Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module PSYC2232: Advanced Research Methods and Statistics

Department: Psychology

PSYC2232: Advanced Research Methods and Statistics

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to C800
Tied to C801
Tied to C806
Tied to C803
Tied to C804
Tied to C805


  • PSYC1062 Introduction to Psychological Research plus either PSYC1071 Introduction to Psychology 1 or PSYC1081 Introduction to Psychology 2


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To equip students with experience of the practical application of a wide range of methods in psychological research and to develop presentation skills necessary for communicating research aims and findings
  • To equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the more advanced statistical methods used in psychological research, together with the practical ability to apply such methods to a variety of data sets


  • This module builds on knowledge gained from the Level 1 module Introduction to Psychological Research
  • The methods section of the course includes extended blocks of practical work in which students carry out research, including independent work
  • At least one of these extended practical sessions will always include qualitative methods
  • Students will be introduced to advanced research methods in a range of psychological disciplines
  • Students are expected to produce a research proposal for their dissertation in the final stages of this module
  • The module will also cover ethics and relevant conceptual and historical issues in psychology
  • In quantitative statistics, designs with more than two variables will be considered for parametric and non-parametric analyses of hypotheses and relationship within data
  • Emphasis will be placed especially on understanding the statistical principles underlying such analyses
  • Statistical analysis will be supported by the use of relevant software packages which will give students an advanced understanding of the use of statistics in Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of a range of research paradigms and methods, including qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Knowledge and understanding of statistics for psychology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to formulate research questions and hypotheses
  • Ability to recognise and address ethical issues in psychological research
  • Ability to interpret research findings and integrate these with other key findings in the literature
  • Competence in designing and conducting small-scale research projects and evaluating the strengths and limitations of this work
  • Understanding of statistical theory & procedures which are required for an analysis.
  • Skills in working with data, running data analysis, and presenting data appropriately.
Key Skills:
  • Competent in written communication skills
  • Competent IT skills in word processing and data presentation

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

  • The module will be taught both online and face-to-face with statistics teaching and research methods lectures being online, research methods practicals being a mix of online and face-to-face, and face-to-face drop in sessions for stastics.
  • Students will complete three practical blocks, each of which covers the use of a different research method, one of which is qualitative
  • Knowledge and understanding of the methods studied will be via a laboratory report and a formal examination
  • The laboratory report will be based on a study carried out during the course and hence assesses competence in designing, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research
  • Assessment criteria for the report will also include students' data handling and presentation, scientific report writing and IT skills
  • Knowledge of the theoretical and practical basis of a range of research methods will be assessed via the examination
  • Formative assessment of the research methods section of the module consists of written presentation of the results of each of the practicals carried out during the course
  • The final formative assignment consists of preparation of a research proposal for dissertation work in Level 3
  • This proposal is used to assess students' ability to formulate a research question and select an appropriate research design
  • Particular emphasis will be placed on assessing appreciation of the ethical issues raised in the research proposal
  • Sessions on statistics will introduce and explain a range of statistical methods and procedures and examples will give students the opportunity to practice using these techniques with support
  • The summative assessment of the statistics part of the module comprises both a practical assignment which test students' ability to apply statistical knowledge appropriately to the analysis of data and an examination which allows their understanding of the statistical principles underlying such analyses to be assessed
  • Students will be taught how to use a computer package to manipulate data and undertake statistical analyses in lectures and examples classes
  • Students' skill in using this package for data manipulation, analysis and presentation will be assessed via the summative practical assignments

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Online Statistics Sessions 22 1 per week 2 Hours 44
Statistcs problem classess (online) 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Research Methods lectures 10 2 Hours 20
Practicals (online) 4 2x2 week blocks 2 Hours 8
Practicals (face to face) 4 2x2 week blocks 2 hours 8
Practical introduction and conclusion lectures 16 2 Hours 32
Introduction session (online) 1 Term 2 1st week 2 Hours 2
Preperation and Reading 266
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Practical Report Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research methods Practical Report 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: In class tests Component Weighting: 5%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Statistics summative Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Statistics summative 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

The research methods sessions are one of the compulsory requirements of this module. A compulsory part of these sessions is the requirement to hand in at least one qualitative and one formative summary report. So, the formative from block 1 and from one other block. This reflects the BPS requirement for assessment of both qualitative and quantitative work. There will be opportunities to submit 3 summary reports. In addition, there will be a written ethics proposal for Level 3 dissertation research, and weekly or bi-weekly formative statistics opportunities throughout the year

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