module specification

PY7163 - Research Design and Analysis for Psychology (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Research Design and Analysis for Psychology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Research Portfolio Exercises.
Coursework 50%   Qualitative Assignment
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

You will be introduced to methods of psychological investigation and  develop your ability to design such investigations, to understand the ethical implications of the methods used, and to assess the data collected.  Each of these aims is associated with general competencies that are highly valued in employment settings (e.g., communication, numeracy, critical thinking). The module also aims to facilitate integration of students’ knowledge and understanding of research methods with their knowledge and understanding in core areas of psychology, e.g. cognitive or developmental psychology) and to provide students with a firm foundation for their Master’s level project.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? NO


This module allows students the opportunity to learn about, and develop their skills in, psychology research. (LO1,2,5)

The syllabus includes an introduction to the nature and purposes of research in psychology; and different approaches to research design, including the match between research design and research questions.  We will explore different methods for gathering data in psychology; core research design concepts and issues; and research ethics for psychologists. (LO1 - 5)

We will also explore the reporting of research studies, including how to structure of a research report; how to write and format each section; and APA style for scientific writing. (LO3,4)

The syllabus includes coverage of different ways of both summarising and presenting data quantitative; using data analysis software; and using statistics to draw inferences about populations from research samples.  We will cover analyses for between and within participants research designs with two conditions;  analyses for between and with participants research designs with more than two conditions; analysis of relationships between variables using correlation and regression(LO3)

Finally, the syllabus will include coverage of qualitative methods (e.g., interviews, observation, and examination of secondary data sources) and simple text analysis. We will also discuss the reporting and evaluation of qualitative research. (LO3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered via lectures and workshops.  Lectures will be used to deliver general material and material on specific methods of data collection.  Workshops will be used to carry out analyses (in a computer laboratory using suitable software where appropriate) and discuss examples from the relevant literature. 
Students will be expected to write up the outcome of analyses carried out in workshops to publication standard.  They will also be expected to engage in a self-directed manner with key texts and published articles to extend their knowledge and skills.
The activities in this module will contribute to the following key areas in personal development plans:
(a) the ability to work with quantitative information in general, not just the specific examples included in the module
(b) the ability to extract key information from specialised data analysis software and present it in a form suitable for a non-specialist audience
(c) the ability to extend knowledge and skills to tackle new problems beyond the specific topics covered in formal teaching sessions through self-directed, independent learning.
(d) the ability to critically reflect on the use of quantitative and qualitative data in everyday contexts.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

1. Critically discuss general concepts and principles associated with the design of, implementation of, and data analysis within, a range of different approaches to research in psychology;
2. Demonstrate an awareness of the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics (2014) and how this is implemented in the design and conduct of psychological research;
3. Describe, analyse and interpret both quantitative and qualitative data using appropriate methods and tools, for example specialist statistical or qualitative analysis software.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of how to competently write a psychological report in the format described by American Psychological Association (APA) style conventions.
5. Critically reflect on the social power structures which inform psychological research.

Assessment strategy

There will be two equally-weighted items of coursework one based on quantitative approaches and methodology and the other based on qualitative approaches and methodology. In order to pass the module students must achieve at least 40% in each component of assessment and achieve an average of at least 50% for the module as a whole. The tasks given to students will be set in the context of the particular course they are taking.