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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

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

Paradigms of research inquiry
Critically reviewing paradigms of research inquiry within psychotherapy

Reviewing the literature
Systematically searching, reviewing and critiquing literature

Research process
Understanding the steps in developing and planning a research journey, identifying knowledge gaps and research questions

Ethical research
Considering ethical values and practices in accountable, culturally attuned research

Reflexive research
Understanding the importance of reflexivity in research and keeping a research journal and audit trail

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,
  • Etherington, K.: 2004, Becoming a reflexive researcher: Using our selves in research., Jessica Kingsley,
  • Willig, C.: 2021, Introducing qualitative research in psychology., 4th ed., McGraw Hill,
  • King, N., Brooks.,J. & Horrocks, C.: 2019, Interviews in qualitative research, 2nd ed., Sage,
  • Magnussen, E., & Marecek, J.: 2015, Doing interview-based qualitative research: A learner's guide., Cambridge University Press,
  • Booth, A., Sutton, A., Clowes, M., & Martyn-St. James, M.: 2022, Systematic approaches to a successful literature review., 3rd ed., Sage,
  • Tribe, R., & Morrissey, J.: 2020, The handbook of professional, ethical and research practice for psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists., 3rd ed., Brunner-Routledge,
  • McLeod, J.: 2011, Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy., 2nd ed., Sage,
  • Aveyard, H.: 2018, Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide., 4th ed., Open University Press.,
  • Robson. C., & McCartan, K.: 2016, Real world research., 3rd ed., Wiley.,
Other Resources

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