autumn 2020
PSY-3000 Research Proseminar - 10 ECTS

Type of course

This course is an obligatory course for students in the masters program in psychology. The course can not be taken as a singular course.

Course content

This course is the first in an integrated series of courses that are the backbone of the entire MA program (PSY-3000, PSY-3900-1, PSY-3900-2 and PSY-3900-3).  In these courses, students will work hands-on every semester in order to develop skills in research (in collaboration with student thesis supervisors) research communication for different purposes and audiences (in collaboration, in part, with Formidlingstjenesten at The Faculty of Health Sciences), advanced information literacy (in collaboration with Universitetsbiblioteket), and career development (in collaboration with the Senter for karriere og arbeidsliv (SKA)).  Information and quality assurance meetings with the Masters program¿s coordinator and administrative program advisor are also a part of the professional development part of the series.

The goals of this particular course in the series are as follows:

  • To begin preparing students to be active ambassadors for psychology research and the Masters program in psychology at UiT.
  • To present and familiarize the new Master's students with ongoing research at the Department of Psychology by researchers who are available for supervising MA theses. This creates the foundation for later selecting a supervisor and developing a research topic for students¿ master's thesis.
  • To prepare students for writing a 10-page research review paper with an integrated writing and information literacy component.
  • To offer the first of four career-development offerings during the course of the MA program.  In this semester, the offering is Arbeidslivsdagen ¿ a university-wide event geared towards helping students think about and prepare for their post-university careers.
  • To introduce students to the guidelines and procedures for ensuring the conduct of ethical research.
  • To engage students in quality assurance work for this course, for the functioning and well-being of their class and for the MA program at large.

This is a mandatory introductory course for all incoming MA in psychology students at UiT.  It sets the stage for PSY-3900 work and for productive participation in the program at large. 

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:



The student will:

  • Understand the goals, structure and methods of the Masters of psychology program at UiT and its unique status in Norwegian higher education.
  • Identify potential supervisors and projects for the MA thesis
  • Examine published research reviews and develop an understanding of their key qualities
  • Become familiar with the ethical bodies and procedures relevant for conducting sound psychological research.
  • Identify regional and national employers and their potential relevance for student careers.
  • Identify their part in maintaining the functioning and well-being of this course, their class and the MA program at large.


The student is able to / can:

  • Identify an interesting and relevant field and question to guide their own literature review.
  • Begin developing advanced information literacy skills relevant for writing research reviews, e.g.,
    • Practice searching reference databases using controlled search vocabularies, Boolean operators and search histories.
    • Familiarize themselves with various types of reference databases, indexes and search tools, and the types of literature they cover.
    • Discuss how to identify the most important and most relevant sources for a review from search results
    • Consolidate basic reference management skills
  • Develop a working outline that guides the writer through the text¿s main points and sub-points with informative, stand-alone headings.
  • Write a quality research review that includes:
    • a title that is informative and arouses reader interest.
    • an abstract that summarizes the main points of the entire review.
    • Informative, stand-alone headings that guides the writer through the text¿s main points and sub-points
    • a compelling introduction that prepares the reader for the upcoming content in terms of its relevance and organization.
    • a summary of the core articles that captures the main points and addresses the review paper¿s main questions.
    • a discussion of the articles in terms of the review paper¿s main questions.
    • an overall summary of the main findings (e.g., strengths and weaknesses) and suggest directions for future research.
    • a conclusion that neatly summarizes the content and value of this review.



The student is able to:

  • Serve as an ambassador for the program with correct information and personal engagement related to the program¿s unique place in Norwegian higher education, and its goals, structures and methods.
  • Engage in intellectual discussion with departmental researchers about potential research projects.
  • Assess the quality of research reviews.
  • Conduct a quality literature search for a review paper.
  • Produce a quality research review paper on a topic of their choice.
  • Understand the context and responsibility for ensuring ethically sound work in the field of psychology.
  • Identify potential employers and what they are looking for in their employees in order to begin formulating how the students¿ MA work may be of value to them in the future.
  • Demonstrate strong academic habits of actively participating in class and the program at large.
  • Contribute actively and constructively to the quality of this course, the functioning and well-being of their class and for the MA program at large.

Language of instruction and examination


Exam - English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

The course begins with an orientation week about the masters program (2 full days).  In the early part of the semester, a series of two-hour lectures are offered to introduce potential thesis research topics (ca. 12 hrs).  The remaining topics are taught through lectures, dialog and workshops:  research communication (6 hrs), professional development (6 hrs), information literacy (6 hrs) and career development components (1 day seminar). In addition, up to four hours of supervision are offered in relation to the mandatory review paper.

Participation in at least 80% of lectures, and submission of a 10-page review paper. It is recommended that students select one of the presented research topics to write a 10-page review paper about. Alternatively, they may find their own topic and advisor for the review paper.


The exam will consist of: a take-home review paper of 10 pages in length (the title pages, abstract and references come in addition to those 10 pages). It is recommended that students choose one of the presented research themes about which they want to write a review paper. Alternatively, they may find their own topic and advisor for the review paper.

The exam will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

Retake is offered in in the beginning of the following semester in cases of Fail. Deferred examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. Registration deadline for retake is January 15.


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam:

A minimum of 80% class attendance.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: PSY-3000
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet