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Module PRP-4014:
Advanced Research Methods

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Paul Rauwolf

Overall aims and purpose

Advanced Research Methods is a follow on to undergraduate psychology introductory courses in research methods and statistics. PRP4014 focuses on the methodological and statistical techniques which are used in studying psychology, and provides some of the skills needed to read about and conduct research in the discipline

Course content

The content of the course will comprise of the following elements: Statistics & Experimental Design,Statistical Power & Effect Sizes, Advanced Regression, ANOVA and ANCOVA, Repeated-measures and Mixed ANOVA, Non-Parametric tests, Categorical data & Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis, MANOVA & Discriminant Function Analysis, Survey Methods & Psychometrics, Qualitative Analysis, Mixed-methods.

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.


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

Learning outcomes

  1. Use the statistical package SPSS to run t-tests, ANOVA and regression analyses and their non parametric equivalent tests, along with more advanced statistical methods

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of when the t-test, ANOVA and regression analyses can be used and their non parametric equivalent tests.

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the questions asked by a number of statistical methods including (but not limited to) logistic regression, factor analysis, and multivariate ANOVA, and when such analyses can be used.

  4. Interpret the output from SPSS analyses

  5. Demonstrate knowledge of a broad range of methodological techniques including their theoretical background and applications.

  6. Be able to deeply understand one of the Research Methods topics of the module as to write a literature review that could be understood by an Undergraduate Psychology student

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

The essay will focus on a theoretical topic covered in the module. The length should not exceed 2000 words following the structure of a short book chapter in APA format. More specific essay guidelines will be provided when the essay topic is assigned.

COURSEWORK Weekly Practical Tests

Starting in week 3, 8 weekly practical tasks will be used for module assessment. These will be formative style assignments that you can complete in the computer lab seminar sessions or on your own time. Each weekly test will be worth 1.875% of the total module mark (for a total of 15%). You may attempt the tasks as many times as you like, until the due date. Once the due date has passed, the last submitted attempt will be the one that is marked. The main aims of these tasks are to help you develop or practice data analysis skills using SPSS software.

EXAM Final Exam 45

Teaching and Learning Strategy


The lectures will be introductory sessions on the relevant topics; you will still be expected to read the appropriate text to hone this knowledge. In some lectures we’ll also go over example data analyses which you can also use out of the lecture for practice.

Private study

Written feedback and grades on coursework

Practical classes and workshops

The SPSS labs will be help sessions for practical tasks set during the latter section of the module. You are free to complete these tasks out the lab sessions, but they provided as a source of support and guidance if you have any issues with the practical tasks.


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
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • 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

Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 5th Edition, Andy Field (Preferred) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 4th Edition, Andy Field (Alternative)

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: