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

Undergraduate Course: Psychology in Action (PSYL10150)

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) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will cover two key areas, one focused on science in practice, and one on science communication. The contents covered will include the academic ecosystem (such as grants, ethics and publishing), the replication crisis and possible solutions, fundamentals of science engagement, and practical aspects of communicating in various contexts. These will be delivered through lectures, online self-study modules, including quizzes and short assignments, as well as practical workshops. During the course, small groups of students will be matched with active researchers at the University and provided with structured shadowing and interview opportunities.
Course description The course will allow the students to experience psychology in action in two contexts - in academic research and in the wider world. The goal is to show how the skills they gain during the programme can be applied in real life and to familiarise them with the environments in which science is done and communicated.

One section of the course will consist of two elements, running in Block 1 (Lifecycle of a study) and Block 3 (Replication crisis) and cover a number of fundamentals of academic research, including ethics, funding, publishing, the replication crisis, open data and open access, and will allow the studies to talk with active researchers about how they run their projects. This section will be assessed through quizzes and a blog post on an aspect of the replication crisis.

The other section will consist of two elements running in Block 2 (Varieties of science engagement) and Block 4 (Debating psychology and science) and will focus on science engagement and cover theoretical and empirical fundamentals of public engagement, various engagement strategies, and writing for non-experts. The students will analyse various science communication campaigns and practice writing for different audiences. The section will be assessed by quizzes, and an evaluation of a public engagement campaign.

Both sections will be delivered through an online component with self-study modules, graded quizzes, tutor moderated online discussions and short assessments. They will be supported by introductory lectures and hands on workshops to develop practical skills.

The final assessment will be an accessible write up of the research project the students interviewed staff members about, and will draw on the skills gained in both components of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesDegree major in Psychology and passes in Psychology courses at least to the equivalent of Junior Honors level in Edinburgh. Prior agreement with the 3rd Year Honors Course Organizer.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 88 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework:
Quiz assessments: 20% (4x5%)
Two short written pieces (2x500 words) - 40%
Popular science article (1000 words) - 40%
Feedback Feedback will be given throughout the course, especially through the moderated online forum that will feed forward to the summative assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and explain the institutional context in which academic research is done
  2. Be able to critically engage with and write about the replication crisis in social sciences
  3. Understand and critically evaluate the practice and theory of science engagement
  4. Understand the theory and practice behind presenting a specific message to the public
  5. Be able to write for non-expert audiences
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPsychology,Science Engagement
Course organiserDr Alexandra Morcom
Tel: (0131 6)51 1907
Course secretaryMs Alexandra MacAndrew
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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