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 the appropriate research methodology.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

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

3.  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).

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

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).

2 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.

3 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.

4 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,

5 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.

6 Laboratory Skills

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

7 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.

8 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.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The aim of this module is to provide students with the ability to design and conduct independent research projects at honours level using the appropriate research method(s). The module will be delivered via lectures and lab classes, and active participation in small group settings (labs) is essential for successful engagement with the material. Delivery and assessments are designed to align student development with the Abertay Attributes. This module will allow students to become knowledgeable and confident learners in research, design and analyses. Students will also develop their personal and professional skills through collaborative work with other students in group-based projects and through developing a working relationship with their project proposal supervisor. The module provides the strong foundation required for applying knowledge gained in other psychology modules and prepares students to carry out independent research projects. 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. Learning outcomes will be assessed via a quantitative and a qualitative report where students will actively participate in experiments and/or studies to collect and analyse data and write these up in two APA style reports. The opportunity to cover both quantitative and qualitative analysis gives students flexibility when considering their honours project methodology. This module has strong research-teaching linkages (covering a number of key aspects such as problem-solving, critical thinking and enquiry-based learning).

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 13
Tutorial/Seminar 7
Supervised Practical Activity 28
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 112

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.