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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will introduce students to the most common quantitative and qualitative research designs and methodologies used in psychology. It will also introduce students to the ethical principles that underpin psychological research. A strong emphasis will be placed on developing and supporting core research skills such as literature searching and the use of library resources. This module will also develop transferable skills such as data literacy and analytics, teamwork, communication and presentation skills through a variety of class activities and assignments. The content of practical sessions in this module will be informed by the core module in social psychology taken in Year 1 Semester 1.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe basic qualitative and quantitative research designs and methods, and assess their strengths and limitations
2. Use library and online psychology resources effectively
3. Identify and evaluate ethical issues in undertaking psychological research
4. Discuss the ethical and legal requirements involved when gathering, storing, analysing and reporting data and the societal impact of data analytics.
5. Describe the fundamental concepts of Data Literacy and Analytics, the key steps in the analytics process, and the applications and implications of data analytics in the learner’s given specialism.
6. Describe and evaluate normative group development
7. Demonstrate cooperative learning skills
8. In order to support these learning outcomes, students will be encouraged to participate in psychological research projects within the school including those of staff, post-graduate students and undergraduate final year projects.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10Remote Synchronous Lecture - Introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods and designs
Lecture10Remote Asynchronous Lecture - Introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods and designs
Seminars20On Campus Practical - Psychological research methods are supported by specialist seminars and practical classes on specific topics and methodologies to support lectures and coursework using learning activities, including seminars, debates and group work
Group work24Prepartion for and completion of group project
Independent Study44Identifying and critiquing key readings; Practical review and preparation
Directed learning17Contribution to online activities
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

Introduction – the scientific approach in psychology

Accessing and effectively using library and online resources in psychology

Report writing

Research ethics

Research design

Qualitative research methods
including (i) Interviewing, (ii) Focus groups, (iii) Thematic analysis, (iv) Content analysis and (v) Observational design

Quantitative research methods
including (i) Quasi-experimental design: Survey, (ii) Experimental design, (iii) Correlational design, (iv) Within- and between-subject design and (v) Variables and levels of measurement

Normative group development

Co-operative learning and dealing with conflict in groups

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

  • Braun, V & Clarke, C: 2013, Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners., SAGE, London, UK,
  • Harris, P: 2008, Designing and Reporting Experiments in Psychology, 3rd Ed., Open University Press, Maidenhead, 9780335221783
  • Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S.: 2015, Research Methods In Psychology, 10th Ed., McGraw-Hill Publishing, New York, USA,
  • Sternberg, R.J. & Sternberg, K.: 2015, The Psychologist’s Companion: a guide to writing scientific papers for students and researchers., Cambridge: University Press, UK,
  • Willig, C.: 2013, Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3rd Ed., Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK,
  • American Psychological Association,: 2009, Concise Rules of APA Style, 6th Ed., Eurospan University Press, London, 9781433805608
  • American Psychological Association: 2010, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), Washington, DC:,
  • Bowell, T., & Kemp, G.: 2014, Critical thinking: A concise guide., Routledge, New York,
  • Breakwell, G. M., Hammond, S., Fife-Schaw, C., & Smith, J. A.: 2012, Research Methods in Psychology, 4th Ed., SAGE Publications Ltd., London,
  • Cooper, H.: 2016, Ethical choices in research: managing data, writing reports., American Psychological Association, Washington, DC,
  • Cozby, P.: 2012, Methods in Behavioural Research, 11th Ed., McGraw Hill, London, 9780078035159
  • Creswell, J. W.: 2008, Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches, 3rd Ed., Sage, London, UK,
  • Denscombe, M.: 2017, The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects, 6th Ed., Open University Press, UK, 978-033526470
  • Dunn, D. S.: 2012, The Practical Researcher: A student guide to conducting psychological research, 3rd Ed., Wiley Blackwell, Chichester,
  • Field, A. & Hole G.: 2003, How to Design and Report Experiments, Sage, London, UK,
  • Flick, U.: 2014, An introduction to qualitative research, 5th Ed., Sage, London, UK,
  • Oliver, P.: 2010, The student's guide to research ethics, Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK, 9780335237975
  • Passer, M.: 2017, Research Methods, 2nd, Worth Publishers, New York, USA, 9781319292652
  • Smith, J.A. (Editor): 2015, Qualitative psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, 3rd Ed., SAGE Publications Ltd., London, UK,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes