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The University of Southampton

PSYC3003 Literature Review

Module Overview

The Year 3 Empirical Project comprises two components, linked to one another. Each component comprises its own module. Thus, the Empirical Project consists of two modules. The first component, run in Semester 1, is the Literature Review (PSYC 3003). The second component, run in Semester 2, is the Research Paper (PSYC 3005). In the Literature Review, students review an area of research. This review serves as the basis for developing an hypothesis. Students then run an empirical psychology study to test this hypothesis. In the Research Paper, they write up the study that they run. Students complete both the Literature Review and the Research Paper under close supervision by a member of the psychology staff--their Year 3 supervisor. Both aspects of the Year 3 Project require a relatively high degree of independent work on the part of the student, under the guidance of the supervisor.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Conduct a systematic search of the relevant research literature, in a defined area of psychological interest
  • Compare and contrast the empirical findings from a variety of studies
  • Assess the rational, empirical, and methodological strengths and weakness of different studies
  • Weigh the cumulative research evidence for and against a hypothesis or theory
  • Learning how to judiciously select studies and report their findings based on relevance
  • Write a review essay of considerable length (4000 words)
  • Write an essay in American Psychological Association (APA) format.
  • Derive a novel, meaningful, informed, and testable research hypothesis from a literature review


A Literature Review in a specialized area of psychological research negotiated with a Supervisor.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Both components of the Empirical Project (Literature Review and Research Paper) are taught via individual meetings with your Project Supervisor.

Independent Study135
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Suggested readings provided by Year 3 Project Supervisor. 

Formatting and Advice Template. 


Assessment Strategy

Both the Literature Review and the Research Paper are double-marked--both by the supervisor, who knows the student well, and by another independent member of staff, who does not know the student's identity. Marking criteria are publicized in advance.


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: (PSYC2019 AND PSYC2020) OR (EDUC2042 AND EDUC2043) OR EDUC2054


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


None beyond a regular essay.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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