Surrey University Stag

PSYCHOLOGY DISSERTATION - 2023/4

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. 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.  

The majority of the work in this module is independent learning, with guidance and support from a dissertation supervisor.  In addition to this, Dissertation Workshops are offered to support the dissertation. These workshops cover key parts of the dissertation process and have been designed to ‘scaffold’ and support the student throughout the research process such as: 1) conducting a literature search, 2) ethical considerations, 3) analytical approaches (qualitative and quantitative data analysis), and 4) and writing up. 

 

Module provider

Psychology

Module Leader

MARSELLE Melissa (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: C800

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 425

Lecture Hours: 13

Guided Learning: 12

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Supervision in support of the dissertation. Students are required to actively engage with their dissertation supervisor in a collaborative relationship to gain guidance and feedback on their review of the existing literature, research question/s, study design, chosen method/s, data analysis and write-up. Students are expected to lead this research project which includes planning and managing contact with your supervisor and key project milestones e.g. obtaining ethical approval for your study. Students are expected to demonstrate some level of independence from their supervisor by demonstrating the ability to respond to addressing challenges or set-backs through agile thinking and decision-making processes for their research project. Supervision enables students to recognise the value of learning from feedback to their learning journey, as students expected to respond to supervisory input and feedback. 

 

Dissertation Workshops in support of the dissertation. The workshops seek to give you confidence to undertake an independent piece of research – your dissertation. These workshops cover key parts of the dissertation process and have been designed to ‘scaffold’ and support you throughout the year on various issues such as: 1) formulating, designing and implementing a suitable dissertation study, 2) ethical considerations, 3) analytical approaches (qualitative and quantitative data analysis), 4) drawing interpretations and conclusions, and 5) and writing up.  

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) EITHER A QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH REPORT OF 18 PAGES OR A QUALITATIVE/MIXED METHODS RESEARCH REPORT OF 22 PAGES 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

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:


  • Leading or participating in a live research project which is assessed as part of the module

  • Applying psychological knowledge to formulate and define a research problem  

  • Apply knowledge of qualitative and/or qualitative methods to tackle the research question

  • Finding, processing and synthesizing current literature using your digital literacy skills 

  • Application of digital technology to conduct participant recruitment,data collection, and quantitative and/or qualitative analysis 

  • Critical evaluation of existing theory and research in order to locate the dissertation project in its theoretical and empirical context, identify gaps, and demonstrate your unique contribution of knowledge

  • Demonstrate employability skills through project management and self-management skills

  • Reporting research in a written format of a dissertation 



  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 project also gives students the opportunity to:
  • Develop employability skills by leading or participating in a live research project. The dissertation project is an opportunity to demonstrate one's: psychological understanding; research, written communication and critical thinking skills; project management and self-management abilities; transferable skills; as well as the professional/ practical skills highlighted in the list of overall programme level learning outcomes for their degree (see the UG Programme Handbook).
  • Utilize digital technology to search for literature, recruit participants, and/or analyse data
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness and resilience by responding to challenges experienced during the research process using agile thinking, and informed decision-making, while also building confidence and self-efficacy.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Ability to formulate and define a problem or topic in an appropriately circumscribed way KCPT
003 Identify, justify and use an appropriate methodology in tackling the research questions identified KCPT
004 Draw on their resourcefulness to critically discuss alternative strategies that could have been used to address the research question KCT
005 Demonstrate an adequate understanding of quantitative or qualitative analytical procedures, and apply such analytical procedures appropriately KCPT
002 Locate their dissertation project in its theoretical and empirical context through critical evaluation of theory and research KCPT
006 Use digital technology skills to critically examine their own empirical findings and draw sensible conclusions from their findings KPT
007 Identify how their dissertation might move psychological research forward by suggesting new lines of investigation for research, practice and/or policy KCPT
008 Give clear expression to their ideas and to structure their argument in a logical fashion KCPT
009 Present their findings in the conventional scholarly form of a written dissertation KCPT

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 application of psychological sciences by conducting an in-depth, empirical research study of a psychological problem or topic, and the writing it into the form of a dissertation.

 

The learning and teaching methods include: 



  • Independent research with a member of psychology academic staff (dissertation supervisor) to help guide the student in their development of their dissertation project.  


  • A total of 12 hours of one-to-one supervision with the dissertation supervisor (this includes time spent replying to emails and providing feedback on drafts). Group supervision as appropriate.  


  • 15 (optional) Dissertation Workshops designed to ‘scaffold’ and provide support on the application of the psychological sciences to a research project  


  • Bespoke methodological and/or analytical support delivered one-to-one (if required) 


  • Students are encouraged to use their resourcefulness and resilience to be actively involved in problem solving, thus using their own judgement, and developing solutions. Students are further encouraged to engage with this through supervision and the dissertation workshops.  


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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3065

Other information

Resourcefulness and resilience:  

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. As such, students are required to take their learning on the undergraduate degree programme and apply it to a live research project (which is subsequently analyzed for the only coursework assessment). The process of preparing and writing a dissertation provides the student with the opportunity to develop attributes such as confidence, adaptability, self-regulation, self-efficacy, problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Supervision enables students to recognize the value of feedback to their learning journey, as well as the importance of actively engaging in dissertation workshop discussions and supervisor meetings.  

Digital Capabilities:  

Students are provided with multiple opportunities to develop their digital literacy. Students will demonstrate their digital capabilities when conducting literature searches to find supporting evidence. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with digital technology for participant recruitment (e.g. SONA), data collection (e.g. Qualtrics) and data analysis (e.g. Jamovi, Nvivo).   

Employability:  

The dissertation progress is designed to develop students’ employability skills. The dissertation builds written communication skills, research skills, and critical thinking skills as well and project management and self-management. The dissertation may include the task of conducting research with human participants, to help develop professionalism, interpersonal skills and expressing confidence. Finally, the dissertation as a live project is an application of the student’s psychological understanding. 

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 2023/4 academic year.