Essential Research Methods and Analysis for Psychology


To build on research methods knowledge and prepare student for third year Core Research Methods


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the opportunity to further develop the knowledge and skills required to design, conduct, analyse and report quantitative and qualitative psychological research in APA format

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Report, design and conduct ethically acceptable psychological research using techniques taught on the module.

2.  Report, evaluate psychological research and present this in APA format.

3.  Use SPSS to analyse empirical data utilising a variety of statistical techniques.

4.  Identify and locate, using a variety of resources, suitable reference material for practical work.

5.  Demonstrate, via assessment a good understanding of the key principles of psychological research design and data interpretation

Indicative Content

1 Methods of Research

Main quantitative and qualitative research methods available to psychologists; Use in applied settings; advantages and disadvantages

2 The Experimental Method

Variables and levels; hypotheses; design - basic and advanced; control techniques; validity and reliability in experimentation; ethics in experimentation

3 Data Analysis - Descriptive Statistics

Data types; measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; normal distribution; graphing data; confidence intervals.

4 Data Analysis - Inferential Statistics

Test selection; parametric and nonparametric 2-sample test of difference; Within and Between one-way ANOVA and Non-parametric ANOVA, effect size; power; correlation; Tests of both internal and external reliability; inter rater reliability

5 Qualitative Methods

Types of qualitative research techniques; questionnaire design, interviewing - types, advantages, disadvantages; analysing interview material.

6 Quantitative Methods

Experimental method, two variable tests of difference (parametric and non-parametric), tests of relationships (parametric and non-parametric); multilevel testing (parametric and non-parametric), follow up testing (parametric and non-parametric). Reliability analysis using Cronbach's alpha, quantitative content analysis, item analysis

7 Ethics

Creating and conducting ethical research based on BPS Ethical Guidelines

8 Reporting Research

Sections and content of an APA formatted psychology lab report; APA referencing

9 Information Searching

Structured and unstructured search; Search using the Internet and locating electronic journals using the university library system and appropriate data bases

10 I.T.Skills

Designing a lab report template using Word for Windows; using SPSS for data analysis;

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module aims to build upon and enhance skills gained in Introductory Psychology (PSY101 & PSY102) and is designed to map on to the second year core module (Cognitive and Social Psychology) providing an opportunity to put theory covered in the core module into practice and to prepare students for PSY303 Research Methods 3. The module is delivered as lectures and lab sessions that build on the material presented in the lectures. Active participation in small group settings (labs) is essential for successful engagement with the material. This promotes strong links between teaching and research and develops the Abertay attributes. The module provides the strong foundation required for applying knowledge gained in other psychology modules. The dynamic and evolving nature of psychological research is reflected in the module's learning outcomes, structure and assessment, providing an inspiring learning environment that enables students to build confidence and to apply their knowledge to real life problems.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 13
Tutorial/Seminar 7
Supervised Practical Activity 24
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 50
Independent 106

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.