Module code: PSYM169

Module Overview

It is a requirement of the University that taught postgraduate programmes include a dissertation and/or major project module. For this module students will conduct their own piece of empirical research in an area of Psychology relevant for their Masters course under supervision of a member of academic staff. For the assessment students will a quantitative research report of 6,000 words (maximum).
Overall student workload: 300 hours
This includes 10 hours of tutor supervision, which includes meetings and feedback. 
These hours will include development of theoretical framework, aims and hypotheses, recruiting samples, fieldwork and liaison with key personnel as appropriate, data recording and analysis, interpretation and writing up. Specific times for these subsections cannot be given as they vary from project to project.

Module provider

SOL - Psychology

Module Leader

TENENBAUM Harriet (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 212

Seminar Hours: 6

Tutorial Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 66

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Psychology Research Methods and Design (PSYM173) Preparation for Psychology Dissertation Study (PSYM172) Statistics and Data Analysis (PSYM175)

Module content

The dissertation content must be appropriate for your MSc degree programme. You must defer to their supervisors before embarking on the research.

The dissertation must be an original piece of work: you must demonstrate this throughout the project duration.

It is expected that the dissertation will consist of new analyses of data to address a clearly specified research question. Normally you will be expected to collect new data of their own (from measures provided by the School of Psychology) although secondary data analysis (including analyses of media data) and meta-analyses are acceptable and indeed encouraged by some members of staff. Dissertations that consist solely of reviews of the literature and contain no new analyses of data will not normally be acceptable. Your dissertation topic must be clearly identifiable as one appropriate for the degree course you are pursuing - if you have any doubts about the appropriateness of a proposed study, consult your supervisor or program leader.

After you have been matched to your supervisor, you must contact your supervisor to develop the research.

The specific project’s timetable is decided between you and your supervisor.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CV 5
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Dissertation 95

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the ability to draw together the skills and knowledge you have achieved over the academic year. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to identify a viable research issue or question pertinent to the domain of psychology you are currently studying (in the introduction); to conduct and present a coherent literature review; to design a strategy for investigation (design, procedure, methods of data collection) that will address the research question (method section); to conduct appropriate statistical analyses that address the hypotheses as appropriate to the research question (result section); to Interpret findings with reference to relevant theory and/or previous research (discussion); to coherently articulate the benefits and limitations of the research (introduction and discussion); to identify the implications for future research (discussion); to present these findings in a potentially publishable format in accordance with APA guidelines (the whole dissertation); self-organisation and initiative (during the project); communicate with the supervisor in a constructive and proactive manner (during the project).

The dissertation will be marked by two independent markers in the psychology department and will then be sent to the External Examiner for comment and moderation of marks if necessary.

In addition, to help you reflect on you learning throughout the module, you will need to include a CV with your dissertation to showcase the new skills you have gained.

(addresses learning outcomes: 1 - 10)

Formative assessment and feedback
You will submit an initial draft of the dissertation for formative assessment.

You will receive feedback on an initial draft of their dissertation and on the final submission. They will also receive feedback on your CV.

Module aims

  • The dissertation aims to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth, empirical investigation of a psychological problem or topic. 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 MSc program and to demonstrate a reflective understanding of the research endeavour through their own work.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify a viable research issue or question using the measures and research methods that are provided to students. C
002 Conduct and present a coherent literature review. C
003 Design a strategy for investigation (design, procedure, methods) that will address the research question and/or hypotheses that can be logically defended and is in accordance with the British Psychological Society ethical guidelines. CP
004 Conduct appropriate statistical analyses that address the hypotheses as appropriate to the research question. Studies that do not involve data analysis are not acceptable. KCT
005 Interpret findings whether numerical/statistical with reference to relevant theory and/or previous research, in an informed and defendable way acknowledging their own role in the analytic process. K
006 Coherently articulate the benefits and limitations of the research. K
007 Identify the implications for future research and, where appropriate, also the practical implications with due recognition of the scope and boundaries of these implications. K
008 Present these findings in a potentially publishable format in accordance with APA guidelines. T
009 Self-organisation (project planning and scheduling, time management) and initiative (in seeking answers to questions, in conducting the research), including the ability to work increasingly independently and with initiative throughout the duration of the project. PT
010 Communicate with the supervisor in a constructive and proactive manner about the above, and with view to develop a clear and workable modus operandi for supervision (that may mean discussing mutual expectations and process issues arising during the course of supervision). PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy
You are entitled to 10 hours of contact time with your supervisor scheduled as required to suit both supervisor and student. Contact time includes face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, e-mails and reading drafts with respect to the project. You are entitled to have feedback on their draft from their supervisor before the final submission provided you organise a suitable time for this in advance. Supervisors are permitted to comment on one draft only (minus the discussion and abstract). Any additional supervision must be strictly negotiated by supervisor and student, but if there is no justifiable reason for this, heavy dependency could undermine the achievement of independent working and therefore also the final mark will reflect this.

Your supervisor will provide feedback and guidance on all elements of the dissertation but he or she will not read your discussion or abstract. This will be an independent piece of work where you can demonstrate your own understanding and critical analyses of your work and the practical, theoretical and methodological implications of this work and findings.

Your supervisor can be expected to offer advice and guidance at all stages of completing the dissertation and it is normally expected that supervisors will read through a single complete draft of the dissertation before submission (except for the discussion). The supervisor is not, however, responsible for the content of the dissertation nor can they be expected to correct typographical and grammatical errors. If you think you might have problems with presenting work in good English, you should discuss this with your supervisor early so that appropriate help can be found.

The supervisor will nominate an independent marker (with sufficient knowledge of the field of research) who will mark the dissertation along with another member of staff.

Identifying a supervisor
Student projects and available supervisors are advertised on an MSc dissertation website. Details on supervisor allocation procedures will be made available at the same time.

Learning and teaching methods include:
Independent research with a member of psychology academic staff; one-to-one facilitation and guidance, group supervision as appropriate (supervision time: 10 hours).

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: PSYM169

Other information

The school/department of Psychology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities: You will learn digital capabilities by using the materials on the website and using statistical packages.

Employability: You will learn to manage a project. You will also reflect on the skills you have learned and produce a CV.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: You will improve their self-organisation (project planning and scheduling, time management) and initiative (in seeking answers to questions, in conducting the research), including the ability to work increasingly independently and with initiative throughout the duration of the project.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology (Online) MSc(CORE) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% 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 2025/6 academic year.