PYMCEP-Empirical Project (Conversion)

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students on the MSc Psychology Conversion course. Successful completion of 120 credits' worth of modules on the rest of the MSc Psychology Conversion course.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Ciara McCabe


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The purpose of this module is to expose students to active empirical psychology, in taking a project from its inception to the completion of the writing up.


The purpose of this module is to expose students to active empirical psychology, in taking a project from its inception to the completion of the writing up.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

•    Demonstrate a clear understanding of the theoretical issues addressed in the dissertation.

•    Demonstrate that the relevant research literature has been searched.

•    Provide a clear statement of the research question addressed.

•    Justify the methods used in the study.

•    Make a submission for ethical approval.

•    Show evidence of adequate advance planning.

•    Make accurate and appropriate use of quantitative or qualitative methods.

•    Write a clearly structured argument, and present data in an appropriate fashion to show how conclusions flow from the empirical work undertaken.

•    Discuss the strengths and limitations of their work in the contexts of existing research and within the constraints peculiar to their own project.

•    Generate a report with appropriate sections, containing satisfactory levels of detail, and presented to an acceptable standard.

Assessment will be by presentation of their intended project, by supervisor’s report, and their own project report. It is compulsory for students to make a submission for ethical approval for their project.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain an appreciation of research as a career.

The empirical project is a major piece of work and as such will inevitably involve problem solving and other 'hands-on' activities of benefit to the student.

Outline content:

The project should make an original, interesting, and empirical contribution to our understanding of psychology. Students undertake a supervised project of at least 5 months’ duration, culminating in the submission of a thesis of 8,000-12,000 words, excluding appendices. (Appendices should not be used to supply essential information. The thesis should be able to be read and understood without reading the appendices.) Theses outside of these word limits may be penalised for excessive brevity or length.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students will be given appropriate supervision directly by supervisors.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 15 15 15
Guided independent study 185 185 185
Total hours by term 200.00 200.00 200.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Report 10
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

As determined by the supervisor. Project supervision will include ongoing informal feedback on the work of the student. Project supervisors will also provide a set of written feedback on a draft of the dissertation, excluding the discussion section.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Failed projects may be resubmitted in the following academic year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 28 September 2018


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