Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Methods in Psychology
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other 9 x 1.5 hour self-directed workshops
Lecture 11 x 1 hour: 7 in semester ONE and 6 in semester TWO (to run alternate weeks with practicals)
Practical 9 x 2 hours practical: (5 in semester ONE and 4 in semester TWO)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 qualitative practical report (2500 words) semester 1  40%
Semester Assessment 1 quantitative practical report (2500 words) semester 2  40%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   End of year exam  20%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   End of year exam  If students fail the module overall, any failed component must be re-sat or determined as the Examination Board sees fit.  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 qualitative practical report (2500 words) semester 1  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 quantitative practical report (2500 words) semester 2  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate knowledge on Research Method theory and how it is applied in practice

2. Demonstrate ability to apply Research methods theory in terms of writing research questions and answering them using appropriate research methods of data collection and analysis

3. Demonstrate expertise in conducting literature searches in report writing

4. Demonstrate the ability to use the statistical software SPSS to answer research questions using appropriate statistical tests

5. Demonstrate an ability to communicate research through written reports


This module introduces students to the use of SPSS for Windows to prepare, manipulate, analyse and present data building on the introduction to statistics and research methods provided at level 1. Students will also further develop skills in qualitative research methods. Both sets of skills are a requirement for psychologists and other social scientists and will be used in students' final year project.

Brief description

The module aims to develop students' data analysis skills within the context of social science with particular reference to psychological investigation. Students will learn how to use advanced statistical techniques and analyse complex data sets using SPSS for Windows. To develop students ability to understand the need for mixed methods of investigation qualitative research methods will be outlined as part of developing understanding of experimental design and research methodology.


Quantitative research methods
  • Introduction to SPSS for Windows.
  • Review of statistical principles.
  • Advanced statistical techniques including:
  • - regression - analysis of variance - multivariate analysis of variance and factor analysis Qualitative research methods
  • Review of the rationale for qualitative research methods.
  • Case studies; content analysis; interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Methodology
  • Formulating a research problem and selecting a research design

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Application of number will be addressed throughout the module (see B3 above).
Communication Students will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic and to focus on the objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching. Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the facilitator and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their research projects. The need to meet an practical report deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well. Students will be required to reflect on their learning process through the inclusion of formal non-assessed reflection to be included with all coursework.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and PsychLit; PsychInfo). Students will be introduced to SPSS for Windows and will continue to develop their expertise in the use of Excel and Powerpoint.
Personal Development and Career planning Discussions in practical classes and the team work required to generate and collect data will help to develop students team working and negotiating skills. Students will develop a portfolio of evidence of their learning throughout the module which will include report writing and communication of ideas in various media. Students will be encouraged to identify how their developing skills can contribute to their APPR forms. Learning about the process of planning research projects, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of four practical reports will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: identify research questions and appropriate research designs; collect and analyse data; reason logically; develop arguments to explain their findings in relation to published literature in the area. Two open book statistics assessments and a research methods examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of a four practical reports will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for practical workshop presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise, evaluate and choose appropriate research methods and statistical tests. These subject specific skills include: *Assessment of scientific methods in psychology. *Differentiation between quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry. *Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches. *Appreciation of the nature of ethical research in the social sciences.
Team work Practical classes will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to research topics. Students will be expected to collaborate in data collection and pool data for analysis; this interaction is a central component of the module

Reading List

General Text
Dancey, Christine P. (2004.) Statistics without maths for psychology :using SPSS for Windows /Christine P. Dancey, John Reidy. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall Primo search Field, Andy P. (2009.) Discovering statistics using SPSS :(and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll) /Andy Field. 3rd ed. SAGE Primo search Field, Andy P. (2003 (2006 prin) How to design and report experiments /Andy Field, Graham Hole. SAGE Primo search Harris, Peter (2008.) Designing and reporting experiments in psychology /Peter Harris. 3rd ed. Open University Press Primo search
Essential Reading
Oliver, P (2004) The Students Guide to Research Ethics Maidenhead: Open University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5