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Applications of Psychological Research

  • Module code: PS7008
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None


This module provides students with the opportunity to identify and address real-world issues that can benefit from research input by psychologists. Students will gain an appreciation of the challenges of conducting research in professional settings. Students will gain 50 hours of work experience working in a placement to identify and/or applying psychological research findings in a chosen context under the supervision of a workplace supervisor. In addition, 10 seminars will be held at the University where case studies and examples from current placements will be used to compliment the learning objectives. Students will be required to contribute and draw examples of their experiences in their work place and how this informs research in their specific placements. 

It is expected that students will arrange their own work placements, the suitability of which will be discussed and agreed upon with the module leader and/or the course director. In the absence of an external placement, students will be offered a work placement in the Department of Psychology where they will contribute to a current programme of research relevant to their studies.

The nature of the work will usually be determined in part by the focus of the postgraduate programme that the student is following. For example, students of child/developmental psychology may choose to collect data or implement research-led practice in local nurseries and schools; students of clinical psychology may evaluate the efficacy of procedures adopted by local rehabilitation services; and students on the Masters in Behavioural Decision Making are likely to choose a placement in organisation that monitors behavioural change.

Please note that were appropriate, you will be required to ensure that you have CRB checks in place and if collecting data in the workplace, then the appropriate ethical approvals are in place prior to collecting data.

The workplace activity is intended to extend students' independent research skills in relevant contexts as well as enhance future employability.


  • To provide students with work experience that is informed by current theoretical and empirical research in psychology.
  • To develop transferable skills that will contribute to future employability (e.g., organizational skills, writing for different audiences).
  • To promote independent research and evaluative skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the research that underpins an applied project;
  • Implement research in an applied setting;
  • Consider the impact or likely outcomes of their research.

Curriculum content

  • A supervised, research-led work activity in a chosen workplace (50 hours total).
  • Critical evaluation of the relationship between research and practice.
  • How research findings can be implemented in a practical setting.
  • Career development, well-being at work, workplace ethics, health and safety.


  • Introduction: Benefits of doing a placement
  • Choosing a placement
  • Professional Issues in the workplace
  • Identifying real life problems in the work place
  • Intervention development and challenges of implementing evidence in the workplace
  • Gaining transferable skills
  • Ethical and practical issues in the workplace
  • Individual Presentation: formative and peer feedback on using evidence to solve real life problems
  • Reflective Practice
  • PDP monitoring and review

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered through ten 2-hour seminars led by the module convenor and students will discuss and reflect on experiences in the applied setting, examples of good and bad practice, and issues for career development, workplace well-being and ethics. Students will also benefit from 10 hours of supervision meetings where they will discuss underpinning research, issues arising from the designing research in the real world. Finally, students will spend 50 hours in a work placement in a chosen context.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars 20
Scheduled learning and teaching Supervision meetings 10
Study abroad / placement Independent work in placement 50
Guided independent study Independent study 220
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Learning will be assessed via:

This module is assessed by a 2,000 word essay (40% of the module mark) and a 2,500 word placement diary (60% of the module mark). The essay is designed to enable students to demonstrate their skills of critical evaluation with respect to relevant literature in the field and how this underpins an applied project. The placement diary allows students to evidence activities carried out whilst on placement and critically reflect on the impact of their work and relevant issues (for example; ethics, practical challenges, psychological and organisational issues) from completing the work placement.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Critically evaluate the research that underpins an applied project Formatively through the supervision meetings and summatively through the essay
Implement research in an applied setting Formatively through the seminars and summatively through the research report and the reflective placement diary
Consider the impact or likely outcomes of their research Formatively through the supervision meetings and summatively through research proposal, specifically the impact statement section

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework 2500 word reflective placement diary 50%
Coursework 2000 word essay 50%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography recommended reading

Determined by the work activity, but may include for example:

Fanthome, C. (2004). Work placements: a survival guide for students. Palgrave.

Smith, P.K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2011). Understanding Children's development. Fifth Edition. West Sussex: Wiley.

Field, A. & Hole, G. (2003). How to design and report experiments? Sage.

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