Special Master of Science program option

Have you considered what an extended period in research training can do for your professional career?

Highlights of our new Master of Science program option:

  • Obtain an advanced degree in 15-18 months
  • Does not require an honours degree
  • Entails no commitment to completing a doctoral degree
  • Offers the opportunity to engage in programmatic research
  • Develops professional writing and analytic skills
  • Encourages students to present their work at local and international conferences
  • Provides support for tuition costs (Note: Faculty of Graduate Studies requires graduate students to pay 5 fee installments for the Master’s degree.  See: http://web.uvic.ca/calendar2013/GRAD/TaOtF/RCTuFfGP.html )

Check out the participating programs below.

How to apply

  • Contact the faculty member whom you wish to act as your potential supervisor.  The following faculty are participating in this option:

  • Submit a regular application through the graduate studies website
  • Make sure that you specify a January entry date if you wish to start at the beginning of the year

Admission requirements

An undergraduate degree in psychology or its equivalent is required and at least a B+ (6.0 GPA) average for the last two years leading to the degree is recommended.

Applicants should have taken at least one course in applied statistics and courses in major areas of psychology such as learning, cognition, physiological/neuropsychology, and social/personality/abnormal psychology.

Students whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TEFOL) and receive a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test.

Graduate record examination

Applicants must provide scores from the general test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Unofficial copies of your GRE scores may be considered on a preliminary basis but must be replaced by official copies as soon as possible.

Personal letter

Applicants must also provide a personal letter that:

  • Identifies the primary area of specialization desired
  • Describes areas of research interest
  • Names at least two faculty members with whom the applicant wishes to work
  • Gives details of current activity (e.g. courses in progress)
  • Indicates whether financial support will be required

Admission requires that a faculty supervisor is available.

Cognition and Brain Sciences: Cognition and action

A widely held view of a reach and grasp action is that the movement of the hand through space is driven only by the visible form of the object, whereas the planning of an action prior to movement is based on higher level properties of the object, such as its identity, as well as the intentions behind an action.

Considerable research is consistent with this standpoint. But evidence we have recently obtained indicates that in at least some situations the flight of hand must be influenced by conceptual levels of representation, including the anticipated outcome of an action in relation to the function of an object.

Drs Bub and Masson are conducting fascinating research on the properties of an object held in working memory than can affect the speed and trajectory of the hand in flight.

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Trajectories of a hand in flight
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Hand fitted with sensors
Cognition and Brain Sciences: Embodied cognition

Members of the Cognitive and Brain Sciences group use timing procedures to analyze stages of mental processes.

Would you like to find out more about what the figures below are saying on how words like cell-phone, pencil or spray-can automatically evoke grasp actions, and why this question is important for theories of embodied cognition?

Contact Drs. Bub or Masson for more information.

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Embodied cognition figures
Cognition and Brain Sciences: Memory and cognition

Memory processes are responsible for guiding us through a wide variety of daily activities. Understanding how these processes operate and interact with other cognitive functions is one of our primary research goals.

For example, consider what happens when you search for an object in a particular environment. What kind of memory representation of that environment is created by the act of searching? How would your search change if you were to try to find that object again? And would you be able to find more efficiently a different object in that scene if asked to do so, having already searched it for the first target object? We have begun to find some surprising answers to these questions using our eye-movement monitoring laboratory.

The example presented here (left panel) shows the eye-movement pattern for a subject who is seeing a scene for the first time and is searching for a television set (blue circles = fixation locations and durations; yellow lines = eye movements [saccades]). Some time later, after searching many other unrelated scenes, the subject again tries to find the television set (right panel). Notice how much more efficient the search is on this second attempt. But what happens if the subject searches for a new object in this scene?

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Initial search of a room
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Second search