Modules for course C8AL | MSC/PSYRES
MSc Psychological Research

This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2018–19.

Find out more about studying and applying for this degree.

Use the buttons after the module titles (where available) to see a brief description of the content, or:
Show all descriptions
Hide all descriptions

Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • PRP-4013: Research Rotation
  • PRP-4014: Advanced Research Methods (20) Core
    The content of the course will comprise of the following elements: Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, Qualitative Analysis, Single-Case Designs, Advanced Regression, ANOVA and ANCOVA, Repeated-measures and Mixed ANOVA, Categorical data & Logistic Regression, Factor, Cluster, & Reliability Analysis, MANOVA & Discriminant Function Analysis, Path Analysis & Structural Equation Modelling, Statistical Power & Effect Sizes, Statistics & Experimental Design. Reading List Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (3rd Ed.). Sage (Essential) Tabachnick, B. &Fidell, L. (2007). Using Multivariate Statistics (5th Ed.) Pearson. (Further reading)
  • PRP-4025: Research Project

Optional Modules

80 credits from:

  • PPP-4003: Clinical Neuropsychology II (20) (Semester 2)
    Key readings required for student presentations will be given out in class at least 1 week prior. PowerPoint presentations posed on Blackboard within 24 hours of Lecture The following list is a representative sample of scientific literature either given as reading to the students or presented in the lectures. Memory disorders Dementia Stroke and recovery Rehabilitation Epilepsy Parkinson’s Disease Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical trials and evidence based medicine
  • PPP-4004: Bio Bases of Neuro Disorders (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will provide insights into aspects of clinical and basic neuroscience that are critical for understanding the neurobiological basis of mental illness. Topics will include: • The functional organization of the human brain; • The structure and function of neurons, neural transmission and basic neuropharmacology; • Principles of neuropsychological assessment; • Systems neuroscience, as revealed by neurophysiology and neuropsychology, relevant to understanding major neuropsychiatric illness, including anxiety, depression, learning disability and psychosis. Special attention will focus on: • The functions of the limbic system, frontal cortex, hypothalamus and other subcortical structures in regulating learning, motivation, emotion and empathy. • The functions of the frontal and parietal cortex in regulating attention and purposeful behavior. • The function of major ascending neurotransmitter systems and their derangement in major psychiatric illness.
  • PPP-4005: Methods in Cog & Brain Res (20) (Semester 1)
    One part of the module will provide specific examples in selected areas of cognition and neuroscience, including patient studies, psychophysics, MRI, EEG and TMS. This part is composed of guest lectures talking about one or more research methods in cognition and brain. The second part of the module aims to provide in-depth analysis of specific topics within the area of psychology and neuroscience, highlighting the different methods. This part includes students’ evaluation and writing about one selected topic in cognition and brain.
  • PPP-4008: Bilingualism: Res & Methods (20) (Semester 1)
    Methods covered in this module will be selected form the following list, for each of which we have experts within the School of Psychology: Computational modelling, Corpus Analysis, Neuropsychology, Experimental psychology (Reaction times and eye-tracking), Neuroscientific methods (Event-related potentials, fMRI).
  • PPP-4010: Clinical Neuropsychology I (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will introduce students to the principles of neuropsychological assessment, provide an understanding of the pathophysiology of common diseases causing neuropsychological disability, and a foundation in functional neuroanatomy and neurological localisation relevant to the practice of clinical neuropsychology. It will also introduce students to neuropsychological disorders frequently encountered in clinical practice such as amnesia, aphasia, neglect, visuospatial impairment, agnosia, alexia, apraxia, and dysexecutive disorders. Reading List Lezak, M.D. (2004). Neuropsychological Assessment. Oxford: Oxfor University Press. Goldstein, L.H. & McNeil, J.E. (2004). Clinical Neuropsychology: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Management for Clinicians. Chichester: Wiley. Heilman, K.M. &Valenstein, E. (1985). Clinical Neuropsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Snyder, P.J. & Nussbaum, P.D. (1998). Clinical neuropsychology: A Pocket Handbook for Assessment. Washington: American Psychological Association. Banich. M.T. (1997). Neuropsychology: The neural basis of mental functioning. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Bradshaw, J.L. & Mattingley, J.B. (1995). Clinical neuropsychology: Behavioural and brain science. SanDeigo: Academic Press. Cytowic, R.E. (1996). The neurological side of neuropsychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Feinberg, T.E. & Farah, M.J. (1997). Behavioral neurology and neuropsychology. New York: McGraw Hill. Luria, A.R. (1973). Higher cortical functions in man. Basic Books. McCarthy, R.A. & Warrington, E.K. (1990). Cognitive neuropsychology: A clinical introduction. Academic Press Kolb, B. & Wishaw, I.P. (1990). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology Freeman. Martin, G.N. (1998). Human neuropsychology. London: Prentice Hall Stuss, D.T. & Knight, R.T. (2002). Principles of Frontal Lobe Function. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Walsh, K.W. & Darby, D. (1985). Neuropsychology: A Clinical Approach. Churchill Livingstone.
  • PPP-4012: Practical Programming (20) (Semester 2)
    The programming language we study is Visual Basic (VB), which enables you to create a visual user interface to your program. So as well as studying common elements of computer programming, we also spend time learning about the basics of visual interface design, and the kinds of common visual “controls” (clickable buttons, menus, lists of options etc.) typical of Windows-type interfaces. A variety of VB, known as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), is embedded in many products of use in psychological research (Excel, E-Prime, Statistica, SPSS) as a scripting language. We will study VBA in the context of Excel to automate data analyses on spreadsheets (e.g., multiple t-tests, adaptive detection and removal of outliers). This is taught in the latter part of the course, and students should have prior experience of using Excel to handle data (i.e. of using the spreadsheet interface). Excel is included in MS Office software, and is made available to all students by the university. Visual Basic 2012 (Express edition) is available as a free download from Microsoft. Hence you will be able to work on your programs away from the lab. We will cover (at least) the following: General elements of programming (exemplified in Visual Basic): 1. Planning your program: What is the problem? How am I going to solve it? How can I break the solution down into steps? 2. Variables and Data types: How to declare, use and manipulate numbers, strings, lists, and (VB) objects. 3. Assigning values: How to give a variable a value. 4. Scope of variables: local and global variables. 5. Arithmetic operations: how to add, subtract, multiply etc 6. Simple string manipulations, e.g., concatenation. How to handle and manipulate filenames. 7. Collections of data: Creating and processing Lists and Arrays. 8. Subroutines and functions: What they are for, and the difference between them. Passing arguments and returning values from functions. 9. If... then ...else .. End if statements. How to make a conditional statement. 10. Loops: doing something repeatedly: a. For ... Next loops: doing the thing some number of times b. Do Until ... Loop, Do While ... Loop: doing the thing until (or while) some condition is fulfilled. 10. Basics of “Object-oriented” programming. Object hierarchies. Object.Method, Object.Property. Visual interface programming 1. Use of the VB programming environment,. 2. Graphical user interface (GUI) design. 3. Controls: what are they? Controls as objects. 4. VB Forms, placing controls on forms, naming controls. Changing properties of controls. 5. The object.method and syntax. 6. How manipulate common VB controls: Command buttons, text boxes, list boxes, labels, frames, option (radio) buttons, check boxes, data tables, progress bars etc. 7. Standard methods for the common controls. Linking controls to the underlying program. 8. File input/output; reading data from a file. Using file dialogs to Open and Save files. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA): Use in Excel 1. Starting VBA in Excel: The programming interface 2. Linking VBA to the Excel worksheet. 3. The Excel object model: Workbooks, Worksheets, Ranges, Cells. 4. VBA program modules, and the VBA UserForm. 5. Programming data manipulation in Excel with VB. Suggested Reading. Foxall, J. (2010). Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic 2010 in 24 Hours. Pearson Education. Gaddis, T., & Irvine, K., (2010) Starting out with Visual Basic 2010. Pearson. Walkenbach, J., (2010, 2nd Edition). Excel VBA Programming for Dummies. (For Dummies (Computers))
  • PPP-4013: Theoretical Models in Clin Psy (20) (Semester 2)
    This module explores the key theoretical models on which clinical psychology practice is based, and illustrates how these models inform clinical practice. This is intended to assist students in making decisions about pursuing a career in clinical psychology and to help prepare students for seeking relevant posts or training places. The module is presented in 11 weekly sessions consisting of lectures and small-group activities. Lectures will be given mainly by practising clinicians with expertise in particular theoretical approaches and their practical application to clinical problems, who have kindly agreed to contribute as guest lecturers to this module. Small-group work will include a range of activities designed to broaden students’ understanding of the concepts outlined in the lectures.
  • PPP-4014: Top in Child Health and Wellbe (20) (Semester 1)
    Fear and behaviour change Attitude and behaviour change Self-regulation and behaviour change Self-determination and behaviour change Motives and behaviour change Personality and behaviour change Social relationships and behaviour change Integration of theories Reading List Ayers, S., Baum, A., McManus, C., Newman, S., Wallston, K., Weinman, J., & West, R. (Eds.) (2007). Cambridge handbook of psychology, health, and medicine (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. Baum, A., Revenson, T. A., & Singer, J. (Eds.) (2012). Handbook of health psychology (2nd ed.). New York: Psychology Press. Conner, M., & Norman, P. (2005). Predicting health behaviour: Research and practice with social cognition models (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. de Ridder, D. T. D , & de Wit, J. B. F. (Eds.) (2006). Self-regulation in health behavior. Chichester: Wiley. Friedman, H. S. (Ed.) (2011). The Oxford handbook of health psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. French, D., Vedhara, K., Kaptein, A. A., & Weinman, J. (2010). Health psychology (2nd ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Suls, J. M., Davidson, K. W., & Kaplan, R. M. (Eds.) (2010). Handbook of health psychology and behavioral medicine. New York: Guilford Press. Vollrath, M. E. (Ed). (2006). Handbook of personality and health. Chichester: Wiley.
  • PRP-4015: Research Methods Skills (20) (Semester 1)
    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 equiped with the research methods skills necessary to study psychology. The programme is not designed to engage the students in a heavy research programme, 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 bing able to carry out an empirical project. The course is designed for students to establish mastery at a fundamental level for the following topics: research methods basics, descriptive statistics, correlation, basic and advanced experimental design, parametric tests, t-tests, ANOVA (between, repeated and mixed)
  • PPP-4017: Nudges and Beh Change for Busi (20) (Semester 1)
    Topics covered in this module will include decision making (results, brain areas, biases, irrationality etc). Choice architectures and how they influence decision making e.g. message framing. How decision making can be influenced "in the moment" e.g. through nudges and priming and in the "long term" e.g. behaviour change. Issues regarding applying these concepts to real world problems will be discussed througout.
  • PPP-4019: Psychology Disciplinary Elop* (20) (Semester 2)
  • PPP-4020: Global Early Childhood (20) (Semester 2)
  • PPP-4021: Intro Neuroimaging Analysis (10) (Semester 1)
  • PPP-4022: Introduction to Neuroimaging (10) (Semester 1)
  • PPP-4023: Adv. Neuroimaging Concepts (10) (Semester 1)
  • PPP-4025: Clin&Applied Neurosci:CaseStud (20) (Semester 2)
  • PPP-4026: Clin&Applied Neurosci:Theory (20) (Semester 1)
  • PPP-4027: Educational Neuroscience (20) (Semester 2)
  • PPP-4028: Applied Forensic Psychology (20) (Semester 1)
  • PPP-4032: Brain Stimulation Methods (20) (Semester 2)
  • 10 credit modules: You must select two modules. Students can either select PPP4021 & PPP4022 or PPP4022 & PPP4023. ESRC funded 1 + 3 Students - SXU4005 Research Process and Meaning is a core module in addition to the other core modules. This module is not an option for any other students on this programme.