The challenges and triumphs of working as a professional research team for an MSc Psychology Module

Stacey Coleman, Zoe Cooke, Karen Eaton-Thomas and Lucy Hill

1University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Townhill Road, Swansea SA2 0UT; scoleman.110400@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

2University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Townhill Road, Swansea SA2 0UT; zcooke.115632@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

3University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Townhill Road, Swansea SA2 0UT; keaton-thomas.148267@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

4University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Townhill Road, Swansea SA2 0UT; lking.128002@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

23rd March 2016

Abstract

This paper reports on the reflective experiences of four MSc students on the MSc Applied Social & Health Psychology course at UWTSD Swansea in relation to their learning experience on the innovative “Professional Research Skills” module.  For this module students have had to work together as a professional “funded” research project team for the 12 week duration of the module.  Under the guidance of module leaders acting as “Principal Investigators”, the students have had to work together to identify an appropriate design to explore attitudes towards organ donation in the general Welsh population following the recent legislation change; designing, planning, running, analysing and reporting the study findings.  Students have to demonstrate the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses within the team and agree a timetable of milestones to work towards, reporting weekly to the project leads. At the end of the module students are assessed through a reflective piece, professional presentation, and skills-based portfolio which allows them to fully demonstrate how they have developed their professional, interpersonal and research skills during this time.   The presenters of this paper (the students) will share their reflections of this process and how they feel this module has created a unique experiential learning experience.