DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Research Skills (Psychology)
Module Code PSYC521
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Lorraine Boran
Semester 2: Lorraine Boran
Autumn: Lorraine Boran
Module TeachersLorraine Boran
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module is designed to support PhD students in Years 2-3 full time (or full time equivalent) in developing advanced academic enquiry and research skills, which are applicable to both their specific PhD research project but also a wider professional context as future researchers. Students will develop the capacity to select, develop, apply, evidence, communicate and synthesise specialist proficiencies including those relating to equipment (e.g. eye-tracker etc.); techniques (e.g. analytic techniques etc.); and tools (e.g. neuropsychological assessment etc.), as well as advanced research methodologies (e.g. quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies).

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically evaluate specialist research skills needs, in the context of a specific research project and broader professional development, and manage the planning associated with acquiring substantial new competencies across at least two distinct domains.
2. Demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in specialist skills associated with advanced academic enquiry and research.
3. Integrate the new knowledge into a project and interpret results.
4. Critique the application of the skills acquired to a specific doctoral level research project and more widely to professional or equivalent contexts.
5. Effectively communicate in a mix of written, visual and oral means the process of acquiring the skills, how to apply the skills and application to a specific piece of research.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Lecture series based on advanced enquiry and research topics including specialist equipment, techniques, tools and research methodologies. Combination of synchronous and asynchronous format.
Seminars6Synchronous Student-led journal club style seminars. Seminars developed to scaffold content delivered during lecture series using peer-reviewed content.
Directed learning84Supervisory Panel Training Needs Meetings/Communication (4 hours); Skills Training Events under at least two domains and 4 themes (may vary according to choice: 80 hours)
Independent Study140Content development for technical instruction (20 hours); Preparation of Portfolio (25 hours) and Presentation (15 hours); Skills Training under two domains (80 hours)
Total Workload: 250

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

All skills relate to those associated with advanced research, academic enquiry and related professional contexts.

Skills Needs Assessment & Planning
• Stage-appropriate skill needs -assessment to be conducted in consultation with supervisor and doctoral supervisory panel around research skills applicable to both a specific PhD research project and a wider professional context. • A skills development plan to be designed, to include a review and identification of specialist skill needs under at least two of the following skill domains at the forefront of advanced research, and under four distinct themes: (1) specialist equipment (e.g. equipment such as eye-tracker etc.); (2) specialist techniques (e.g. specialist techniques such as analytic techniques and data modelling etc.); (3) specialist tools (e.g. neuropsychological assessment etc.), (4) advanced research methodologies (e.g. quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies).

Acquiring new competencies
Skill acquisition for each theme may take the form of attendance at and/or completion of lectures, workshops, seminars, conferences, and online training; and all must be verified. This is a non-exhaustive list of developmental modalities. Typically, a skills training event may include training contact hours, assessment or completion verification and independent learning hours associated with the training event.

Integrate, Document & Critique Skills Development
Prepare a portfolio including: a copy of the training needs analysis and plan; evidence of training undertaken; reflective writing showing critical awareness of and rationale for the specialist skill(s) identified, informed by the forefront of a field of learning of relevance to one’s own research; a critical reflection on how the new knowledge was integrated into a project and interpretation of the results, and more widely on its applicability to professional, or equivalent contexts.

Evidence and Communicate proficiency in skills
• Instruct peers and assessors (as part of the module assessment) in the use of one of the acquired skills using appropriate media including but not limited to video instruction, screen cast of an application being demonstrated, face-to-face workshop/tutorial/demonstration etc. • Give a 20-minute conference-style presentation of another specialist skill outlining the skills process, research results and innovation associated with skill implementation in a specific PhD project.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PortfolioReflective Portfolio (max. word count 3,000)40%n/a
PresentationTechnical instructional demonstration to peers, module coordinator and supervisor of one specialist skill using appropriate media.30%n/a
PresentationConference-style presentation to peers, module coordinator and supervisor of one other specialist skill outlining the skills process, research results and innovation associated with skill implementation in a specific PhD project.30%n/a
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

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    CHPMMaster of Science
    PYPMMaster of Science

    My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement