Virtual reality in psychological research ADED2084E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will discuss the use of Virtual Reality (VR) as a method of psychological research. The course will address the history and development of VR together with current applications of the technology, in research, industry and education. Theoretical concepts, practical considerations and data handling will be addressed, along with emerging issues in VR use for research, to support students to develop their own hypothetical VR research study.


Block 4

2 hours p/w for 10 weeks

Wednesday, 18.00-20.00

Requirements of Entry

Students should have undertaken prior study in Psychology and be familiar with basic psychological research design and data handling (at SCQF level7/University Level 1).

Excluded Courses





Oral poster presentation of individual experimental (study) design (50%)

Critical review of a chosen paper on VR application(s) in chosen field of psychology (maximum 1500 words) (50%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide students with an introduction to the area of immersive technology, specifically Virtual Reality, and its applications for Psychology research

■ Offer students the opportunity to develop practical skills involved with design of experiments using immersive technology, including maintaining professional standards in the communication of research findings 

■ Encourage students to critically evaluate existing literature and the implications of changes in immersive technology

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Describe the history, applications and software/hardware background of VR, and key companies and start-ups in the field 


■ Critically evaluate the practical applications, methodological challenges and advantages and disadvantages of using immersive technology in psychological research


■ Design a hypothetical VR study, including identifying the type of data to be collected and how data could be manipulated and visualised

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.