PB312      Half Unit
Research Apprenticeship

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jens Madsen CON.3.19


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.

The number of apprenticeship places available will be governed by the research taking place in the department of Psychological and Behavioural Science in a given year. We will do our best to allocate places to all students that wish to take this course but we may have to limit numbers. Places will be allocated on an application basis.


Students must have completed Statistics and Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science (PB130) and Intermediate Statistics and Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science (PB230).

Course content

This course offers students at the advanced stages of the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science to gain experience working as a research apprentice in an active research ‘lab’ within the department. A lab can be anything from a qualitative study to an investigation of real-world data to an experimental investigation taking place in the Behavioural Lab for Teaching and Research. Labs are overseen by faculty, Research Officers or senior PhD students. A lab is distinct from a project in that it introduces rigour, standards and will have appropriate checks and balances. Some labs will host one apprentice, some may host several. Research Apprenticeships offer students a hands-on introduction to research in the department.

For each lab, an induction session will introduce the student(s) to the research topics and methodological approach of the lab. After this, structured research training sessions will teach the student(s) the key skills and techniques needed to conduct the research. The student(s) will spend the bulk of their time providing research support; this may take the form of design and preparation of study materials, recruitment of participants, collection of data (e.g. through on-street surveys, running lab experiments, conduct of interviews/focus groups, online media analysis, etc.), and preparation of data for analysis. Where possible, students will also be exposed to training in how the data collected during their time in the lab will be analysed. The student(s) are expected to attend all lab meetings, during which research ongoing in the lab is presented and discussed.

The goal of this course is to help students learn the skills needed to conduct successful research by taking part in the day-to-day tasks of a PBS lab. Students will benefit from structured mentoring and feedback from experienced researchers.


The ‘teaching’ on this course will involve active training and participation in an ongoing lab. The specific activities will vary from one lab to another, but they will typically involve an introductory session, several lab meetings and training sessions.

Students will spend the bulk of their time working on structured research tasks.

Formative coursework

During the apprenticeship students will need to complete three pieces of formative work. This is designed to cement the training that the student will receive:

1. Make a presentation during a lab meeting of a key reading, discussing its implications for the lab's research

2. Production of draft research materials and/or data analysis, demonstrating skills acquired in the lab.

3. Production of a poster summarising the work of 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 (50%) and research report (50%) in the MT.

Reflective learning report (50%) in MT: Students will need to submit a 2000 word reflective learning report, assessing the experience of acting as a research assistant in the lab. This will ask the student to consider how and why they met (or did not meet) the specific learning outcomes of their apprenticeship.

Research report (50%) in LT: Students will need to produce a 1500-2000 word report OR proposal related to the lab they were working on. The Report will outline the rationale, details and a critical analysis of a project worked on in the the Proposal will suggest an original project using the approach and methods of the lab.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: 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