Module details for Advanced Research, Design and Analysis (BPS core)


This module will build upon the psychological research methods techniques and analyses covered in years 1 and 2. Aspects of experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analyses and project preparation will be covered.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with the ability to design and conduct independent research projects at honours level using appropriate research methodology.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Via active participation, run, analyse and interpret results from a class experiment using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and use this information to write up an assessed report.

2.  Via active participation, run, analyse and interpret results using qualitative methodology and use this information to write up an assessed report.

3.  Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the research process (both qualitative and quantitative) and designated issues in experimental design.

4.  Apply knowledge and understanding of the research process (qualitative/quantitative) and issues in experimental design to prepare a research proposal for ethical review (under supervision).

Indicative Content

1 Analysis of Variance

As part of the ANOVA section we will briefly revise variance and one-way ANOVA. We will then move on to examine factorial ANOVA designs; within, between and mixed designs; main effects and interactions; exploring interactions and multiple comparisons (a priori and post-hoc). ANOVA practical Throughout the ANOVA labs and lectures, students will participate in the design, implementation and data gathering of a study suitable for analysis with ANOVA and will write this up as an assessed piece of coursework.

2 Correlation and Multiple Regression

Here we will cover simple linear regression models and multiple predictors of a criterion variable (multiple linear regression). Here we explain statistical tests for multiple regression models.

3 Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis

We will cover the theoretical underpinning of qualitative methods. This will include the design of research questions; how to code data from visual and textual formats, the application of techniques such as content and thematic analysis. We will use textual data (such as interview schedules) to carry out a qualitative analysis. This work will contribute towards the assessed qualitative report.

4 Experimental Design

Here we will examine methodological issues in design, identifying limitations of designs, defining a research question, hypothesis testing and operationalising variables. We will also look at Type I and II errors; effect sizes and statistical power.

5 Laboratory Skills

Students are given extensive training in the advanced use of statistical software for analyses. Regular laboratory attendance is recommended in order to develop strong research skills. This will allow the individual to become a confident researcher.

6 Project proposal for supervisor feedback and subsequent ethics submission

Students are required to write an ethics proposal for their fourth year project with support and guidance from their allocated supervisor. Research design and analysis skills are employed to design a suitable experiment/study. Identifying, and addressing, possible ethical issues are central to this process. Supervisors will give feedback to a draft of the proposal.

7 Research Skills: Writing and work management

Communicating effectively in oral and written form, using research literature effectively. Reporting and interpreting. Writing using American Psychological Association editorial style. Developing a meeting agenda, goal setting and evaluating progress, communicating effectively in supervision meetings, identifying responsibilities. Sustaining research work in laboratory classes. We will also cover principles of Open Science.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 13
Tutorial/Seminar 7
Practical Activity 28
Assessment 40
Independent 112
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.