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

Undergraduate Course: Critical Analysis (PSYL10102)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe general aims of the course are:
- To facilitate critical reading and analysis of psychological research reports
- To show how design principles and statistics are applied in psychological research and how research is actually done
- To encourage careful, deep consideration the value of published research studies
Course description The course's aims will be achieved principally via a series of tutorials and short assignments, plus one lecture at the beginning of each semester. The semester 1 lecture will provide students with a basic framework for how to approach a research paper. The semester 2 lecture will focus on how to evaluate the value of the research a paper reports, building on the skills developed in semester 1. The assignments in each semester will provide students with practice applying the ideas presented in the lecture. Each tutorial session will be devoted to discussing a single research paper, which will be distributed to all students in advance of the session. The tutor will provide discussion points, which will draw on the aims and learning outcomes of the course in a manner which is appropriate for the paper under discussion and the stage of the course (i.e. questions will be more generic towards the start of the course and more specific and focused as students gain in analytic skills). A short written assignment will follow each tutorial, allowing students to develop their skills in communicating their evaluations clearly and concisely.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Data Analysis for Psychology in R 2 (PSYL08015) is recommended.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 45% - Short-Answer Assignments linked to Tutorials. Best 3 out of 4.
55% - Final Assignment (1500-word critical review).
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on assignments submitted throughout the course, as well as formative feedback during tutorial discussions.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Review published research articles comprehensively and critically.
  2. Understand the rationale, logic and purpose of a research study.
  3. Assess the suitability of the study design and statistical treatment of the results.
  4. Identify potential shortcomings in studies and propose solutions to these.
  5. Evaluate the overall value and contribution of a piece of research.
Reading List
An appropriate research paper will be distributed before each tutorial.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop critical and reflective thinking skills, and ability to communicate complex arguments effectively.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Paul Hoffman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4654
Course secretaryMiss Susan Scobie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5505
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