Not available in 2019/20
PB312      Half Unit
Advanced Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science: Laboratory Apprenticeship

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible



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


Students must have completed Statistics and Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science (PB130), Intermediate Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science: A Methodological Toolkit (PB203) and Intermediate Quantitative Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science (PB211).

Course content

This course offers students at the advanced stages of undergraduate training in Psychological & Behavioural Science (PBS) to gain practice experience working as a research assistant in an active research ‘lab’ in the PBS (or a related) department. An induction session will introduce the student to the research topics and methodological approach of the lab, while structured research training sessions (conducted by the lab Principal Investigator, Research Officer or a senior PhD student) will teach the key skills and techniques needed to conduct research in the lab. The student will spend the bulk of his/her time providing research support that can take the form of design and preparation of study materials, recruitment of participants, collection of data (e.g. through on-street surveys, running in-lab experiments, conduct of interviews/focus groups, online media analysis), and preparation of data for analysis. Where possible, students will also be exposed to teaching in how data collected during their time in the lab would be analysed. Students are also expected to attend all lab meetings, during which research ongoing in the lab is presented and discussed. The goal is to gain the benefits of an ‘apprenticeship’, namely, learning the day-to-day tasks of PBS research with structured mentoring and feedback from experienced researchers.

This optional course, together with PB310 Independent Research Project, aims to provide students with integrated advanced knowledge and skills in research and analysis methods in psychological and behavioural science. To promote integrated acquisition of research methods skills, the course will develop skills in an active lab setting.  The lab activities will draw, as appropriate, on quantitative techniques presented in PB311 Advanced Quantitative Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science and on those acquired throughout the programme.


Teaching on this course will involve active training and participation on an ongoing project in the research laboratory of one of the members of staff of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. The detailed activities will vary from one laboratory to another, but they will typically involve:

  • 5 x 1.5-hour lab meetings in MT
  • 5 x 1-hour research training sessions in MT
  • 7.5 hours structured research tasks in MT

Students will be informed about the research being undertaken, 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 what project they might like to join.

Formative coursework

  1. One presentation in a lab meeting of a key reading and its implications for the lab's research OR an original research idea & design;
  2. One production of draft research materials and/or data analysis, demonstrating skills acquired in the lab.

Indicative reading

Readings appropriate to the research topic of the labs will be provided by the lab leader at the start of the course.  Readings are specific to the labs offering this course, and will cover core readings on the theory, findings & research approaches pertinent to the lab in question.


Reflective learning report (30%) and research report (70%) in the MT.

Summative assessment for this course comprises:

  • One  reflective learning report (1000 words) assessing the experience of acting as a research assistant in the laboratory  (30%);
  • One  research report (2000 words) outlining the rationale, details and critique of a project worked on in the laboratory or one research proposal for an original project using the approach and methods of the laboratory (70%).

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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