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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/10/2022 14:16:46

Title of Module: Applying Psychology Methods

Code: PSYC09015 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:L  Kozma

Summary of Module

This module re-introduces and builds on the key topics and issues of research design and methodology. In assessing quantitative research design, the module will cover the principles of research design, such as: critical evaluation of methods of behavioural and self-report data collection, theories of psychological measurement, sampling techniques and issues, hypothesis formulation and hypothesis testing. The aims where addressing qualitative research are to uncover and / or understand the big picture - by using the data to describe the phenomenon and how this can be related to other research or applied.

Methods of analysis will be discussed with two broad data gathering techniques:

Quantitative will cover issues such as probability, sample size, power and the analyses of comparative and correlational data. Qualitative will cover descriptive accounts of the data using techniques like content or discourse analysis and higher level, or latent level, of analysis: such as thematic and phenomenological. 

At the end of the module, students will have become inquiring, research-minded, analytical and autonomous.  In addition, they will have become creative problem solvers and effective communicators. 

The use of technology to facilitate and disseminate findings will be part of the teaching and assessment strategy of the module. Key skills developed within this module include:


  • Planning a study

  • Collecting data

  • Data analysis

  • Ethical considerations

  • Digital Literacy

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 knowledge of the nature and structure of psychological research design

L2. Show a critical understanding of Quantitative and Qualitative methodology

L3. Demonstrate an ability to process, interpret, evaluate and communicate the analysis of differing sets of psychological data using tools such as SPSS

L4. Demonstrate an ability to process, interpret, evaluate and communicate the analysis of differing sets of psychological data using analytical techniques

L5. Demonstrate an appreciation of the ethical issues involved in conducting psychological research

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 9.

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

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Using acquired theoretical knowledge to identify, plan, design and address a question.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

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 and qualitative methodological issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

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

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

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Take responsibility for the completion of their own continuous assessment, meeting rolling deadlines.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Qualitative Research Skills in Psychology
Quantitative Research Skills in Psychology
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered using a hybrid approach in which students are encouraged to engage with the module through three learning activities, presented both synchronously and asynchronously. Students will be encouraged to engage asynchronously with pre-recorded lecture content designed to provide students with an overview of the topic area. Pre-recorded lecture material will be complimented with a series of asynchronous and synchronous activities to be undertaken in the student's own time or by the students/instructor simultaneously as appropriate.

Teaching activities will use a student- focused, blended approach. Weekly lectures will recap previous learning and cover theory of new research methods covered. Small group teaching in the form of workshops will involve practical laboratory instruction and flexible self-paced learning. Additionally self-paced exercises and demonstration will be utilised via the VLE, examples of these are using instructional videos, demonstrations and formative quizzes.

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

The workshops and lectures will blend the theoretical and practical elements of research design, methodology, analysis, interpretation and reporting. Some of the allocated contact hours will include ICT led laboratory practical which will be used to instruct SPSS/Data encoding and analysis techniques by using demonstration and student collaboration. The assessment strategy allows for continuous development towards assessment through guided practical 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 Delivery10
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Asynchronous Class Activity64
Independent Study100
Personal Development Plan2
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:

Bourne, V., (2017). Starting Out in Methods and Statistics for Psychology: A Hands-on Guide to Doing Research. Oxford University Press.

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

Haslam, S.A. & McGarty, C., 2014. Research methods and statistics in psychology. Sage. *

Pallant, J. (2020). SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS. Routledge.

(**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
ModeratorJ Ingram
External ExaminerTBC
Accreditation DetailsBritish Psychology Society
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Written assessment outlining the methodological challenges of designing and carrying out a research study to address a research question (40%)
Presentation outlining the analysis and interpretation of data from studies utilising psychological data to address a research question. (60%)
(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
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck mark  check mark400

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
Portfolio of practical work  check markcheck mark 600
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.