INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY

SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1C822907
Module Leader Sheila Morrison
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The module shall develop the foundation skills necessary for conducting research in Applied Psychology. These skills include appraising the research process (e.g., what makes a good research question, accessing research literature), guidelines for writing a research report, an introduction to quantitative statistics (e.g., parametric and non-parametric statistics), qualitative approaches (e.g., content analysis, ethnography), and using appropriate software (SPSS) to analyse data and interpret output. This module provides students with the opportunity to develop personal communication and presentation skills and to acquire the skills necessary to work effectively in a group (e.g., team roles and responsibilities, effective decision making in groups, working with others). It will also outline skills required for independent study (e.g., deep and surface approaches to learning) and introduce students to methods of critical analysis, reasoning and argumentation.

Syllabus

This module is designed to enable students to know, understand and apply the research process in Applied Psychology. The module shall be divided into three main sections. First, it shall begin with an overview of the research process paying particular attention to science and knowledge and psychology as a science. Second, it shall explore the research process using the IMRAD (introduction, method, results and discussion) format. In this section of the module, students will be introduced to scientific writing, conducting literature reviews, analysing data (e.g., SPSS), forming discussions and referencing systems. Students shall explore qualitative and quantitative methods. There shall be an introduction to the philosophy underpinning qualitative/quantitative research and methods in psychology and an exploration of the contribution of qualitative research to psychological knowledge. Finally, it shall explore how research is communicated and reported (e.g., reports, presentations and posters) in Applied Psychology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:1. understand the relative contribution of qualitative and qualitative research to psychological knowledge (K) (assessed via group presentation).2. understand the philosophical and methodological differences between quantitative and qualitative research (K, C, An) (assessed via group presentation),3. demonstrate familiarity with the broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods (A, An) (assessed via essay)4. analyse, discuss and report on data using appropriate techniques (E, S) (assessed via essay)K = Knowledge; C = comprehension; A = application, An = Analysis; S = Synthesis; E = Evaluation

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will use a blended-learning approach. One hour of tutor-led lecture supplemented by a one-hour practical per week. Independent study on identified topics. On line support through GCULearn. All lecture presentations/additional materials posted on GCULearn. Individual meetings with tutors provided on request. Feedback on summative component of the assessment strategy using Grademark to enhance accessibility and understanding of feedback and to reinforce principles of the Feedback for Future Learning Strategy.

Indicative Reading

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2013) Successful qualitative research; a practical guide for beginners . Sage Davies, M. B. (2007). Doing a successful research project: Using qualitative or quantitative methods . Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Day, R. A., & Gastel, B. (2011). How to write and publish a scientific paper (7 th ed.). New York: Greenwood Press. Day, R. A., & Sakaduski, N. (2011). Scientific English: A guide for scientists and other professionals . New York: Greenwood Press. Forrester, M. (2010). Doing qualitative research in psychology: A practical guide . London: Sage McQueen, R. A., & Knussen, C. (2013). Introduction to research methods and statistics in psychology: A practical guide for the undergraduate researcher (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson. Moran, A. P. (2000). Managing your own learning at university: A practical guide . Dublin: University College Dublin Press Osmond, A. (2013). Academic writing and grammar for students . London: Sage.

Transferrable Skills

-360 1. Literature review: Able to search, corral and synthesis technical literature from journal articles, books, on-line material and other relevant sources. 2. Group oral presentation: Able to plan and conduct a presentation that involves negotiating and planning with others, accessing information and undertaking defined roles to complete the task. 3. Public speaking: Able to plan, develop and deliver a presentation to an audience of staff and students. 4. Ethical thinking: Able to identify, consider and deal with ethical issues for a project.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 157.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 60.00 35% A 1500-word essay on a selected topic in the study area of Applied Psychology.
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% A group oral presentation comprising a 15 minute group oral presentation followed by a 10 minute interactive class discussion about the presentation topic.