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Unit information: Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology in Education (Part 1) in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology in Education (Part 1)
Unit code EDUC10007
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Williams
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit introduces training in the range of theoretical and practical skills used in educational and psychological research. In this unit students will be introduced to research methods in psychology, research design, statistical analyses, psychometrics and measurement techniques, and quantitative and qualitative methods. Examples of statistics and research methods will be taken from psychology in education.

The unit will have a 1 hour lecture on qualitative approaches or statistics, followed by a 2 hour session split into research methods and the application of the approach/statistics. During the application component, students will collect and analyze data for their assessed lab report. By linking analysis techniques to research methods through application, we will encourage students to develop:

(a) a conceptual understanding of the epistemology, content and analysis relating to the proposed empirical work;

(b) specification of the studies theoretical content and study design;

(c) the conduct of the data collection phase;

(d) the analysis of these data;

(e) the write-up of the results of that study in the conventional APA format.

Topics will include: Overview to research; ethics; qualitative methods & analyses (single case studies, interviewing, observation); introduction to quantitative research; levels of measurement; survey research; descriptive analyses; visualizing data; sampling and hypothesis testing; correlations; validity & reliability.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. acquired a conceptual understanding of the basic forms of qualitative study design;
  2. acquired the practical experience of conducting and analyzing qualitative research;
  3. acquired a preliminary understanding of quantitative research methodology;
  4. acquired an understanding of descriptive analyses;
  5. acquired the practical experience of conducting descriptive analyses;
  6. undertaken the full profile of undertaking qualitative research by asking questions, designing a specific study to address a specific question, conducting a study on that question, analysing the data appropriately, and providing a written communication of the outcome of that process;
  7. planned and contributed to small-group discussion on these topics;
  8. begun to acquire a wide range of transferable skills.

Teaching details

The unit comprises 1x one-hour statistics lecture and 1 x two-hour research methods and lab session per week. Each student attends all sessions. During the lab component they will work in small groups (n=6) to apply the material presented in the two lectures through guided activities.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment:

Quiz (ILOs 1-4)

Workbook (ILOs 1-5)

Practice observation techniques and draft observation schedule (ILOs 6-7)

Draft lab report (ILO 6)

Summative assessment

ILO 1-6,8: Exam: Multiple Choice & Short Answer (50%)

The two hour exam will cover material presented in the unit and be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions.

ILO 1-6,8: Lab Report (50%)

The 2,000 word lab report focused on qualitative methods will present the rationale, methods, analysis, and conclusions for qualitative data.

Reading and References

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.). New York: American Psychological Association.

Coolican, H. (2009). Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology. (5th Ed.). London: Hodder Education.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th Ed.). London: Sage.

Harris, P. (2008). Designing and Reporting Experiments in Psychology. (3rd Ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.

Willig, C. (2013) Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology (2nd Ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.