module specification

PC6P01 - Psychology Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Psychology Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
270 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 15%   Poster Presentation
Dissertation 85%   Report, of which the section 'Press Release' is weighed 5% of the total mark for the report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North - Afternoon

Module summary

This module will provide each student with the opportunity of studying an area of psychology in depth, involving the development of a research question, the design of an empirical study to address the research question, and the collection, assessment and interpretation of the data.

Prior learning requirements

PC5001 Research Design and Data Analysis in Psychology

Module aims

This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  1. Independent study, self-management, and time keeping
  2. Being able to develop in-depth understanding of a selected topic
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Creative problem solving
  5. Ability and willingness to work with supervisor and peers (if applicable) as a team
  6. Understanding of the scientific method
  7. Ability to collect valid and reliable research data through an ethically sound process
  8. Understanding of statistics and/or qualitative data analysis and ability to apply them to real data
  9. Ability to write a complete professional report of research findings
  10. Ability to present orally an empirical study and its findings


There is no taught syllabus as students will study material relevant to their own independent project. Workshops will be held approximately every 4 teaching weeks during the year or as appropriate to the current status of project progression.

Learning and teaching

Each student has a project supervisor whose role is to advise and monitor progress and to intervene in the case of problems. Students commit to a research topic, carry out a literature search on the topic and write a research proposal on which they receive feedback. This feedback develops students’ understanding of how to design research, which is interesting, relevant, valid, replicable, and ethical. The research proposal also enables modifications to be made at this stage to ensure that students do not pursue projects that are fundamentally flawed, and that the department has the necessary material and staff resources to carry out the research. Furthermore, all project proposals undergo initial ethical scrutiny by the project supervisor, then by the Ethics Committee of the School of Psychology. Once proposals are approved, students carry out the data collection and analyse the data independently. They receive feedback on the first version of the research report to ensure that their interpretation and discussion is based on meaningful treatment of the data.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student will:

  1. Have in-depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic in psychology
  2. Be able to evaluate critically previous theory and research to derive meaningful research questions/hypotheses from a theoretical basis
  3. Have developed an understanding of the process involved to design a valid, replicable, and ethical research study
  4. Have independent experience in systematic and accurate data collection and coding
  5. Be able to select and carry out appropriate statistical analyses on a research data set
  6. Be able to interpret results appropriately in terms of the research questions/ hypotheses, and be able to relate them to the wider theoretical context
  7. Be able to report a study in a style appropriate for psychological journals
  8. Be able to present own research via oral presentation

Assessment strategy

Achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed by the report (85%) and the poster presentation (15%).

Component Percentage of Marks Learning outcomes
Report 85 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Poster Presentation 15 1,2,3,4,5,6,8



Core texts:
Wood, C., Giles, D., & Percy, C. (2012). Your psychology project handbook: Becoming a researcher (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson.
American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Additional readings:
British Psychological Society (2009). BPS code of conduct and ethics. Leicester, UK: British Psychological Society. Retrieved from:
Breakwell, G. M., Smith J. A. & Wright, D. B. (Eds.) (2012). Research methods in psychology (4th ed.). London: Sage.
Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2010). Introduction to research methods in psychology (3rd ed.) Harlow, UK: Pearson.
Students are expected to find appropriate sources through academic databases