Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module PSYC50430: Research Design and Method

Department: Psychology

PSYC50430: Research Design and Method

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to C8K107


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide training in a range of methodological approaches and techniques of data collection used in psychology.
  • To provide hands-on experience of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • To provide training in methods and data collection particularly relevant to the field of developmental psychology.
  • To introduce students to issues in professional practice and the opportunity to develop transferable skills.


  • Research Design and Method in Psychology: Validity and reliability
  • Sampling
  • Randomised experiments
  • Single-case designs
  • Longitudinal designs
  • Psychometrics
  • Scaling
  • Qualitative methods in psychology
  • Method selection
  • Methods and Applications in child Psychology
  • Problems of experimental design and method in child clinical research; Selecting and using qualitative methods in child research; Analysing child conversation and discourse (CHILDES); Clinical interview method and data analysis; analysing observational data (Observer-Pro).
  • Applications (invited speakers): Issues in child clinical psychology; Issues in child forensic psychology; Issues in educational psychology; developmental psychology and policy - sure Start Intervention

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:
      • Legal and professional issues: data Protection Act, Child Protection Act.
      • Communication 1: Writing for publication in psychology.
      • Communication 2: Disseminating research findings to psychology and non-psychology audiences.
      • Applying for research funding in Psychology.

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Objectives will be met by a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Seminars 15 1 per week 2 30
      Practicals 5 2 10
      Preparation & Reading 260
      Other: 300

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Essay or Practical Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay or Practical Assignment for each term 2,500 50%
      Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Unseen examination - Sectionalised paper. At least one question to be answered in each section (covering each term's work). 2 hours 50%

      Formative Assessment:

      Essay or Practical Assignment (data analysis and report) for each term.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University