Postgraduate Course: Empirical Dissertation (CLPS11050)
|School||School of Health in Social Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This 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 (2-4 students) on a research project, chosen from the department's Research Projects Handbook, and to complete a dissertation.
The dissertation teaching will be based on small-group supervision, which may include face-to-face meetings, email/telephone contact, and formative feedback. Students will work in small groups (2-4 students), which will provide an additional element of peer learning and social support. Working in 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 formative feedback will be provided on the discussion part of the dissertation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|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.
||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
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- 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.
- 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.
|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).
|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
|Course organiser||Dr Susannah Johnston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3901
|Course secretary||Mr Timothy Abbot
Tel: (0131 6)50 8498