Module PPP-1003:
Scientific Writing & Comm I

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Tracey Lloyd

Overall aims and purpose

This module will develop and exercise the core skills required to communicate effectively within science generally, and within psychology specifically. The aim of this module is to develop students' scientific communication skills and to encourage them to feel confident in their ability to disseminate ideas effectively using a variety of mediums and within a psychological community.

Course content

Students will develop a range of transferable communication skills on this module. The module will include the following components:

  • Dissemination of Information (DoI): Students will hear a series of research lectures and will communicate the content of these in writing

  • Writing for Science (WfS): Students will work in small groups to develop their science writing skills

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.


Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area. Clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of communication in science.
    1. Demonstrate competent science writing, using format, language, and style appropriate for scientific discourse.
    1. Demonstrate a clear understanding and/or application of the APA formatting rules and scientific writing style and conventions.
    1. Present information about one or more of the major areas of psychology in a logical, informative, and scientifically appropriate manner.
    1. Discuss and evaluate some of the critical and contentious issues currently being debated in the field of psychology.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

This is an MCQ test based on knowledge of writing to APA standards. Students must achieve a score of over 80% correct in order to submit their final WFS essay.

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Submission Assignment

In order to ensure that students are able to submit correctly to the electronic system and to use the plagiarism checking facilities, students will write a short summary of a document. This is a formative exercise and will be exemption based.

ESSAY WFS Essay Assignment

Students will write a critical essay based on up to date scientific sources.

COURSEWORK DOI Abstract Assignment

Students will write an abstract based on a research talk given as part of the lecturing for the module.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Dissemination of Information lectures plus research talks


Writing for Science (WfS) small group workshops

Private study

Private Study


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

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.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: