Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2008-2009 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2008/09 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to CFG0
Tied to CV85
Tied to LC38
Tied to LMV0
Tied to X1C8


  • Memory and Language (PSYC2081) AND Social Developmental Psychology (PSYC2021) AND Brain Processes of Cognition and Perception (PSYC2111).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide the necessary background in experimental design and statistics to fulfil the requirements for a BPS recognised degree in Psychology.


  • The statistics and experimental design lecture course will provide students with the skills required to complete a research project of their own design.
  • This project will be based around weekly supervised practical sessions, however, students will be expected to devote time outside these classes to the design, execution and analysis of their projects.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Good written communication skills as evidenced by clear, well-written project adopting high scientific standards and conforming to (APA) journal style.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to locate, read and review a body of research evidence.
  • Critical evaluation of the quality of evidence and arguments.
  • Interpret theoretically, and evaluate the significance of, empirical work within a specific area.
  • Identify an issue in this psychological domain that is amenable to empirical investigation, formulate a clear research question and act on this.
  • Select a research method appropriate to the research question.
  • Demonstrate competence in the selection and application of appropriate statistical procedures, and an understanding of their limitations.
  • Reflect critically upon the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen design and the validity of conclusions reached.
Key Skills:
  • Good IT skills in word processing, data manipulation, and data presentation.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

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

  • Lectures will introduce and explain a range of statistical methods and procedures and examples classes will give students the opportunity to practice using these techniques with support.
  • The summative assessment of the module comprises both a practical assignment which test students' ability to apply statistical knowledge appropriately to the analysis of data and a class test which allows their understanding of the statistical principles underlying such analyses to be assessed.
  • Students will be taught how to use the SPSS computer package to manipulate data and undertake statistical analyses in lecture classes.
  • Students' skill in using this package for data manipulation, analysis and presentation will be assessed via the summative practical assignment.
  • Students complete their project work under the supervision of an experienced researcher.
  • This approach enable students to formulate, design, and conduct an independent piece of research with appropriate supervision and guidance.
  • The design of the project is discussed in detail with the supervisor in one or more sessions and, during the running of the project, the supervisor is regularly informed by students of progress, by discussion or by email.
  • Supervisory meetings provide advanced research training and the opportunity to engage in discussion which encourages students to think critically.
  • It is appropriate that this work is assessed as a scientific report conforming to journal style as this format requires students to demonstrate their evaluative, analytical and research skills in a single comprehensive piece of work.
  • Supervisors provide formative feedback on a draft of the dissertation submitted prior to the piece of work.
  • Supervisors provide formative feedback on a draft of the dissertation submitted prior to the final deadline to help refine the report and extend students analytical abilities and theoretical understanding.
  • Supervisors comment on the extent to which each aspect of the dissertation has been completed individually, and on the extent of guidance and feedback given.
  • These ratings are taken into account in the marking of the project report.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Total 200
Lectures 9 Weekly in Michaelmas Term 2 Hours 18
Class Test 1 2 Hours 2
Fieldwork 30
Preparation and Reading 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assignment Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
SPSS assignment 100%
Component: Class Test Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two-Hour statistics class test 100%
Component: Project report Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
4500 word project report 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students complete exercises from the lecture handouts in their own time and these are self-marked.

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