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ERIC Number: EJ1180330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-948X
Identifying a Topic for a Psychology Dissertation: A Process Map for Students
Holliman, Andrew J.; Jones, Tim
Psychology Teaching Review, v24 n1 p82-90 2018
Identifying a 'promising' topic for a psychology dissertation is widely recognised as one of the most important, challenging, and stressful parts of the research process. Students are required to work in a relatively unstructured way (compared with other modules) to independently identify a topic that is not only appropriate, of personal interest, ethical, and achievable, but also rooted in psychological literature, methodologically sound, and with originality (for higher marks and publication potential). This typically occurs concomitantly with other modules, assessments, and obligations, within a restricted timeframe, placing heavy demands on students (and sometimes their supervisors). Although there are extensive resources on 'doing a psychology project' and on 'choosing a dissertation topic' we feel there remains scope to more effectively support students' topic selection in a way that does not circumvent the independent nature of the activity and process. In this article, we present a 'process map' (the first of its kind to our knowledge) that may assist students to independently identify a 'promising' topic for their psychology dissertation. We believe this will be of great value to undergraduate and postgraduate psychology students, dissertation supervisors, and other module and course teams. Given the timing and importance of the dissertation module, this resource may also lead to enhancement of the overall student experience.
British Psychological Society, Division for Teachers & Researchers in Psychology. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-1162-529551; Fax: +44-1162-271314; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Learner
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Students; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A