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Academic Skills for Psychologists

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2021/22

Module Code:


Module Name:

Academic Skills for Psychologists

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson

Module Teachers

James Tresilian; tba; library team; careers team

Module Aims

This module is designed to provide students with basic academic skills needed to succeed in a Psychology degree course. Topics will range from the practical (how to navigate an academic environment) to the theoretical (an in-depth look at the concept of 'evidence' in science), and will cover core course-related academic skills (how to efficiently and critically dissect original research papers, how best to communicate scientific content). Throughout the module, the emphasis will be on developing a coherent skill set based on critical thinking and a deeper understanding of empirical psychological science.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the difference between learning, teaching, and assessment methods in schools versus higher education.

  • Understand the importance of academic integrity and demonstrate appropriate referencing techniques in psychology.

  • Understand the basics of scientific thinking, and how they apply to Psychology as a scientific discipline.

  • Critically evaluate empirical and theoretical scientific texts and communicate the outcome effectively.

  • Understand the basic logic of empirical and qualitative research.

Assessed by:

2 On-line tests, research training videos and critical review.

Module Work Load

Module Length

20 Weeks


1 x 1-hour lecture per week


1 x 1-hour seminar/workshop per week


Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment

Assessed work:

On-line Test 1

On-line Test 2

Research Training Videos

Critical Review






Module Programme

Across the year, the module will cover topics such as

  • Effective Approaches FOR Learning in Higher Education

  • Evaluation of evidence, and reading and evaluating scientific papers

  • effective referencing

  • structuring writing and writing arguments in Psychology

  • Volunteering and Work Experience and Careers & the Real World

  • Research & the Meaning of Evidence

Module Reading List

Parson, V. (2012) Communication and Study Skills for Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Smyth, T. R. (2004). The principles of writing in psychology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Selection of Weekly Journals