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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/04/2022 11:30:21

Title of Module: Research Methods in Psychology

Code: PSYC11005 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:G  Mciejewski

Summary of Module

This module includes the key topics and issues of research design and both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In research design, it will cover the principles of research design, such as theories of psychological measurement (standardization, reliability, and validity), sampling techniques and issues, social constructivism, critical evaluation of the methods employed in psychological research, and consideration of ethical issues. 


In the analytical section, the focus will be on the acquisition of practical skills – in particular, using  statistical ?software to analyse? quantitative data, interpreting results, and structuring and communicating results.

The student will be exposed to key concepts, such as descriptive and inferential statistics, probability, data distribution, type 1 and type 2 errors, power, effect size, and confidence intervals. A broad range of descriptive and inferential tests will be demonstrated, with emphasis placed on both the theoretical and practical uses of those tests with different research designs. A broad range of qualitative research examples will be covered, such as phenomenological,  research and grounded theory.

Finally, the module will act as a transition to becoming a psychologist by introducing a number of key graduate psychology skills, such as exposure to the technical language used in psychology, formatting and reporting test results, database searching, critical reflection on the source, quality, and utility of the evidence. 

At the end of the module, the student will have become an autonomous, analytical, and inquiring thinker

  • Research Design

  • Critical Evaluation

  • Social construction and discourse

  • Transition to Psychology

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the nature and structure of psychological research design.

L2. Show a critical understanding of the appropriate use of quantitative and qualitative methodologies

L3. Demonstrate the ability to conduct, interpret, and evaluate the analysis of different types of psychological data.

L4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the ethical issues involved in conducting psychological research

L5. Show the ability to communicate the outcome of data analysis both verbally and in written forms

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Exhibit a critical understanding of quantitative research in relation to how its theoretical principles relate to and are implemented in professional practice

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Using acquired theoretical knowledge to identify, plan, design, analyse, interpret and report the outcome of a research question

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

The communication of complex ideas and issues both in written and verbal form and the critical evaluation of their own and others work.

Identify and analyse aspects of quantitative methodological issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

The use of computer statistical software such as SPSS to interpret and analyse data.

Verbally present the output to peers in groups.

Communicate the interpretation of the output in written form using the conventional standards.

Make a formal presentation to a group of peers about research methodology issues.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Take responsibility for the completion of their own formative and summative assessments, meeting rolling deadlines.

Share responsibility for the production of a formative group presentations and monitor the effort of fellow group members.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a hybrid approach with a combination of lecture material and workshops Teaching activities are centred within a student focused approach. The module will primarily utilise small group teaching in the form of workshops as well as practical laboratory sessions and flexible self-paced learning. Additionally asynchronous self-paced exercises and demonstration videos will be utilised via the VLE.

The assessment strategy will encompass a flexible programme that allows the student to show proficiency in the subject.

The workshops will blend the theoretical and practical elements of research design, analysis, interpretation and reporting. Some of the allocated contact hours will include practical sessions which will be used to instruct SPSS data analysis skills by using demonstration and guided self-paced study. The assessment strategy allows for continuous development towards assessment through guided practice and self-study
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Personal Development Plan6
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Brace, N., Snelgar, R., & Kemp, R. (2012). SPSS for Psychologists. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. AGE.

Field, A., & Hole, G. (2002). How to design and report experiments. SAGE.

Field, A. P. (2016). Discovering statistics: The reality enigma. SAGE.

Haslam, S.A., & McGarty, C. (2014). Research Methods in Psychology (2nd ed.). SAGE

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Psychology
ModeratorL Calderwood
External ExaminerJ Bohan
Accreditation DetailsBritish Psychology Society
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1: a portfolio of work focussing on research design and reflection on ethical procedures (worth 50%)
Assessment 2: a portfolio of work focussing on data analysis and interpretation skills (worth 50%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck markcheck mark check mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning log check mark  check mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.