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Second Year Project

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2019/20

Module Code:


Module Name:

Second year project

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

Nicole Tang

Module Teachers

Supervisors: Members of academic staff

Module Aims

  • To develop research skills by having students perform a replication and an extension: replicating a classic experimental effect from a list of pre-approved projects and then designing an extension that investigates an interesting new angle on the original work.
  • To provide an opportunity to work in small teams of four or five on a medium-scale project in some area of psychological enquiry. The project can be an experimental study, an observational study, or a study of attitudes and/or opinions.
  • To provide an opportunity to apply and consolidate research methods and data analysis skills learned in Methods in Psychology II (PS215) to a real data set obtained by the student.
  • To foster key skills such as independent learning, communication, time management, and collaboration.
  • To prepare students to carry out their final year project and to satisfy relevant BPS training requirements.

Learning Outcomes

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

(a) Design, plan and carry out a medium sized project in Psychology

  •  Identify a topic motivated by theoretical questions and the background literature that is formulated with precision;
  • Carry out a replication of an experiment
  • Design an extension to a study that operationalises the issues identified and can provide relevant information;
  • Appreciate the ethical context of the project;
  • Plan and carry out the study;
  • Analyse the data;
  • Draw appropriate conclusions from the study;
  • Prepare and present a poster describing the project;
  • Write an independent report on the study to a professional standard.

(b) Develop skills related to teamwork by carrying out some of these steps with a small group


Module Work Load

Module Length

22 weeks




No Seminars, but regular Supervisions



Module Assessment


Poster Presentation (group)



Project report (individual)



Module Reading List

Sternberg, R., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The Psychologist's Companion: A Guide to Writing Scientific Papers for Students and Researchers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511762024

Wood, C., Giles, D., & Percy, C. (2009). Your Psychology Project Handbook: Becoming a Researcher. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Other Useful Reading

In the course of planning and carrying out your project, you will read a wide range of material, including review articles, chapters in books, and primary sources such as refereed journal articles. Your supervisor or other staff may give you some help with locating material, but you will normally also be expected to search for relevant material yourself. The following references provide useful material relevant to presenting your findings. The module website provides a range of resources that may assist you at various stages of your project.

Bem, D. (2002). Writing the empirical journal article. In J. M. Darley, M. P. Zanna, & H. L. Roediger III (Eds.), The Complete Academic: A Career Guide. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [Available online via the module web page.]

Evans, J. (2007). Your Psychology Project: The Essential Guide. London: Sage.

Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The Psychologist's Companion: A Guide to Scientific Writing for Students and Researchers (5th edition). Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

In addition, any text on research methods would provide useful supplementary material, particularly in relation to design. The following are good examples of relevant texts.

Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2006). Research Methods in Psychology (7th Edition). London: McGraw-Hill.