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Module PMP-4006:
MSc Mindfulness Thesis

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Gemma Griffith

Overall aims and purpose

Completion of a written Thesis based on inferential research into an aspect of mindfulness-based approaches jointly agreed between the student and his or her supervisor or the thesis convenor. This may include empirical or theoretical research.

As part of the assessment for the module PMP-4004 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Research, students will have already written a research proposal for their Thesis research study. Students who have been given exemption from PMP-4004 are required to submit a research proposal for their MSc thesis, which has to be agreed with the convenor before registration for the thesis.

Course content

Students who have completed four taught mindfulness-based modules, and wish to proceed to a full MSc degree in Mindfulness-Based Approaches, are invited to submit a thesis with a maximum of 10,000 words. Previous academic or practical scientific research, and the completion of the module PMP-4004 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Research module (or a postgraduate degree including empirical research) are prerequisites for the MSc Thesis. Students should have a continuing interest in researching mindfulness-based approaches within their professional role. Working with a personal supervisor, students will design, conduct, analyse and complete an empirical or theoretical research study into Mindfulness-Based Approaches in an area of their choice, informed by the relevant research literature on mindfulness and its clinical applications. The study will generally be carried out in students’ workplaces, in consultation with their supervisor. The thesis will describe the basis and methods of the study, and the analysis and interpretation of the data.

Assessment Criteria

good

60%

All or most parts of the assignment question are answered.

  • Appropriate and accurate use of language, with very few errors.
  • Mostly clear line of argument and structure; so relationships between successive parts are generally easy to follow.
  • Integrates detail into a coherent whole and guides reader to a reasoned conclusion.
  • Good understanding of the material as demonstrated by a reasonably clear explanation of the issues in question.
  • Supports most assertions via theoretical justification and/or reference to relevant empirical research, showing evidence of some reading beyond the information given in lecture.
  • Fairly comprehensive in scope and largely relevant to the topic and issues.
  • Explanatory in style and approach, with some critical interpretation.
  • Good range of sources and data and careful use of evidence.

Comprehensive and accurate coverage, showing good use of lecture material and core readings, with evidence of some further reading, and demonstrating ability to appraise the evidence scientifically. Shows understanding of research methods applicable to, and the published evidence base for, mindfulness-based approaches. Research proposal for thesis shows some originality and detailed preparation.

threshold

50%

Attempts to answer the question directly but lapses occasionally into irrelevancies.

  • Generally accurate but some omissions and errors.
  • Tends to make assertions without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  • Has a somewhat loose line of argument; gives information that is mostly relevant but often does not explain why it is relevant.
  • Often relies on the reader to form links between successive parts.
  • Answer based largely on lecture material or on one or two essential readings.
  • Descriptive in style and approach, more than analytic.

Reasonably comprehensive coverage, indicating generally accurate understanding, based on lecture material and core readings only. Limited critical appraisal. Straightforward research proposal for thesis.

excellent

70%

All parts of the assignment question are answered.

  • Entirely appropriate and accurate use of language.
  • Exceptionally clear line of argument and structure.
  • Each stage/section is explicitly and sensibly linked to the previous section and to the overall argument (i.e. clear progression and relevance)
  • Details integrated into a coherent whole with clear and well-argued conclusions.
  • Analytical in style and approach
  • Integrates a wide range of appropriate material and makes relevant connections between different parts of a given course or across different courses.
  • Critically evaluates the evidence in a logical manner.
  • Goes well beyond the information given in the lectures (and/or project meetings)
  • Shows clear evidence of extensive and relevant reading.
  • Has originality of exposition; the author’s own thinking is readily apparent.

Excellent understanding shown of the wider evidence base for mindfulness- based approaches, together with its context in health care and perhaps in other areas. In-depth analysis and insightful scientific appraisal of published research into mindfulness-based approaches are shown. Very comprehensive and accurate coverage, indicating that the student has gone beyond the core and recommended readings and understands the area in depth. Writes coherently with clarity of argument and expression. Originality of ideas and a clear understanding of practical research methodology are shown in research proposal for thesis.

Learning outcomes

  1. Collect data for a research study in a manner that is unbiased, reproducible and sensitive to the rights and circumstances of research participants.

  2. Analyse a defined data set in rigorous and reproducible fashion.

  3. Interpret analyses in a scientific yet self-critical manner.

  4. Review and synthesise the literature relevant to a defined aspect of mindfulness-based approaches.

  5. Seek, negotiate and achieve ethical approval for a defined research study where required.

  6. Design and justify a rigorous yet pragmatic research study worthy of an MSc thesis.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Thesis 1

1: MSc (both qualitative and quantitative) Thesis Part 1. You may not have collected your data yet, so just write as accurately as you can at this stage about your method section.
1) Introduction. This should include a reasonably concise overview of the theoretical and historical background to the general area of study. The major part of the introduction should concentrate on work specifically related to the question being asked. The end of the introduction should state the rationale for and hypotheses under consideration. 2) Method. For most projects, standard headings will be suitable, and they are usually in the following order: • Participants: How many participants were in your project, and any relevant demographic information about your sample (ages, gender, etc). This section is usually just a paragraph or so. • Procedure: Describe how you recruited your participants, and what participants did during the study. Include enough detail so someone could replicate your study. • Measures: Detail each questionnaire employed, if relevant (giving names and references, and brief information). Anything which interrupts the flow with too much detail should be relegated to an appendix. • Research design and analysis: quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods have been used. Is it a survey, experimental study etc? Describe how you analysed the data in this section too. • Ethical considerations: You must provide evidence that you have taken careful consideration of ethical issues and you must include an example of the consent form and debrief sheet that you used in your study in an Appendix and refer to them from the main text. 3) Proposed data analysis. Give an outline about how you are going to analyse your data

30
DISSERTATION Thesis 2
  1. Structure of final Qualitative or Quantitative thesis (MSc)

Your thesis should conform to the American Psychological Association style (APA format, including referencing, headings and tables). 1) Title Page. The title should be succinct while giving a clear indication of the subject-matter. This page should also include: • Author’s full name • Student ID no. (starts 500… and is on your original Master’s registration form) or your University user ID (usually 3 letters and 3 numbers which is your Bangor email address before…@bangor.ac.uk) • Month and year of submission • Presented for MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches (or Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses) • School of Psychology, Bangor University 2) Acknowledgement Page. This is where you can thank your family, your workplace, other people or organisations who have co-operated in the work, etc.
3) Declarations page. Use the template given by Bangor University for an MSc thesis (see Academic Registry webpage), completing and hand-signing the Declaration and the Statements (you’re unlikely to have a bar on access). This page should also include the exact word count (for the whole thesis excluding the Abstract, the Reference list or the Appendices). 4) Contents page. This page should list all the major sections (Abstract, Introduction, etc) with page numbers. Major sub-headings can also be included, with their page numbers, if this will be helpful to the reader. Appendices may be listed numerically with or without titles. Reference list should be included, with the page number. 3) Abstract. This should provide an outline of the project and include why you did it, how you did it, and a summary of results and conclusions. It should fit on one page and be up to 200 words. 6) Introduction. This should include a reasonably concise overview of the theoretical and historical background to the general area of study. The major part of the introduction should concentrate on work specifically related to the question being asked. The end of the introduction should state the rationale for and hypotheses under consideration. 7) Method. For most projects, standard headings will be suitable, and they are usually in the following order: a. Participants: How many participants were in your project, and any relevant demographic information about your sample (ages, gender, etc). This section is usually just a paragraph or so. b. Procedure: Describe how you recruited your participants, and what participants did during the study. Include enough detail so someone could replicate your study. c. Measures: Detail each questionnaire employed, if relevant (giving names and references, and brief information). Anything which interrupts the flow with too much detail should be relegated to an appendix. d. Research design and analysis: quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods have been used. Is it a survey, experimental study etc? Describe how you analysed the data in this section too. e. Ethical considerations: You must provide evidence that you have taken careful consideration of ethical issues and you must include an example of the consent form and debrief sheet that you used in your study in an Appendix and refer to them from the main text. 8) Results. This section is where you say what you found from your research. All graphs and tables should be given a number and a caption which makes clear their content and conform to APA format. Do not present both a graph and a table to cover the same data. For qualitative projects, participant quotes should be used. This section should be a simple description of your results. Summarised raw data and so on, should normally be put in Appendices. 9) Discussion. This should be longer and more detailed than those found in most journals. You should indicate how your results relate to other work in the field; any limitations of your research, and any unforeseen problems and the issues that they raise. Include clinical and research implications of your research. At the end of the discussion you should make clear what you claim to have achieved.
10) References. These should be in alphabetical order and follow APA format. You should only include in your reference section the materials that you have actually read/consulted. Secondary sources should not be included in this section but cited in the main text in the following way Smith (1900, as cited in Jones, 1998). Your reference list should then include a reference to Jones (1998). Only use secondary sources when it is not possible to access them directly. 11) Appendices. All appendices should have a title; they should be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text. Where appropriate, you may include photographs of apparatus, lengthy instructions, and derived data. It is not necessary to include your raw data in the appendix (unless there is a small amount of it) but it may be handed in on disk. Where applicable, summarised raw data should be included. As the specifics of what could be included vary a lot between projects, it is best to discuss this with your supervisor

70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Tutorial

individual supervision sessions

10
One-to-one supervision

Email contact - submitting drafts of ethics and thesis

5
Individual Project

Independently study for the project - research, data collection, analysis, ethics, write up etc

585

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.

Resources

Resource implications for students

none

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/pmp-4006.html

Reading list

Talis

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: