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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Empirical Dissertation (CLPS11050)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThis core course within the MSc Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion) provides students with the invaluable experience of designing, conducting, analysing and presenting a research project. This course provides students with the opportunity to work in small groups, pairs or individually on a research project of their choice and to complete a dissertation.
Course description The dissertation teaching will be based on individualised or small-group face-to-face supervision (22 x contact hours including formative feedback). Students will, where possible, be encouraged to work in pairs or small groups (maximum of four), which will provide an additional element of peer learning and social support. Working in pairs or small groups will also allow students to engage in larger-scale projects, some of which may be publication worthy. However, all students will submit independent dissertations for assessment. Supervisors will provide formative feedback in one set of comments on each of the following elements of the dissertation: Abstract, introduction, methods and results. No written formative comments will be provided on the discussion part of the dissertation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Course Start Date 17/09/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 578 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Dissertations should be 8,000-9,000 words and follow the structure and format of a relevant BPS journal (e.g. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, British Journal of Developmental Psychology) or other psychology journal. The main body of your dissertation should be written up following the author guidelines of your target journal with regards to layout, referencing, table style etc. Supervisors will direct their students to the most relevant journal and encourage them to use the journal format to guide the structure of their dissertation.

Dissertations will be marked using the University of Edinburgh marking guidelines and emphasis will be placed on the methods and results sections of your dissertation (to capture research activities that relate more to the process of the project than the dissertation itself). You will be given an overall mark and indicative grades for sections.
Feedback Formative feedback will be given by dissertation supervisors during the dissertation process.

Summative feedback will be given once the dissertation mark has been ratified by an exam board.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate Psychological Research Knowledge and will be able to: Critically reflect on research and evidence on psychological theories and mental health. Understand data collection methods and issues. Understand different statistical techniques and their uses.
  2. Demonstrate Psychological Research Skills and will be able to: Carry out their own empirical research. Analyse data appropriately using SPSS. Write a technical research report.
Reading List
Readings related to the research topic recommended by supervisor
Bell, J. (2005). Doing your research project. Buckingham: Open University Press. (4th ed).
Dunn, D. (2011). A short guide to writing about psychology (3rd ed). London: Longman.
Field, A., & Hole, G. (2003). How to design and report experiments. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Forshaw, M. (2004). Your undergraduate psychology project: a BPS guide. Oxford: Blackwell.
Heffernan, T.M. (2000). A Student's guide to studying psychology. Hove: Psychology Press
Landrum, R.E. (2008). Undergraduate Writing in Psychology: Learning to Tell the Scientific Story. Washington, DC: APA.
Sternberg, R.J. (2003). The Psychologist's companion: a guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (4th ed). Cambridge: CUP (especially Chapter 3, 7 & 8).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Develop your research knowledge that will enable you to discuss, share, present and analyse data and information in various formats and from a range of sources
Develop your research methods and data analysis skills
Develop your critical reflection and writing skills
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Susannah Johnston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3901
Course secretaryMr Timothy Abbot
Tel: (0131 6)50 8498
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