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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Exploring Psychological Research
Module Code PY110
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: James Brunton
Semester 2: James Brunton
Autumn: James Brunton
Module TeachersJames Brunton
NFQ level 6 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding of different behaviours and mental processes. This module introduces students to Psychological research and its strategies, methods and techniques. Students develop their knowledge of Psychological research methods, including their history, utility, and the importance of ethics; along with the practical skills necessary to carry out effective, ethical Psychological research. In order to fully support students as they attain the knowledge, skills and competencies relating to Psychological research methods the Exploring Psychological Research module has a larger number of online tutorials and workshops than other modules on the programme, including an intensive 'Research Week' in late January. Students may also be provided with appropriate research methods software (for Windows PC), where necessary.

Learning Outcomes

1. Outline the ways in which the scientific method is used to produce knowledge in the field of Psychology
2. Identify the research methods used in Psychology
3. Describe the importance of ethics in Psychological research
4. Identify the appropriate research design for a particular Psychological research investigation
5. Describe the quantitative and qualitative approaches to conducting research in Psychology
6. Carry out quantitative data analysis at an introductory level, including the use of appropriate software
7. Carry out qualitative data analysis at an introductory level

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial30Online distance learning tutorials and workshops
Laboratory18Research week
Online activity60Student-Tutor and Student-Student interaction through online discussion forums and other media
Independent Study267Using self-directed learning resources, textbooks and other resources. This may include foundation level maths for students without Leaving Certificate Honours D3 or equivalent
Total Workload: 375

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

Part 1: Introducing Psychological Research: History, Methods and Ethical Research Practice Book

- Introduction to Psychological Research

- The Scientific Method and the Production of Knowledge

- Introduction to Ethics

- Exploring Quantitative Research Methodologies

Part 2: Exploring Quantitative Research Methods

- Describing Numerical Data

- Statistical Inference and Hypothesis Testing

- Survey Research

- Correlation

- Analysis of Nominal Data: Chi-Square Test

- Comparing Independent Samples

- Comparing Related Samples

- Experimental Design 1: Overview of the Experimental Design

- Experimental Design 2: Types of Experimental Design

Part 3: Exploring Qualitative Research Methods

- Qualitative Research Methodologies

- Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis - Thematic Analysis

- Documents, Archives and Artefacts

- Introduction to Mixed Methods Research

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentAssessment one will provide students with the first opportunity to take on the role of a researcher who is examining collected data. It will require engaging with statistical analyses to explore study hypotheses and interpret the findings. It will also provide the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge of research ethics and methodological considerations relevant to real life research. The focus of this assignment will be on the examination of differences between independent samples.20%n/a
AssignmentAssessment two provides students with another opportunity to take on the role of a researcher who is examining collected data. It will require engaging with statistical analyses to explore study hypotheses, interpret the findings, demonstrate the knowledge of research ethics and methodological considerations relevant to real life research. The focus of this assignment will be on the examination of differences between two related or dependent samples. The completion of A1 and A2 will build confidence manipulating data and provide the ability to place the statistical analysis into the context of a real-life study.20%n/a
AssignmentAssessment three is an important step in developing competencies with quantitative data analysis and report writing. It involves the examination of relationships between variables using correlation and Chi-square analyses. This assignment is designed to extend the scope of work with SPSS and introduce the practical aspect of report writing, a key task in research. Completion of A3 will provide students with the opportunity to conduct their first full research study from the analysis of data through to the written final report setting the research into the context of previous literature, highlighting study limitations and implications.30%n/a
AssignmentAssessment four involves engaging with a qualitative method of data analysis, understanding its key features, and putting them into practice. This assignment requires the application of thematic analysis to a qualitative data transcript(s). It will provide students with the first opportunity to apply qualitative methodology to answer a research question.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

  • Breakwell, G. M., Smith, J. A. and Wright, D. B. (Eds): 2012, Research Methods in Psychology, Fourth, SAGE Publications Ltd., London,
  • Pallant, J: 2016, SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS, Sixth, McGraw-Hill Education, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England,
  • Braun, V. & Clarke, V.: 2013, Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners., Sage, Los Angeles:,
  • Willig, C.: 2013, Introducing qualitative research in psychology, McGraw-Hill Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BAPYBA in Humanities (Psychology Major)
PYDIPDiploma in Humanities (Psychology Major)
SMPPYSingle Module Programme Psychology

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