PY0417 - Psychological Research Methodologies

What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide you with an introduction to quantitative data analysis, i.e. statistics. You will gain an understanding of fundamental concepts and principles in statistics. These include levels of measurement; standardised effect size measures; sample distributions, standard errors and confidence intervals; and statistical significance testing and the problems it causes.

In addition to basic principles, you will learn about a range of frequently used techniques for data analysis using the programmes SPSS and ESCII. For each of the techniques you will learn to identify when it is suitable to use; how to run the analysis; how to report its results to experts and lay people; and how to use these result to inform your critical judgement about your own research and that of others. The techniques you will learn about include descriptive statistics; the estimation of standardised effect sizes; t-tests and their non-parametric alternatives; chi2 to analyse proportions; meta-analysis; correlation; linear regression; and ANOVA.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn through a combination of lectures, workshops and practical tutorials, along with independent study. The workshop components of the module will take place in our specialist IT labs using a variety of statistical software

During teaching weeks, you will have two hours of lectures and two hours of workshops. The lectures introduce you to concepts and techniques, which you then learn to apply in your workshops. These will be recorded to aid understanding. Additional tutorials are available to clarify problematic issues, discuss how you can apply these techniques to the research you carry out in other modules, etc.

You will be provided with references to relevant literature for your independent study. To further guide your independent study, a rich array of exercises will be available for you via the eLearning Portal. Online discussion groups encourage all students to form an interactive learning community.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You have four hours of scheduled teaching during teaching weeks. Tutors are also available for you via email, the online discussion forum, or for tutorials. All lecture and workshop materials will be available online, including video recordings of the lectures. These online materials will help you to catch up on sessions you might miss and to revise in order to deepen your understanding of the subject matter. Exercises with worked answers and other materials for guided learning will be available. Exam-like multiple choice questions will be available for you to practice the exams and to monitor your own progress. Your summative assessments will be carried out via online testing.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MK1: By the end of the module you will understand fundamental concepts and principles in statistics.
• MK2: You will know and understand a number of techniques for statistical analysis of data.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIP1: You will develop your research skills by being able to identify the proper analysis for a number of elementary research designs; be able to read and report the output from these analyses; and be able to draw appropriate conclusions

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Mock multiple-choice exam questions will allow you to continuously monitor your progress on MK1; MK2; MIP1

Summative assessment:
This module will be assessed with two MCQ exams. These have been chosen because they will assess a breadth of knowledge, which is essential for this level.

The first exam will be undertaken halfway through the semester and will test your knowledge of the first half of the module. This open-book exam will be completed online using the e-Learning portal. The exam is 90 minutes long, contains 40 questions and contributes to 50% of your mark (MK1; MK2).

The second exam will be undertaken in the semester 2 exam period. This will be a closed book exam that requires you to run analysis using SPSS on a provided data set and answer MCQ questions relating to the analysis you have ran, the output generated and topics from the second half of the module. This exam is 2 hours long, contains 40 questions and contributes to 50% of your overall mark (MK1; MK2; MIP1).

Feedback will be provided on each exam via the eLearning Portal. Cohort mean, standard deviation and distributions of marks for the tests will be provided so that you can compare your performance with that of your cohort.





Module abstract

Psychology is an empirical science, i.e. it uses actual data to shape and test ideas about behaviour and the mind. Relevant data typically derive from measurements and are then in the form of numbers. To make a connection between our data and the ideas that inspired our research is far from trivial. In this module you will learn how to do that. These skills are crucial throughout all three years of your programme. You will need them to develop, analyse, and interpret your own research and in order to fully understand and evaluate the research of others. Your knowledge will be assessed incrementally as your knowledge of research methods progresses, ensuring you receive regular feedback on your performance.

A solid understanding of data is a skill valued by many employers. Many students approach this module with trepidation; but we know from experience that students who engage with the module perform well on it, even if they don’t have a strong background in maths. Moreover, most students enjoy learning about fundamentals that can then be applied in hands-on exercises.

Course info

UCAS Code C800

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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