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The University of Southampton

PSYC3005 Research Paper

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.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop and refine a novel, meaningful, informed, and testable research hypothesis.
  • Collect data from human participants in a competent, professional, systematic, and transparent manner.
  • Manage and process a dataset, and to screen it for quality data.
  • Select and conduct statistical analyses on data in order to test one or more research hypotheses proposed.
  • Produce a coherent written description of the rationale for proposing one or more research hypotheses.
  • Produce a coherent written description of the methodology used to conduct a study.
  • Produce a coherent written description of the results obtained, using correct statistical terminology and appropriate graphical illustrations.
  • Produce a coherent written discussion of the results obtained, how they bear on the research hypothesis or hypotheses proposed, and what limitations and qualification apply.
  • Write a full research report (4000 words) in American Psychological Association format.
  • Translate a research hypothesis into a set of empirical operations that permit it to be tested.
  • Select and implement a design suited to testing a research hypothesis.
  • Select or create measures or manipulations suited to assessing variables specified in a research hypothesis.
  • Assess the ethicality of research proposed, and submit an application to an ethics committee.


A Research Paper 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
Project supervision15
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. Repeat method: Internal & External. However, please note External can only be selected if you have successfully collected data during your first sitting of the module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Research paper 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Research paper 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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:


Most costs pre-covered. (For example, the Department of Psychology operates its own internal participant pool, from which students may source participants for their studies). Modest supplementary costs (e.g., for crowd-sourced studies online) are usually covered by supervisors.

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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