Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: PSYCHOLOGY (APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton
Tied to C810


  • Modules to the value of 100 credits from Level 2 Applied Psychology (C810)


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide the opportunity for students to explore an area of psychology in depth, both by reviewing the literature of the area and by carrying out an empirical investigation.
  • To develop the skills required to carry out these tasks.
  • To guide students in writing up their findings in a clear and concise manner.


  • The dissertation forms the main practical component of the final year course.
  • Students are expected to build on the skills acquired during the earlier part of the course to carry out an investigation in psychology.
  • Students will normally work in pairs supervised by a member of staff.
  • The project should satisfy two requirements - analysis of data and relevance to applied psychology.
  • Students normally collect data working in their pairs, but must write up the dissertation individually.
  • The dissertation is written up as a scientific report approximating the form and standard found in psychology journals.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students who pass this module should be able to:
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of a selected research paradigm.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students who pass this module should be able to:
  • Locate, read and review a body of research evidence.
  • Adopt different theoretical perspectives and see the relationships betwen them.
  • Interpret theoretically, and evaluate the significance of, empirical work.
  • Identify an issue in this psychological domain that is amenable to empirical investigation and to formulate a clear research question.
  • Demonstrate competence in the selection and application of appropriate statistical procedures, and an understanding of their requirements, assumptions and limitations.
  • Reflect critically upon the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen design and the validity of conclusions reached.
Key Skills:
  • Students passing this module should be able to:
  • Demonstrate critical evaluation of the quality of evidence and arguments.
  • Demonstrate good written communication skills as evidenced by a dissertation written to a high scientific standard and conforming to journal style.
  • Demonstrate good IT skills in word processing, data manipulation and data presentation.
  • Work independently.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students complete their dissertation work under the supervision of an experienced researcher, and typically work in a group of two. The supervision enables students to achieve good skills in all aspects of experimental design, conduct, analysis and report. Supervisory meetings also stimulate the development of critical and theoretically based thinking. Independent study is required at all stages of the dissertation.
  • The written dissertation report allows students to demonstrate their evaluative, analytical and research skills in a single comprehensive piece of work. Formative feedback is provided on a first draft of the dissertation. Assessment of the report is based on criteria relating to the range of learning outcomes listed above.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practical Work 160
Supervisory Meetings 40
Preparation and Reading 200
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
dissertation 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University