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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Research Approaches
Module Code NS5032
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alice McEleney
Semester 2: Alice McEleney
Autumn: Alice McEleney
Module TeachersAisling McMahon
Stephanie Finan
Alice McEleney
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will assist students to develop and refine their research question and to design a research study that is relevant to psychotherapy. Students will also be helped to become more familiar with some relevant research designs, methodologies and methods. Ethical considerations in research will be addressed and an overview will be offered of the process of applying for ethical approval for a research study.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop and refine a research question, aim(s) and objectives, and a research design
2. Understand the value of critically appraising existing research evidence and knowledge in psychotherapy
3. Have a working knowledge and critical appreciation of a range of research designs and methodologies
4. Have a working knowledge of a range of data sampling, collection and analytic methods
5. Be aware of ethical considerations regarding conducting research with human participants
6. Gain an overview of the process of applying for ethical approval for research

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Lectures, discussions and seminar groups
Class Presentation10Student presentations and group discussions regarding research design and methodology
Directed learning5Tutor-led formative engagement
Independent Study90Student self-directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Research design
Understanding and engaging in the process of developing and refining research questions, aims, objectives and designs

Research methodologies and methods
Gaining a working knowledge and critical appreciation of a range of research methodologies and methods

Critique of quantitative and qualitative knowledge claims
Consideration of the strengths and limits of qualitative and quantitative methods and the need for rigour throughout the research process

Ethics in research
Understanding and working with ethical issues and the process of applying for ethical approval for a research study

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayEssay 2,500 words: Either a literature review chapter or a methodology chapter which relates to the student's research question and design for the MSc dissertation.100%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Glynis M Breakwell,Jonathan A Smith,Daniel B Wright: 2012, Research Methods in Psychology, 4th, SAGE, 0857022644
  • Dallos, R. & Vetere, A.: 2005, Researching psychotherapy and counselling, Open University Press, Berkshire,
  • Hanley, T, Lennie, C. & West, W.: 2013, Introducing counselling and psychotherapy research, Sage, London,
  • Hart: 2018, Doing a literature review, 2nd ed., Sage, London, 9781526419217
  • John McLeod: 2011, Qualitative Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2nd ed., Sage Publications Ltd, London, 9781849200622
  • Carla Willig: 2021, Introducing qualitative research in psychology, 4th ed., McGraw Hill Education, Maidenhead,
  • Robson, C., & McCartan, K.: 2016, Real world research, 3rd ed., Wiley, London, 111874523X
  • Kathryn Roulston.: 2010, Reflective interviewing, Thousand Oaks, Calif; Sage, 1412948568
  • Aveyard, H.: 2018, Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide, 4th ed., Open University Press,
  • Etherington, K.: 2004, Becoming a reflexive researcher: Using our selves in research, Jessica Kingsley,
  • King, N., Brooks, J., & Horrocks, C.: 2019, Interviews in qualitative research, 2nd ed., Sage,
  • Magnusson, E., & Marecek, J.: 2015, Doing interview-based qualitative research: A learner's guide, Cambridge University Press,
  • Timulak, L.: 2008, Research in psychotherapy and counselling, Sage,
  • Tribe, R., & Morrissey, J.: 2020, The handbook of professional, ethical and research practice for psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists, 3rd ed., Brunner-Routledge,
  • Andres, L.: 2012, Designing and doing survey research, Sage,
  • Booth, A., Sutton, A., Clowes, M & Martyn-St James, M.: 2022, Systematic approaches to a successful literature review, 3rd ed., Sage,
  • Punch, K.: 2003, Survey research: The basics, Sage,
  • Sapsford, R.: 2007, Survey research, 2nd ed., Sage,
Other Resources

58099, Additional reading, 0, Additional reading resources will be provided during the module,
Module co-ordinator and lecturer: Dr. Stephanie Finan
Programme or List of Programmes
MCOUMasters in Psychotherapy
Date of Last Revision07-OCT-10

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