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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 21/03/2022 13:29:13

Title of Module: Investigating Addiction

Code: POAB11003 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:C  Longman

Summary of Module

The aim of this module is to provide practical tuition of commonly applied research methodologies used to investigate the psychology of addiction. The research methods and analytical techniques taught in this module will advance the approaches typically taught in undergraduate psychology degree programmes. The module will cover both qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigating addiction, as well as approaches to critically evaluating existing literature such as systematic reviews. Quantitative approaches will focus on large-scale observational methods utilising questionnaires, and hypothesis testing via experimental methods. Qualitative approaches will focus upon inductive research methods such as Phenomenology and Grounded Theory. The module will be delivered via workshops that will contain lecture content and practical tuition. The module will provide practical tuition in a diverse range of research methods that are highly suitable for application within the MSc Addiction Psychology dissertation module.

This module will develop the following graduate attributes: 


Critical Thinker





Effective Communicator

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. Apply experimental analysis techniques to address a psychological research question

L2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of psychometric theory in investigating addiction

L3. Use qualitative epistemologies and approaches to understand experience of addiction-related phenomena

L4. Plan, design and evaluate research designs in psychology

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.

Understanding research designs in the investigation of addiction psychology.
Understanding typical psychological approaches to analyse addiction-related data.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Using acquired knowledge to plan, design, interpret and report the outcome of a research question in psychology.
Analysing datasets that are typical in the field of academic and applied social science research.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

The communication of quantitative and qualitative data analyses.
Identify and analyse aspects of quantitative and qualitative methodological issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Use of computer statistical software such as SPSS to analyse and interpret data.
Producing research proposal documents.
Communicating the interpretation of the output in written form using conventional standards.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

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

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
Lectures will be used to introduce students into the epistemological considerations relevant to the specific research methodology being covered, including research question development, type of knowledge produced and limitations of approach. The practical workshops will focus on analysis, where in the first hour students will be provided with practical tuition on how to conduct analysis. Later in the workshop students will be provided with example data to conduct practical tasks using the analytical approach.
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 Activity0
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Independent Study164
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:

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. London: Sage Publications.

Miller, P.G., Strang, J., & Miller, P.M. (2010). Addiction Research. Chichester: Blackwell Publishing

Recommended Reading:

Field, A., & Hole, G. (2002). How to design and report experiments. London: Sage Publications.

Recommended journals including but not limited to:

Addiction Theory and Research; Addiction; Psychology of Addictive Behaviors; Journal of Behavioral Addictions; Addictive Behaviors.

(**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 full-time 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 available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPsychology
ModeratorA Parke
External ExaminerA Harris
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment Portfolio of Analytical Skills. Students will submit results sections from a selection of analytical approaches taught and submit an extended results and interpretation section for one selected analytical technique.(2000 words: 50% of Module Mark)
Research Proposal (2000 words: 50% of Module Mark)
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Paper   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 (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). 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:
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.