Module Information

Module Identifier
PS21310
Module Title
Quantitative Research Methods
Academic Year
2019/2020
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Pre-Requisite
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 4 x 1 Hour Lectures
Lecture 2 x 3 Hour Lectures
Workshop 6 x 2 Hour Workshops
Practical 5 x 2 Hour Practicals
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Quantitative Research Report  (2500 words)  90%
Semester Assessment Workbook completion during Practicals  (Written answers to theoretical and statistical questions, plus evidence of completed statistical analyses.)  10%
Supplementary Assessment Quantitative Research Report  If students fail the module overall, failed components must be re-sat or determined as the examination board sees fit.  (2500 words)  90%
Supplementary Assessment Quizzes set up on Blackboard  asking questions of the same theoretical and statistical type asked in the Workbook completed during the semester practicals. (Written and MCQ).  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of 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.

Brief description

Psychology as a science. The use of quantitative methods in designing, conducting a research project involving human participants, as well as methods for analysing data. Fundamentals of ethical standards and procedures in experimental design and implementation, in line with the British Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics and Practice.

Content

Quantitative Research Methods: Simple and complex designs, including one or multiple factors and levels (i.e. conditions that interact), in depth teaching of the statistical package SPSS to analyse data that is either parametric (e.g. using real numbers) or non parametric (e.g. using categorical responses). Designing and conducting a study involving human participants; writing up the ethics application for such study, following the BPS Code of Ethics and Practice; collecting the data for such study and analyzing it using the most appropriate analysis using SPSS. Writing up a full Research Report, following the standards used by academics when publishing in Journal Articles. Ethical procedures in research involving human participants.

Statistics: Analysis of Variance (one-way, factorial 2-way and more complex designs [eg. 2x3 mixed designs including between and within subjects variables/factors]. All non-parametric test equivalents. These are touched on at Level 1 but are explored in more depth at Level 2).

Ethics: Writing and submitting an ethics application form.

Report Writing: Literature searches, analytical review of previous scientific publications in a particular topic in psychology (in preparation for the research report coursework). Communication at the standard and in the fashion required at professional academic level. Developing appropriate methods to present data in Tables and Figures, in line with professional academic standards. Referencing in line with APA standards.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students learn a substantial amount of (new) methods of statistical analyses (to analyse datasets generated from collecting data from human participants).
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 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. Practicals will be run in groups where oral discussion will form one component 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 Students work largely independently in completing (1) the Practicals’ Workbook requiring an understanding of both theory and practice – i.e. research designs and appropriate statistical analyses. Students work largely independently on the implementation and completion of the coursework assignment – Quantitative Research Report.
Information Technology The literature review needed for the successful completion of the Quantitative Research report assignment requires learning how to use scientific search engines to access scientific papers relevant to the research question being addressed in the report. Students learn how to use the statistical software package SPSS to a relatively professional level of expertise.
Personal Development and Career planning Students learn skills in (1) Team-work, (2) Planning (3) Self-management [in the process of bringing the coursework assignment to completion in timely fashion, and also in the process of successfully completing the Practicals’ Workbook, which includes homework exercises] (4) Students become proficient at using the statistical package SPSS, and at using scientific search engines for literature reviews.
Problem solving Students need to understand the theory behind each type of research design they learn about, thus identify the most suitable type of data analyses required for any particular design (and resulting dataset).
Research skills For the coursework, students need to conduct a thorough literature review, independently, in order to successfully complete the coursework assignment. This involves searching research papers through appropriate professional channels on line, identifying those that are relevant to the research question being answered in the assignment, and writing up the Introduction (and Discussion) in line with the lit review conducted (and the study outcomes).
Subject Specific Skills - Communication - writing in professional writing style - Technology; Students become proficient users of SPSS, a widely used statistical package both in the private and public sector. - Team-work: For the successful completion of the coursework assignment. - Time-management: For the successful completion of the coursework assignment, as well as the Praticals’ Workbook .
Team work For the coursework, students work in groups of 5-6 to come up with an idea on the coursework’s key research question, design and method of data collection.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5