module specification

PY7164 - Advanced Research Design and Analysis for Psychology (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Advanced 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% 50 Written project (3,000 words) utilising a qualitative analysis method to analyse a given text. Minimum grade 50%
Unseen Examination 50% 50 Multiple Choice Exam on Advanced Quantitative Analysis Methods. Minimum.grade 50%
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance 80%
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

It introduces a range of advanced quantitative and qualitative methods employed in psychological research. The module is designed for inclusion in postgraduate psychology courses which have the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) as an entry requirement   There are two equally-weighted items of coursework one based on quantitative approaches and methodology and the other based on qualitative approaches and methodology.


The syllabus taught will reflect that specified in the “BPS supplementary guidance for research and research methods on society accredited programmes”. An indicative syllabus is indicated below.

This module has been designed to meet the BPS Supplementary guidance for research and research methods on Society accredited postgraduate programmes. Thus, selection of topics will reflect the need to adhere to this guidance. Within this general frame work there will be equal focus on qualitative and quantitative techniques. Assumptions about the nature of knowledge; contrasting epistemological positions and implications for method and theory building will underpin discussion of all techniques and will serve as a foundation for advanced application.

Quantitative Methods
To include brief revision of some general principles of the analysis of quantitative data. How to present quantitative analysis.
Advanced topics will be drawn from: 
Multiple linear regression analysis;  logistic regression; Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA); Factor Analysis; Cluster Analysis; Discriminant Function Analysis; Path Analysis; Multi-level Modelling, Mediation, Moderation

Qualitative Methods
To include discussion of epistemological position and general principles of the analysis of qualitative data. How to write up and present qualitative analysis.
Advanced topics will be drawn from:
Content analysis; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA); Discourse Analysis; Grounded Theory; Thematic analysis



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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. demonstrate  a deep and comprehensive understanding of the epistemological, methodological, practical, and ethical issues involved in applying different methods;
2. assess the suitability of quantitative data with regard to statistical assumptions required for different analyses;
3. perform and interpret a range of advanced univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses;
4. make expert  use of computer-based statistical packages, e.g. SPSS, AMOS, LISREL,
5. employ a range of advanced methods for collecting and interpreting qualitative data;
6. report upon the outcome of quantitative and qualitative studies to publication standard for academic journals and for professional reports;
7. extend their knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods by working independently from authoritative texts covering advanced methods and research publications employing such methods; and
8. design, develop and carry out research within given resources and timetable constraints.


Field, A. (2014). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (4th edition). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Smith, J., (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (3rd ed.). London, Sage Publications Ltd.


American Psychological Association (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: APA.
Breakwell, G. M.,& Smith J. A.  (eds). (2013). Research methods in psychology. (4th ed) London: Sage
Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West S. G. & Aiken, L. S. (2002) Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. (3rd ed.) Routledge Academic.
Frost, N. (2011).Qualitative research methods in psychology: From core to combined approaches. McGraw-Hill.
Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford Press.
Howell, D. C. (2013). Statistical methods for psychology (8th ed.). Cengage Publishing.
Howell, D. C. (2017). Fundamental statistics for the behavioural sciences (9th ed.). Cengage Publishing.
Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2004). A simple guide to advanced statistics in SPSS. Basingstoke: Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc.
Robson, C. (2002). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Oxford: Blackwell.
Preacher, K. J. (2015). Advances in mediation analysis: A survey and synthesis of new developments. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 825-852.
Tabachnick, B. & Fidell, L. (2013).  Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Pearson.
Warner, R. M. (2013). Applied statistics: From bivariate through multivariate techniques. London: Sage.
Willig, C. (2008). Introducing qualitative research in psychology. Adventures in theory and method. (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.