Module title: Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SES11116
Module leader: Tony Westbury
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group:


2017/8, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Konstantinos Kaliarntas
Module Organiser:
Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module will delivered through Face-to-face contact via a series of lectures workshops and practical tutorials to develop a basis of theoretical understanding and practical skills (LO1-LO5).
In most of the lecture / workshop sessions an interactive approach will be adopted where the focus becomes more student centred. Students will be given a key topic, reading or application and asked to develop questions which can directed at their peers or at the tutor. In this way the teaching and learning is more student centred and less tutor directed. In the practical sessions, students will work through real-life data sets and information dissemination challenges. Ensuring that the learning of research methods and data analysis always has a real life context.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 24
Online Guided independent study 10
Independent Learning Guided independent study 142
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40 1,2,3,4 9 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Digital Examination (not Centrally Timetabled) 60 1,2,3,4,5 15 HOURS= 3.5, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

12. Module Content
In this module you will learn about the process of knowledge construction and evaluation in contemporary sport and exercise science. You will examine a range of epistemological approaches and explore the philosophical implications of adopting different methods of constructing knowledge. You will look at issues around research design, including an examination of ethical and governance issues. You will critically examine the methods by which research is conducted, looking at the internationally accepted guidelines for randomised controlled trials and other prominent methodologies in the sport and exercise science literature. You will examine the contemporary debates around null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) and magnitude based statistics and also examine the anticipated development of data synthesis techniques.
Sport and exercise science is also an applied endeavour and students need to be capable of effectively disseminating complex technical data to a lay audience.
At the successful completion of this module you will be comfortable with the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and learn how to make decisions about the use of appropriate statistical tests and interpret the analysis outputs.
The module has two strands, one strand is a lecture / workshop programme covering the conceptual basis of scientific knowledge construction. The second strand is practical and will give students an opportunity to work through the design of studies, discuss ethical and practical issues in research and work through increasingly complex data sets using SPSS.

In strand one, the content will cover, the philosophical basis of scientific knowledge construction, the debates around NHST and magnitude based statistics. Mid-module, there will be scope to give the module more specific depth, with the exercise and health students looking at epidemiology in more depth whilst the sport performance students will focus more on the research in the specific disciplines of physiology, biomechanics and sport psychology. The final theme common to both route ways will focus on applied research and the dissemination of research and assessment data to the lay audience.

In the practical workshops students will use SPSS to describe data and conduct inferential tests common in the discipline areas. This will cover tests of difference and association, using univariate, multivariate data sets. There will also be opportunities to examine data synthesis techniques.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Summarise the philosophical basis of scientific knowledge construction in the context of sport, health and exercise.
LO2: Critically analyse methodological issues in research design.
LO3: Accurately conduct and interpret a range of quantitative techniques in relation to sport, health and exercise data sets.
LO4: Use appropriate approaches to data reduction and synthesis required in different scientific fields i.e. biomechanics, physiology, psychology etc.
LO5: Disseminate technical data and results to a lay audience (health and sports professionals, patients, athletes, public members etc).

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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