Department of Psychology

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1 Department of Psychology Undergraduate student handbook Academic year

2 Introduction Welcome A very warm welcome to the Department of Psychology and thank you for choosing to study with us at the University of Essex. We very much look forward to meeting again those of you who are returning to us after the summer vacation, and we are delighted to welcome for the first time those of you who are just starting on a career in higher education this year with us. We are especially pleased to greet those of you who are new to the country, and have chosen the UK, the University of Essex and the Department of Psychology to continue your studies. Wherever you are from, we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us, and that you take every opportunity to get the most out of university life. As you will discover, the Department provides a vibrant and dynamic place in which to study. We hope that you make full use of our excellent research and computing laboratories, and that you are soon fully engaged in your studies. As you will experience, we provide a research-led education: recent research informs Psychology at Essex at every level from our undergraduate degree schemes (BSc and BA), to MSc degrees and PhD degrees. You will receive up-to-date courses taught by well-qualified, highly-knowledgeable and highly-motivated staff. As student members of the department, you will play a vital role in contributing to our thriving research environment. You will invest time, effort, intelligence, creativity and scholarship into your research project work, and under expert supervision, you will contribute to some truly ground-breaking research. All of our undergraduate Psychology degrees are fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), such that our graduates (with a 2.2 class degree or higher) are eligible for the Society's Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). We hope that you will take full advantage of the high quality undergraduate education and facilities that we provide. You may wish to help us positively in this by getting involved as a student representative for your scheme and year group, where you can contribute through the Undergraduate Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC), to help us develop further the learning experience of our students, and to help us respond to changing needs and opportunities. We look forward to meeting you all during the year. We are sure that you will find your studies both challenging and rewarding. We wish you every success in your studies. Professor Geoff Ward, Department of Psychology 2

3 About this handbook This handbook is an essential guide for students joining the Department of Psychology, and outlines the various things you ll need to know about your Department as you start your studies with us. It s a useful reference book, so make sure you have it to hand throughout your period of study. Other sources of information are available to help you too, including Your Campus Guide and The Rulebook both available as downloads at: Make sure you bookmark your departmental website, too, and the central University module directory and the online resource bank all of which you can find via the University s student webpages at: Don t forget, our helpful and friendly departmental staff members are here to help you, and further details are outlined in this handbook. 3

4 Sections in this handbook 1. Introduction and term dates pages About our Department pages About your course including reading lists, course structures, module enrolment, references, essays, exam boards, assignment and deadlines, coursework policies, student representation pages Academic guidance and regulations pages General support and information pages Further useful information and links pages including the Department of Psychology Appendices Term dates Autumn term 2 October December 2014 Spring term 12 January March 2015 Summer term 20 April June Autumn term 1 October December 2015 Spring term 11 January March 2016 Summer term 18 April June 2016 Please note that final year undergraduate students have exams before the start of the Spring term. (3rd th to 11 th January 2015, which is during the vacation). Please find the Timetable of Weeks for this academic year at the following link: You will also find the Academic Year calendar in Appendix F (p.96) 4

5 About our Department Meet your Department The Department of Psychology has 44 members of Academic, Technical and Administrative staff. Title Name Room Phone (Area code 01206) Research Technician (Software) Mr John Barritt (P/T) jbarri Academic Offences Officer Staffing Officer (Academic & Support Staff) Prof Chris Barry cbarry Senior Technician Mr Steven Brewer sbrewer Resources Technician Mr Alan Brignull (P/T) alanb Director of UG Recruitment and Selection Undergraduate Administrator First-year students Study Abroad Officer for incoming students Year I Tutor Academic Director, Centre for Brain Sciences (with Dr Gillmeister) Dr Mitch Callan mcallan Miss Sarah Calver srcalver Dr Geoff Cole ggcole Dr Nick Cooper ncooper PG Examinations Officer Dr Philip Cozzolino pjcozz Chief Technician Mr Roger Deeble roger Ethics Officer Dr Kevin Dent kdent Dr Deborah Fantini deb Associate Research Director Dr Tom Foulsham foulsham Workloads Spreadsheet Dr Nicolas Geeraert geeraert 5

6 Coordinator Research Experience Scheme and UROP Academic Director, Centre for Brain Sciences (with Dr Cooper) Dr Helge Gillmeister helge Departmental Administrator Mrs Lucy Glover lglover Computer Officer Dr Roger Grace rdgrace PGR Tutor (Spring 2015) Director of PG (Taught) Studies Director of PG selection and conversion (Autumn term 2014) Research Fellowship from Spring 2015 Prof Rick Hanley rhanley Dr Paul Hibbard phibbard Research Fellowship Dr Karla Holmboe kholmboe Dr Gethin Hughes ghughes Director of Open Days & Conversion Emeritus Professor Director of Hearing Research Lab Dr Steffan Kennett skennett Prof Ray Meddis rmeddis Postgraduate Administrator Mrs Lesley Monk Lamonk Employability Development Director Dr Rick O Gorman rogorman Year II Tutor Dr Anthony O Reilly tbc Research Leave 2014/15 Prof Sheina Orbell sorbell Undergraduate Administrator Second and Third-year students Director of Marketing & External Relations Ms Jo Page jopage Dr Silke Paulmann paulmann Dr Tim Rakow timrakow Library Resources Officer Dr Gerulf Rieger gerulf Dr Silvia Rigato srigato Mrs Katie Rix tbc 6

7 Study Abroad for outgoing students Director of PG selection and conversion (Spring and Summer 2015) Research Impact Officer UG Examinations Officer Director of Education Strategy (UG & PG) Undergraduate Director Prof Debi Roberson robedd Dr Maxwell Roberts mjr Dr Tracy Robinson tracy Year III Tutor Associate Research Director Dr Vincenzo Romei 3.716A vromei Research Seminar Programmes Director of Finance Director of Research Strategy PGR Tutor (Autumn 2014 and Summer 2015) On research leave Spring 2015 Prof Riccardo Russo rrusso Dr Andrew Simpson asimpson Dr Jessica Spurgeon jsmithy Emeritus Professor Prof Christine Temple tempc Head of Department Prof Geoffrey Ward gdward SONA Research leave Autumn 2014 Director of Visual Perception Unit Emeritus Professor Student Support and Disability Liaison Officer Dr Netta Weinstein netta Prof Arnold Wilkins arnold Dr Dean Wybrow dpwybr FAX NUMBER Undergraduate office For full profiles and photographs of staff members please follow this link: 7

8 Who to go to if you need help If you have any queries relating to your department or course of study, please contact one of the following people: Undergraduate Administrator for Year One students Sarah Calver Room srcalver Tel Undergraduate Administrator for Year Two and Three Students Jo Page Room jopage Tel Graduate Administrator Lesley Monk Room lamonk Tel Administrative Offices opening hours: MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10.30am to 4.30pm The Administrative Offices are situated on the right as soon as you enter the Psychology Building from the podium level of Square 1. Undergraduate enquiries and general enquiries Telephone: +44 (0) Postgraduate taught enquries (Home and EU students) Telephone: +44 (0)

9 Postgraduate taught enquiries (international students) and all postgraduate research enquiries Telephone: +44 (0) Departmental Administrator Mrs Lucy Glover Technical Help Chief Technician Mr Roger Deeble Room roger Tel Roger co-ordinates and oversees Technical Services in the Department. Roger manages the technical staff and is the Departmental Safety Officer. Resources Technician Mr Alan Brignull (p/t) Room alanb Tel Alan is responsible for issuing keys, tests, videos and small equipment. He is also responsible for reprographics and colour printing and other general support. He is available in the mornings throughout the week during school term times. Computer Officer Dr Roger Grace Room rdgrace Tel Roger is responsible for training students on the computers, for software support (e.g., training on packages) and programming support, e.g., experiment generators for third-year projects. He is also assists with the Departmental website. Need to talk to your tutor? In the case of academic concerns that are related to a specific module, you should first attempt to gain help through the individual Lecturer responsible for providing teaching on that module, or the Module Co-ordinator who has overall responsibility for that module. For each year of the degree course, there is a member of academic staff who is responsible for the overall co-ordination of the year. When you have concerns 9

10 regarding your progress for the year as a whole, queries about requirements for the year, or any other concerns of an academic nature, you should contact the Year Tutor. If you would like to meet with your Personal Tutor, Module Co-ordinator or any other member of academic staff, please them to make a mutually convenient appointment. Staff research interests Research in the Department of Psychology is arranged in three groups: Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Group Cognitive psychology investigates psychological processes involved in knowledge acquisition and thinking. It does this by measuring performance on carefully designed experimental tasks. The way performance varies with task conditions provides valuable insights into the representations and processes that support cognition. Experimental studies conducted on normal adults build up a picture of how psychological processes (perception, memory, language, reasoning) operate, with important applications outside the laboratory. In cognitive neuropsychology, the focus is on the breakdown of cognitive processes that occurs as a result of localised brain injury, disease or developmental abnormality. Developmental psychology explores how psychological processes develop and mature during childhood. As well as behavioural experiments, cognitive and developmental psychology at Essex utilises neuroscience and brain stimulation methods available in the Centre for Brain Sciences. We actively pursue many key areas of cognitive and developmental psychology, including how we perceive and attend to the visual environment; the psychological processes involved in making judgments; memory; facial recognition; reading, spelling and language; and the influence of language on perceptual judgments. Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group We investigate the mechanisms underlying perception, action control and cognition in healthy, developmental and abnormal populations with an emphasis on delineating the relationship between brain and behaviour. Our work aims to understand how mental events and behavioural performance are implemented by the neurophysiological processes that take place in our bodies and brains. We use and develop neurophysiological concepts and methodologies to inform and refine perceptual and cognitive theories, as well as to guide clinical applications and treatments. Our research expertise ranges from work on vision, hearing, touch and multisensory perception to the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying language, action, attention, emotion and social processes. The majority of our research is conducted at the Centre for Brain Science, which was opened in March 2009 and houses state-ofthe-art brain imaging facilities (NIRS, EEG, EMG, TMS and tdcs), eye trackers, GSR and biofeedback equipment, as well as other psychophysiological devices. Our group receives funding from the BBSRC, ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and the Welcome Trust. Social and Health Psychology Group The current Social and Health Psychology Research Group consists of a dynamic group of international researchers, with a diversity of backgrounds and complementary interests. We have received research funding from a variety of sources, including the 10

11 British Academy, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, EOARD, and the National Science Foundation. For full information about the research interests of individual staff please go to: Programme Leaders Undergraduate Director and Director of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education: Dr Tracy Robinson Director of Postgraduate Taught Courses: Prof Rick Hanley Module Leaders Year 1 PS111 Discovering Psychology Dr Dean Wybrow PS114 Research Methods Dr Deborah Fantini PS115 Statistics Dr Tim Rakow (Autumn) / Dr Tom Foulsham (Spring) PS116 Study Skills Dr Steffan Kennett PS117 Employability for Year 1 Dr Rick O Gorman PS118 Applied Psychology Dr Tim Rakow Year 2 PS212 Psychology Research PS406 Developmental Psychology PS407 Social Psychology PS411 Brain and Behaviour PS414 Cognitive Psychology I PS415 Cognitive Psychology II PS416 Personality and Individual Differences PS417 Employability for Year 2 Dr Max Roberts Dr Andrew Simpson Dr Mitch Callan Dr Nick Cooper Dr Tom Foulsham Dr Silke Paulmann Dr Tracy Robinson Dr Rick O Gorman Year 3 PS300 Research Project PS452 Intelligent Behaviour PS454 The Sound of Speech and Music PS481 Cognitive Neuropsychology PS482 Cognitive Development PS484 Reading Development and Dyslexia Dr Vincenzo Romei Dr Max Roberts Dr Deborah Fantini Prof Rick Hanley Prof Debi Roberson Prof Rick Hanley 11

12 PS486 Cultural Psychology PS487 Emotion PS488 Understanding Psychological Data Dr Nicolas Geeraert Dr Tracy Robinson Dr Tim Rakow PS489 Animal Behaviour Dr Geoff Cole PS490 Evolutionary Psychology Dr Rick O Gorman PS491 Topics in Human Memory Prof Geoff Ward PS492 Employability for Year 3 Dr Rick O Gorman PS493 Theories of Psychotherapy Dr Netta Weinstein PS495 Neuroscience of Human Nature Dr Gethin Hughes PS496 Visual Attention: From Lab to Life Dr Kevin Dent / Dr Tom Foulsham Your personal tutor All undergraduate and taught postgraduate students have a personal tutor who you ll meet soon after you ve arrived, and who you ll meet regularly throughout your course. Your personal tutor is there to help you feel connected to your department, school or centre, and is someone you can talk to if you have questions about your course or encounter any difficulties which affect your studies. Your personal tutor may also recommend other support services on campus that might be able to help. If you re unsure who your personal tutor is, please ask a member of the administrative staff in your department. Peer Mentoring The Department of Psychology offers Peer Mentoring to undergraduate and postgraduate students. If you are new this year you will automatically be allocated a peer mentor. This is a more experienced psychology student who is there to answer everyday questions and offer help and support. Peer mentors also provide signposting to appropriate services across the university. If you are a second or third year undergraduate and would like a peer mentor please contact Jo Page If you have been in the Department for at least one year and would like to receive training to become a peer mentor please contact the Student Support & Disability Officer. Our location 12

13 Colchester Campus Department of Psychology University of Essex Wivenhoe Park Colchester CO4 3SQ Direct tel: General enquiries: Website: The Laboratories The Department has excellent learning resources and facilities for our students. We have custom-built laboratories and first class equipment. The laboratories are on Floors 1 and 2 of the Psychology Department and are open to undergraduates. They house a large number of computers, each supporting word processing, internet, statistics, spreadsheet and presentation software. Laboratory opening hours: MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9.00am to 5.00pm (except when in use for teaching or booked research testing) Use of psychology laboratories (1.702, 1.703, 1.704, 1.705, 2.708) Please see Alan Brignull to obtain a swipe cards that will give you access to 1.702, 1.703, 1.704, and Alan is available between the hours of 9:30 and 13:00 and will need a 5 refundable deposit. Computers and experimental booths in labs on Floors 1 and 1 and a half are available for use by students from 9 am to 5 pm providing that the rooms are not required for teaching or testing. The booths in and can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance using booking forms posted on the doors. It should be noted that both labs have timetabled taught modules running throughout the year and information giving open access times will be posted on the entrance doors. Do not enter when a class is in progress. Any enquiries regarding the use, timetable or booking of the psychology labs should be addressed to Mr Deeble, Room 2.709, For the convenience of others and yourself please be aware that there are a few rules relating to Lab use: No food, drink or chewing gum. Please do not prop the door open. Save your work regularly onto your M drive. (File saved to the ahrd drive may be deleted) Do not install anything into a computer. Please report faults to one of the Technicians, and fill in the fault form on the wall. Blank CDs, DVDs, and USB memory sticks can be purchased from the Copy Shop Counter. 13

14 The Psychometric Store The Psychometric Store is in Room 2.711A on Floor 2 of the Psychology building and is administered By Alan Brignull in Room You may borrow items from the Psychometric Store only with permission from your lab tutor or project supervisor. The store contains a wide range of equipment, videos, questionnaires and psychometric tests, tape recorders and stop watches. Most items in the store are available on a weekly loan basis but certain heavily used items will shortly be available on a monthly loan basis. Requests to renew the loan period must be made by contacting Mr Brignull. Please Mr Brignull at least five working days before you require extending a loan in case the item needs to be recalled. Requests for loan of equipment, laptops, IT and AV equipment should be addressed directly to Roger Deeble. Booking psychology teaching rooms for quiet discussions/study Following recent suggestions from Psychology student representatives, we have agreed to make some areas within our building available for undergraduate students to use for informal group discussion/group study, subject to availability. The middle area of Room and any of the laboratory booths in 1.702, 1.704, and 1.705, are available for undergraduate students to use as informal study spaces for group discussions, and the like. Please keep noise to a minimum and respect the testing areas around you. With 48 hours advanced booking with Roger Deeble, students can in addition book rooms to accommodate small groups (probably on Floor 2) within the Department. Common room Rooms and, when available, adjoining room have been pre-booked for the academic year for use as a student common room. There are desks and a table, and space for you to have lunch if you wish. All years of undergraduate and postgraduate students may use this room, so it is an ideal opportunity to interact with students in other years. For , the room will be available at the following times: Autumn Term: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 13:00 to 14:00 Spring Term: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 13:00 to 14:00 If we see that the hours we have put aside are insufficient to meet demand, we will try to find additional hours in the timetable to make the Common Room more available. Photocopying Undergraduate Students should obtain a copy card from the circulation desk in the Library. For Undergraduate PS300 Projects, MSc, Phd and Staff photocopying is available in the Department on request from Technical staff. Printing 14

15 Students can buy printer credit from the ISS helpdesk/library/campus shop for use in University ISS computing labs on campus. Printing for Psychological Teaching and Research is available to all students using the Departmental Psychology Labs, printing to the Psychology Labs printer. Responsible printing only relating to your Psychology course or research should be undertaken, using double sided and N-up printing where possible. About your course Learning & teaching methods The Department of Psychology fully embraces our diverse student population and strives to ensure that all of our students achieve their full potential. We aim to design and deliver pedagogy, curricular and assessment to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. We embrace individual differences as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others. Teaching Timetable Information about teaching timetables and your individual timetable can be found at For a week number guide see p96. Course structures Undergraduate programmes BA and BSc in Psychology BSc in Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience Single-honours psychology undergraduates are registered in the Faculty of Science and Health. Throughout the three years of your degree programme, you will follow the same syllabus regardless of whether you are registered for a BA or BSc degree. Requests to change between the BA and BSc courses must be finalized before the start of the following year. Students studying for the BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience are always registered on the BSc programme. First-Year details You will take six modules in your first year. Five of these will be Psychology modules: PS111, PS114, PS115, PS116 and PS117. For the fifth module you may choose either PS118 (Applied Psychology), also offered within the Department, or an outside module from another academic department. Full-Year 15

16 PS111-4-FY: Discovering Psychology: The Science Behind Human Behaviour PS114-4-FY: Research Methods in Psychology PS115-4-FY: Statistics for Psychologists PS116-4-FY: Preparing for University Psychology PS117-4-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability And then either PS118-4-FY: Applied Psychology or one option from the list Year 1 Rules of Assessment In order to proceed to the second year of the psychology degree, first-year students must: Obtain an overall mark of 40% or greater in PS111. Obtain a mark of 40% or greater in both the coursework and the examination in PS114. Obtain an overall mark of 40% or greater in PS115. Achieve a final aggregate mark of 40% or more in your outside option module/ PS118 Second-Year details All students take the following modules: Autumn Term PS212-5-FY: Psychology Research PS406-5-AU: Developmental Psychology PS407-5-AU: Social Psychology PS414-5-AU: Cognitive Psychology I PS417-5-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability Spring Term PS212-5-FY: Psychology Research PS411-5-SP: Brain and Behaviour PS415-5-SP: Cognitive Psychology II PS416-5-SP: Personality and Individual Differences PS417-5-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability 16

17 In order to proceed to the third year of the psychology degree, second-year students must: Obtain an overall mark of 40% or greater in PS212 Obtain an overall mark of 40% or greater in all six half-year modules Obtain a minimum mark of 36% in each of the three lab reports. Third-Year details In the final year of your BA or BSc in Psychology or BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience, you have to complete a full-year research project (PS300) and the equivalent of six half-year modules. For students on the Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience course the Neuroscience of Human Nature is a compulsory module and your Psychology project will be in a relevant topic area. You must take at least two half-year modules in each term. In practice, many students prefer to take either three half-year modules in term 1 and three half-year modules in term 2, or four in term 1 and two in term 2. However, if you know that you are good at organizing your time and have a strong preference for the spring-term modules, you are permitted to take two half-year modules in term 1 and four half-year modules in term 2. Autumn Term PS300-6-FY: Psychology Project (for students taking Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience this will be in a relevant topic area). PS452-6-AU: Intelligent Behaviour PS454-6-AU: The Sound of Speech and Music PS481-6-AU: Cognitive Neuropsychology PS486-6-AU: Culture and Psychology PS487-6-AU: Emotion PS488-6-AU: Understanding Psychological Data PS490-6-AU: Evolutionary Psychology PS491-6-AU: Topics in Human Memory PS492-6-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability PS496-6-AU: Visual Attention: From Lab to Life Or one outside module Please note that examinations for all Year-3 Autumn-term modules will take place from 3rd through 11th, January (weeks 14 and 15). Spring Term PS300-6-FY: Psychology Project PS492-6-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability 17

18 PS482-6-SP: Cognitive Development PS484-6-SP: Reading Development and Dyslexia PS489-6-SP: Animal Behaviour PS492-6-FY: Psychology Careers and Employability PS493-6-SP: Theories and Systems of Psychotherapy PS495-6-SP: Neuroscience of Human Nature Or one outside module Outside Modules and Graduating Final-year students are entitled to take up to 30 credits worth of outside modules that are approved by the Department in place of the equivalent Psychology third-year option modules. That is, you are allowed to take up to one full-year module or two half-year modules that are run by a different Department. If you are considering choosing an outside module then you should check the level of the module Year-2 modules are called level-5 modules and Year-3 modules are called level-6 modules. This is important as the new rules of assessment state that you will need to pass 90 credits of level 6 modules to be able to graduate. The simplest, safest advice is to take either only psychology modules or level-6 outside modules. This will give you the greatest flexibility as to which modules you could fail and yet still graduate: specifically, you could fail any 30 credits and still graduate with 90 credits at level 6. However, the Department does allow you to take a level-5 outside module, but you should do so only after understanding the following technical point: if you were to choose a level-5 outside module in your third year, it means that you would have no flexibility in which modules you could afford to fail you would have to pass all remaining 90 credits worth of your third-year psychology modules to be able to graduate. We are duty bound to remind you that in order to gain a degree that confers the British Psychological Society s Graduate Basis for Chartering (GBC) status, you must obtain an overall classification of at least lower second class honours (2.2). Programme specifications Programme specifications provide key information, such as the structure and aims of your course, as well as the knowledge and skills you will develop. The learning outcomes are categorised into knowledge, intellectual, practical and key skills, and are linked to the aims, learning outcomes and assessment on the modules you take. The relevant Programme Specification for your course and stage of study will be available to you when you log onto either myessex or enrol. Your department will provide you with a copy of the module map showing how your course learning outcomes are connected to the modules. Learning outcomes 18

19 Your course s learning outcomes are set out in Programme Specifications. They are categorised into knowledge, intellectual, practical and key skills, and are linked to the aims, learning outcomes and assessment on the modules you take. You can measure your progress against the outcomes, for example when reviewing coursework feedback, and they can be used to guide you when undertaking independent study. You can find a copy of the module map showing how your course learning outcomes are connected to the modules in programme specs via myessex. Full module outlines are available in the module directory ( and on Moodle. Credits The University s credit system at undergraduate level is as follows: Each undergraduate module is assigned a number of workload credits, which indicate the proportion of the academic year s work that is devoted to the module. Modules are normally assigned either 30 credits (full-year modules) or 15 credits (half-year modules). For undergraduate students the academic year consists of 120 credits. Thus a standard three-year undergraduate degree consists of 360 credits and a standard four-year undergraduate degree consists of 480 credits. To calculate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits, the University of Essex credit for each module should be divided by two. Module enrolment All students will have access to a list of any optional modules when you log in online to make your selection. The University do their best to make a wide range of outside options available, but if there is a timetabling clash with a compulsory module then you might be asked to select a different optional module. You will be able to find detailed information on all the modules here: Reading lists Please refer to our Moodle site at: for details on reading lists. Study Abroad, terms abroad and opportunities The study abroad scheme offers a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons, enjoy another culture and make lifelong friends while continuing your degree studies. On this scheme you can study abroad for one term of a three-year degree course (the spring term of the final year) or include an entire year abroad (between the second and third year) within a 4-year degree. There are no fees during the year abroad. If you re interested, talk to the Study Abroad Officers Dr Geoff Cole (incoming students) or Prof Debi Roberson (outgoing students). Visit: Employability The Department has worked with the Employability and Careers Centre to integrate employability modules as part of the Undergraduate Degree. The employability modules 19

20 are designed to support you in developing your future direction and acquiring the skills and experience you need. You will attend one Employability module in each year of your Undergraduate degree. Placements It is possible to include a placement year as part of your Undergraduate Degree, but it is the student s responsibility to find a placement. Please note that not all placement opportunities fit within the University procedures but advice and support is available from the Director of Employability & Careers. Job references: Requesting references from members of staff If you require a personal reference, always ask permission from a member of staff before giving their name as a referee. You should consider from whom it is most appropriate to request a reference and who will be best equipped to evidence your character and performance in the subject. For example, final year project supervisors, year organisers, core course supervisors are likely to be more suitable than lecturers that have taught you on a first year option course. Every reasonable effort will be made to meet a request for a reference for a student who has undertaken study within our School, within a minimum period of three years following his/her departure from the University. Requests received outside of this time scale may, of course, be met if a member of staff is equipped with the necessary information on the student and is willing to provide a reference. In the case of research students, it would be normal to expect to provide a reference for a more extended period of up to ten years. It is helpful if you can provide the member of staff with details about the course or job you have applied for and, if relevant, a CV or other summary of your qualifications and experience. Please try to ask for references in good time It is not always possible for a member of staff to write a reference immediately. Copies of references A copy of any reference provided will be retained within our Department for no longer than three years for taught students and ten years for research students. If a reference is retained beyond this timeframe, our Department will seek explicit consent from the student concerned. Read the outline of University policy on the writing and retention of references: Departmental Seminars Research Seminars provide a vibrant and intellectually rich research-intensive ground for both academics and students. Leading researchers with an international reputation are weekly invited in our Department to present cutting-edge, state-of-the-art research in their field of expertise. Titles and dates will be announced near the beginning of each term. Brief outline of each talk will be posted online ( closer to the 20

21 event and circulated via the week before. For the academic year , these will take place on Tuesdays at 16:00 in room As part of a continuous research-led educational programme in our Department all undergraduates and postgraduates are very welcome and particularly encouraged to attend our Research Seminar events. Examples of past speakers include Prof Matt Lambon Ralph on the neural basis of conceptual knowledge, Prof Gina Conti-Ramsden on language development and disorders, Prof Philippe Schyns on visual information processing, Prof Wolfgang Klimesch on the functional role of human brain oscillatory activity, Dr Greg Maio on social values and Prof Charles Vincent on safety in the NHS. In addition, the seminars will be presented by members of the Department including postgraduate research students. This might be a good opportunity for you to discover your own research interests, familiarize with ongoing research in the department, and may be helpful when deciding how to rank your PS300 project supervisor preferences or chose the area of your MSc dissertation. Following the seminar, a drinks and nibbles session with the speaker is generally held at in the CBS reception area providing a friendly environment to discuss scientific matters with our guests. All welcome! Participation in research In the first year undergraduate students will be required to undertake some research training (details provided in lectures). For this training, you may EITHER choose to write an essay on an aspect of Research Methods OR you may choose to participate in 8 hours of departmental research. Year-II and Year-III students are not required to participate in ongoing research in the department. However, it is expected that you will help your fellow students doing Year- III (PS300) projects by participating for at least a few hours each term. One potential benefit for you is that may give you the opportunity to ask final-year students how their projects are going and perhaps gain valuable tips and advice. Through the web-based sign-up system you will also find paid opportunities to participate in research ongoing in the department. In general, willingness to participate in research will help students gain insight into problems of method and technique and to gain valuable understanding of what can be expected from the participants you will use in your own research work. Research Experience Scheme The RES is aimed at undergraduate students (open to year 1 and 2 students) who have an interest in gaining research experience. The scheme allows students to work together with staff members on ongoing research projects and in doing so develop practical skills in conducting empirical work in Psychology and consequently expanding their repertoire of employability and personal development skills. Student and staff member participation is entirely voluntary. The scheme does not link to the PS300 3 rd -year module. The Department cannot guarantee that RES supervisors will also serve as PS300 supervisors. In addition, work 21

22 that is accomplished during the RES period cannot be used as part of the PS300 project. The RES allows students to gain valuable work and broad research experience. Students need to have no research skills before participating in the scheme. Rather, students will receive training on how to conduct research in different fields of experimental psychology. Tasks that students will help researchers with may include: library research, material construction, experimental design, data collection, data entry, data organization, and data analysis. The time commitment for students is set to five hours per week throughout the course of one term. No financial compensation is given for students participation. Upon successful completion, students will receive an official certificate signed by their supervisor and HoD documenting their participation in the RES. Students can also ask their supervisors for a reference letter at the end of the scheme. Whether a reference letter is provided and the content of the paper will depend on each supervisor s experiences working with the student. Details of available RES supervisors will be provided on the Department s website from the start of Autumn Term, together with a brief outline of the staff member s research interest. The website will also specify which members of staff will also be available for supervision outside term time. Depending on the number of staff members participating in the scheme in any given term, there are only a limited number of places available. This makes the scheme highly competitive. Students can apply to participate in the RES as many times as they wish. Students can work in a research area together with a staff member of their choice (subject to availability). Interested students will have to prepare an application including a one page CV and a short letter in which they clearly state why they are motivated to gain research experience/work together with this staff member (max. 500 words). This application needs to be sent to the RES scheme organizer (Dr Helge Gillmeister) via within the first week after the start of term. Staff members will select students based on qualifications and research interests. It is at the staff member s discretion to decide how many and which students to supervise. Students will receive written feedback on their application by the end of the third week of term. Some members of staff may ask the student to attend an initial meeting in which both parties can decide whether they want to work together. However, once the collaborative relationship between student and supervisor is established, the student commits to complete the RES for the duration of the term. Experience gained in this scheme will develop student s understanding of Psychology as a science and will allow students to gain first-hand experience and an insight into state-of-the-art research. Next to developing enhanced research skills, students will also receive training in transferable soft-skills (e.g., project management, communication, creative thinking, problem solving, team working). For students who 22

23 consider pursuing a research degree (Masters, PhD), the RES experience will be particularly invaluable. In addition to the RES, there is also the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), which offers paid research opportunities. These will be advertised later in the year via and on the UROP website 23

24 Assessment Coursework Assignment and essay length Marking penalties may be applied to projects, essays or laboratory reports that exceed the designated length. Therefore, the word count should always be considered a maximum number of words. Note that the word count is for the main body of the text and does not include coversheet, abstract or references. There is no mark penalty for pieces of coursework that are too short, but bear in mind that a very short piece of coursework is unlikely to contain all of the points that the assessor is looking for. Coursework submission The Department of Psychology is fully compliant with the University s on-line coursework submission system FASER. All undergraduate students will be required to submit their coursework assignments (including all projects, lab reports and coursework essays) electronically. For some coursework you will also be asked by the tutor to submit a hard copy. This system is accessible via the portal MyEssex, but is also accessible through the website: and a getting started guide is available at: The system is password protected, so you will need to log in with your Essex username and password. The very first time you will access the server you will be required to read the advice on plagiarism, therefore you will be redirect to the universities website on plagiarism. Read everything carefully before you proceed. You will see a list of all the modules that you are registered for and a list of all the coursework assignments and their deadlines. You can upload your coursework either from campus or from offcampus, and keep old copies prior to submission to be replaced by revised copies later. The on-line system automatically adds a cover sheet. The Department uses an on-line coursework submission system, which you use in a very similar way to the way that you would send someone an attachment using a web-based account. Every time you upload you will be informed that it has been sent and receive an receipt. The system is easy to use but we run tutorials at the start of the year to show you exactly how easy it is. Assignments and deadlines For each module, a week is given for when the assignment will be given out (SET), a week will be given for when the deadline for handing in (IN), and a week will be given for when the marked assignment will be returned for feedback (BACK). You are advised to collect your marked coursework well within 2 weeks of when it becomes available for collection. If it becomes necessary to make some variation to the schedule due to unforeseen circumstances, updated information will be published by and on notice boards. 24

25 Full details of the coursework will be provided in the module outlines of individual modules that will be distributed during the first lecture. However, Coursework Tests will normally be taken under examination conditions and take place at the time indicated in your handout, and Coursework Assignments will normally be a piece of written work (e.g., essay or lab report) that is submitted through the on-line Coursework Submission (FASER) system no later than Thursday at noon of the week shown in the column IN below. You will find a copy of the Academic Year calendar in Appendix F (p.96). You can also use the following link to access the Timetable of Weeks: How you will be assessed in Year One MODULE COURSEWORK SET IN BACK MODULE COURSE WORK CREDIT EXAM CREDIT AND HOURS PS111-4-FY Assignment % 50% Autumn-term test % 2 hours Assignment % MCQ Spring-term test % 5 Literacy Skills Assignments TBC TBC TBC 2% each PS114-4-FY Lab report % 50% Lab report % 2 hours Lab report % MCQ Research Training % Lab report % PS115-4-FY Test 1 (written) % 50% Test 2 (computer) % 2 hours Stats PS117-4-FY Oral Presentation Zero-credit Zero-credit PS118-4-FY Coursework % 50% Coursework % 2 hours Coursework % Coursework % Coursework % 25

26 How you will be assessed in Year Two MODULE COURSEWORK SET IN BACK MODULE COURSE WORK CREDIT PS212-5-FY Test 1 (computer) Test 2 (computer) % 30% EXAM CREDIT AND HOURS 50% 3 hours Stats PS406-5-AU Lab report % 75% 2 hours Essays PS407-5-AU Applied essay 1 Applied essay 2 PS411-5-SP Oral presentation Timed essay / % 15% 10% 15% 75% 2 hours MCQ 75% 2 hours Essays PS414-5-AU Lab Report % 75% 2 hours MCQ PS415-5-SP Lab report % 75% 2 hours Essays PS416-5-SP Timed Questions % 75% 2 hours Short answers & Essay PS417-5-FY Job Application Zero-credit Zero-credit How you will be assessed in Year Three MODULE COURSEWORK SET IN BACK MODULE COURSE WORK CREDIT PS300-6-FY PS452-6-AU Poster Project Raw Data Weekly MCQ Coursework Test on previous lecture PS454-6-AU Coursework Essays N/A N/A N/A 10% 90% Required EXAM CREDIT AND HOURS N/A N/A N/A N/A 25% 75% 2 hours Essays % 12.5% 75%, 2 hours Essays PS481-6-AU Coursework Test % 75%, 2 hours Essays

27 PS482-6-SP PS484-6-SP No Assessed Coursework No Assessed Coursework N/A N/A N/A 0% 100% 2 hours Essays N/A N/A N/A 0% 100% 2 hours Essays PS486-6-AU Coursework TBC TBC TBC TBC 25% 75% 2 hours Exam PS487-6-AU Coursework Test % 75% 2 hours Essays PS488-6-AU Test (open-book, computer-based) % 75% 3 hours PS489-6-SP No Assessed Coursework N/A N/A N/A 0% 100% 2 hours PS490-6-AU Coursework Test % 70% 2 hours Online Participation on Moodle 2-10 N/A N/A 5% PS491-6-AU Coursework Test % 75% 2 hours Essays PS492-6-FY Mock Interview Zero-credit Zero-credit PS493-6-SP No Assessed Coursework N/A N/A N/A 0% 100% 2 hours PS495-6-SP PS496-6-AU Critical Appraisal Writing Exercise Critical Appraisal Cognitive Analysis % 20% 12.5% 12.5% 70% 2 hours 75% 2 hours Undergraduate coursework deadline policy We have a single policy at the University of Essex for the late submission of coursework in Undergraduate courses: All coursework submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of zero. No extensions will be granted. A student submitting coursework late will have the University s and department s arrangements for late submission drawn to their attention. The policy states that the mark of zero shall stand unless you submit satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances that indicate that you were unable to submit the work by the deadline. More information about extenuating circumstances relating to late submission of coursework is available at: 27

28 Essay writing For detailed guidance on how to write an essay for Psychology please see Appendix Ai for Research Reports and Appendix Aii for Scientific Essays (pp ). You will also find Formatting Regulations for Coursework in Appendix D (p.94) and a Coursework Coversheet template in Appendix E (p.95). Referencing Drawing on the wide range of reading you do around your subject area, and demonstrating how you have used this to develop your knowledge and form your own views, is a key aspect of your coursework. It s essential that you reference your source material so it s clear where the information has come from, and to avoid any misunderstanding over whether you are presenting ideas as your own. Please refer to the section on academic offences in Section 4 of this handbook for information on referencing and where to seek advice. Please see full details of the Department of Psychology Referencing Guide in Appendix Aiii (pp ) Exams Help to prepare you for your exams Please find the university Student Guide for Examinations here: The teaching staff on any particular module will give you advice and support to help you prepare for your exams. There will also be revision lectures and access to past exam papers available. (See p.41 about Exam regulations.) Dictionaries Dictionaries are not permitted in examinations unless the rubric of the examination specifically states that candidates may use a dictionary, for example a translation dictionary may be permitted in certain language examinations. Your department will be able to advise you whether any of your exams specifically permit the use of a dictionary. Electronic dictionaries are never permitted. If you take a dictionary to an examination where it is not permitted, you will be reported on suspicion of committing an Academic Offence. Non-native speakers of English should note that the entitlement to use a translation dictionary was removed with effect from October

29 Calculators If you sit an examination that permits the use of a calculator, you must bring your own battery- or solar-powered calculator. None will be provided by the Examination Office. Your calculator must not have any textual information stored in it. Calculators will be checked during examinations, and if any illegal textual information is found it will be wiped and you will be reported on suspicion of committing an Academic Offence. Access to examination scripts If you would like access to your examination script, or would like to know the marks received for individual questions, you may apply to the department which is responsible for that module. The department will either permit you to see the examination script in the presence of a relevant member of the academic staff (normally one of the staff responsible for teaching the module) or supply you with a copy (or summary) of the examiner's comments on your performance in the examination, including marks for individual questions. You should normally make this request within four weeks of the publication of the examination marks. When the assessment for a module comprises, or includes, a piece of work other than an examination which is not returned until after the mark has been confirmed by the Board of Examiners (for example a project or dissertation), you may also request feedback on the work. Final year projects In your final year as an Undergraduate you will complete a full-year research project. You will be allocated a supervisor for this project who will guide you through the process. At the end of your second year you will receive an introductory talk and a handbook explaining everything you need to know. This module is coded PS300 in the Department of Psychology and is co-ordinated by the Year Three Tutor. 29

30 Marking, feedback and results Marking in the Department For full guidance on how we mark your exams and coursework please see Appendix C. Appendix Ci covers the marking guidelines for Research Reports, Appendix Cii looks at the marking criteria for Undergraduate essays and Appendix Ciii explains the departmental scoring systems for Multiple-Choice Assessment (all from pages 80-93). You will also find a copy of the University s Categorical Marking Scheme in Appendix B (p.79). Anonymous marking Operating anonymous marking rationale This Department operates a system of anonymous marking. Anonymous marking is the marking of students submitted work without their identity being revealed to the person carrying out the marking at the time the work is marked, so that the assessment is unbiased. ( Anonymity helps to ensure that conscious or unconscious prejudice does not affect marks, and that each piece of work will be judged on its merits and not in relation to the marker s other impressions of the student. Anonymity should not prevent students discussing work they have done with their teachers, although systems for permitting this may vary depending on the nature of the exercise and other factors. How the anonymous marking system operates When you submit any work you must always include your Registration number. Remember: never include your name! Student Support coversheets can be downloaded from FASER if you have approval from Student Support. Anonymous coversheets are available to everyone. Should you require more detailed feedback on coursework submitted please contact Departmental administrative staff, who will advise you. Return of marked coursework Your coursework should be returned to you with a mark, the initials of the marker, and feedback. If your work is being marked and returned electronically you will receive an e- mail when it is ready to view. If your coursework is being marked in hard copy, you should collect it as soon after it becomes available as possible, and certainly well before two weeks after you were notified (by ) of its availability. 30

31 This is important because (a) you can get timely feedback that may help improve other assignments, (b) you can get a gauge as early as possible as to the quality of work that you are submitting, (c) you can gain additional feedback from the marker, if necessary, and finally (d) you may appeal against your coursework mark, but only within two weeks of the work being available for collection. Samples of coursework Samples of coursework will be provided where appropriate by module staff. External Examiners are able to view coursework as part of their role in assessing the departments marking procedures. The Psychology Undergraduate office will any relevant students if and when it is necessary to resubmit any coursework for the External Examiners. Moderation All coursework and exams go through a rigorous marking process. All coursework is first marked by the person who set the assignment. When this involves multiple markers, the module coordinator checks to make sure that the marks across the markers are given using the departmental marking criteria, with comparable quality and quantity of feedback. The first and fail marks are particularly checked. The year tutor also checks the feedback and marking standard annually and markers are given guidance as to their marks and their feedback. The PS300 project is blind double marked, and external examiners are asked to look at pieces of work to provide an additional check on the department s marking standard, to make sure that we are conforming to national standards. Exams are also first marked by the person who set the question. They are then sampled and moderated. The moderator blind marks the sample, and a report is submitted to examine and identify discrepancies. In the case of a discrepancy, a conversation takes place between the first marker and the moderator and an agreement is reached, using the marking criteria as a guide. All module marks are compared against each other module s marks in a year, and across years, to check for consistency. Finally, the External examiners check the exam marks to make sure that we are conforming to national standards. Reassessment in coursework If the Board of Examiners has required you to complete essays or assignments over the vacation, the Registry will send you a letter by with further information. Please check your Essex account regularly once your results have been published. Your Department will send you details of the assignments which you are required to undertake. If you haven t received anything within three weeks of the results being published, you must contact your Department or the Registry. 31

32 Remarking of essays and assignments Feedback is provided in the form of written comments on all pieces of coursework. Feedback is also available via feedback classes. These classes are usually voluntary, but you should go along if you would like an explanation of your comments, or any help in how to implement the suggested improvements on future pieces of work. If you have read your written comments and you have attended the voluntary classes, but would like an opportunity to discuss your feedback personally, the module co-ordinator to arrange an appointment. Where coursework is single marked, students will retain the right to request formal remarking of a piece of work if they have reason to believe that the work has been unfairly marked. In such cases, the student must make clear the reason why they feel the mark is unfair. Where coursework is moderated, second marked or double marked, students do not have the right to request that their piece of work is remarked unless a procedural/administration error is suspected. Students cannot request that their exams are re-marked unless a procedural/administration error is suspected. See requests from students to have their work remarked webpages at: Exam results You will receive an when your exam results are ready to view online. Re-sitting Examinations Students who do not meet the requirements for proceeding may be offered opportunities for reassessment. A student who has failed with a year mark of below 20% (or who missed their examinations with no extenuating circumstances) will be asked to withdraw from the University, whereas a student who fails more than 60 credits worth of modules may expect to be required to re-take the entire year, instead of taking September resits. Students who fail up to 60 credits worth of modules may be given the opportunity to take September resits. The Board of Examiners may also use its discretion to permit students to resit in September if they have missed examinations or failed examinations in May/June due to documented extenuating circumstances, if the board considers these have seriously affected the student s work. The Board of Examiners has the discretion in these cases to remove the 40% capping where it judges necessary in the light of extenuating circumstances. Students who are required to resit examinations should seek support for that examination in good time by contacting their personal tutor and module teaching staff. 32

33 Boards of Examiners All coursework and exam marks that you receive are provisional until they have been ratified by the Exam Board at the end of the summer term. For more details about the Exam Boards, please refer to: Rules of Assessment The Rules of Assessment apply to all students across the University. Rules of Assessment are used to determine whther you can progress from one year of study/stage to the next, and also your degree classification in your final year of study. More information on the Rules is given in Section 4. Department annual prizes In Years I and II, the department awards prizes for the highest overall year mark. In Year III, the Michael Lodge Memorial Prize is awarded to the student with the best overall degree mark in the year. The Department also awards the A. T. Welford Memorial Prize for the best research skills demonstrated in the second year. This prize is awarded based on a research score calculated by combining the aggregate for the PS212 Psychology Research module (worth 50%) and the average of the laboratory report coursework in the second-year modules (worth 50%). In Year III the Ray Meddis Prize is awarded to the student with the highest mark in the PS300 Research Project module. The Margaret Bell Prize is awarded to a student in any year who makes an outstanding contribution to the department. 33

34 Student engagement and feedback Student Representatives Everyone at Essex, from your lecturers to support staff and the Students Union is here to make sure you love your time at Essex, but things only get better and better through the work of student representatives in every department. They act as the student voice in every part of student life, from collecting feedback from students on their course for formal departmental meetings to contributing to the review of the degrees we offer and shaping how the University might be run in the future. You have the opportunity to become a student representative and the voice of your fellow students. At the beginning of the year, the department and Students Union will put out an open call for student representatives. Once trained, you ll have an opportunity to be a Course Representative, who collects the views of their course mates, or a Year Representative, who collects the views of course representatives and presents them formally to the University at departmental Student-Staff Liaison Committee (see above) meetings. There may also be other departmental meetings that you can take part in such as Periodic Review, where all the courses in a department are reviewed. Being a student representative does not need to be a big commitment and is a great opportunity to develop negotiation and communication skills. The Students Union will also provide opportunities to have your time volunteered recognised, to put on your CV. And if you re up to the challenge, there are limited opportunities to represent students at a faculty level and contribute to the big decisions made by the University. Student Representatives are supported both by departments and the Students Union and all opportunities are advertised through the Students Union. If you would like to feedback the views of students on your course and help make the Essex experience even better, then check the Students Union website for opportunities from the beginning of term. Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLC) The Undergraduate Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLC) meet once a term, and their function is to keep under review all academic and administrative matters relating to degree programmes and are a valuable way of receiving feedback (positive as well as negative). Representatives raise issues and views which reflect the student group as a whole and not just their own opinions. Any student wishing to become a student representative should speak to their programme lead. Student representatives are invited to attend departmental meetings. The Committee comprises student representatives and Programme Leaders from each programme and the Programme Administrator. Nomination and election of the student representatives is held early in the Autumn term by the Students Union. While the Committee provides a formal mechanism, it meets only a few times a year and therefore students should raise problems informally with the Programme Leader concerned rather than wait for the next committee meeting. 34


36 Academic guidance and regulations Your progress Our University is committed to excellence in education, and to supporting your progression and achievement as an Essex student. Regular monitoring of student attendance allows us to identify any students who may need guidance or support, to help them to succeed in their studies. Your engagement with your programme of study is primarily measured by attendance, and completion of, and performance in, assessments, as appropriate. We monitor attendance and will follow-up concerns about any student in accordance with the University s Progress Procedures at: As a student, if engagement in your studies, as measured by attendance and/or submission of assessed work, is unsatisfactory you ll be contacted and offered guidance and support. If your progress causes concerns you ll initially be contacted by your Year Tutor and then by the Undergraduate or Graduate Director. Where serious concerns persist, you may be referred to the Deputy Dean Education and your case formally considered by a Progress Committee. Count-me-in attendance recording You ll need to record your attendance at teaching events using the electronic reader in the teaching room. If you re a taught student, just tap in for every timetabled teaching event you attend. The system doesn t apply to research students. Electronic readers are installed in teaching rooms at our Colchester and Southend Campuses. The readers work by tapping your registration card against the reader, like an Oyster card on the Underground. We use this attendance information to help identify students who may be experiencing problems so that we can offer support and advice. Lost card? You should go to the Registry (Colchester) or Student Administration (Southend) to order and pay for a replacement card. Faulty card? If the reader is not registering your card, you should go to the Registry (Colchester) or Student Administration (Southend) to order your free replacement card. If you attend a teaching event but are unable to record your attendance as you don t have your registration card, please complete a Forgotten or Lost Registration Card form via the MyEssex student portal. For more information on attendance, and for links to forms and guidelines, visit: 36

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