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

Postgraduate Course: DClinPsychol Thesis (CLPS12038)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 12 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits140 ECTS Credits70
SummaryThis course comprises the major research component of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, enabling trainee clinical psychologists to design, develop and undertake a significant original research project.

The thesis project is based upon original research relevant to clinical psychology practice and normally comprises two papers prepared according to the format of a journal of the trainee¿s choosing. These usually take the form of a paper describing a piece of empirical research and a systematic review of the literature in a related area.

Please note that due to the nature of the course, which essentially takes part over 3 years for full time trainees, the course credits are spread across the years of training. Twenty credits are nominally allocated to year 1 and year two with the remainder, comprising 140 credits in total, awarded in the final year.
Course description The DClinPsychol thesis is a 140 credit doctoral thesis which trainees work towards during all years of their training. Whilst most tuition for the thesis is provided via individually tailored research supervision with academic thesis supervisor(s), relevant whole class teaching is shared with the Research 1 course (which involves preparing a thesis proposal to aid trainees in project risk assessment and project planning) and the Research 2 course (which involves undertaking a small service related project). There is an emphasis on teaching transferable research competencies, such as project management, writing concisely, preparing research reports for publication and systematic critical appraisal of literature.

Specifically, learning and teaching activities comprise; Lecture hours 55, Project supervision 72, Fieldwork hours 540, Feedback / Feedforward hours 43, Summative assessment hours 2, programme level learning and teaching hours 28, directed learning and independent learning hours 660. Total hours 1400.

Academic thesis supervisors are selected to enable a match of their research expertise to the requirements of the project. These academic supervisors are normally allocated within the first few months of training and then meet with the trainee for research supervision once a month (or equivalent for specialist trainees), in addition to providing feedback on drafts of proposals and chapters. A clinical thesis supervisor is also provided with expertise in the area of the project. Class teaching and thesis supervision are supplemented by e-learning resources on the Research and Statistics and Thesis sections of the e-learning website.

Assessment is via a doctoral thesis, which includes a systematic review and an empirical project written up according to the guidelines for a suitable peer reviewed journal. The thesis should not exceed 30,000 words and is assessed in accordance with the current University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Assessment Regulations for Research Degrees.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 1400 ( Lecture Hours 60, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 28, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 1312 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A thesis project of up to 35,000 words submitted for assessment and examined in viva by an internal and an external examiner.
Feedback Formative feedback will be given by supervisors throughout the process.

Summtive feedback will be given once the thesis process is complete.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Under supervision, exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in developing, designing and conducting a clinically relevant research project leading to a systematic review and a research article..
  2. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate applied psychological research.
  3. Recognise ethical issues and apply for and obtain appropriate ethical approval.
  4. Demonstrate originality and creativity in the development and application of new knowledge, understanding and practices.
  5. Be capable of communicating research findings in a journal format at the standard expected of academic peer-reviewed work.
Reading List
Systematic Reviews
From the York Centre for Reviews and Dissemination:

¿ Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook: 50: A guideline developer's handbook:

¿ Moher, D. et al. (2001). "The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel group randomized trials." BMC Med Res Methodol 1: 2.

¿ Booth, A., Papaioannou, D. & Sutton, A. (2012) Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. Sage, London.

Effect sizes and power
¿ Coe, R. (2002) What is an effect size? Building Research Capacity, 4, 6-8 (scroll to page 6)

¿ Cohen, J. (1992). "A Power Primer." Psychological Bulletin 112(1): 155-159.

¿ Clark-Carter, D. Quantitative Psychological Research: a student's handbook.

¿ Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Buchner, A., & Lang, A.-G. (2009). Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3.1: Tests for correlation and regression analyses. Behavior Research Methods, 41, 1149-1160.

¿ Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175-191.

¿ Soper D. Online power calculators

Suitability of measures (incl. overview of reliability & validity)
¿ Fitzpatrick R., Davey C., Buxton M.J., Jones D.R. (1998). Evaluating patient-based outcome measures for use in clinical trials. Health Technology Assessment,2(14).

Qualitative research
¿ Bloomberg, L.D. & Volpe, M. (2008) Completing your Qualitative Dissertation. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage
¿ Mays, N. and Pope, C. (2000). "Qualitative research in health care. Assessing quality in qualitative research." BMJ 320(7226): 50-2.

¿ Murphy, E; Dingwall R; Greatbatch, D; Parker S., Watson P. (1998). Qualitative research methods on health technology assessment: a review of the literature Health Technology Assessment; 2(16).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduates will have gained academic competencies in knowledge development, application and transfer; professional competencies in theory-practice links, communication, evaluation and research and research competencies in analytical thinking, ethical practice, organisational ability, research reporting and data preparation & management.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Suzanne O'Rourke
Tel: (0131) 537 4272
Email: Suzanne.O'
Course secretaryMiss Kirsty Gardner
Tel: (0131 6)50 3889
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