Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Designing Psychological Research Projects
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment RESEARCH PROPOSAL (1500 WORDS)  100%
Supplementary Assessment RESEARCH PROPOSAL (1500 WORDS)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Critically assess the key principles of both quantitative and qualitative research design.
2. Identify when to use different research methods appropriately.
3. Evaluate the benefits and limitations of different types of research methods


This module provides an introduction to research methods in psychology, assumes no prior knowledge of psychology and provides students with a knowledge base for future study. It provides students with an overview of the qualitative and quantitative research methods used in psychological research.

Brief description

Psychology as a science: exploring the research process.
This module focuses on how we can develop research projects, building upon core knowledge and developing appropriate methodological designs. This module will provide an opportunity for students to gain transferrable skills of writing research proposals and an understanding of the research process as a whole, from identifying gaps in the literature, through developing appropriate research designs and dissemination, to impact.


Research design
Observational research
Internet based research
Qualitative research
Experimental designs, relationships Vs cause and effect
Psycho-physiological methods
Questionnaire designs
Quality criteria in research designs
Writing research proposals
Dissemination strategies
Presentation skills

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas in writing through the presentation of the research proposal. They will need to understand the importance of clear communication and how to use the many sources of information available appropriately. They will learn to be clear and direct in their aims and objectives. Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect the effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication. 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 appropriate use of psychological research to address specific topics. Students will also engage in an anonymized peer review of one another's draft proposals, participation in this activity will be rewarded with a small percentage of the overall assignment grade.
Information Technology Students will have to use a variety of IT skills when writing their research proposal, such as conducting online literature searches to identify gaps within existing literature and provide justification for design choices (Science and PsychLit; PsychInfo, Web of Science etc.)
Personal Development and Career planning Learning about the process of planning 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. A session on the module also places focus on presentation skills and communicating justifications for research
Problem solving The submission of a critical paper review and a research proposal 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: adopt differing points of view; estimate an answer to the problem; consider the appropriateness of the use of different research methodology in published research; reason logically; apply theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Preparation for the interactive sessions built into the lecture design of the module will require students to immerse themselves in methodological literature. This will help to develop their skills when it comes to justifying and critiquing approaches to research. The need to locate the appropriate resources and literature will also be necessary when completing their research proposal assignment
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject-specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualize and choose appropriate research methods. 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. - Development of research proposal writing skills. Furthermore, through the incorporation of lab demonstrations students will also have the opportunity to see how equipment such as BioPac can be incorporated into research design.
Team work Within the lecture based design of the module, lectures will be designed to encourage small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to research topics and appropriate research methods. The assessment also includes elements of peer review of draft proposals – allowing students to develop team working skills


This module is at CQFW Level 4