Research Methods A


Topics covered will include:

  • Why do we need to do research;
  • Approaches to research in psychology;
  • Basic concepts in research methodology;
  • Ethics in psychological research;
  • Descriptive statistics;
  • Distributions, correlations;
  • Testing statistical significance;
  • Good and bad examples of research;
  • Using the library;
  • How to read a research paper;
  • How to write for a scientific audience;
  • Computer Tutorials;
  • E-mail and communication in the School;
  • Accessing the internet and CANVAS;
  • Using the library catalogue;
  • Conducting a literature search (Web of Science);
  • Presenting references;
  • Word-processing, PowerPoint;
  • Presenting Graphs and tables;
  • On-line support for Statistics;
  • Using SPSS to carry out statistical analyses;
  • Practical psychology;
  • Two simple psychological studies: How to write up an experimental design;
  • Research Participation;
  • 10 hours of participation in current research

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Describe the different approaches that are taken by research psychologists;
  • Describe the scientific method of knowledge acquisition and its advantage over common sense;
  • Apply simple statistical concepts and methods and use SPSS to carry out simple analyses;
  • Describe the need for principled ethical research in psychology;
  • Conduct (with guidance) simple research studies and summarise the processes involved;
  • Critically read and interpret a research paper;
  • Think logically and critically about their own and other people’s work;
  • Use physical and electronic facilities for communication, knowledge acquisition, and presentation of work;
  • Use reflective self-assessment to revise their own writing;
  • Write essays and reports that are clear, well-organised and persuasive.

Delivery methods

Lectures, practicals and seminars



  • Practical Report 2: (1,000 words; 50% of 10 credit module);
  • Class test (50% of 10 credit module).

To be eligible to pass this module, students must pass the statistics exam and fulfil the research participation requirements.

Note that reassessment is via an exam which covers the whole of the module including components which may have been passed individually. Special reassessment arrangements exist for those with extenuating circumstances.

Key skills

  • Written communication
  • Gathering information
  • Analysing data
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Using initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Computing and IT