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Unit information: Clinical Practice Dissertation in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Clinical Practice Dissertation
Unit code PSYCM0057
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Ludwig
Open unit status Not open

Progression to the dissertation is contingent on satisfactory performance in the taught component of the programme.



School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


The aim of this mandatory 60 credit point unit is to apply research techniques to a particular (neuro)psychological question or patient case, under the supervision of a member of academic staff or post-doctoral researcher who is sufficiently senior to supervise a Masters dissertation.

The project is typically conducted during the Summer term but preparation for this important part of your degree should start much earlier, particularly when NHS Ethics or other more complex ethical approval is required. A central aim is to develop competency in research which involves the following logical steps.

  1. Review an area of empirical interest
  2. Develop hypotheses based upon existing empirical findings and theories from the peer-reviewed literature.
  3. Design a study that provides a well-controlled test of these hypotheses.
  4. Consider the appropriate sample size based upon estimates of power and/or other considerations of signal to noise ratio.
  5. Perform a rigorous analysis of data using appropriate statistical and/or numerical procedures.
  6. Report the findings in APA format, in the style of an empirical journal article. Detailed guidance on the format of the dissertation is provided on Blackboard.

Intended learning outcomes


The central learning outcome is that students should understand the principles underlying the design, implementation and communication of a research project or clinical case studies.

Teaching details

The project process begins with students selecting their preferred project topics offered by academic staff and external/clinical staff affiliated with the programmes (with academic status within the School).

Once a student has been allocated a supervisor there will be regular meetings during which they discuss hypotheses and the appropriate design/analysis to test those hypotheses. Supervisors do not read drafts of dissertations; therefore, students should note that discussions with their supervisors play a critical role in preparation for their write-up.

Assessment Details

Assessment is based on the submitted research dissertation with a maximum word limit of 6000 words. Examples of good-quality past projects will be posted on Blackboard. Supervisors do not provide comments upon draft versions of projects.

Reading and References


Key reading and references are peer-reviewed papers in the domain of the research project.