Student Blog: Advice on how to manage your Final Year Undergraduate Research Project

By Sophia Fedorowicz, BSc Psychology & Counselling student.

My level 6 project explored the effects of listening to poetry on undergraduate stress because of the increasing need for stress management techniques and my personal love of the creative arts. I measured heart rate and skin responses to show stress levels in my participants and I also asked them to give a likability score for the poem they listened to. My results showed that participants who listened to the rhyming poem gave higher likability scores and there were some indication that the poems had an effect on the participants skin responses and heart rate. I hope to continue to explore a potential relationship between the level of likability of a poem and its potential as a stress management tool as my MSc by Applied Research project.

In order to conduct my study I recorded poems, using Biopac equipment to measure skin responses and heart rate, and BSL software to analyse those measurements. I worked with the Psychology technical team a lot, especially Paul Gallimore, throughout the designing of my study, data collection process, part of the analysis, and their support was boundless. If you decide to use the technical equipment for your study you will receive full training and this same support, so do not be put off and set up a meeting.

Secondly I must mention my tireless supervisor Dr Michael Batashvili who, despite being super busy with a million things, always had time for a meeting and never failed to reply to my emails, of which I sent a lot. Throughout your project maintaining communication with your supervisor is key. Tell them when it’s going well, tell them when it’s going wrong, tell them when you’re having an existential crisis. They will support you and help you to work out the best way to get your project finished.

And finally, enjoy it! Choose something you find interesting, do the reading and go for it. I am happy to answer questions or chat about my project any time:


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