Module code: PSY3065

Module Overview

The process of preparing and writing a dissertation provides the student with the opportunity to pursue in depth a topic of his or her own choice. It should allow them to apply and develop research skills acquired during the BSc Psychology Honours or BSc Applied Psychology and Sociology Honours programme and to demonstrate a reflective understanding of the research endeavour through their own work. Students are advised to consult regularly the following website for dissertation updates:

Module provider


Module Leader

COOK Anna (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 10

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 430

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module content

Subject specific, but students can optionally attend Dissertation Workshops in support of their dissertation. The dissertation workshops are run by Professor David Uzzell. The workshops seek to give you confidence to undertake an independent piece of research – your dissertation. It will take you from the initial spark of an idea through to handing in the bound dissertation. The course, however, aims to go beyond this. One aim of your degree course is to set you on the road to becoming a professional psychologist. Whether the next step in your career will be to work as a researcher, a psychology practitioner or simply another area of work which will draw on your skills and knowledge of psychology, the ability to be able to read critically, interpret others’ research, plan and design work, and communicate your ideas is crucial.

This course is not assessed, but we hope that you would make the time to attend, as you should find it useful whether you are conducting a social or neuropsychological study or using quantitative or qualitative methods. 

  • Information literacy

  • Ethics

  • Planning and managing a research project; using supervision constructively

  • Academic misconduct

  • Using software and online resources

  • Writing a literature review

  • Crafting a story - quantitative and qualitative

  • Writing up quantitative results

  • Writing up qualitative results

  • Pulling it all together – the discussion 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The dissertation as the capstone assessment allows students to demonstrate a combination of all of the skills and learning outcomes developed during the preceding years. The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate these skills and learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge in core areas

  • Writing essays

  • Finding, processing and synthesising current literature

  • Critical evaluation

  • Professional skills and professionalism

  • Complex knowledge of statistics

  • Application of advanced statistics and/or qualitative analysis

  • Use and application of SPSS

  • Research design

  • Reporting research

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Either a quantitative research report of 18 pages, or a qualitative/mixed methods research report of 22 pages.

  • Marking of the dissertation is in line with the university grade descriptors and learning objectives for the dissertation.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will be provided through one-on-one interaction with supervisors. 


Written formative feedback will be given on one draft of the introduction, methods, and results sections of the dissertation.  Detailed written feedback will be provided on the final submitted and marked dissertation. 

Module aims

  • The final year dissertation aims to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth, empirical investigation of a psychological problem or topic.
  • The dissertation support workshops are designed to 'scaffold' students throughout the year on various issues pertinent to: Formulating, designing and implementing a suitable study for independent project purposes,
  • The dissertation support workshops are designed to 'scaffold' students throughout the year on various issues pertinent to: Ethical considerations
  • The dissertation support workshops are designed to 'scaffold' students throughout the year on various issues pertinent to: 3) analytical considerations (qualitative data analysis, statistical analysis)
  • The dissertation support workshops are designed to 'scaffold' students throughout the year on various issues pertinent to: Drawing interpretations and conclusions
  • The dissertation support workshops are designed to 'scaffold' students throughout the year on various issues pertinent to: Writing up
  • Although students are expected to be relatively independent in the pursuit of their dissertation, adjusting back to academic life after a placement year can be a difficult task. Students benefit from being refreshed on research issues and processes, and from being facilitated in a constructive and supportive way to pursue their own project. The project is weighted 45% of the entire final year, which means that it is the most important piece of work submitted by the student. Support workshops are aimed at managing the transition back to University as well as providing a social forum to discuss research issues with their peers as well as various members of staff, expert on particular methodological and/or analytical issues.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 An ability to formulate and define a problem or topic in an appropriately circumscribed way
2 An ability to identify, justify and use an appropriate methodology in tackling the research questions identified
3 Some awareness of alternative strategies that could have been used to address the research question
4 An adequate understanding of statistical or other analytical procedures
5 A knowledge of how to apply these statistical/analytical procedures appropriately
6 The ability to critically examine their own empirical findings and draw sensible conclusions from their findings
7 The ability to identify how their work might move forward by suggesting new lines of investigation
8 The ability to give clear expression to their ideas and to structure their argument in a logical fashiion
9 The ability to present their findings in the conventional scholarly form

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Facilitate designing and conducting of research and the production of the dissertation.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Independent research with a member of psychology academic staff; a total of 10 hours of one-to-one supervision (including time spent replying to emails and providing feedback on drafts), group supervision as appropriate. Optional workshops and (described above) and bespoke methodological and/or analytical support delivered one-to-one. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3065

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.