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Module PRP-2001:
Research Methods III

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Nia Griffith

Overall aims and purpose

This module builds upon the techniques for approaching research design and data analysis that you learned in Year 1. The module covers understanding data, psychometric properties of questionnaires and psychological measures; reliability and validity; correlation and regression and qualitative methods. The content of this module covers many of the core skills required in line with the BPS guidelines for an accredited degree and is a prerequisite for Research methods and statistics 4. Because this module focuses on advanced statistical techniques, students are expected to possess adequate knowledge of the concepts covered in Year 1 research methods, as well as GCSE maths. This module will advance your skills and confidence when addressing research design and analysis, and is essential in preparing you for your Year 3 Dissertation.

Course content

Introduction to module & refresher of basic concepts Questionnaire design –part 1 Questionnaire design –part 2 Correlation and Partial Correlation Regression I Regression II Qualitative I: What is it? Qualitative II: How to collect it? Qualitative III: How to analyse it? Exam revision and guidance on writing your Research Report

Assessment Criteria


• Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material and basic readings • No substantial development of arguments • Well organised and structured


• Reasonably comprehensive coverage • Good understanding of the material with appropriate insights into theoretical issues • Well organised and structured • Clearly written


• Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area • Depth of insight into theoretical issues • Reasonably strong, well-written arguments • Clarity of argument and expression

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to productively work as part of a team by contributing, in the role of research participant, to the research conducted within the School of Psychology.

  2. Develop confidence in oral presentation of psychological material

  3. Participate in ongoing psychological research through the SONA program as well as experiment-related homework assignments.

  4. Apply their knowledge of research methods and statistics by analyzing data sets both by hand and on computer (including choosing appropriate analyses based on study hypotheses), producing graphical representations of data and interpreting results with respect to the hypotheses.

  5. Take a “data-driven” approach to interpreting statistical analyses and research methods by inferring research questions, choosing/conducting analyses and designing graphical representations of data and interpreting findings based on collected data.

  6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific research in both written and oral formats

  7. Relate theoretical understandings of research methodology and design to live experience in participation in live research within the School.

  8. Understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting and analysing data.

  9. Practice collecting, transcribing and analysing qualitative data and generating a qualitative research report.

  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the basis of psychological testing, its applications, and related constructs including reliability, validity and discrimination power.

  11. Use their knowledge of methodological concepts to evaluate and understand issues related to research design, the logic of hypothesis testing, data collection and interpretation.

  12. Use their knowledge of psychological testing concepts to construct and evaluate a psychometric questionnaire. Analyze individual items with respect to their reliability and discrimination power.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Research Report 30
Final Exam 30
POPPS Participation 2
Small Roles 4
PS1 5
PS2 5
IMP 1 2
IMP 2 2
SONA 2 2.5
SONA 1 2.5
Mid-term examination 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 22
Private study 156

Lab sessions (Maclab)


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
  • 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.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • 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.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral 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.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • 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.


Reading list

Dancey & Reidy (6th Edition) Statistics without maths for psychology Field (4th Edition) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: