Research Projects

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Research Projects.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

CIR.223: Independent Research (0.5 unit)

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.  
  • Also Available: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits

Course Description

This is an opportunity to work on a one to one basis with faculty who are experts in their fields. It is also a chance for you to pursue your own interests, to investigate a topic of your choice, to undertake original research and to develop your research and study skills.

US Honors program students have found that their Independent Research projects are an excellent preparation for the Senior Honors thesis. Pre-medical students in particular have felt that the opportunity to gain insight into the British National Health Service has enhanced their resume.

You do not need to apply in advance. However, there are limited opportunities if you are attending Lancaster for Michaelmas term only to undertake a project. Michaelmas only students should indicate this as part of their application so that preliminary discussions can take place about the project topic in advance of arriving at Lancaster.

During your first weeks at Lancaster, you decide on a topic in conjunction with the Independent Studies advisor who will help you to identify a supervisor to guide you through your project which is completed before you leave Lancaster.

Projects have covered a wide variety of topics and have included:

  • The role and structure of primary medical care in the UK
  • Expression of recombination and repair proteins in models of leukaemia
  • Shigeo Shingo and his influences on production management
  • Inventing people - short stories
  • Post cold war developments in the US military
  • The animal - human bond and its effect on veterinary medicine
  • Aspects of French Impressionist Painting
  • Computer crime in Britain
  • The image of the Jew in Nazi Germany
  • Sartre's existentialism seen through his literature
  • Pharmacology of smooth muscle tissue
  • A risk analysis of pesticide use in agriculture

Your project may also take the form of original work in visual arts; music; dance or theatre; research work conducted away from Lancaster, laboratory work, social research or an internship.

In the humanities or social sciences a 4-US credit project might take the form of an 5,000 word dissertation or a series of essays, whereas in the pure sciences the dissertation will vary according to the nature of the topic, the length of the project and the proportion of lab work.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:  100%

CIR.224: Independent Research

  • Terms Taught: Full Year
  • US Credits: 8 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 16 ECTS Credits

Course Description

This is an opportunity to work on a one to one basis with faculty who are experts in their fields. It is also a chance for you to pursue your own interests, to investigate a topic of your choice, to undertake original research and to develop your research and study skills.

US Honors program students have found that their Independent Research projects are an excellent preparation for the Senior Honors thesis. Pre-medical students in particular have felt that the opportunity to gain insight into the British National Health Service has enhanced their resume.

During your first weeks at Lancaster, you decide on a topic in conjunction with the Independent Studies advisor who will help you to identify a supervisor to guide you through your project which is completed before you leave Lancaster.

Projects have covered a wide variety of topics and have included:

  • The role and structure of primary medical care in the UK
  • Expression of recombination and repair proteins in models of leukaemia
  • Shigeo Shingo and his influences on production management
  • Inventing people - short stories
  • Post cold war developments in the US military
  • The animal - human bond and its effect on veterinary medicine
  • Aspects of French Impressionist Painting
  • Computer crime in Britain
  • The image of the Jew in Nazi Germany
  • Sartre's existentialism seen through his literature
  • Pharmacology of smooth muscle tissue
  • A risk analysis of pesticide use in agriculture

Your project may also take the form of original work in visual arts; music; dance or theatre; research work conducted away from Lancaster, laboratory work, social research or an internship.

In the humanities or social sciences an 8 US-credit project might take the form of an 10,000 word dissertation or a series of essays, whereas in the pure sciences the dissertation will vary according to the nature of the topic, the length of the project and the proportion of lab work.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 100%

LING238: Independent Study

  • Terms Taught: Full Year course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 8 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 16 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 8 ECTS Credits.

Course Description

The purpose of this module is to allow students to pursue interests which are not represented in, or central to, established courses, subject to the availability of qualified staff.  Students will engage in a programme of supervised reading and produce a dissertation of between 9000 and 10,000 words.

Anyone interested in taking this module should discuss the matter with a member of staff before enrolling.  See either Vicki Haslam (the Undergraduate Co-ordinator) or Willem Hollmann (the Independent Study Unit convenor).

The deadline for submission is the Senate Deadline (Friday Week 23) of the year in which the module is taken.

 Please note that in order to enrol for an Independent Study Unit you must normally have:

            (i) decided on a topic, and

            (ii) obtained the agreement of a member of staff to supervise you.

If in doubt, seek the advice of the Independent Study Unit convenor.

Assessment Proportions

  • Dissertation: 100%

LING263: Independent Study

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only OR Lent/Summer Terms only
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 16 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 8 ECTS Credits.

Course Description

The purpose of this module is to allow students to pursue interests which are not represented in, or central to, established courses, subject to the availability of qualified staff.  Students will engage in a programme of supervised reading and produce an extended piece of coursework of between 4500 and 5000 words.

Anyone interested in taking this module should discuss the matter with a member of staff before enrolling.  See either Vicki Haslam (the Undergraduate Co-ordinator) or Willem Hollmann (the Independent Study Unit convenor).

The deadline for submission is the Senate Deadline (Friday Week 23) of the year in which the module is taken.

Please note that in order to enrol for an Independent Study Unit you must normally have:

            (i) decided on a topic, and

            (ii) obtained the agreement of a member of staff to supervise you.

If in doubt, seek the advice of the Independent Study Unit convenor.

Assessment Proportions

  • Dissertation: 100%

LL.M5233: Independent Research Module

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • Also Available: Lent Term only.
  • US Credits: 5 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 10 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Must have completed 3 years undergraduate study in Law or Law related subject

Course Description

The course aims to enable the student to:

  • develop a definition of the problem to be addressed
  • state a well-defined research question on a matter relating to law
  • undertake a thorough search of the legal literature relevant to addressing that problem
  • design a suitable legal research programme in answering that question
  • develop interests and knowledge in a chosen specialist area of legal research

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Knowledge and understanding  Demonstrate an extended grasp of the legal literature in an area of their choice. Develop a detailed knowledge of a particular specialist area of research relating to law.
  • Skills - Apply, under supervision, research skills to the identification, analysis and investigation of a problem in a particular area of law.

Outline Syllabus

The subject specialist tutor who supervises the student will:

  • advise on whether the students planned area of research is appropriate  
  • give guidance regarding the nature and format of the essay
  • give guidance on the planning of the essay
  • give feedback on a draft of the essay provided by the student

The student will:  

  • formulate a topic as a clearly defined research problem
  • produce a reading list of relevant literature
  • produce the outline of an essay on the basis of the research for comments by the supervisor
  • produce a draft of the essay for comments by the supervisor

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

PSYC204: Research Methods I: Experimental Methods in Psychology

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: High school mathematics; an introductory psychology course; some introduction to statistics and research methods (which may be as part of a general introductory course)

Course Description

This module is constructed to develop knowledge and skills on experimental research methods employed across the different topics in psychology; social, developmental and cognitive approaches. This will involve learning about how to plan, conduct and report research and how to evaluate research studies.

Educational Aims

The PSYC Research Methods I module is designed to expand the knowledge and skills on research methods. Research Methods I does not have a final exam in the Summer Term. The course is structured such that you undertake blocks of exercises in designing, evaluating, and assessing psychological research. It will cover a range of topics, spanning social, developmental, cognitive, and neuroscience approaches to psychology. The course will develop the ability to be clear, accurate, complete and concise in writing up research. There is also a strong emphasis on collaborative work in this course. Students work in small groups to design and implement research projects, followed by independent analyses and interpretation of the results that are written up in the research reports.

Outline Syllabus

An illustrative course outline could be as follows:

  • Week 1-3: Introduction to research methods and APA style. Assessed by a research report.
  • Weeks 4-7: Research methods in developmental psychology. Assessed by a class test.
  • Weeks 8-10: Using “big data" in cognitive research. Assessed by a lay summary.

More information about assessment will be provided on Moodle page.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

PSYC224: Research Methods II: Asking questions, analysing responses

  • Terms Taught: Lent Term only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: High school mathematics; an introductory psychology course; some introduction to statistics and research methods (which may be as part of a general introductory course)

Course Description

PSYC224 is designed to expand on the knowledge of and skills in research methods and to provide an appreciation and understanding of a wider range of research methods than covered in PSYC204.

Educational Aims

The module is structured such that you will undertake blocks of exercises in which you design, report and evaluate different forms of psychological research. A range of psychological topics are covered through two different methods commonly employed in psychological research; Those methods being questionnaires and surveys and interviewing and qualitative analysis. You will work in small groups to design and implement research projects on a given topic, followed by independent analyses and interpretation of the results, which are then written up in the research reports. You will also engage with the various ethical issues affecting psychological research on human participants and the strategies for addressing those issues in ethical psychological research. The course will support further development of the ability to be clear, accurate, complete and concise in writing up research. 

It is intended to provide you with an introduction to non-­experimental methods by which psychological research is conducted, data collected and analysed, as well as the ethical issues relevant to a range of experimental and non-­experimental methods. Over the course of the module you will learn how to plan research projects, to collect and analyse quantitative (questionnaire-­based) and qualitative data (interview), using available software packages to do so where appropriate, how to evaluate the quality of those data and how to draw relevant psychological interpretations and inferences from them. Further, you will learn about the ethical issues affecting a wide range of psychological research methods and the strategies by which those issues can be appropriately managed.

Outline Syllabus

The outline syllabus is as follows:

  • Weeks 11-­14: Survey and questionnaire design and development [Dr Neil McLatchie]. Assessed by research report
  • Weeks 15­-18: Conducting and analysing a research interview [Dr Chris Walton]. Assessed by research report
  • Weeks 19-20: Ethical issues in psychological research [Liam Cross]. Assessed by class test in week 20

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

PSYC314: Independent Project (JYA)

  • Terms Taught: Full Year course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 8 semester credits
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 semester credits
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year credits: 16 ECTS
    • Michaelmas term only: 8 ECTS
    • Lent / Summer terms only: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: This module is only suitable for students who are majoring in Psychology and have taken a significant number of Psychology modules before arriving in Lancaster.

Course Description

This is an independent piece of work in the field of psychology carried out by you in consultation with a member of the psychology department staff as supervisor and written up in the form of a report.  This is available only by agreement with the department's study abroad advisor. 

Assessment Proportions

  • Dissertation: 100%