Research Methods - TZ830

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 3)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 15 (7.5) DR P Triantafyllopoulou


Full-time students will normally take all the other academic modules of the MSc alongside this one. Part time students on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities & Autism studies postgraduate programmes will take this module alongside TZ863 in year 1. Part time students on the Applied Behaviour Analysis postgraduate programmes will take this module alongside TZ863, TZ861, TZ862 & TZ865 in year 1.





The aim of this module is to teach students about research methodology and the knowledge needed to access and interpret the research literature. For those who take the statistical analysis element, the aim is also to teach appropriate statistical techniques for the analysis of quantitative data. The emphasis will be on methods of data collection and analysis which will be useful in practice settings, so that advanced multivariate techniques will not be taught.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total study hours: 200. This module is taught through 22 seminar/lecture sessions of 2 hours each. Total hours of preparation (including weekly research, preparation of presentations, writing up the presentation portfolio and assignment) should not exceed 180 hours.



Method of assessment

Application of the knowledge base and skills will be assessed via five short assignments. Final Module Mark made up as follows:-

5 x assignments of 1200-1500 words (70%) & exams (30%)

Indicative reading

Key texts will include:

Coolican, H. (2009) Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology. (5th ed.) Oxford University Press. BF76.5 ISBN 0340983442

Gray, C. D. & Kinnear, P. R. (2011) SPSS Statistics 19 made simple. Taylor & Francis Ltd. ISBN: 1848720696

Further reading will include:

Barlow, D. H., Nock, D. and Hersen, M. (2009) Single Case Experimental Designs: Strategies for Studying Behavior Change. (3rd ed.) Allyn & Bacon ISBN: 0205474551 BF76.5

Dillman, D.A., Smyth, J.D., Christian, L.M. (2008) Internet, Mail and Mixed-mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. (3rd Ed.) John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN: 0471698687. HM538

Fowler, F. J. and Mangione, T. W. (1990) Standardised Survey Interviewing Minimising Interviewer-Related Error. Sage Publications. ISBN: 0803930933 H61.28

Howell, D.C. (2006) Statistical Methods for Psychology (6th Edition). Cengage Learning. ISBN: 0495093610 BF39

Johnston, J.M. and Pennypacker, H.S. (1993) Strategies and Tactics of Behavioural Research. (2nd ed.) New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. ISBN: 0205474551 BF76.5

Rose, D. and Sullivan, O. (1996) Introducing Data Analysis for Social Scientists. (2nd ed.) Open University Press. ISBN: 0335196179 HA29

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will:

- Be able to recognise advantages and disadvantages of different methods of data collection (direct observations, rating scales, questionnaires, interviews)
- Be able to access and interpret existing research
- Be able to conduct observational data collection, conduct interviews and select appropriate measures for collecting data.
- Be aware of different experimental designs and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different designs.
- Be able to conduct and produce simple descriptive summaries of observational and other types of quantitative data.
- Understand issues of reliability and validity and be able to calculate simple indices of these.

In addition, those following the statistical analysis part of the module, will be able to

Demonstrate the ability to use simple parametric and non-parametric statistics and understand the embedded assumptions of these. Also:

• Be able to design and conduct their own research.
• Be able to interpret complex data- this will also be used as part of their dissertation (TZ994/995).
• Be able to present, analyse and interpret findings from both assessments in services and with individual people (TZ862/TZ864).
• Be able to analyse statistical and qualitative data.

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