module specification

PY7P93 - Further Research Methods and Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Further Research Methods and Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
166 hours Guided independent study
34 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 0%   Project Proposal & Ethics Approval Application
Coursework 25%   Portfolio of data analysis exercises
Coursework 75% 50 Project Report (5000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

The module is designed to extend students’ understanding and competence in the application of research methods to a level appropriate for planning and carrying out a piece of empirical research at Postgraduate Diploma level. This module also supports the process of planning, carrying out, and writing up an empirical research project in any area of psychology at Postgraduate Diploma level.

Prior learning requirements

Research Methods and Biological Psychology

Module aims

The module aims to (1) build on the knowledge, understanding and skills students have gained by taking PY7185 to cover more complex research designs and data structures, (2) provide each student with the opportunity of studying an area of psychology in depth, involving designing a piece of research and the collection, assessment and interpretation of the data.


Multiple linear regression.  Mediation and moderation analysis. Factor analysis.  Path analysis. Current developments in the analysis of quantitative data.

Advanced qualitative analysis using alternative epistemological approaches to those covered in PY7185 (e.g., discourse analysis, IPA, grounded theory); application of qualitative methodologies in psychological research; means of ensuring quality in qualitative research.

Project topic that is unique to each student.

Learning and teaching

There will be a series of formal teaching sessions. The sessions will consist of a combination of lecture followed by practical workshop, with the balance in any one week being determined by the nature of the topics being covered.

Supervision meetings and independent learning will be the main focus of the project component.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to
1. make expert  use of computer-based statistical packages for performing advance methods of data analysis, e.g. SPSS, AMOS, LISREL,
2. employ a range of advanced methods for collecting and interpreting qualitative data;
3. extend their knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods by working independently from advanced texts covering research methods and research publications employing such methods;
4. integrate their knowledge and understanding of research methods with their knowledge and understanding in core areas of psychology, e.g. cognitive, developmental, social psychology to develop a research plan for conducting a substantial piece of empirical work within given resources and time constraints;
5. have in-depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic in psychology;
6. be able to develop meaningful research questions and/or testable hypotheses from a theoretical basis;
7. have developed an understanding of the process involved in designing a valid and ethical research study;
8. have independent experience in data collection;
9. be able to select and carry out appropriate analysis on a given data set;
10. be able to interpret results appropriately in terms of the research questions/ hypotheses, and be able to relate it to the wider theoretical context;
11. be able to write a report of a study in a style appropriate for psychological journals.

Assessment strategy

The research methods component will be assessed by a portfolio of exercises presented in the workshops, where students will complete the tasks set in their own time.

The project component will be assessed by a written project report on a piece of empirical research. A project proposal and ethics form, which will not be assessed, must be submitted, and ethical clearance is required prior to data collection.


British Psychological Society (2009). Code of Ethics and Conduct Leicester: BPS.
Cohen, J. (1992) A power prima. Psychological Bulletin 112, 155-9.
DeVellis, R.F (1991) Scale Development: Theory and Applications. Newbury Park CA: Sage.
Game, A. and West, M.A (2002) Principles of publishing, The Psychologist 15, 126-9.
Kline, P (2000) The Handbook of Psychological Testing (2nd edition). London: Routledge.
Rosenthal, R (1991) Meta-analytic Procedures for Social Scientists (revised). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Pearson.Willig, C. (2008). Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology: Adventures in theory and method. (2nd edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Shadish, W.R.; Cook, T.D. and Campbell, D.T. (2002) Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Silverman D. (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction (2nd edition). London: Sage.
Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th edition). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.
Sternberg, R.J. (Ed) (2000) Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tabachnick, B. and Fidell, L. (2006). Using Multivariate Statistics (5th edition). Pearson.
Wright, D.B. and Williams, S. (2004) How to produce a bad results section. The Psychologist. 16, 646-48.