SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3C821093
Module Leader Kareena McAloney-Kocaman
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally Level 2 Research Methods for Psychology M2C811551.

Summary of Content

Research strategies; SPSS; review of Level 2 statistics; numerical analysis in the context of psychological research; multivariate statistics; qualitative analysis; questionnaire design; interview techniques; ethical issues; interrogating the literature; writing the research report.


This module is designed to enable students to develop a knowledge and understanding of psychological research and to give methodological support to the third and fourth level empirical projects in psychology. It has four major perspectives: project design in relation to theory and method; psychological statistics and data analysis, with the use of statistical computer packages; the practical process of submitting an application for ethics in psychology; and the development of effective communication skills in the context of psychological research. Students are instructed in the use of SPSS and topics such as qualitative data analysis, questionnaire design and validation, ethical issues in research, etc., are addressed.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students should be able to:1. gain knowledge and experience of ethical processes and issues in psychological research,2. design a competent application for ethical clearance for research in psychology, 3. evaluate the methodological competence of published studies,4. develop a critical understanding of qualitative and quantitative psychological research 5. have a critical understanding of contemporary debates around the scientific nature of psychology, and the implications of these debates for research in contemporary psychology

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module shall use a blended-learning approach. Students are offered flexibility in their learning through a combination of face-to-face and on-line lectures and seminars. Some lectures will be taught using podcasts to augment other face-to-face lectures that introduce students to specific topics related to the study of advanced research methods. Seminars will be taught face-to-face to engage students with statistical and qualitative data analysis. This module encourages cooperative learning so students will have the opportunity to share, discuss and debate research ideas whilst conducting their coursework. This module is also available wholly on-line through Blackboard to support students who wish to study abroad.

Indicative Reading

Abelson, R. P. (1995). Statistics as principled argument. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3 rd ed.). London: SAGE. McQueen, R. A. & Knussen, C. (2006). Introduction to research methods and statistics in psychology . Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education. Silverman, D. (2009). Doing qualitative research (3 rd ed.). London SAGE. Sternberg, R. J. (1988). The psychologist's companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers . Cambridge: CUP. Key Journals Psychological Assessment Psychological Methods Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Applied Cognitive Psychology

Transferrable Skills

Students will design and report an application for ethical clearance for research in psychology. They will acquire the ability to perform a detailed interrogation of a complex data-base and to answer specific research questions based on that analysis. They will acquire familiarity with psychological research methods, and will be able to assess and evaluate published research reports via an understanding of statistical concepts and techniques, as well as specific methodologies in various research areas.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 8.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 148.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% 2000-word research application for ethical approval.
Exam (School) 2.00 50.00 35% Two hour departmental examination