Psychology MSc Dissertation module (PY52004)

Learn to do an independent piece of research on a psychological topic under guidance of an academic supervisor

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This module presents a unique opportunity to bring together your knowledge and skills acquired during your degree in an independently produced piece of psychological research. It allows you to delve deeply into a specific area of interest, becoming an expert in that topic.

The module hones your critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are essential for various career paths. The process of conducting original research teaches you how to gather, analyse, and interpret data - skills that are highly valued in many professions.

It also improves your writing and presentation skills, as you will need to communicate your findings effectively.

This module can also open doors to further academic pursuits, such as doctoral studies, or enhance your credentials for psychological practice or consultancy roles. It is a stepping stone to professional growth and intellectual enrichment.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • conduct a literature review of the subject area of the dissertation
  • identify knowledge/research gaps to develop a research question
  • design an empirical study (e.g. experiment, survey, interview)
  • complete an ethics application to gain ethical approval for your study
  • collect and analyse your data
  • present your study in poster format to peers and academic staff
  • communicate your research findings in a written dissertation

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically understand a subject area in psychology and its theories, research, and methodology
  • develop a theoretically sophisticated, ethical, and well-grounded study on aspects of human mind and behaviour
  • efficiently and effectively analyse quantitative or qualitative research data
  • accurately describe and visualise your findings and interpret them in the context of appropriate previous research
  • work and communicate effectively with a project supervisor
  • demonstrate originality, creativity, and project planning skills in the context of a research project

Assignments / assessment

  • formative poster presentation
    • present your dissertation project at a student poster event
  • written dissertation 6,000-8,000 words (100%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

  • lectures
    • lectures are in person and will allow for larger classes
  • tutorials
    • tutorials will help you stay on track and you can ask questions
  • individual or small group supervision
    • receive guidance from an allocated academic supervisor with subject knowledge

Lectures and tutorials will provide general guidance. However, most learning will take place through independent research and under guidance from an academic member of staff with subject knowledge as part of individual or small group supervision.


This module is available on following courses: