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PS50188: Advanced research methods for applied psychology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Credits: 18 [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 360
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Qualitative methods (CW 25%)
  • Quantitative methods (CW 25%)
  • Research proposal (CW 50%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the unit, the students should be able:
* Understand epistemological foundations of applied research
* Be able to consider the links between research strategy, design and methods
* Be familiar with the different methods of collecting/eliciting data and their implications for analysis and interpretation
* Understand the distinctions between quantitative and qualitative data and to be familiar with a range of data collection and processing techniques.
* To have understood the different means of measuring psychological constructs
* Be able to design their own research using an appropriate design and selecting suitable analysis procedures.
* Demonstrate their ability to undertake qualitative research data collection and analysis.
* Appreciate the different type of data produced by qualitative research approaches.
* Be able to assess different analytical approaches to qualitative data analysis.
* To appreciate the practical and theoretical issues involved in undertaking qualitative research.
* Have refreshed their knowledge of statistics;
* Learn how to use software packages to analyse data and to handle data sets;
* Be able to interpret the answers to statistical analyses and report them within an applied context.
* Learn and understand how and why selected advanced statistical analyses are computed.
* Practice conducting, interpreting and reporting analyses.

Aims: The aim of this unit is
* To give students an appreciation of the uses of qualitative and quantitative methods and how their application in applied psychology research and evaluation.
* To develop knowledge and skills in designing research studies.
* To provide students with an appreciation of the conduct and analysis of different qualitative approaches in applied psychology research.
* To undertake and present qualitative data analysis.
* To equip students with the skills to use and interpret statistics using software packages
* To appreciate the applications of statistical analysis in an applied context.
* To equip students with the skills to use and interpret advanced statistics
* To provide an appreciation of the applications of advanced statistical analysis in applied psychology.
* To develop knowledge and understanding of evidence based practice in relation to applied psychological research.

Skills: Intellectual Skills
* To think creatively and analytically
* To work independently
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information
* To utilise problem solving skills
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources
* To be able to communicate a sound rationale and justification for research
* To communicate research findings
Professional and Personal Skills
* To effectively and efficiently apply principles of quantitative and qualitative methods within applied psychology research
* To develop interpersonal communication skills in relation to research dissemination
* Study and learning skills.
* Independent working skills
* Advanced numeracy skills.
* Advanced information technology and computing technology
* To be sensitive to the ethical issues in carrying out research and the legal and statutory responsibilities of the researcher.
* Time management and administration skills
* Effective use of research supervision
Transferable Skills
* To be aware of ethical issues in carrying out research.
* Inter-personal and communication skills.
* Research preparation and writing skills.
* Time management and administration skills.
* Presentation skills and verbal communication.
* Advanced information technology and computing technology
* To solve problems in a variety of situations.
* To prioritise workloads
* Independent and group working skills
* Advanced oral communication skills
* Advanced numeracy skills.

Content: This unit will focus on the methodological issues relating to the development of an applied psychology research study or evaluation and will include issues such as:
* Epistemology underpinning research design and methods; methodological issues in quantitative and qualitative approaches
* Justification and types of research design; the place of literature in developing the research;
* Development of research questions; matching research questions to appropriate methodologies and methods
* Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches
* Ethical considerations and good practice in applied psychology research;
* Development of a research proposal and protocol.
* Provide students with the knowledge and skills to be able to undertake qualitative data collection and analysis.
* Discussion of data collection approaches including interviews, focus groups, online data, and non-verbal data.
* There will also be consideration of the practical and methodological issues relating to qualitative approaches including different types of analysis procedures and approaches.
* Refresher sessions in parametric and non-parametric statistics using software packages to support the analysis of different types of data.
* Introduction to power and sample size and advanced statistical analysis
* Evidence synthesis (eg systematic review).

Programme availability:

PS50188 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology

PS50188 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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