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MRes Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Contemporary Research Skills

Unit code BIOL63152
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No



This unit provides comprehensive training in contemporary research skills for careers in academic, clinical and industrial settings. Students will develop and apply essential research skills in experimental design, literature review, research proposal writing, academic software use, dealing with ethical and data protection issues, and working in clinical and industrial settings.  They will also learn to situate research in a broader context, communicate science, engage with society and carry out their social responsibility.  Equipped with a range of professional skills (e.g., CV writing, Web presence, social media, oral presentation), students will ultimately produce a portfolio of work to support their career plans



- To equip students with a good understanding of the research process;

- To equip students with research skills required for academic, clinical and industrial settings.

This Includes:

-  The skills to conduct effective literature review, critically evaluate existing research and write a research 

   proposal in different areas of psychology,

-  The skills to use contemporary academic softwares and tools to facilitate research,

-  The understanding of ethics, governance and data protection in psychological research,

-  The skills for science communication, public engagement and social responsibility,

-  The professional skills for different careers.


Learning outcomes


By the end of this course unit, students will be able to:

-       carry out a thorough review of the relevant literature as part of the dissertation research work and write-up,

-       understand the importance of critical evaluation of peer reviewed publications of relevance to dissertation 

        research work,

-       understand the issues of ethics, governance and data protection in psychological research,

-       design a work plan integrating a specific research project into a broader research framework,

-       use a collection of academic softwares and tools to facilitate their own research,

-       write a scientific report of their research project in the style appropriate for a peer-reviewed journal in 

        their chosen areas of psychological sciences,

-       communicate research findings to researchers and to the general public,

              -       plan their careers and create a portfolio of work to support their career plans.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and Learning Methods

Semester 2, weekly 2-hour seminars or workshops, providing an explanation of each research skill and practical training.

Assessment methods

Students will amass a portfolio of work demonstrating their acquired research skills. The portfolio will consist of five skill components and a justification how these skills can support students’ career plans.  Examples of the core skill components include but not restricted to: a written CV, a written research proposal, a spoken research presentation, a Web-based home page, a draft PhD application, a public engagement event proposal, a journal review, a research impact document, product design proposal, etc.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Bo Yao Unit coordinator

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