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Research Methods for Psychology in Education II - EDU00098M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Ruggero De Agostini
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module builds on the material taught in Research Methods for Psychology in Education I during the Autumn term. 

It continues to develop students’ methodological knowledge, skills and understanding to a point where they will be fully equipped to identify their own research questions, find and critique the literature related to those questions, design appropriate studies to address them, gather quantitative and qualitative data, analyse that data using appropriate techniques and write reports of empirical investigations in APA style. 

Students will also continue to develop their understanding of the ethical issues involved in conducting psychological research and will be able to reflect on ethical issues in their own work.

Module learning outcomes

This module will further develop the knowledge, skills and experience of research methods developed in Research Methods for Psychology in Education I during the Autumn term.

Subject content

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Recognise and determine how and when to use statistical techniques including descriptive statistics, t-tests, correlations, regression and ANOVA. 
  • Justify selection of particular research methods and analytic techniques, and understand the assumptions surrounding them.

Academic and graduate skills

Students will have gained experience in: 

  • Conducting a systematic literature review.
  • Using a range of research methods and analytic techniques
  • Developing a coding framework
  • Disseminating research findings in a range of effective ways.

Module content

The module content is structured so that it incrementally builds on students’ knowledge of psychological research methods to the extent that they will be in a strong position to design, execute and report an empirical study of their own choosing by the end of term – their final dissertation project.

Students will be taught in weekly lectures and practicals. The following outline is representative of the lectures that will be given but is subject to small changes.

Students will also have access to a weekly drop-in session.

Week 1 – Standardized Psychometric Tests


  • Construction and standardisation of IQ, Memory and Personality tests.
  • Ethical perspectives on strengths and limitations of psychometric testing.
  • Reliability and validity of standardised tests.


  • Administration, scoring and interpretation of popular tests (e.g., WAIS, WMS, MCMI, MMPI)

Week 2 – Experimental Design


  • Experimental designs including RCTs.
  • Consideration of treatment fidelity.
  • Critically evaluating experiments.
  • Ethical issues with RCTs.


  • Developing a testable hypothesis rooted in literature.
  • Designing an experiment to test the hypothesis.

Week 3 - Inferential statistics 1


  • Confidence intervals
  • t-tests (dependent, independent)


  • Computing confidence intervals and t-tests using SPSS
  • Interpreting outputs and reporting results in APA format.
  • Identifying correct procedures for different situations.

Formative Assessment 2:  Research proposal for experiment using classmates as participants.


Week 4 – Inferential Statistics 2


  • Simple Regression
  • Multiple Regression


  • Computing simple and multiple regressions using SPSS.
  • Interpreting the output and reporting the results in APA format.
  • Identifying the correct procedure in different contexts

Week 5 – Inferential Statistics 3


  • One-way ANOVA
  • Two-way ANOVA
  • Interactions


  • Computing One and Two-way ANOVA using SPSS
  • Interpreting the output and reporting the results in APA format.
  • Identifying the correct procedure in different contexts.

Week 6 - Communicating research findings


  • How to make an academic poster (This skill will be used in the Option Module)
  • How to prepare and deliver an oral presentation


  • Experiments -  students gather experimental data from each other.

Additional sessions will be organised as required so that all students have the opportunity to gather data and participate in others’ experiments.

Week 7 – Systematic Literature Reviewing


  • What is a systematic literature review?
  • How to conduct a systematic literature review.


  • Establishing search terms for a systematic literature review.
  • Using search terms to conduct a small systematic review.

Week 8 – Psychometrics


  • Developing valid and reliable research instruments
  • Introduction to factor analysis


  • Conducting an Exploratory Factor Analysis
  • Conducting a Principal Component Analysis
  • Reporting findings in APA style

Week 9 – Observation Studies


  • Developing a coding framework
  • Analysing qualitative observational data


  • Conducting a small video-observation study
  • Compiling results, drawing conclusions and reflecting on method.

Formative Assessment 3:  Prepare a 5 minute presentation of experimental findings to deliver in Week 10 practical.

Week 10 


  • How to design and execute a great dissertation – factors to consider.


  • 5 minute oral presentations of experimental studies with feedback from tutor and peers.


Task Length % of module mark
Research Methods for Studying Psychology in Education II
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Research Methods for Studying Psychology in Education II
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Formative assessment 1 (2 page research proposal) will be submitted in Week 4 of Spring term and returned to students, with written feedback, by the end of Week 5 of Spring term.

Formative assessment 2 (5-minute presentation) will take place in Week 10 of Spring term and students will receive verbal feedback in class, and a follow-up email.

Verbal feedback will be provided on all informal formative tasks conducted during practical sessions e.g. writing up findings in APA style.  A weekly drop-in session will also be organised with the leader of these practicals for students who feel they need additional advice, support or feedback.

Summative exam results will be returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information. Face to face feedback on performance in this module will be provided in supervision meetings.

Indicative reading

Publication manual of the American psychological association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001.

British Psychological Society. (2006). Code of ethics and conduct. BPS.

Coolican, H. (2014). Research methods and statistics in psychology. Psychology Press.

Field, A. (2009).  Discovering statistics using SPSS. Sage publications.

Sanders, L.D. (2010).  Discovering Research Methods in Psychology.  BPS Blackwell.

Silverman, D. (2013). Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook. Sage publications.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.