Module code: PSYM172

Module Overview

This module prepares you as a student for conducting MSc level dissertation. You will learn to identify a research question for your dissertation based on the empirical literature, write up background literature for a lay summary, identify how psychologists develop recruitment plans, plan an experimental design including which statistical tests to use, conduct a power analysis, consider risk assessments, discuss examples of sharing data by reviewing the Open Science Framework website, and think about ethical considerations.

Module provider

SOL - Psychology

Module Leader

TENENBAUM Harriet (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 102

Seminar Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 36

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Psychology Research Methods and Design (PSYM173) Statistics and Data Analysis (PSYM175)

Module content

We will cover the measures and methods you can access for your dissertations. You will then spend sessions learning about how to develop research questions and generate hypotheses, how to test hypotheses, write a concise lay summary, plan an experimental or correlational study, and think about ethics in research. As part of this module, you will design your dissertation project and write your ethics application.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation 10 minute recorded presentation on research idea 30
Coursework Ethics application 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  1. Development of  research questions and generate hypotheses from the theoretical literature

  2. Consideration of ethical issues in designing a study

  3. Methodological understanding and ability to conduct a power analysis

  4. Apply statistical knowledge to a research question

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A recorded presentation where you explain your research project idea in the middle of the term (30%)

  • Coursework in which you will write up the Ethics application for your dissertation (70%) 

Formative assessment

During the seminars, you will receive verbal feedback. You will receive formative feedback on their research questions and hypotheses before recording their presentation. Many of the guided learning activities will included videos and sheets for you to check your answers and receive formative feedback.

Module aims

  • Develop your understanding of how to design a research study.
  • Teach students how to write a short literature review.
  • Support students in writing research questions and generating hypotheses.
  • Help students review and critically evaluate ethics in research.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Develop a research study. KCT
002 Write up a literature review with attention to limitations in previous literature. KCT
003 Generate research questions and hypotheses. KCT
004 Critically evaluate ethics in research. KCP
005 Demonstrate technical abilities. 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:

  • Support you in learning about research and in particular, how to design a dissertation project

  • Help you learn about ethical issues in research

The asynchronous recordings will enable you to gain core foundational knowledge in research psychology, including which measures you may use for their dissertation projects. The synchronous sessions and guided learning will give you an opportunity to learn how psychologists design studies and use empirical methods to test their research questions. Further methods will give you an ability to question and critically evaluate research. You will learn how to write an ethics application.

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: PSYM172

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework 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 you to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas: 

Digital Capabilities: You will develop your digital literacy by searching for journal articles and learning how to use search terms in different databases. You will learn simple statistical procedures, such as how to conduct a power analysis.

Employability: You will need to work to tight deadlines, develop your understanding of research articles, and synthesise your knowledge across different research articles, which are all skills needed in employment. You will also develop their numeracy skills from identifying their skills. You assessment is a proposal, which is needed by many employers. You will also work together to develop information and consent forms.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: This moule will begin with a session in which you think about what resilience is, discuss a time when you were resilient, and complete a guided learning assignment in which you review the skills you developed to make you resourceful that you can then apply to your dissertation.

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.