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


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This year long module will provide students with an understanding of advanced qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, designs and analytical techniques in Psychology. A strong emphasis will be placed on developing and supporting statistical reasoning skills, including analytic competence, through laboratory experiments and computer-based practical sessions. Modules Aims: • To introduce students to statistical tests such as univariate and factorial ANOVA, regression analysis, and multi-variate analysis, their appropriate usage, how to compute them using SPSS statistical software, how to interpret them and how to report them in a manner consistent with standard reporting. • To introduce students to qualitative analytical techniques such as content and thematic analysis, their appropriate use, interpretation and reporting. • To equip students with the skills necessary to critically evaluate journal articles and other forms of research literature. • To increase students’ ability to identify and evaluate ethical issues in undertaking psychological research.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically discuss the principal research designs and methods used in psychological research and assess their strengths and limitations.
2. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the principles of univariate and factorial ANOVA, regression analysis and multivariate analysis, and the ability to accurately carry out such analyses using SPSS and report statistical results in a manner consistent with standard report writing and which is appropriate to NFQ Level 9 standard.
3. Show a critical awareness of the importance of power and effect size when carrying out any statistical analysis.
4. Critically evaluate the relative merits of different qualitative methodologies and demonstrate an understanding of key issues in qualitative approaches used in psychological research.
5. Demonstrate the ability to conduct qualitative research in an appropriate manner and analyse, interpret and report data gathered using qualitative means in a manner consistent with standard report writing and which is appropriate to NFQ Level 9 standard.
6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate psychological research in a clear, concise and scholarly manner, in practical reports that outline the research rationale, method, analysis, interpretation of findings and subsequent conclusions.
7. Demonstrate an advanced ability to critically analyse and synthesise research literature.
8. Demonstrate advanced literature searching skills and an enhanced ability to use the library and online psychology resources effectively.
9. Demonstrate the ability to effectively manage quantitative and qualitative data sets in a manner which is appropriate to NFQ Level 9 standard.
10. Recognise and critically discuss the ethical, methodological and professional issues in undertaking psychological research at NFQ Level 9.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Remote Asynchronous Lecture: 10 x 1 hour (Semester 1) and 12 x 1 hour (Semester 2)
Lecture22Remote Synchronous Lecture: 10 x 1 hour (Semester 1) and 12 x 1 hour (Semester 2)
Laboratory4410 x 2 hours practical classes (Semester 1) and 12 x 2 hours practical classes (Semester 2)
Independent Study122Required reading, literature searches, preparation for practical classes, becoming familiar with research methods and analytical techniques, write-up of practical reports.
Independent Study40Preparing for end of semester examination
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

Advanced information literacy skills
(accessing and effectively using library and online resources in psychology)

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Research methods and design
(quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods; design issues such as replication & reproduction)

Qualitative Methods
(e.g. grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, case study)

Approaches to qualitative data collection
(e.g. interview, focus groups, print and visual media)

Approaches to qualitative analysis
(including introduction to NVIVO computer software)

Conducting advanced qualitative research
(including content analysis, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis)

Experimental and correlational design

Descriptive statistical techniques
(central tendency, dispersion, exploring data using graphs, introduction to SPSS)

Distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing

Univariate techniques
(e.g. Within- and between-group t-tests and ANOVA, non-parametric equivalents of each, factorial ANOVA)

Bivariate techniques
(e.g. correlation and simple regression analysis)

Preparing for multivariate analysis
(e.g. examining your data, missing data analysis, outliers, assumptions, data transformation)

Dependence techniques
(e.g. multiple regression analysis, logistic regression, multivariate analysis of variance)

Interdependence techniques
(e.g. factor analysis)

Ethical and professional issues

Data handling
(e.g. missing data, transforming data, data cleansing, GDPR-related issues)

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

  • Allen, P., Bennett, K., & Heritage, B.: 2018, SPSS Statistics: A Practical Guide with Student Resource Access 12 Months., Cengage AU.,
  • Brace, N., Kemp, R., & Snelgar, R.: 2016, IBM SPSS for Psychologists: And Everybody Else, (6th ed.), Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom,
  • Braun, V & Clarke, C.: 2013, Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Cohen, BH: 2013, Explaining Psychological Statistics, (4th ed.), Wiley, London, UK,
  • Field, A: 2018, Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics, (5th ed.), SAGE, London, UK,
  • Harris, P: 2008, Designing and reporting experiments in psychology, (3rd ed.), Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK,
  • Gravetter, F.J., Wallnau, L.B., & Forzano, LA.B.: 2019, Essentials of Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, 10th ed, Cengage Learning, Boston, USA, 9780357365298
  • Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S.: 2015, Research Methods in Psychology, (10th ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York, US,
  • Sternberg, R.J. & Sternberg, K.: 2015, The Psychologist’s Companion: a guide to writing scientific papers for students and researchers, (5th ed.), Cambridge Uni Press, UK,
  • Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S.: 2012, Using Multivariate Statistics, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK,
  • Willig, C.: 2012, Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation in Psychology, Open University Press, London, UK,
  • Yin, R.K. (Ed): 2018, Case Study Research: Design and Methods, (6th ed.), SAGE, London, UK,
  • American Psychological Association: 2009, Concise Rules of APA Style, (6th ed.), Eurospan University Press, London, UK,
  • Banyard, P., & Grayson, A.: 2000, Introducing psychological research: Seventy studies that shape psychology, (2nd ed.), Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK,
  • Bell, J.: 2010, Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science, Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK,
  • Brace, N., Kemp, R., & Snelgar, R.: 2015, SPSS for psychologists: A guide to data analysis using SPSS for Windows, (5th ed.), Palgrave Macmillan., Basingstoke, UK,
  • Camis, P. M., Yardley, L. & Rhodes, J.E.: 2003, Qualitative Research in Psychology: expanding perspectives in methodology and design, APA, Washington, DC, US,
  • Charmaz, K.: 2014, Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Cozby, P.C.: 2012, Methods in Behavioral Research, (11th ed.), Mc-Graw Hill, London, UK,
  • Creswell, J. W.: 2008, Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches, (3rd ed.), SAGE, London, UK,
  • Dancey, C. & Reidy, J.: 2011, Statistics without maths for Psychology, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, US,
  • Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S.: 2011, The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Flick, U.: 2009, An Introduction to Qualitative Research, (4th ed.), SAGE, London, UK,
  • Gomm, R: 2008, Social research methodology: A critical introduction, (2nd ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK,
  • Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L.: 2010, Multivariate Data Analysis, Pearson Prentice Hall, Saddle River New Jersey, US,
  • Hinkle, D. E., Wiersma, W., & Jurs, S. G.: 2009, Applied Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, (8th ed.), Houghton Mifflin, Boston, US,
  • Howell, D. C.: 2012, Statistical Methods for Psychology, (8th ed.), Wadsworth, Hampshire, UK,
  • Moore, D.S., McCabe, G.P. & Craig, B.: 2012, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics & CD-Rom, W.H. Freeman & Co., New York, US,
  • Morgan, D. L., & Morgan, R. K.: 2009, Single-case research methods for the behavioral and health sciences, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Morse, J., Swanson, J. M., & Kuzel, A.J. (Eds): 2001, The nature of qualitative evidence, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, CA, US,
  • Pallant, J.: 2010, SPSS Survival Manual, Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK,
  • Passer, M.: 2017, Research Methods, 2nd, Worth, New York, USA, 9781319292652
  • Rasch, D., Kubinger, K. D., Yanagida, T.: 2012, Statistics in Psychology Using R and SPSS, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, US,
  • Smith, J. A, Larkin, M., & Flowers, P.: 2009, Interpretative phenomenological analysis: Theory, method and research, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Willig, C.: 2008, Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and method, Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK,
  • Willig, C., & Stainton-rogers, W.: 2007, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology, SAGE, London, UK,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes