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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/10/2022 14:19:16

Title of Module: Psychology Dissertation

Code: PSYC10004 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 40 ECTS: 20
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:E  Edgerton

Summary of Module

The module comprises a supervised independent research study on an empirical topic in Psychology. In Level 9 a preparatory workshop that introduces students to the development and preparation of a project proposal that will form the basis of the dissertation will take place. This will outline staff supervision interests, the importance of ethics and the viability and scope of dissertation projects. Following this workshop, students will discuss with potential supervisors the validity of their project ideas and present a research proposal that must be psychological and empirical in nature. Full ethical approval is required to prior to the start of the study. When approved, the study will be carried out and reported via a dissertation. Students are also required to complete a presentation.

Guidance is given through a series of synchronous and asynchronous activities, and individual meetings with the supervisor. Supervisors will also spend some of their contact time with students discussing and reflecting on the employability skills obtained on the module.

This module will develop the following graduate attributes: Critical Thinking; Analytical Skills; Inquiry Skills; Problem Solver; Incisiveness; Innovator.

The module is compulsory for Psychology single honours and a pass is mandatory for British Psychological Society accreditation.

  • Engaging with scientific literature in an area of current psychology

  • Conducting an empirical research study in a current area of psychology

  • Performing appropriate analysis and report, interpret the findings in line with Psychology standards

  • Presenting research findings in a conference-style setting

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate an independent approach to research and write a research proposal which is ethically viable and submit an ethics application.

L2. Demonstrate the ability to develop and investigate a research question.

L3. Critically evaluate existing research literature and reflect analytically on the research process.

L4. Demonstrate the application of standard psychological research methods in how research findings can be collected, analysed, evaluated, and presented in oral and written forms

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate the ability to show that knowledge covers and integrates most of the principle areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of the subject area/discipline.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Identify and describe questions for empirical investigations, formulate appropriate research questions and operationalise constructs appropriately.

Appreciate and apply appropriate ethical standards to the research process.

Have the ability to select, conduct, and analyse /evaluate appropriate laboratory and non- laboratory measurements of behaviour.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate effective information retrieval and handling skills where appropriate.

Demonstrate the ability to describe and critically evaluate research literature.

Demonstrate the ability to analyse, evaluate and use data in a variety of forms, including numerical and statistical data.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate the ability to present information to an informed audience.

Demonstrate the ability to comprehend and critically evaluate numerical, statistical and other forms of data within a research context.

Communicate with professional level peers and subject specialists.

Complete an appropriately structured CV

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate the ability to undertake self-directed study to achieve specified goals.

Demonstrate the ability to work independently and manage one’s own time.

Demonstrate effective time and resource management to achieved desired objectives.

Function as an independent learner capable of adopting a self-reflective approach to learning.

Understand and appreciate the need to conduct practical work in line with BPS ethical guidelines.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Applying Psychology Methods
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Students will be supervised by a member of staff who has the appropriate expertise in the proposed area of study, and who will guide the student through the research. Supervision times will be by mutual agreement, and will not only focus on the specific content of the research project but will also emphasize the generic nature of the skills that have been acquired through the workshops and also through years 1-3.
In addition to guidance on the specific project, the supervisor will provide a point of contact through which students reflect on and curate a record of employment skills and graduate attributes.
Lecture/Core Content delivery refers to synchronous activities and Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity refers to one to one supervision sessions. Asynchronous Class Activity refers to presentation.
While working in a peer style relationship with a member of staff, this module allows students to bring together a number of skills developed within the programme in a focused manner, e.g. time management, critical analysis, developing autonomy, and IT, numeracy and literacy skills.
The assessment strategy has been devised to encourage students to effectively plan their dissertation process and provide a second point for ethical review of any research tools that will be employed in the data collecting process.

Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery10
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity24
Independent Study358
Personal Development Plan6
Asynchronous Class Activity2
400 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bell, P., Staines, P., and Mitchell, J. (2001). Evaluating, doing and writing research in Psychology. London: Sage.

Berry, R. (1994). The research project: How to write it. London. Routledge. (also a 2000 edition)

Field, A. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS. London: Sage Publications.

Field, A. and Hole, G. (2003). How to design and report experiments. London: Sage.

Smith J. A. (2015). Qualitative Psychology. London: Sage Publications.

In addition, Journal articles relevant to the research topic must be sourced by the student.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Psychology
ModeratorA Marsh
External ExaminerTBC
Accreditation DetailsBPS
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Oral Presentation weighted at 20%
Written Report of the Research weighted at 80%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation   check mark200

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark800
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.