Prospectus

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Bachelor Project IBP

Course 2018-2019

For students following the Dutch programme, see Bachelorproject Psychologie

Admission requirements

  • First-year examination
  • Multivariate Data Analysis

Study planning

The Bachelor Project is offered in the second semester of the academic year. In exceptional cases, for instance if you will study abroad during the second semester, it is possible to participate in a Bachelor Project in the first semester. However, please keep in mind you will need your Study Advisers permission to do so. The deadline to apply for permission is May 15, 2019.

Description

The Bachelor’s thesis is an independently completed scientific paper representing a study load of 15 ECTS. The thesis consists of a report on a study (or partial study) conducted in the context of the Bachelor’s project and involving data collection on the basis of interviews, questionnaires, laboratory experiments and other methods. The project may involve either fundamental or applied research, and can make use of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Examples of experimental research include surveys, simulation studies, action research, evaluation research, (participatory) observation studies and reaction times research.

A bachelor’s thesis is expected to have the level of quality and design of a scientific journal article or research report. The thesis should attest to the student’s ability to systematically process a research question and critically reflect on this question on the basis of theoretical insights. The student should also be able to make a sound selection from the various research and data processing methods available within the social sciences. In his/her thesis, the student should demonstrate a broad command of the psychological knowledge and skills acquired throughout the bachelor’s programme. Although the research conducted in the context of the Bachelor’s projects is usually designed and carried out in groups, the thesis is written individually.

Course objectives

The Bachelor’s project aims to cover, in as far as possible, the entire empirical cycle:

  • Translating a concrete problem to a research question;
  • Studying literature that is relevant to the research question;
  • Operationalising the research question into questions that can be investigated;
  • Selecting a measuring instrument to collect data that may lead to an answer to these question;
  • Developing or selecting and learning to use a given data collection instrument;
  • Considering the ethical aspects of the study and following the correct procedures in this respect;
  • Collecting data using the chosen data collection instrument;
  • Quantifying the research data;
  • Selecting and applying statistical and/or other methods of data analysis;
  • Analysing the data using standard computer programmes;
  • Formulating conclusions on the basis of the collected research data;
  • Putting together a research report;
  • Working together with the rest of the team and making contact with other people involved in the study;
  • Skills such as minute keeping, discussion, chairing meetings, etc.;
  • Acquiring insight into the role of psychology in society and the function of psychology in studying and offering solutions to problems facing society;
  • Translating a concrete problem to a research question;
  • Studying literature that is relevant to the research question;
  • Operationalising the research question into questions that can be investigated;
  • Selecting a measuring instrument to collect data that may lead to an answer to these question;
  • Developing or selecting and learning to use a given data collection instrument;
  • Considering the ethical aspects of the study and following the correct procedures in this respect;
  • Collecting data using the chosen data collection instrument;
  • Quantifying the research data;
  • Selecting and applying statistical and/or other methods of data analysis;
  • Analysing the data using standard computer programmes;
  • Formulating conclusions on the basis of the collected research data;
  • Putting together a research report;
  • Working together with the rest of the team and making contact with other people involved in the study;
  • Skills such as minute keeping, discussion, chairing meetings, etc.; and
  • Acquiring insight into the role of psychology in society and the function of psychology in studying and offering solutions to problems facing society.

Timetable

For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, select your study programme. Psychology timetables

Registration

Registration 2nd semester: via uSis.
Registration 1st semester: request permission via your Study Adviser.

Mode of instruction

Participants are expected to work approximately 30 hours a week on the project throughout the duration of the project. There are no holidays planned during this period. A short absence for reasons beyond the student’s control (but certainly not in the important first weeks of the project) should be discussed with the supervisor before the start of the course. In the first weeks of the project (the preparatory phase), participants are expected to read about the theory of their chosen topic and to further narrow down their research question in the course of group discussions and in consultation with their supervisor. In this phase, individual participants or pairs of participants may be given responsibility for a partial study (for example in the form of a specific experiment or the analysis of a specific aspect of the collected data). Following the preparatory phase, participants are expected to submit an individually formulated research proposal (title, introduction, methodology, references).

In the following weeks (implementation phase), participants conduct their study and analyse the results. Throughout this period, participants can expand the introduction of their thesis and write part of their Methods and Results section. The remaining weeks (final phase) should be spent discussing the results obtained, writing the Discussion section and finalising the thesis. The thesis supervisor assesses the thesis – on the basis of the criteria listed in the assessment form – in the following two weeks. The final grade is established in consultation with a second assessor from the section within which the project was conducted. Theses that are awarded an unsatisfactory grade can be rewritten within one to two weeks following the assessment, in consultation with the section coordinator. If the thesis is once again assessed as unsatisfactory, the entire project has to be carried out again. Participants should be aware of the fact that a successfully completed Bachelor’s thesis is required to enrol in a Master’s programme.

Assessment method

Scope and format of the thesis:

  • The scope of the thesis should be more or less 20-30 pages, including references, and excluding any potential appendixes.
  • The thesis can be written either in Dutch or in English, in consultation with the thesis supervisor.
  • Thesis should in many respects meet the norms of the APA (American Psychological Association). The APA manual can be consulted in the library. In the interests of readability, students are allowed to diverge from some aspects of the APA guidelines. For example, tables and graphs may appear in the text and 1.5 line spacing may be used.

Regulation on grade calculation

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

This programme component makes use of a syllabus that can be ordered via Readeronline.

The syllabus contains information about the following:

  • The general procedure
  • The various phases
  • How to formulate a research proposal
  • How to select an analysis method
  • How to write a final report
  • How to finance the project
  • The ethics of conducting research.

In considering the ethical aspects of conducting research, the KNAW publication ‘Scientific Research: Dilemmas and Temptations’ is used.

Contact information

Dr. F. (Fenna) Poletiek
poletiek@fsw.leidenuniv.nl