Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 2 hour lectures
Other Students will be allocated a project supervisor and receive a one to one supervision sessions (approximately 4 throughout the project process).
Workload Breakdown No. of hours spent researching the literature, writing proposal and writing final report = 200 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment proposal (500 words)  10%
Semester Assessment written report (4000 words)  90%
Supplementary Assessment Students may be allowed to re-submit the research report (capped mark 40%) or as determined by the examination board.  If students fail the module overall, any failed component must be re-sat or determined as the Examination Board sees fit. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate an ability to identify a research question in an area of psychology not taught elsewhere on the degree scheme.

2. Identify an appropriate strategy to identify sources of information for the literature review.

3. Critically assess the literature in the area and explore the implications of that literature for their research question/area of investigation.

4. Demonstrate their ability to identify and select sources of information and materials providing a meaningful contribution to the development of their arguments.

5. Critically evaluate their findings in relation to existing research.

6. Communicate their findings in a written report.


Although the coverage of the core areas of psychology is comprehensive and a number of option modules are available to students for some students writing a dissertation provides the opportunity to investigate an area of psychology which is not taught elsewhere in the scheme. The dissertation is an extended literature review that allows students to thoroughly examine the empirical evidence in a particular area of their choice under the supervision of an appropriate member of staff.

Brief description

Students are expected to undertake the work necessary to identify a research question/subject not taught elsewhere on the scheme and to critically evaluate the literature in that area with the help of a supervisor. The supervisor's role is to provide guidance to the student throughout the dissertation, but students are encouraged to work as independently as possible. The amount of time spent on the dissertation may vary however students should expect to spend at least 200 hours working on their report.


Content will vary with the area of psychology being investigated. Students will work with the module co-ordinator to identify an area for investigation and develop an appropriate plan of work. There are no explicit taught elements to this module.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Although students will not be conducting statistical analyses as part of this module their ability to understand the significance of empirical findings will be an important part of the investigative process.
Communication Students will develop their ability to communicate technical information in a clear concise written manner.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will develop their independent and self-management learning skills as for the majority of the module they are required to work on their own
Information Technology Students will develop their ability to use electronic databases and manage large amounts of electronic information. They will also use IT to ensure clear presentation of their critical reviews.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a variety of personal and career development skills such as project development and time management.
Problem solving Students will develop problem solving skills by considering differing points of view, organizing literature, appraising the strength of various types of research evidence, learning to develop logical argument, applying theoretical models.
Research skills The critical review students submit will reflect their independent research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific skills developed include: assessment of scientific methods in psychology, differentiation between quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry and their appropriate use, demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches, appreciation of the nature of ethical research in the social sciences, and conceptual understanding of the applied aspects of psychology.
Team work Not applicable as this is an individual piece of work.


This module is at CQFW Level 6