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Module PRP-4015:
Research Methods Skills

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Vivek Thuppil

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of this module is to: Review and ensure the basic understanding of research methods and statistics suitable for the study of psychology at Masters level. The module will be based on weekly lectures supported by weekly seminars to allow the students to progress through the material. By the end of the module, students should be able to understand what research methods and statistical tools are available for use, and be able to select the appropriate tool to support the Master's level empirical project they will be conducting

Course content

It is expected that the students will enter the programme with a diverse range of skills. This module is to ensure that students on this programme are equipped with the basic research methods skills necessary to study psychology. The programme is not designed to prepare students for a future doctoral programme (Clinical and/or Research), but rather allow the study of psychology without the usual emphasis on research, research methods, and statistics. However, there is a level of competency in research methods and statistics required for an understanding of the area, as well as being able to carry out the Master's level empirical project. The course is designed for students to establish competency at a fundamental level for the following topics: research methods basics, basic and advanced experimental designs, parametric tests including correlation, regression, t-tests, ANOVA & Regression.

Assessment Criteria


• Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. • No real development of arguments.


• Reasonably comprehensive coverage. • Well organised and structured. • Good understanding of the material. • Clearly written


• Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area clarity of argument and expression. • Depth of insight into theoretical issues. • Clarity of argument and expression.

Learning outcomes

  1. At the end of this module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of research methods basics such as descriptive and inferential statistics

  2. At the end of this module students should be able to use SPSS independently to run parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses

  3. At the end of this module students should be able to distinguish between the various parametric and non-parametric statistical tests and its uses in various research designs

  4. At the end of this module students should be able to competently report scientific results and discuss their implications of the statistics

  5. At the end of this module students should be able appraise the different types of research designs used in psychological research

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Weekly Homework 50
REPORT Research report 30
CLASS TEST Practical Tests 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 22
Private study 156
Seminar 22

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Use a range of statistical methods with confidence.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Text Book Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (Sage, 4th Edition) Andy Field (Preferred Edition);

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: