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    A supervised project involving original research and leading to the production of a dissertation.

    With the guidance of a member of staff, students will design and conduct an empirical investigation to address a question about human or animal behaviour. This will involve the review of previous literature, the development of a research hypothesis, the design of an appropriate data collection procedure and the analysis of the results obtained. The dissertation is designed to develop research skills.

    About this paper

    Paper title Dissertation
    Subject Psychology
    EFTS 0.5000
    Points 60 points
    Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $4,345.50
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    BA(Hons), BSc(Hons), PGDipArts, PGDipSci
    Admission requires an average grade of at least B+ in 300-level PSYC papers and satisfactory performance in PSYC311.
    Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.

    Assoc. Prof. Damian Scarf (

    Teaching staff

    Co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Damian Scarf (in conjunction with Project Supervisor)

    Paper Structure
    The paper structure varies by supervisor.

    Students are urged to discuss their project with a staff member as soon as possible, preferably at the end of the previous academic year. A Dissertation Manual is available from the Psychology 400 Administrative Assistant. The due date for the dissertation is stated in the Dissertation Manual.

    PSYC 490 is 100% internally assessed, with the paper mark based on a written dissertation.
    Teaching Arrangements

    This is a full-year paper.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    • Demonstrate understanding of a research area
    • Understand psychological methods and analysis
    • Communicate results through oral and written communication


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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