Types of Assignments and Assessments

As I am currently in the midst of a very busy period planning and writing assignments, I thought I’d center this particular blog on the different types of assignments that you will encounter when you’re at University.


The main form of assessment that is used by my psychology course (and many other courses for that matter) are essays. An essay is one way to show the tutors on your course you have understood a topic that has been covered in the lectures/seminars by answering a set question (although this is not always the case) using your own knowledge backed up by evidence. Either from books or journal articles. Word counts for these range from 1000 words and upwards (+/- 10% of the set word count)

Lab Reports

All science based courses, such as mine will involve you carrying out a piece of research and then writing up your findings in the form of a lab report. All lab reports on my course have to be in the format set out by the APA (American Psychological Association) and differ in their sections depending on what type of research you have carried out: qualitative or quantitative.


Presentations usually involve you teaming up with other people on your course/in your seminar group to present something. Whether it be a poster you’ve created about a piece of famous research or a PowerPoint presentation about what you’ve learnt in your lectures.

Book Reviews

When I was in my first year one of my assignments in the second semester was to read and review a book from a list provided to us. I chose to review Oliver Sack’s book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”. I found the book to be a fascinating read and I had to summarize each chapter in a 100 words or so.


A portfolio is essentially a collection of work and on my course one of the assignments I’m currently working on, is a 3000 portfolio which outlines my proposal for an anti-obesity poster/advertising campaign. This is based on how I’d apply psychological theory to help fight this growing health epidemic.

Academic Interests

As my readers probably already know, one of my passions is Employment and Employability ect. as I feel it is the most important part of life, and it hits me when I see others (on TV documentaries and / or in real life) suffer because of Unemployment. Henceforth, this year I will integrate this passion with some of my academic work this year – there’s nothing set in stone yet, but for the Music And The Moving Image module this semester I am considering writing about how music is used within Poverty Porn (“Benefits Street”, “We Pay All Your Benefits” ect.) to represent Unemployed persons… For this post, I am going to talk about some of the Academic Interests I have developed while at University so far – In order for my course work to shine (in my mind) I blend the set outlines with other subject matter that I am passionate about.

– J-pop

The most recent interest is the Japanese Music Industry – I am interested in how musicians compete (in my opinion, there’s not a great deal of money in the Arts), and since Japan currently has the 2nd largest music market country wise, and Asia has the 1st largest music market continent wise, theoretically the music industry in Japan has the hardest time trying to stay afloat due to extreme competition from domestic and neighbouring overseas markets. It is the unique and innovative ways that industry uses that intrigues me – I recently wrote an essay about some of their notable sustainability techniques.

Video: Japanese super group Morning Musume – The J-pop version of Doctor Who. In order to stay fresh, the group “regenerates” as certain current members are dropped and new members join.

– Business Innovation and Sustainability

I am also interested in how business practice can think outside of the box to benefit itself culturally and economically. Business of course surrounds us in nearly every possibly way – from the software being used to write this post to the hardware you are using to view it and beyond, and as someone who runs a business project (a record label), I am wanting to find out more about how entrepreneurs come up with new ways of creating capital as there are many ways to move forward.

– Popular Culture

Of course business only works if their products and / or service sells well. While I am interested in how something can be “popular”, this is the most broad of my interests and the most challenging. There are about six sections in the library dedicated to cultural studies (excluding exclusive Sociology), which goes to show that there are a million and one ways to analyse what makes something (generalisation alert) interesting to the masses and what does not.

My degree is mainly an academic one and I realise not all degrees are like that, however I am still happy that I can explore and maybe blend certain disciplines to inform my research. I’m frankly a little skeptical as to how academia (essays and presentations) can help you get a job outside academia, but then again it’s common knowledge that graduate level jobs require you to write loads and regularly do presentations so I suppose a degree is good preparation for that stuff.