MRes Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Contemporary Research Skills

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN63151
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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, critical thinking, scientific writing, 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.  Students will produce a portfolio of work to demonstrate the skills they have acquired and to support their career aspirations in academia or industry


  • To equip students with a good understanding of the research process;
  • To equip students with research skills required for academic, clinical and industrial settings.

These includes:

  • The skills to conduct an effective literature review, critically evaluate existing research and write a research proposal in different areas of psychology,
  • The skills to use contemporary academic software and tools to facilitate research,
  • The understanding of ethics, governance and data management 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 management in psychological research
  • use a collection of academic software 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 1, 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 and supporting their desired careers. The portfolio will consist of five skill components, selected from the core skill components (e.g., a PhD/grant proposal, a business plan, a social enterprise proposal, a job application) and from the auxiliary skill components (e.g., a book review, a research impact document, a data management plan, a public engagement event proposal, an article for science communication, a poster for public engagement, a product design specs, professional web presence / blog, 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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