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Psychological Therapies Research Project

Module titlePsychological Therapies Research Project
Module codePYCM001
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Janet Smithson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides you with an opportunity to study in detail a topic of your own choice, related to psychodynamic/analytic practice, psychological therapies and mental health. It will allow you to explore, in some detail, your understanding of the subject matter through the production of a piece of original research on a particular issue. This methodology you choose (for example, quantitative, qualitative, observational) will be suitable to the question being asked. You will be allocated a project supervisor after formulating your research plan. The work will comprise independent research, supervised in monthly tutorials, and there will also be some group tutorials and research consultancy. To improve access to the module, the delivery of supervision over the telephone or via internet based software application will be available. The outcome will be a preliminary formative research plan of 2000 words maximum and a research project written up as a research paper of 8000 words maximum (with an appendix of up to 2000 words) in the style of your chosen journal (though you may exceed the word count of your chosen journal up to the 10,000 word maximum and you will not be penalised for this).

Module aims - intentions of the module

 This module aims to:

  • Provide you with practical experience, under supervision, of all or most of the stages of an empirical research project including analysis of data, and of writing a substantial research report on some aspect of psycho-dynamic/analytic practice, organisational psychodynamics, psychological therapies and mental health. You will gain in experience in choosing the appropriate methodology (for example quantitative, qualitative, observational) for the type of research question being addressed.
  • Facilitate your ability to formulate, design, carry out, and communicate the results of research that is relevant to your discipline. This may address the concerns of patients, providers and commissioners of psychological therapies services; it may develop a particular theoretical, inter-disciplinary or practice-based idea in the field of applied psychoanalysis.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe in detail a particular research design/methodology
  • 2. Apply many of the general research and analysis skills covered in the taught part of the programme through managing a relatively substantial research project (i.e., conceptualise, design, carry out, and communicate the results of research that is relevant to the concerns of the patients, providers and commissioners of health services)
  • 3. Demonstrate a reflective, ethical and professional framework in your research work

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Use research to solve complex problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Work innovatively, persistently, independently and confidently and exercise personal responsibility and autonomous initiative
  • 6. Work and communicate effectively with others

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

You must submit a preliminary research plan of 2000 words maximum (topic, short description of project, locale, and supervisor). A research supervision contract must be signed by you, the supervisor(s) and the Research Lead, before the project proper begins.

The research project is written up as a research paper in a format suitable for publication in a specified journal. This may be supplemented by appendices detailing pilot work, ethics details, analysis tables etc, for which the journal format allows insufficient space.

You will be allocated a supervisor from within the portfolio of the clinical training programmes available within CEDAR. Where necessary you will be allocated a co-supervisor from other departments of the university, from other universities in the UK, the EU or in other countries, or from UK health or social care organisations carrying out psychological therapies research. For projects based outside the Discipline there must be both an external and an internal supervisor. The research project will normally be developed in consultation with the research tutors or potential supervisor prior to the module being started. In the early stages of the research project this will need to be worked up further as you obtain ethical approval, collect the data, analyse them and write the research report. If you take on research as part of a larger on-going project, you must nevertheless familiarise yourself with decisions taken, and the rationale for them, at every stage of the project, and there must be a data set resulting which you can analyse yourself and write up for your research report. Further details and advice are supplied in the Handbook each year.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Supervision and tutorials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Seminars/discussions within the whole group
Guided Independent Study560Design, recruit, prepare and submit ethics application, pilot, conduct data collection, analyse data, write up and disseminate (the amount of time devoted to each aspect will vary with the type of research undertaken and supervisors will advise appropriately)


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Preliminary research plan2000 words1, 4Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research project (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)1008000 words plus appendix of up to 2000 words1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research projectResearch project1-612 weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

One assessment is required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake as specified above.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual. (6th ed.). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Bergin, A. E. and Garfield, S. L. (2003). Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change. (5th ed.) New York: Wiley.
  • Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods (4th ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Clark-Carter, D. (1997). Doing Quantitative Psychological Research: From Design to Report. Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
  • Everitt, B. and Wessely, S. (2003). Clinical Trials in Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
  • Harper, D. and Thompson, A.R. (eds) (2012). Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners. Chichester: Wiley.
  • Kazdin, A. E. (2003). Methodological Issues and Strategies in Clinical Research (3rd ed.) Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Parry, G. and Watts, F. N. (1996). Behavioural and Mental Health Research: A Handbook of Skills and Methods (2nd ed.) Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Press.
  • Roth, A. and Fonagy, P. (2005). What Works for Whom: A Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Sternberg, R.J. (1993). The Psychologist's Companion: A Guide to Scientific Writing for Students and Researchers (3rd ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sternberg, R.J. (2000). Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wampold, B. E. (2007). The Great Psychotherapy Debate. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Psychological therapies, clinical psychology, abnormal psychology, mental health, masters, dissertation, research, project

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


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