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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Psychology Mini-Dissertation (PSYL10131)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe project provides students with experience of small-group collaborative research work. Students will review an area of the psychology literature relevant to the research interests of the staff member who supervises the project, before designing and conducting a psychological study in that area. The project will be written up in the form of a journal article.

The small-group nature of the course will provide an opportunity for students to engage in discussion with a staff member for 5 hours in semester one (3hrs - literature review, 2hrs -planning project) and 5 hours in semester two (research design, analysis and interpretation). Students will be required to spend approximately two hours per week in semester one, and three hours per week in semester two, to research the literature, design the study, and successfully complete data collection, analysis and write-up of the work.
Course description This is a course in which the majority of staff-student interaction will be in small groups (around 6-10 students), with a supervisor. Supervisors will offer projects in a range of areas of psychological research, which could at any given time include qualitative or experimental studies, surveys, or meta-analyses. Subject to availability, students will be asked to indicate their preferences of topics/supervisors.

In the first semester, students will write a literature review on the topic of the research to be done in the second semester; a draft of this review, which will eventually form the Introduction of the final report, will be submitted towards the end of semester one, with formative feedback provided by the beginning of semester two.

In the second part of the course, the students will, with the guidance of the supervisor, develop their research design as a group, and then conduct the research. A draft of the complete report, including detailed methods, results, and a discussion, will be submitted mid-semester 2, and students will receive formative feedback on the draft from their supervisors prior to the assessment due date. The final assessment will consist of a complete report in journal article format (including discussion), together with a brief document outlining how previous feedback has been addressed (this is similar to the process of peer review for journal articles).

Finally, students will present their research orally at a Year 3 Conference held towards the end of semester two.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012) AND Research Methods and Statistics (PPLS08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  75
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 184 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 research report in the style of a submitted journal article. (80%)
1 written response to the feedback given on the draft report. (10%)
1 oral conference presentation (10%)
Feedback Formative Feedback Event (Nature and Timing)

A draft of the Introduction with literature review is submitted towards the end of semester 1 for the supervisor to provide feedback on.
A complete draft of the research report is submitted three to four weeks prior to the assessment deadline. Their supervisor provides written feedback on this draft and their responses to this feedback are worth 10% of the final grade.
Students will also receive feedback on their oral conference presentations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop skills in structuring and writing a critical literature review.
  2. Gain experience of collaborative team research.
  3. Further develop existing skills in designing and conducting psychological research.
  4. Further develop existing skills in analysis and writing up of research results.
  5. Gain experience of working with electronic bibliographic databases.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsResearch methods,literature review
Course organiserDr Elena Gherri
Tel: (0131 6)50 3340
Course secretaryMs Alexandra MacAndrew
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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