The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
24 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA C847CO Psychodynamic Practice,
BA C848CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Foundation Year),
BA C849CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Year Abroad),
BA C890 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies,
BA C89A Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C89B Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Throughout the year students will be pursuing a research project based on a subject of their choice.

There will be an introductory workshop to help with choosing the project, followed by a series of lectures and workshops and three 30-minute supervision meetings with a named member of staff to monitor progress and offer support.

Students will draw on the theory from the three years of the course and apply these to a subject of their choice, exploring the conscious and unconscious dynamics involved.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

• To enable students to demonstrate intellectual independence and originality by choosing their own subject of study and defining its nature and scope
• To allow students to experience the process of producing knowledge and conducting independent enquiry in a specific area of interest
• To enable students to consolidate their written communication and intellectual skills by presenting the results of their research in a clearly written, cogently argued, logically structured and properly referenced way.
• To enable students to pull together the learning and experiences from the course and apply them to a topic of their choice
• To help students develop greater confidence in the flexible application of psychosocial and psychoanalytic understanding

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be expected to be able to:

1. Demonstrate a deeper awareness of the theoretical application and relevance of psychosocial and psychoanalytic enquiry into areas of interest
2. Demonstrate better capacity to apply learning flexibly
3. Demonstrate improved writing and critical thinking skills
4. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of fundamental research skills such as literature searches and construction of longer and deeper argument
5. Demonstrate greater capacity for independent learning

Module information

Summer Workshop

How to get started? – Summer Term (course-specific)
An interactive seminar to help students identify topics they are interested in and questions they would like to examine in the context of their dissertation. The seminar will explain the meaning of the Topic Form (including deadline) to students and will address questions such as: What is a dissertation? How to choose the right topic? What is a good research question? This seminar will be available to students on Listen Again.

Lecture – Research Topic and Research Question
In this session, we explain the difference between research topic and research question to help students decide on their topic and question and successfully submit their topic form. We will be introducing the main pillars structuring a dissertation and dissertation proposal: What? Why? How?, and discuss how to design a project with a psychosocial and psychoanalytic focus. We will also examine the importance of designing a proposal as the next important step in writing your dissertation. This seminar will be available to students on Listen Again.

Lecture -- Literature Review
Most research projects require the researcher to review systematically the most important research prior work on their topic. Some projects additionally use more detailed literature reviews as their primary method of addressing their research question. In this seminar, we look at how to find the relevant literature for your dissertation and how to construct an effective literature review. We will discuss the difference between primary and secondary literature, and will investigate different ways of finding and working with literature. This seminar will be available to students on Listen Again.

Lecture – Methodology and Structure
In this seminar, we explore issues related to methodology, research design and the structure of the dissertation. We look into the assumptions that ground your choice for a particular research design and structure and we return once again to questions relating to the aims and structure of the dissertation proposal. This seminar will be available to students on Listen Again.

Library workshop – How to find literature for your dissertation
This will be an interactive session with our librarian who will be introducing you to the different library tools and resources, explaining to you the benefits of subject guides and helping you to start organizing your literature search for your dissertation.

Lecture - Being Critical
One of the main purposes of the dissertation is to enable you to critically evaluate resources and evidence. In this seminar, we will demonstrate how you can approach the existing literature with a critical eye and how to further develop the ideas and structure presented in your proposal. This seminar will be available to students on Listen Again.

Lecture --Drafting & Revision
In this session we go over the main topics discussed in the course and apply them to your research questions and ideas. We also aim to go over some techniques of drafting and revising your drafts and some possible research designs for your research questions.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via one workshop (summer term), five lectures and one library workshop (autumn and spring term) designed to accompany students during the process of choosing and researching a topic of their choice. In addition to these, there will be three 30-minute supervision meetings with a named member of staff to monitor progress and offer support.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Topic Form    0% 
Coursework   Dissertation Proposal    20% 
Coursework   Dissertation    80% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Magda-Agata Schmukalla, email:
Dr Magda-Agata Schmukalla
Student Administrator 5A.202, telephone 01206 874969; email Student Administrator 5A.202, telephone 01206 874969; email Student Administrator Room 5A.202, email, telephone 01206 874969



External examiner

Dr Anthony John Faramelli
Lecturer in Visual Cultures
Prof Heather Montgomery
The Open University
Professor of Anthropology and Childhood
Dr Angie Voela
University of East London
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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