: a critical analysis of the recent riots in the UK.

2.3.2  What is the relationship between narcissism and the use of social media such as facebook? A quantitative study amongst UK students.

2.3.3  Mad, bad or dangerous? Assessing changing social attitudes to mental illness through a study of magazine and TV advertising.

2.3.4  What do reactions to work uniforms reveal about attitudes to authority and control: a qualitative study amongst UK supermarket, bank and council workers.

2.3.5 Gender, marketing and internet presence: a critical analysis of images of women in corporate website branding.

2.3.6  Private, public and liminal spaces: what are car driver’s perceptions of other road users? A qualitative investigation amongst regular drivers.

2.3.7  Gendered nights: the range of gendered behaviours in fetish clubs and bars. An ethnographic investigation carried out in London, Swansea and Manchester.

2.3.8  Can music be used to reduce low-level criminal behaviour in public places? A quantitative study of an urban bus station.

2.4 Counselling and Therapy

2.4.1 Counselling and power: to what extent does the counselor/client relationship demonstrate an unequal balance of power?  A literature review.

2.4.2 Does Freudian psychoanalysis have any place in the current UK health service? A qualitative study amongst healthcare professionals.

2.4.3  Does length of treatment affect outcome for patients undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy? A quantitative study of adults.

2.4.4 Can ideas about ecology contribute to therapy and counselling? A review of the literature.

2.4.5. Projective testing: an outmoded technique in current counselling and therapy practice? A critical overview of the UK situation.

2.4.6  How effective are cognitive behavioural therapy self-help techniques when used with children under 13?   A quantitative study of pre-adolescent children.

2.4.7 To what extent can computer-aided cognitive behavioural therapy be a substitute for CBT with a trained therapist?  A qualitative study amongst UK CBT therapists and practitioners.

2.4.8 Is there a role for the unconscious in life coaching, and if so which theoretical models are most appropriate?   A review of the literature.

2.5 Consumer and Industrial Psychology

2.5.1 Fashion Tribes: can Cova’s concept of tribal marketing be used to analyse the brand image of high street fashion retailers. A case study of five UK brands.

2.5.2 Colour and shopper motivation: a quantitative study of the impact of colour in own-brand packaging by leading UK supermarkets.

2.5.3 Hierarchy, authority and the workplace: a comparison of attitudes to authority between a rigidly hierarchical UK workplace and one with an egalitarian structure.

2.5.4 Diesel dyke or lipstick lesbian? Changing images of gay women in advertising and the media: a literature review.

2.5.5 To what extent can Hofstede’s concept of cultural dimensions be useful in understanding international branding: a comparative study of 3 global organizations.

2.5.6  Can ideas from counseling and psychotherapy be used to enhance the corporate annual review for employees?  A primary study carried out in a leading UK financial services provider.

2.5.7  Burnout amongst executive staff: what are the main predictors? A review of literature from the UK and Europe.

2.5.8   Industrial psychology and interior design:  How have ideas about workforce motivation and reward affected the look of the office or factory? A critical and historical review.

3. How to Structure a Psychology Dissertation, Tips

For details on how to structure a marketing dissertation, kindly check out the following post:


Category: Free Dissertation Topics and Ideas, Psychology Essay Examples

I’m often asked how to structure a qualitative dissertation and I find that seeing other dissertations can help to 1) recognise the structural similarities and writing conventions, and 2) recognise that all dissertations are slightly different and it’s perfectly ok to do your own thing too.  So I recently went on the hunt for some examples of qualitative psychology Masters theses to help MSc Media Psychology students in writing up their qualitative research.

I found a few qualitative psychology Masters theses online (see below) but PhD theses and undergraduate dissertations seem more available electronically (I’ve also included some examples of each below).  Perhaps there is gap for an online hub of Masters projects? If you know of one, I’d love to hear about it.


*Found via the University of Edinburgh’s search option for Psychology Masters thesis collection here.


LSE Theses Online and the Open University’s Open Research Online are both fab repositories. Registering for the British Library’s Electronic Thesis Service EThoS is also a must.

Undergraduate dissertations:

Media Psychology:

Whilst searching, I also found a Masters dissertation on social media’s role in branding which applies cultivation theory…might be of interest to our MSc Media Psych students.

Quite a few of the dissertations uploaded to the MMU Psychology Dissertations Journal are also media related.  You can search the Journal here.

Get Writing

It’s great to see how others have conquered the challenges of writing up but there does come a point where you need to stop looking at other people’s work and focus on writing your own work in your own way.  Good luck!

P.S. Don’t forget to adhere to your University’s specific guidance on writing up dissertations and theses too!

Thanks to @DrAClements, @ClareUytman, @ej_odwyer, @spatialsyndave, @drshroyer, @cyberandrew, @marcdonncadh, @paulbyrneuk, @DrSharronH, @GalvinMary, @VickiMcDermott for their retweets and suggestions which informed this post.

This post was originally published on the Media Psychology UK blog

Posted in PhD, psychology, qualitative

Tags: writing Posted in Learning

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