autumn 2019
PSY-2032 Critical reading and presentation in psychology - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 07.04.2020

Type of course

The course is included as one of the optional courses in the bachelor program in psychology. Max 20 students. This is so that the teaching program with journal club can work.

The course can not be taken as a singular course.

Course content

The purpose of the course is to train the students to read and critically evaluate research articles, and communicate the methods and findings to fellow students. By implementing journal club-based teaching, in which the students have to present articles to each other, the students will also be trained in scientific presentation skills. The course will deal with three different psychology-related topics. Examples of topics that will be addressed are biological psychology, developmental psychology, and the psychology of action. The participating student will get basic insights into all of these topics. However, for their own presentation(s), the student will be able to select topics from a provided list according to their interests.

Recommended prerequisites

PSY-1010 The History of Psychology and Psychology through phenomena, PSY-1012 Psychological methodology

Objectives of the course

At the end of the course, the students are expected to be able to: Knowledge:

  • Describe the structure of a research article.
  • Explain basic research methods in the selected topics of psychology.
  • Notice and explain strengths and weaknesses in a research articles
  • Gain knowledge about techniques to improve scientific presentations.


  • Quickly find specific information in research articles.
  • Distill the core aspects and conclusions from research articles.
  • Characterize strengths and weaknesses of the research described in research articles.
  • Evaluate these core aspects/claims based on critically evaluating theory, methods and results.
  • Present and communicate the core aspects of research articles in an oral presentation.

General competence:

  • Being able to critically evaluate research articles in the selected topics of psychology.
  • Being able to communicate research methods and finding via oral presentations.

Language of instruction

The teaching will be in English. The exam can be written in English or Norwegian

Teaching methods

The course requires from each participating student to read two research article per session in advance. Furthermore, for each session, 1-2 students are designated to present one of those article in a short oral presentation.

Furthermore, the lectures will cover aspects like how to read and write a scientific article, and how to give a good oral presentation.

The following structure will be used: per journal club, 2 research articles from the selected topic in psychology will be discussed in groups. There will be 3 journal club sessions per topic in psychology (resulting in 6 articles per topic). In total there will be 3 topics in psychology, and thus 9 journal club sessions (resulting in a total 18 research article discussions on 3 different psychology topics).

The journal club starts with a short introduction of the lecturer and will be followed by a 5-10 minute oral presentation of the selected article by the designated student. Then a group discussion in which the article is critically evaluated in whole group of students will follow.

All students are expected to prepare for the journal clubs.


There will be a short home exam in which the students have to write an essay (2500-3000 words, APA style) based on one of the topics discussed. The students are expected to integrate knowledge from 3 recent research articles in this essay, and critically evaluate the articles. The home exam will be graded on the A-F scale.

In case of fail, re-exams will be given early in the subsequent semester.


The course has two work requirements: 1) The students are expected to attend 80% of all journal clubs and read the assigned articles in preparation of each session. 2) The students are expected to present two research articles on two different topics (spread over the full course). The presentations will be evaluated with approved/not approved. The completion of both work requirements is required before the final exam can be taken.


  • Om emnet
  • Studiested: Tromsø |
  • Studiepoeng: 10
  • Emnekode: PSY-2032