Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to C800
Tied to CL86
Tied to CFG0
Tied to CV85
Tied to LMV0
Tied to X1C8
Tied to C807


  • None


  • For Single Honours Psychology students only: Introduction to Psychology I and Introduction to Psychology II. For other students taking the British Psychological Society accredited pathway in Psychology: Introduction to Psychology I OR Introduction to Psychology II

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to key research methods and statistical techniques used in psychology


  • This module introduces students to some of the methods used in conducting, analysing and presenting research in Psychology
  • Students undertake a series of lectures and practical classes covering basic research skills:
  • design of psychological studies
  • data collection
  • appropriate summarising, display and analysis of results using a statistical computing package
  • and the production of structured critical research reports
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in psychology
  • Research participation to introduce students to the wide range of experimental methods currently in use within the department and an understanding of research from the particpants perspective

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Basic knowledge of some key research methods in psychology
  • Basic knowledge of some statistical methods for psychology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Developing competence in the design and conduct of experiments, including hypothesis testing and data interpretation
  • Developing skills in data handling and statistical analysis
Key Skills:
  • Developing ability to organise and utilise knowledge
  • Developing written communication skills
  • Developing IT skills and data presentation skills

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

  • The module is taught using a blended approach with online asynchronous teaching of research methods and statistics backed up by synchronous question and answer sessions and both face-to-face and online pratical sessions.
  • The lectures and practicals used in this module guide students' acquisition of some key research skills in Psychology, including the ability to organise and utilise knowledge and an understanding of the link between data and theory
  • Assessment of these skills is achieved by a mix of formative and summative problems (which aim to help students gauge their knowledge of key facts and keep then focused on building their knowledge), the formative and summative practical reports and by the examination
  • These latter assessments in addition to providing staff feedback of a student's standard of work, also allow students to hone their organisational, statistical and written abilities, and develop their understanding of theoretical issues
  • Competence in the design and conduct of research is facilitated by all the teaching methods used
  • Students, working in groups, are encouraged to develop their expertise by carrying out their own studies in later practical classes
  • Assessment of this group is by the summative practicals, written up individually, and by the examination
  • Training in the use of statistical analyses and statistical packages is provided via lectures and reinforced in the practical classes
  • Competence of these skills is assessed by many of the weekly problems, the formative and summative practical assignments, where statistical analyses form part of the report, and by the exam, where the ability to apply basic statistical knowledge appropriately is appraised
  • Written a skills training is provided primarily by the practical classes and by feedback from the formative assignments
  • Written communication skills are also assessed in the summative assignments, where students are asked to produce structured critical research reports, and in the written examination
  • Word processing skills are encouraged in the lectures and practical classes and supported by the provision of computing resources
  • Appropriate feedback on IT skills is provided on all word processed work
  • Learning through participation in research is fostered via the Psychology Department participant pool with students encouraged via course credit

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Online asynchronous lecture sessions 20 1 Per Week 2 Hours 40
Online live question and answer sessions 20 1 Per Week 1 Hour 20
Practicals 8 4 Every Term 2 Hours 16
Revision class 2 2 in Easter Term 1 Hour 2
Preparation and Reading 322
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: In class tests Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
In class tests 100%
Component: Research Participation Component Weighting: 5%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research participation 100%
Component: Practical Reports Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
practical report 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative practical report preparation. Typically, weekly problems relating to psychological research (e.g. statistical problems, short answer questions relating to experimental design).

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