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The University of Southampton

PSYC6109 Concepts & Skills

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate published research
  • identify and debate theoretical issues in psychology
  • identify weaknesses in research and find solutions
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • produce high-quality oral presentations
  • work as part of a team, self-monitor competences/training needs, and personal career management
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • plan and manage practical aspects of conducting research with human participants


This module comprises of weekly, 2-hour sessions. These sessions will cover topics such as current research issues in psychology, writing and presentation skills, critical evaluation of published work and of research proposals, project planning, time management, and making use of the available online research resources. These sessions will also serve as tutorials in which students can discuss issues that arise in relation to their research plans and professional development, such as attending suitable training courses, etc. Skills will primarily be developed in a “hands on” manner; students will be asked to choose research papers that they are interested in for critical evaluation, as well as providing feedback to other students in the group on a regular basis. Students will also be required to maintain regular attendance at research division meetings and the school seminar series. In this way, students observe presentations of cutting-edge research by international researchers; engage in critical discussion of the research projects of staff and PGR students; participate in critical discussion with staff and PGR students of newly published research and methodological issues; and consider in depth the fundamental epistemological, conceptual, and methodological issues relevant to their research interests.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching methods are varied, but all emphasise active learning and encourage students to apply their acquired skills to their own experience and research interests. The weekly sessions typically consist of small group lectures and/ or staff-led seminars in which students are asked to work with self chosen examples to develop their evaluation and presentation skills. Students are also expected to contribute to the formative evaluation and feedback of other students in the group.

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Good sources of psychological reviews. Annual review of psychology Psychological Bulletin Annual review of clinical psychology Psychological Review

Journals. The most useful reading for this module is current research in your area of psychology. Some possible sources of current quality research papers are: Psychological medicine Journal of memory and language Social cognitive and affective neuroscience Cognitive psychology Trends in cognitive sciences International journal of eating disorders Psychosomatic medicine Frontiers in human neuroscience Health psychology Journal of neuropsychology Journal of experimental psychology Journal of personality and social psychology Journal of clinical psychology British journal of clinical psychology Journal of applied psychology Psychopharmacology

Jessica S. Horst. The psychology research companion: from student project to working life. 


Assessment Strategy

Debate: Students will work in pairs. They will select a review article which outlines a theoretical issue in psychology. Each member of the pair will take up an opposing point of view, and read around the supporting empirical literature as much as possible. Each student will be required to give an initial, five-minute presentation of their perspective on the issue. Once both students have presented, the pair will then debate the issue for a further ten minutes before taking questions from the audience. Marks for this assessment will be based on how well the case is presented and defended, rather than whether or not the student “wins” the debate. Questions: Each student will be required to ask questions at the end of the other students’ debates (for at least two different debates). Review: A selection of empirical papers will be provided across a range of subject matters. Students will choose one of these papers and write a review of the article (treating it as if it were an unpublished manuscript that has been sent to them by a journal editor for peer review as part of the publication process).


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical review 50%
Debate 45%
Questions 5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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