Module PPC-4005:
Research Methods & Statistics

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Fay Short

Overall aims and purpose

This module provides the student with an opportunity to develop research skills to gather and analyse quantitative and qualitative data in a therapeutic context. The student will gain a practical and applied understanding of how to manage descriptive and inferential statistics, thematic and grounded analysis, and action research. They will also consider the risks and limitations of these forms of analysis and critically evaluate how analysis can impact on practice. This training will provide them with the knowledge and insight to propose their own research project addressing an original therapeutic question.

Course content

Topics covered in this module include: • 21/01/19 Introduction • 28/01/19 Research Goals (Research Proposal) • 04/02/19 Quantitative: Designing Research (Research Design) • 11/02/19 Quantitative: Data Analysis (Analysing Data) • 18/02/19 Quantitative: Descriptive Analysis (Descriptive Statistics) • 25/02/19 Quantitative: Inferential Analysis T-Test (Inferential Statistics T-TEST) • 04/03/19 Quantitative: Inferential Analysis ANOVA (Inferential Statistics ANOVA) • 11/03/19 Quantitative: Inferential Analysis Correlation (Inferential Statistics CORRELATION) • 18/03/19 Qualitative: Designing and Analysing (Research Design and Analysis) • 25/03/19 Qualitative: Thematic Analysis and Grounded Analysis (Coding) • 01/04/19 Skills for Placement • 29/04/19 Planning Research (Research Group Formation) • 06/05/19 Bank Holiday • 13/05/19 Planning Research (Research Planning)

Assessment Criteria


• Limited use of research with appropriate application of methods and statistics • Some knowledge of Research Methods and Statistics • Understanding of the main concepts, but with factual errors in non-core concepts • Limited analysis showing only obvious points of evaluation and links between ideas • Highly limited originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Highly limited evidence of independent research • Arguments presented but lack coherence with evidence for only some claims • Focused but with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure • Acceptable presentation with appropriate expression • Attempt at correct format in appropriate referencing style


• Good use of research with appropriate application of methods and statistics • Strong knowledge of Research Methods and Statistics • Clear understanding and mostly free of factual errors • Some analysis showing critical evaluation and links between ideas • Some originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Some independent research • Coherent arguments with evidence for most claims • Focused and well structured • Good presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Mostly correct format in appropriate referencing style


• Excellent use of research with appropriate application of methods and statistics • Comprehensive knowledge of Research Methods and Statistics • Detailed understanding with no factual errors • Critical analysis showing evaluation and synthesis of ideas • Originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Extensive independent research • Logically defended arguments with evidence for all claims • Highly focused and well structured • Excellent presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Correct format in appropriate referencing style

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically understand and apply different approaches to research study

  2. Analyse qualitative research data through thematic analysis and grounded analysis

  3. Analyse quantitative research data through descriptive and inferential statistics

  4. Generate an original research proposal with a critical understanding of how data can be gathered and analysed

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CLASS TEST Classroom Exercises

Eight supported 50min classroom exercises completed weekly within the scheduled labs, with the grade calculated according to the average of the highest five.

REPORT Research Proposal

Ethics form proposing an ethical and pragmatic research project for the final dissertation, incorporating a review of 1000wds critically exploring published research and theory into a key issue in counselling or psychotherapy and justifying the need for the proposed research.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

Your computer lab will give you an opportunity to apply your understanding of research skills in practice.


Your lecture will explore key issues relating to quantitative and qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy.

Private study 58

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.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

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.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • 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.
  • Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
  • 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.
  • Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (2016). Ethical Field, Andy. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS statistics. London, UK: Sage. Framework for the Counselling Professions. Leicestershire, UK: BACP. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (2012). Anthology of Research Information Sheets. Leicestershire, UK: BACP. British Psychological Society. (2014). Code of Human Research Ethics. Leicester, UK: BPS. McLeod, J. (2015). Doing Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy. London, UK: Sage. Vossler, A., & Moller, N. (2015). The Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Handbook. London, UK: Sage.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: