Module Identifier SS19120  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Joanne Thatcher  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Dr Glen Davison  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 4 hr session per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment COURSE WORK - LABORATORY REPORT (1,000 WORDS)  50%
Semester Assessment 1.5 HR OPEN BOOK TEST OF COMPETENCY IN SPSS  50%
Supplementary Exam 2,000 WORD ESSAY  100%

Learning outcomes

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

1. explain basic approaches to research and differentiate between them;

2. examine an existing investigation and recognize its strengths and weaknesses;

3. methodically report on an investigation using appropriate terminology and principles, and,

4. demonstrate competence in the use of SPSS to perform basic statistical procedures and to draw appropriate conclusions from the output (specifically: chi-square, Mann-Whitney, Wilcoxon, paired and unpaired t-tests, linear regression, Spearman's and Pearson's correlation).

Brief description

The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to key issues in research design and statistics. The module will comprise of a number of different activities:

1. Lectures - where key concepts in research design will be introduced
2. Practicals - where students will collect data & gain experience of key research design concepts
3. SPSS sessions - where students will be introduced to basic statistical tests and will use these to analyse the data collected during practicals
4. Review sessions - where students will review the results of statistical analyses and the design concepts covered in practicals.

The knowledge and skills developed in this module will help the student to interpret existing knowledge and data in other modules. The student will also start to develop the knowledge needed to carry out independent research.


1. To introduce the framework of key research themes such as: inductive, deductive, empirical, observational, survey-based, qualitative and quantitative.

2. To describe the steps (and iterations) in the research process from/to establishing a question to/from interpreting data.

3. To introduce SPSS and develop skills in data entry, statistical analysis and statistical interpretation.

Module Skills

Research skills Implicit within the module. Knowledge but not practical competency is assessed.  
Communication Written communication is required primarily for the laboratory report.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be given opportunities to complete formative laboratory reports and SPSS analysis. Feedback will be provided on their performance and they will be able to use this feedback to improve their own learning and performance.  
Information Technology Use of SPSS is a key aspect of the module.  
Application of Number Involved in statistical analysis.  


This module is at CQFW Level 4