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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 25
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module is designed to: facilitate candidates to deepen their knowledge of the principles and practice of rigorous research; enhance candidates’ awareness of ethical standards in relation to research design, execution and dissemination; enhance students’ ability to critique and synthesize literature pertinent to their specific research area and beyond; and enable candidates to apply the current evidence base in psychotherapy in developing and refining meaningful research questions. It will equip students with the skills to initiate, self-direct and evaluate an innovative research project that evolves out of and will inform psychotherapy practice; enable students to critically consider the different paradigms of research inquiry and the application of methodologies for their specific research area and beyond; develop students’ ability to critically consider and evaluate the role of emerging and existing research evidence for their practice; develop students’ competency and confidence as senior professional research practitioners; and assist students in developing a research proposal.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an ability to critique the application of different paradigms of research inquiry
2. Demonstrate proficiency in advanced literature searching/reviewing skills (e.g. systematic reviewing) and an ability to critique literature in terms of theoretical positions and research evidence
3. Identify and address the contextual, ethical and quality issues in the planning and carrying out of research project work
4. Critically reflect on the process of practitioner research
5. Critically appraise research literature.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture70Direct contact
Online activity30Self directed and group learning
Independent Study300Independent study
Total Workload: 400

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

Primary areas of module
• Paradigms of research inquiry • Advanced literature searching including systematic reviews, meta-analysis • Parameters for framing research questions, aims, objectives and outcomes • Audit and evaluation research in psychotherapy • Sampling strategies for different research paradigms • Data gathering and analysis methods e.g. surveys, scales of measurement, interviews, focus groups observational methods • Ethical values and practices in accountable research • Culturally attuned research • Reflective research

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Bentz, V.M., & Shapiro, J.J.,: 1998, Mindful inquiry in social research, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA,
  • Carr, A: 2007, The effectiveness of psychotherapy, Irish Council of Psychotherapy, Dublin,
  • Castonguay, L. et al (Eds.): 2007, Bringing psychotherapy research to life, American Psychological Association, Washington,
  • Timulak, L.: 2008, Research in counselling and psychotherapy, Sage, London,
  • Roth, A. & Fonagy, P.: 2005, What works for whom? A critical review of psychotherapy research, 2nd edition, Guilford Press, New York,
  • Hart, C.: 2001, Doing a literature search: a comprehensive guide for the social sciences., Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes