Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module PSYC40515: Critical Analysis

Department: Psychology

PSYC40515: Critical Analysis

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to C8K109
Tied to C8K009


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide analytical skills required to evaluate and conduct research in methodologies used in psychology
  • To provide practical training in a range of transferable skills relevant for professional and personal development


  • This module covers techniques and tools required for the critical appraisal of research
  • It will cover topics such as:
  • Use and misuse of methodologies
  • Common errors within relevant literature in data handling and interpretation
  • Critical skills required to assess the validity of conclusions from given data

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Critical understanding of data presentation, research design and strategy, including the selection and interpretation of alternative methods and techniques in order to answer questions
  • The ability to evaluate researchable problems
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Capabilities for managing research
Key Skills:
  • Written and oral 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 three hour seminars for one term
  • This module is assessed formatively through a poster presentation
  • Summative assessment of this module is through an oral presentation and a written assignment

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 10 weekly in term 2 3 hours 30
Preparation and reading 120
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral presentation 10 minutes 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Poster presentation 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