Module Identifier PS10320  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Mrs Rachel Rahman  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr Gareth Hall, Mrs Rachel Rahman, Dr Kathryn Bullen  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1 hour (5 lectures per semester). To run in alternate weeks with practicals.  
  Practical   8 x 2 hours (4 per semester). To run in alternate weeks with lectures.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment SEMESTER 1: 2 X PRACTICAL REPORTS (1500 WORDS)  40%
Semester Exam1.5 Hours SEMESTER 1: OPEN BOOK ASSESSMENT  10%
Semester Assessment SEMESTER 2: PRACTICAL REPORT (2000 WORDS)  30%
Semester Exam1.5 Hours SEMESTER 2: EXAM  20%
Supplementary Assessment Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. 

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. Understand the use, and calculation of, basic descriptive, non-parametric and parametric tests.
3. Identify when to use different research methods appropriately.
4. Examine and evaluate the need and use of ethics in psychology.
5. Communicate research output in a variety of media.


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 basic terminology and concepts of both qualitative and quantitative research methods together with an introduction to research ethics and codes of practice.

Brief description

Psychology as a science; the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in psychology; principles of ethics in experimentation; codes of ethical practice. Experimental design and control.


Quantitative research methods:

Qualitative research methods:



Module Skills

Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of 4 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: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider case studies; reason logically; apply theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student¿s ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Research skills The submission of 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 a poster presentation 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  
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They 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.  
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 practical topics. The need to meet practical deadlines will focus students¿ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.  
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. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module  
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 the use of Excel and Powerpoint. Students will be assessed on their ability to use Excel within the assessment criteria of the practical report.  
Application of Number Application of number will be addressed throughout the module  
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students¿ verbal and presentation skills. 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  
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise 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.  


This module is at CQFW Level 4