Empirical Project

In Year Three, all students complete a Literature Review (PSYC 3003) (one module, Semester 1) and a Research Paper (PSYC 3005) (another module, Semester 2). Together these make up the Empirical Project. A supervisor will oversee completion of both parts of the Project, providing instruction, guidance, and feedback at various stages. Note that this supervisor will also normally be your Personal Academic Tutor in Year Three, as you will see him or her more often than any other member of staff.


Allocating Project Supervisors

During Year Two, Semester Two, a Third Year Options booklet will introduce you to the Empirical Project. This will contain information about the different project supervisors and their different research focuses. You can peruse this booklet to help you identify an area of research you would like to pursue in an in-depth study. Once you have looked through the staff interests, we recommend that you email or meet with potential supervisors to get a better idea of what it would be like to complete a project with them. Finally, you will asked complete a survey in which you will rank the broad topic areas that you are most interested in (Social, Cognitive, Developmental, Health, and Clinical) from most to least favourite, then select from a list those specific topic areas that you would be interested in working on.  The allocation team will take this information in to consideration when allocating Year 2 students to supervisors to optimise the overall overlap between students’ topic interests and supervisors’ research focuses.

PLEASE NOTESupervisor supply and student demand cannot be perfectly predicted nor pre-arranged. This may mean that the first topic interest of every student may not overlap with the first research focus of every supervisor. However, we strive to achieve a reasonably satisfactory overlap in every case. Past experience suggests that this goal can be achieved.

When supervisors have been allocated, you will receive an email informing you who your Empirical Project supervisor will be.


Contact Hours

When your supervisor has been allocated, it is your responsibility to approach your supervisor to discuss your Year Three Empirical Project, and to arrange the contact hours that will ensure the successful completion of your Literature Review and Research Paper.

PLEASE NOTE: It is important to remember that formal supervision will not begin until the start of your third year. Therefore, if you wish to arrange contact hours with your supervisor before this, you will need to respect the other commitments that your supervisor may have.


Useful Resources

Module Outlines

To give you an idea of what the Empirical Project will entail, you can access the Module Outlines of the Semester One PSYC3003 Literature Review and Semester Two PSYC3005 Research Paper 


Student Supervisor Checklist

It is important to refer to the Student-Supervisor Checklist, which discusses many of the logistics of Project Supervision and is designed for students and supervisors to go through at the beginning of Year Three to make sure they are on “the same page”. To access the checklist, please click here.


Using Psychology’s Participant Pool

Year Three students, in conjunction with their supervisors, often make use of Psychology’s Participant Pool for their Empirical Project. To access information about using Psychology’s participant pool, please click here.


Empirical Project: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You probably have a lot of questions to ask about your Year Three Empirical Project. Because of this, we have provided you with a FAQs page to help to answer some of the questions you may have. To access these FAQs, click here


Empirical Project: Marking Criteria

The marking scheme used to mark the PSYC3003 Literature Review and PSYC3005 Research Paper differs.

The mark and feedback you receive for your PSYC3003 Literature Review reflects the marking criteria used for coursework assignments:

The mark and feedback you receive for your PSYC3005 Research Paper reflects the marking criteria used for practical reports:


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