autumn 2021
PSY-3000 Research Proseminar - 10 ECTS

Last changed 24.05.2022

Type of course

This course is obligatory for students on the master’s degree programme in psychology. It cannot be taken as a singular course. 

Course content

This course is the first in an integrated series of courses that form the backbone of the entire master’s degree programme (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 their thesis supervisors), research communication for different purposes and audiences (partly in collaboration with the Communications Services (Formidlingstjenesten) in the Faculty of Health Sciences), advanced information literacy (in collaboration with the University Library), and career development (in collaboration with the Careers Centre). Information and quality assurance meetings with the master’s programme coordinator and administrative programme advisor also form part of the academic development component of the series. 

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

  • To begin to prepare students to be active ambassadors for psychology research and the master’s degree programme in psychology at UiT. 
  • To familiarize the new master’s degree students with ongoing research in the Department of Psychology by researchers who are available for supervising MA theses. This creates the foundation for the later selection of a supervisor and the development of a research topic for the 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 programmes during the master’s degree. In this semester, the programme is Arbeidslivsdagen (Careers Day), 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 that they conduct ethical research. 
  • To engage students in quality assurance work for this course, to enhance the functioning and well-being of their class and the master’s degree programme in general. 

This is a mandatory introductory course for students joining the master’s degree programme in psychology at UiT. It sets the stage for their work in PSY-3900 and for productive participation in the entire programme.  

Objectives of the course

The expected learning outcomes are as follows: 



Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Understand the goals, structure and methods of the master’s programme in psychology at UiT and its unique status in Norwegian higher education 
  • Identify potential supervisors and projects for their 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 career relevance 
  • Identify their role in maintaining successful functioning and a pleasant atmosphere in this course, their class and the master’s degree programme as a whole 


Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Identify an interesting and relevant field and topic to guide their own literature review 
  • Begin to develop 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 relevant sources for a review from search results 
  • Consolidate basic reference management skills 
  • Develop a working outline that guides the writer through the main points and sub-points of the text with informative, stand-alone headings 
  • Write a high-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 guide the writer through the main points and sub-points of the text 
  • a compelling introduction that prepares the reader for the subsequent content in terms of its relevance and organisation 
  • a summary of the core articles that captures the main points and addresses the main questions of the review paper 
  • a discussion of the articles in relation to the main questions 
  • an overall summary of the main findings (e.g. strengths and weaknesses) and suggestions for future research 
  • a conclusion that neatly summarizes the content and value of the review 


General competence 

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Serve as an ambassador for the programme with correct information and personal engagement related to the programme’s unique place in Norwegian higher education, and its goals, structures and methods 
  • Engage in intellectual discussions with departmental researchers about potential research projects 
  • Assess the quality of research reviews 
  • Conduct a high-quality literature search for a review paper 
  • Produce a high-quality research review paper on a topic of their choice 
  • Understand the context and responsibility for producing ethically sound work in the field of psychology 
  • Identify potential employers and what they are looking for in future employees in order to begin formulating how the master’s degree work may be of future benefit. 
  • Demonstrate strong academic habits of actively participating in class and the programme as a whole 
  • Contribute actively and constructively to the quality, successful functioning and pleasant atmosphere in their class and the master’s degree programme as a whole  

Language of instruction

English, but exams may be written in a Scandinavian language 

Teaching methods

The course begins with an orientation week about the master’s programme (two full days). In the early part of the semester, a series of two-hour lectures is held to introduce potential thesis topics (about 12 hrs). The remaining topics are taught through lectures, dialogue and workshops: research communication (6 hrs), academic development (6 hrs), information literacy (6 hrs) and career development (one-day seminar). In addition, up to four hours of supervision are offered in relation to the mandatory review paper. 

Students are required to attend at least 80% of lectures and to submit a 10-page review paper. Students select one of the thesis topics presented for their review paper.


The exam will consist of: a take-home review paper of 10 pages in length (not counting the title page, abstract and reference list). 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.

Students who fail will be allowed to re-take the examination early in the following semester. A 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 re-take examinations is January 15. 


The following coursework requirement must be fulfilled 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