Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module PSYC41015: Research Practice

Department: Psychology

PSYC41015: Research Practice

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to C8K107


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide training in a range of methodological approaches used in psychology
  • To provide practical training in a range of transferable skills relevant for professional and personal development


  • This module covers research methods in psychology: relationships between theory and research and covers topics such as:
  • The experimental method, single case designs;
  • Individual differences, including psychometrics;
  • Introduction to qualitative methods: questionnaire design, observational studies, diary techniques, interviews
  • Use of tools: Powerpoint, EndNote and internet based tools
  • Project management: Planning research, time management, organisational skills, teamwork and cooperation.
  • Dissemination and presentation: writing styles and strategies

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Advanced understanding of research design and strategy, including an understaning of how to formulate researchable problems and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research
  • Specialised knowledge of a range of research methods and techniques used in the study of typical and atypical development, and the ability to critically appraise their use for specific purposes
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Capabilities for managing research practically
Key Skills:
  • Written communication skills
  • Transferable employment skills relevant for professional and personal development, including: ability to communicate complex information, time management and organisation of work

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

  • This module is taught through weekly two hour seminars for one term
  • This module is assessed formatively through a written assignment
  • Summative assessment of this module is through an examination

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 10 weekly in Michaelmas term 2 hours 20
Preparation and reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: unseen exam Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Exam 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

2000 word assignment on topic derived from seminars

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