Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
120.000 Credits or 60.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Prof John Parkinson
Overall aims and purpose
This module constitutes the thesis component of a Master of Research (MRes) Psychology degree. Students will conduct a novel research project, during which they will collect, analyse and interpret data. They will present their empirical project in a formal written dissertation, and communicate the results of their research at a conference.
Students will gain an understanding of how research is conducted and managed. They will gain skills in experimental design, data collection, analyses and interpretation, preparing abstracts, and reporting results. Students will also learn the importance of and gain experience with verbally communicating their research.
Good 60 - 69%
• Considerable basic understanding of the potential applications of the research. • Good knowledge of key concepts of the research area. • Evidence of original analysis. • Solid understanding of theoretical issues with few factual errors. • Clear evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory and research. • Use of recent research perspectives. • The communication style will be precise and concise with minor typographical or other errors. • There will be good to very good referencing of primary source material where appropriate. • Coherent arguments, with limited synthesis or original interpretation. • Key research questions are adequately addressed, with good structure and little irrelevant material. • Well-structured presentation showing focus of argument and expression. • Appropriate experimental design, data collection, and data analysis. • Adequate review of the relevant literature. • Appropriate integration of proposed research and results with the relevant literature. • Appropriate interpretation of results with the relevant literature.
Excellent 70% +
• Evidence of thorough understanding of and/or original insights as to the potential applications of the research.
• Comprehensive and detailed knowledge of key concepts of the research area.
• Solid understanding and original interpretation of theoretical issues with no factual errors.
• Excellent depth and breadth of understanding
• Clear evidence of critical analysis and insightful evaluation of theory and research. • Coherent arguments, with accurate and succinct synthesis and original interpretation. • Key research questions are strongly addressed, with clear structure and no irrelevant material. • Well-structured presentation showing focus and clarity of argument and expression. • Strong experimental design, data collection, and data analysis. • Thorough yet concise review of the relevant the literature. • Exceptional integration of proposed research and results with the relevant literature. • Well-developed and supported interpretation of results with the relevant literature. • The communication style will be precise and concise with very few typographical or other errors. • There will be comprehensive referencing of primary source material where appropriate.
Threshold 50 – 59%
• Some basic understanding of the potential applications of the research. • Some original interpretation. • Some evidence of extensive and thorough study • Use of recent research perspectives • The communication style will be acceptable with likely some fairly minor typographical or other errors. • There will be good referencing of primary source material where appropriate. • Adequate knowledge of some key concepts of the research area. • Weaknesses in understanding of theoretical issues with multiple/major factual errors. • Limited evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory and research. • Arguments are weak or underdeveloped, with little synthesis or original interpretation. • Key research questions are only briefly and superficially addressed, with irrelevant material and poor structure. • Weak presentation with disjointed structure and major APA format errors. • Weaknesses in experimental design, data collection, or data analysis. • Incomplete or superficial review of the relevant literature. • Weak integration of proposed research or results with the relevant literature. • Weak/flawed interpretation of results with the relevant literature.
Able to integrate their results with related literature, and draw appropriate conclusions.
Able to present their research and findings orally, in a conference setting.
Demonstrate understanding of data collection methods appropriate to their study.
Able to succinctly summarise their research and findings.
Demonstrate understanding of experimental design and data analyses methods appropriate to their study.
Demonstrate ability to manage a research project.
Able to formulate predictions with appropriate consideration of existing literature.
Able to present their study and results in a formal written thesis.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
verbal presentation “conferences”
Other tutorials/meetings (e.g., with technicians /physicists/ Postdocs/PhD students)
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- 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
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- 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.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
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.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
- 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.
- Use a range of statistical methods with confidence.
- 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.
- Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8BZ: MRes Psychology year 1 (MRES/PSYCH)