PYM0EP-Empirical Project

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Successful completion of 120 credits' worth of modules
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Ciara McCabe


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The purpose of this module is to expose students to empirical research in psychology. By designing, undertaking and reporting their own research project, students will develop a range of research and transferable skills.


The purpose of this module is to expose students to empirical research in psychology. With the support of their project supervisor, students will develop a research question relevant to their MSc programme.  With continued support from their project supervisor, they will then design, undertake and report a study that addresses that research question.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, 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 systematically.

  • Generate a clear research question.

  • Provide a rationale for their proposed study.

  • Accurately describe and justify the methods used in the study.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical considerations relevant to their study.

  • Analyse data accurately and appropriately, and report this analysis.

  • 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 research in the contexts of existing research and within the constraints specific to their own project.

  • Generate a scientifically written report (with accurate use of APA style) comprising appropriate sections and containing satisfactory levels of detail.

  • Show evidence of adequate advance planning.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain an insight into research as a career.  The empirical project is a substantive piece of work and will inevitably require initiative and problem solving.

Outline content:
Students undertake a supervised project of at least 5 months’ duration, culminating in the submission of a thesis of 8,000-12,000 words. The project should make an original, interesting, and empirical contribution to our understanding of psychology.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students will be given appropriate supervision directly by project supervisors.  Other contact hours, and the contact hours across terms, will vary depending on the project (e.g. some projects will require training in specific techniques).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 5 5 10
Fieldwork 20 200
Guided independent study: 30 30 300
Total hours by term 600
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Project supervision will provide ongoing feedback on students’ work. They will also provide 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:

Reassessment arrangements:

If a student fails the assignment, an alternative, equivalent assignment can be submitted.  The assignment and date of submission will be by arrangement with the Module Convenor and/or Programme Director.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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