PYMFRP-Research Placement

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students on MSc Theory & Practice in Clinical Psychology with Research Placement
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Ciara McCabe


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module provides students with an opportunity to work with an established researcher whose work is relevant to theory or practice in clinical psychology.  The researcher will generally be a member of academic staff in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, at the University of Reading. Exceptionally, with the agreement of the Course Director, the placement may be conducted elsewhere.  Allocation to any particular placement is the decision of the Module Convenor.

Students will be exposed to practical issues in research in an area of clinical relevance.  They will work on practical problems and write a report about their activities, the skills they have acquired and what they have learned about the particular research field in which they have been embedded.

Acceptance onto the module is by interview during programme application process.


The aims of the module are that the student should further their understanding of research in an aspect of psychology that has clinical relevance.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student will be able to:

  1. Show understanding of practical considerations pertaining to their placement.

  2. Have reflected on feedback received from their placement supervisor(s) and generated an effective response.

  3. Demonstrate they have completed the requisite hours.

  4. Describe how their understanding and skills have changed as a result of the placement.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain an understanding of research and its relation to clinical psychology.  Students will have the opportunity to apply research skills they develop in this module to other modules e.g. PYM0EP.  Students will likely develop other transferable skills, the precise nature of which depend on the placement undertaken.

Outline content:

Content will depend on individual supervisors who will set specific tasks as described in advance in a ‘job description’.  Exceptionally, students may identify and arrange their own placements. All such arrangements will be at the discretion of the Programme Director and Module Convenor.  Assessment requirements mean placements must be completed by the end of July, unless specific arrangements are made to the contrary.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be by hands-on instruction by supervisors and others in the laboratory or equivalent work environment, as well as by consulting relevant on-line guides as appropriate (e.g. Library guides or software manuals).  Students should spend 320 hours working for their supervisor.  This allowance includes training time, which will vary from placement to placement.  A total of 400 hours should be allocated to the placement.  Students must not accumulate more hours than this.  Exact number of placement hours in each term will be arranged as required by the supervisor in discussion with the student.

To pass the placement, the student must accumulate the minimum number of hours and the supervisor must agree that these have been completed.  If the supervisor does not credit the student with the minimum number of hours the student will fail the module.

Requirements of the placement are as follows:

  • On beginning the placement, the start date is logged with the Module Convenor by the supervisor.

  • Not more than three weeks after the placement has begun, the student logs a completed Learning Agreement with the Module Convenor, agreed in discussion with the placement supervisor.

  • Approximately half way through the placement, the supervisor completes an Interim Report which includes written feedback for the student.

  • Not more than three weeks after the placement has been completed, the student submits his/her assignment for assessment.

  • Not more than six weeks after the placement has been completed, the supervisor completes an Exit Report describing the extent to which students have achieved the aims of the placement (skill/competency development; targets achieved; hours completed and comment on student’s reflection on the placement).  In this report supervisors may wish to suggest further development needs of the student.

NB:  The contact hours per term specified below are illustrative and may vary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2 2
Guided independent study: 48 100 248
Total hours by term 50 100 250
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Set exercise 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module is assessed by a single piece of written work comprising:

  1. a report on the objectives of the placement, activities undertaken, and theoretical understanding gained (e.g. understanding concepts being researched in the lab)

  2. a reflective piece in which students assess the skills needed for/acquired in the placement which includes explicit reference to the Learning Agreement

Formative assessment methods:

As determined by the supervisor.

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:

50% overall

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):

Last updated: 19 June 2019


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