Research Project (Evolution & Human Behaviour) - SE855

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 60 (30) DR S Johns







This module does not employ formal workshops/ lectures, although students do receive an orientation seminar about (a) how to choose a supervisor, and (b) how to choose a good research topic. Following this, students choose a project supervisor and are expected to liase with them about their project topic. During the spring and summer terms, students are expected to meet with their supervisors regularly, during their office hours, to ensure that the project is being conducted appropriately.

The basic structure of the course is shown below:
October: Think about project – talk to supervisors during their office hours; 2hr induction seminar on choosing a supervisor and project topic.
November: Decide topic and supervisor
January (onwards): Meet regularly with supervisor as and when needed in their weekly office hours until the project report draft submission date.
end February: Deadline for school ethics form submission
March: Data collection started
August: Deadline for draft project report submission
September: Deadline for final project report submission


This module appears in:

Contact hours

This course is not associated with formal teaching sessions. Instead, students will be expected to work in close collaboration with their research supervisor, meeting with them on average once a week to ensure that they develop the skills necessary to complete a thoroughly designed research study and critically evaluated research review.


Whole year

Method of assessment

Students' learning outcomes will be assessed via two methods: participation (a portfolio containing records of supervisions, notes, raw data etc. for 20% of total module assessment), and a research project report (3-5,000 words; 80% of total module assessment). The participation portfolio will demonstrate that students have conducted their own research project under guidance and have an appropriate grasp of ethical issues in research. The research report will be in the form of a formatted, ready-for-submission, journal article targeted at a specified journal appropriate for the research question addressed by the research project. The ability to produce a journal article is the mark of successful completion of a research training programme, and ideal preparation for a PhD. It requires students to demonstrate as advanced understanding of their specific area through a concise critical review of the literature, that they have conducted a study using relevant research methodologies through presentation of methods and results.

Indicative reading

Each student will be given their own individual reading list from their research supervisor depending on their particular topic interest. General texts with cross-subject relevance include:
Bell, J. (2005). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education and Social Science (4th Ed.). Open University Press.
Brace, N et al. (2006). SPSS for Psychologists (3rd edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan
Day, R.A. (1998). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (5th ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The British Psychological Society (1993). Code of Conduct, Ethical Principles and Guidelines. Leicester: BPS.
AAPA (2003). Code of Ethics of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. URL:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Subject Specific Learning Outcomes
To provide students with an advanced understanding of a specific area of evolutionary anthropology/psychology.
To provide students with the opportunity to conduct a piece of research investigating questions of interest to evolutionary anthropology / psychology.
To provide students with an advanced understanding of the applicability of various research methodologies to the investigation questions in evolutionary anthropology / psychology.
To provide students with an understanding of key ethical issues in conducting research as documented in either producing and receiving ethical approval for a piece of research, or, in the case of existing data, showing appreciation of core ethical issues.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.