SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMC811519
Module Leader Stella Bain
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally an honours degree in Psychology, or an honours degree and a satisfactory level of relevant work experience

Summary of Content

The research module is assessed by three pieces of written work: a research proposal, a review article and an empirical paper. It should set up, review and report an original piece of work and relevant theoretical and empirical work and both papers should be of publishable quality, written in journal article format. The research proposal should be maximum 1000 words, the review article should be between 3-5000 words and the empirical paper should be between 3-5000 words. The aim of the research is to enable students to develop: - a detailed knowledge and understanding of a selected area of study - the abilities to analyse and appraise existing research findings, methods and theoretical issues -skills in design, planning, implementation, analysis, interpretation and written communication


-360 There is no formal syllabus. However, competences which should be highlighted during the Supervision process include the following: b7 identification of an area where research is required and conversion of ideas into logical, coherent and testable questions. b7 use of literature to identify and appraise theories, models, findings, measures and techniques relevant to the research questions. b7 selection and justification of methods and techniques for the systematic collection of valid and reliable data. b7 discussion of research questions, design and ethical considerations with supervisor and relevant others, as appropriate. b7 identification and negotiation of access to resources required, including access to participants. b7 formulation of a plan for implementation and completion within the required timescale. b7 piloting of research design, including monitoring and review of data collection procedures, as appropriate. b7 implementation of plan including appropriate and consistent administration of procedures, accurate recording of data and observance of ethical standards. b7 appropriate and accurate use of analytical techniques specified in the plan or necessary for further clarification. b7 review and interpretation of research results against original research questions, with awareness of possible alternative explanations and limits of generalisability of conclusions. b7 development of justification of recommendations and future strategies or questions for research based on present results and their interpretation. b7 preparation of a comprehensive and accurate written empirical report and rapid evidence assessment in a clear style and acceptable format.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:- Demonstrate that they have conducted an empirical research project in the general area of Forensic Psychology, documented a complete project report.- Demonstrate their application of key ethical issues in conducting research on forensic populations, documented in their producing, and receiving ethical approval for, a detailed research proposal- Have a detailed appreciation of the difficulties and constraints they have encountered during their projectDemonstrate the ability to write a piece of research up for publication

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Supervisors and students should meet with mutually agreed frequency to discuss ideas, facilitate planning and review progress whist maintainign an emphasis on independent use and development of knowledge and skills by the student. The supervision process should include coverage of aspects represented under Syllabus as competences. In completion of the research in forensic psychology module the student should be encouraged to reflect upon and demonstrate the following attributes derived from the Glasgow Caledonian University Guildelines on Dissertation and Project Supervision: relevance of content; quality of content; style; coherence of presentation; quality and breadth of bibliography.

Indicative Reading

APA (2001) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Washington: APA. British Psychological Society (2000). Ethical principles for conducting research with human participants. Retrieved 29 th July 2008 from <> British Psychological Society (2008) Generic Practice Guidelines, 2 nd Edition, Leicester: BPS. <> Cotrell, S (2005) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing effective analysis and argument, London: Palgrave MacMillan. Herbert, M (1990) Planning a Research Project, London: Cassell Educational Ltd. Rudestam, K. E. and Newton, R. R. (2007) Surviving Your Dissertation. London: Sage Publications. Sternberg, R.J. (1988) The Psychologists companion: A Guide to Scientific Writing for Students and Researchers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press & the British Psychological Society. Tabachnick, B.G. & Fidell, L.S. (1983) Using Multivariate Statistics, New York: Harper & Row Individual reading relevant to specific research project will be identified by the student and supervisor consultations. The reading list for the module on 'Analytic Methods' is also useful in terms of planning methodologies. The search facilities via the library catalogue are invaluable for this module , thus students are encouraged to access journal articles and the topic based search facilities via the library website <> and then select the journal search option <> and search using the either the journal link or a topic link to identify relevant material . You may have to enter your Athens username and password at some point. If so, and you cannot remember it, you can access this by linking onto 'my Caledonian' selecting the 'Athens' tab (top right) and using the information given there.

Transferrable Skills

Transferable skills include: access and critical appraisal of literature and other sources; analysis and operationalisation of conceptual issues; creativity; rigour in design; planning; ethical awareness; administration of procedures in a consistent fashion to accepted standards; accurate recording of data with regard for confidentiality and security where appropriate; use of analytical techniques and appropriate software; representation of results; interpretation and evaluation of results; generation of recommendations; written communication to accepted formats.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 588.00
Independent Learning (PT) 588.00
Tutorials (PT) 10.00
Seminars (PT) 2.00
Seminars (FT) 2.00
Tutorials (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 10.00 50% research proposal 1000 words
Coursework 0.00 50.00 50% EMPIRICAL PAPER 3-5000 words
Coursework 0.00 40.00 50% REVIEW ARTICLE 3-5000 words