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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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, and design and conduct a psychological study in that area. The project will be written up in two pieces of work, a literature review and a research report in the form of a journal article. In addition, students will take part in a group presentation of their research work, prior to submitting the final research report.

The small-group nature of the course will provide an opportunity for students to engage in discussion with a staff member for 4 hours in semester one (3hrs - literature review, 1hr -planning project) and 4 hours in semester two (research design, analysis and interpretation). In addition, students will attend 4 hours of lectures each semester that highlight key aspects of research work that all psychologists should know. Students will be required to spend approximately three further hours per week 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. For mid-semester feedback, they will submit a plan for this review, and then submit the final review toward the end of Semester 1.

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. As a group, the students will complete a Progress Report in the middle of Semester 2, similar to the Progress Report that they will need to complete for their Dissertation in Year 4. As a group, they will also present their work toward the end of the semester. Both the Progress Report and Group Presentation are important opportunities for feedback. The final assessment will consist of a complete report in journal article format (including discussion).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012) AND Data Analysis for Psychology in R 2 (PSYL08015)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
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: 200 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 180 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
35% - 2000 word literature review due toward the end of Semester 1.
65% - 3500 word research report due toward the end of Semester 2.
Feedback 1. Literature review plan + writing sample (Semester 1)
2. Feedback on completed literature review.
3. Group research report progress form (Semester 2)
4. Group presentation (Semester 2)
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 Hugh Rabagliati
Tel: (0131 6)50 3454
Course secretaryMr Keith Deeley
Tel: (0131 6)50 9870
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