PSY1011 : Research Methods and Skills 2

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of research design in experimental psychology. Students will develop the ability to analyse primary data, establish whether the data is statistically significant using an appropriate test, and communicate their findings in the form of a scientific lab report.

Outline Of Syllabus

RESEARCH METHODS COMPONENT: Students will conduct two research practicals in psychology. In each practical, students will actively take part in the experiment or with the data collection, thereby gaining first-hand experience of conducting psychological research. Each practical will expose students to relevant background literature and involve conducting a suitable statistical test using appropriate software, e.g. SPSS. Students will communicate their findings in the form of lab report which adheres to a common standard for scientific report writing, e.g. the American Psychological Association (APA) format.

STATISTICS COMPONENT: Students will continue to develop data processing skills, both by hand and using computer packages such as Microsoft Excel and SPSS. The student will be introduced to the main inferential statistical methods available to psychologists, including: confidence intervals; t-test; F-test; Mann-Whitney; Wilcoxon; chi-squared test; correlation and regression.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00Preparation for statistics assignment completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Statistics lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0072:00Preparation for practical reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical122:0024:00The practical work sessions culminate in the submission of two written reports.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading110:0010:00Reading as indicated in sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Statistics workshops
Guided Independent StudySkills practice16:006:00Practice with SPSS
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00Revision of concepts from lectures/workshops/practicals
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The practical sessions are used to teach experimental psychology through practical experience and experimental design. They involve data collection, analysis and write up of the research reports.
The statistics lectures, together with the lecture handouts, provide an overview of the statistical and practical methods used in the module. They include an introduction to each topic together with worked examples of each statistical procedure. The statistics workshops provide time to apply what has been covered in the previous lecture. Students work through examples, using their lecture notes and are encouraged to make use of the individual help and advice available from the lecturer and demonstrators. Students continue working on the problems set during the workshops, and supplement their lecture notes with background reading.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A30Statistics component. Candidates may use notes collated during module. Textbooks not allowed.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M502 Practical Reports – See below for further details
Prob solv exercises2M202 Statistics Assignments – See below for further details
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The overall rationale is to teach psychology through practical experience. The various sessions are aimed at providing opportunities for students to develop and practice the necessary skills and knowledge outcomes. Knowledge and understanding of the statistics component is primarily assessed through the summative examination. The ability to analyse, present and interpret experimental data is assessed by the written reports which are also used to assess the students’ skills in written communication.

Assessment Information, Practical Component:

2 Practical reports:
Each report will include a Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Reference section. Appendices may be also be included relevant. The page limit/word count for each report is between 8-12 pages written in APA style (this is approximately, but not more than, 2,000 words). Each report carries an equal weighting with regard to the overall total mark for the practical component.

It is compulsory to pass the Research Methods practical component (i.e. weighted average of both reports) at 40%.

Assessment Information, Statistics Component:

The exam and statistics assignments are designed to assess the current state of the students' statistical knowledge. The Statistics assignments contribute 20% to the final mark (10% each).

It is compulsory to pass the Statistics exam component at 40%.

If the overall practical component is failed, the Board of Examiners will specify the practical report(s) that must be re-submitted as part of the resit.

If the Statistics Exam component is failed it will have to be retaken and a pass mark obtained.

Thus, in order to pass this module students will need to pass both the above components. If either the Practicals or the Statistics component was failed and had to be re-taken as a second attempt the overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Resit arrangements will be determined by the Board of Examiners.

Reading Lists