PB312      Half Unit
Research Apprenticeship

This information is for the 2022/23 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 and type of apprenticeship places available each year will be governed by the research taking place in the department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

We will do our best to provide apprenticeships to all students that wish to take this course but we may have to limit numbers. Where there are more students wanting to take the coure than there are apprenticeships available places will be allocated on an application basis.

Once students have a place on the course, they will  be asked to shortlist their three preferred apprenticeships and provide a statement explaining why they would like to work in these labs. As far as possible, we hope to allocate students to one of their three choices. However, this may not always be possible; in these cases we will use the statements provided to inform our decisions.


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. Some labs will host one apprentice, some may host several. Research Apprenticeships offer students a hands-on introduction to research in the department.

A lab can be anything from a qualitative study; to an analysis of real-world data; to the development of a theory or concept; to an experimental investigation taking place in the Behavioural Lab for Teaching and Research. A lab is distinct from a project in that it introduces rigour, standards and will have appropriate checks and balances.

For each lab, an induction session will introduce the student(s) to the research topics and 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.

You should expect to spend the equivalent of ten term weeks as an apprentice. Given the nature of this course, the exact start and finish times, and how much time is required each week will vary between labs. As an indication, we expect most apprenticeships to start around the middle of Michaelmas Term and finish around the middle of Lent Term.

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

Formative coursework

During the apprenticeship students will need to complete two pieces of formative work. This is designed to cement the training that the student will receive and prepare them for the summative assessments:

  • Write a summary of a key text, discussing its implications for the lab’s research.
  • Develop a piece of work support the chosen second assessment (draft of the research report; proposal for the poster; draft of the literature review / annotated biblography; draft of the further research proposal; plan for the presentation).

Indicative reading

Readings appropriate to the research topic of the labs will be provided by the lab lead(s) 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.


Learning log (50%) and assignment (50%) in the LT.

Learning Log (50%) in LT: You will maintain a research diary during your apprenticeship.

Assignment (50%) in LT: For the second assessment, students will choose one assessment from the list below to demonstrate the outcome of the lab and/or the potential for future research. Students should work with the lab lead to ascertain the best type of assessment for their lab.

  • Research Report of between 2000 and 3000 words.
  • A1 Poster.
  • Literature Review and/or annotated bibliography of between 2000 and 3000 words.
  • Further research proposal of between 2000 and 3000 words.
  • Recorded Presentation of between 10 and 15 minutes.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2021/22: 11

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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