Module Information

Module Identifier
PSM0420
Module Title
Research with People
Academic Year
2022/2023
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Essay  3000 Words  60%
Semester Assessment Seen Exam (written report)  2000 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Written Essay  3000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Seen Exam (written report)  2000 Words  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

Critically review theory of method literature (quantitative and qualitative) and apply this knowledge to critique examples of empirical behavioural research.

Employ statistical software (e.g., SPSS) to answer behaviour change-related research questions and test hypotheses using appropriate statistical tests.

Use software (e.g., NVivo) that facilitates analysis of qualitative data to answer behaviour-change related research questions.

Brief description

Research with People will provide students with a thorough grounding in the principles of behaviour change research. Special attention will be paid to the transdisciplinary nature of behaviour change and the skills needed to succeed in complex research settings. The module is suitable for all students on the scheme regardless of their disciplinary background; it will set them up for the option modules whilst aligning philosophically with the core modules and their assessment methods (e.g., Interdisciplinary Dialogue, Psychology of Behaviour Change, Risk, Resilience & Behaviour in a Changing Environment).

Content

Research with People will introduce students to a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and their underlying philosophical assumptions. The module will develop students’ skills in understanding the principles of: - Ontology and epistemology, - Research design (including writing research questions and hypotheses, designing feasibility and pilot studies, randomized control trials, etc.), - Quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and corresponding data analysis techniques, - How to judge quality in research, - Discussion writing, - Ethical standards mandated by the British Psychological Society.

We will interrogate research papers in the behavioural insights literature across disciplines to build a knowledge base of conventions and good/bad practices. Computer-based practicals (e.g., how to use SPSS, NVivo) and group work will help students conceptualise the theory content and apply relevant concepts.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
“Low-stakes” formative work and practical tasks will be completed throughout the semester to build students’ self-efficacy up ready for the summative assessments; feedback will be geared towards engendering adaptability and resilience, not just enhanced academic skills.
Students will develop critical and analytical skills they can apply to all stages of the research process, from study conception through to dissemination of results
Contribute effectively to the planning of and play an active part in group activities.
Students will have the opportunity to be creative in their selection of methods of data analysis (quantitative and qualitative) to answer research questions and test hypotheses. 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).
The module will develop students’ skills in understanding the principles of ontology, epistemology, effective reading of published research papers, research design (including writing research questions and hypotheses, designing feasibility and pilot studies, randomized control trials, etc.), methods of data collection and corresponding data analysis techniques, how to judge quality in research, discussion writing, and ethical standards mandated by the British Psychological Society.
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 rely on oral communication.
Reflection is inherently important in this module, as students are likely to be introduced to novel concepts and must be willing to reflect and adapt their approach to learning to fit these circumstances
While group work will be integral to the module students will work largely independently in completing the coursework. The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the tutor and fellow students. Students will be expected to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance that they should actively seek) the direction of their coursework.
Online literature search and synthesis of digitally available literature: the essay requires learning how to use scientific search engines to access scientific papers relevant to the title of the essay. Students will learn how to use the statistical software packages SPSS and NVivo to a relatively professional level of expertise. Use of social media to draw a picture of the ways that the subject is discussed on public forums. Use of a collaborative cloud space to facilitate sharing of resources.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7