Not available in 2019/20
Independent Research Project

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Bradley Franks QUE.3.03


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


Students should have taken Year 1 and Year 2 of the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science, which provide the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake guided independent research.

Course content

The independent research project is an empirical investigation, carried out by the student under the supervision. Research topics and methodologies vary considerably, but they must relate to Psychological and Behavioural Science as broadly understood. All research project topics will need to be approved in advance by a supervisor who is a faculty member of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. Students will be informed about the range of topics that supervisors would like to supervise, in a Project Shop Window held in Summer Term of Year 2. This is when faulty members will present their own research so that students can assess who would be an appropriate supervisor for their research interests. Students can then think about their topics and carry out planning over the summer vacation between Years 2 and 3 The supervisor will meet with the student throughout the year, to guide the formulation of the research question and investigative methods, and provide feedback on the research as it unfolds.


4 hours of lectures in the MT. 4 hours of lectures in the LT.

Teaching for this course will take place:

1. through dissertation lectures (4 x 1 hour in MT, 4 x 1 hour in LT)

2. via Supervision by individual faculty members allocated to students at the start of MT; sessions may be individual or group-based or a mix of both

3. The Programme Conference will take place in Summer Term and allow all students to present their work; it will be chaired by faculty with all supervising faculty taking part.

Formative coursework

In order to assess student performance and practice for the summative assessments, students will:

1. Write a  short plan of the proposed research in MT

2. Write a short summary of progress on the research in LT

3. Make one oral presentation to their supervisor outlining progress on the research in LT

Indicative reading

American Psychological Association. (2006). Publication manual of the American psychological association (6th Edition).

Washington DC: American Psychological Association. (see:

Bernard, H. R. (2000) Social Research Methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.  London: Sage. 

Fisher, C. (2007). Researching and writing a dissertation: A guidebook for business students. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education

Flick, U. (2011) Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner’s Guide to doing a research project. London: Sage.

Additional readings will be recommended as necessary by Supervisors.


Dissertation (75%) and presentation (25%) in the ST.

Further details of the summative assessment:

1.  a dissertation of 6000-8000 words submitted in ST (75%)

2. an oral presentation of the project to a Programme Conference in ST (25%).

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills