module specification

PY7PA6 - Research Project (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Research Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 400
375 hours Guided independent study
25 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 90%   Project or systematic review (max 10 000 words)
Practical Examination 10%   Poster Presentation (20mins)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module supports the process of planning and executing a research project.


This module consists of supervision of research projects and there is no taught syllabus. However, general support workshops in Weeks 3, 7 and 9 Autumn semester (not specific to this module) will cover: 1. Requirements, 2. time-scale and planning, 3. Ethics and ethical applications

Learning Outcomes LO1 - 7

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students attend quantitative and qualitative research methods lectures (see PY7163) which are further supported by interactive workshop activities. Additional workshop support is provided to students’ in the development of their research proposals, ethics forms and the submission of their research dissertations. The process is progressive and involves students being supported in choosing a topic; developing a research question; being fully convergent with the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct (2018), effective planning of the research; being organised and methodical while conducting and reporting their research.

Following ethics approval from module leader and the chair of the Psychology Research Ethics Review Panel, students are provided with further supervision meetings. Students are expected to use other resources available, e.g. library, the internet, Web Learn and own their organisation. The entire process of the project is central to pdp. Weblearn and discussion boards are used to facilitate interaction between students, and between staff and students.  In order to benefit from the module students are expected to prepare work in advance for many of the sessions. Thus their time management, commitment to their studies and demonstration of professionalism with staff and colleagues is key to successful completion of this aspect of their course. 

The supervisor is expected to guide, advice and support students through regular meetings. Students are expected to make use of the supervision period to discuss academic problems, current progress and future development. Whilst the supervisor will act as a mentor, it is expected that these sessions will be student led, with the supervisor offering direction during the session. This might involve cultivating student's ability to summarise and defend effectively choices made and decisions taken, or initiating stimulating discussions that might lead to further reading, which will deepen students' understanding, self-management and time management. In addition, meetings will be held between the Module Leader and the cohort as a whole to discuss issues that are of general interest.

Projects involving collaboration with industry will be encouraged and, where appropriate, supervision may be carried out by the collaboration partner in addition to the academic supervisor. Students will be expected to adopt a problem-solving approach. They will undertake a major case study in which they will be expected to produce a mature solution to the chosen problem. Throughout the project students are expected to glean texts and relevant materials from different sources such as conference and journal papers, magazine articles, books and the Internet.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Plan and execute, using independent judgement, a piece of original research relevant to the psychology of mental health. 
2. Demonstrate innovation and originality of thought with respect to basic and applied research
3. Select, carry out and interpret research findings using either quantitative or qualitative analysis techniques to an advanced level of capability
4. Critically interpret and place their own research within the wider context of psychological research
5. Write a detailed and concise project dissertation or systematic review in a research paper format suitable for publication
6. Be able to defend their research ideas through presentation of a research poster and defence of their findings.
7. Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the role of research in the academic and professional development of psychology, including the philosophy, ethics and purpose of research

Assessment strategy

The assessment for this module is in two parts:
1. Research Dissertation OR Systematic Review (7000-10,000 words) including learning log (90%)
2. Poster Presentation (10%)
Important note on data collection:
Students can only collect data once they have received clearance from the module leader and the chair of the Psychology Research Ethics Review Panel.


Breakwell, G. M., Hammond, S., Fife-Schaw, C. and Smith J. A.  (eds). (2006). Research methods in psychology. (3rd ed) London: Sage.

BPS (April, 2018). Code of ethics and conduct.

British Psychological Society (2014). Code of Human Research Ethics.

British Psychological Society (2017). Ethics Guidelines for Internet Mediated Research.

Dancey, C.P., & Reidy, J., (2014). Statistics without Maths for Psychology. 6TH ed. Pearson Education Limited.

Davies, M.B., & Huges, N., (2014).  Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods. 2ND ed. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Kline, P (2000) The Handbook of Psychological Testing. (2nd eds). London: Routledge.

Sternberg, R.J. (ed) (2010) Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Howell, D.C., (2010). Statistical Methods for Psychology. 7th ed. Belmont, Wadsworth Cengage Learning
NHS CRD (2001) Report 4: UK Guidance on how to carry out a systematic review of effectiveness (2nd ed) (

Rosenthal, R (1991) Meta-analytic Procedures for Social Scientists (revised) Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Shadish, W.R.; Cook, T.D. and Campbell, D.T. (2002) Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Smith, J., (2015). Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods. 3rd ed. London, Sage Publications Ltd. Core reading.