Module title: Advanced Research Skills

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

Module code: PSY11102
Module leader: Rory MacLean
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Psychology


2018/9, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Rory MacLean
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
LOs 1-5: In face-to-face teaching, students will experience a variety of teaching techniques from different members of staff, and develop a range of skills; online support will also be provided to enhance learning. LO 1 is embedded across the whole module as students learn about different research techniques and ethics using practical computer based sessions (LO 2) and seminars (LOs 3 and 4). Workshop sessions address LO 5 where students design and plan their own research.

The module has a very practical focus, and students will acquire skills in SPSS and other specialised statistical packages for carrying out multivariate statistical analysis. They will also develop skills in collecting and analysing qualitative data. These skills are highly valued by employers and research organisations. Students will develop skills in project design when they complete their ethics form alongside an ability to incorporate policy guidelines into research design. Another highly transferable attribute that students will develop on this module is the ability to identify and critique relevant research and use that to inform their own project design.


Formative Assessment:
Throughout the module, students will have the opportunity to complete short formative quizzes to assess their understanding of key concepts; these will feed in directly to their learning log, in which they discuss different research methods covered in the module.

Students will also be provided with formative feedback on applications for ethical approval, which will be discussed in class, and in drop-in sessions. This will feed into the ethics application assessment.

Summative Assessment:
Summative Assessment
LOs 1, 2, and 3 are assessed by a learning log. Students demonstrate their knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods by discussing and critiquing these methods in criminological and psychological research. Students will present relevant research they have found themselves alongside required reading.

LOs 4 and 5 are assessed by the successful completion and approval of an ethics form for a piece of masters level research. For students wishing to complete an MSc this will be preparation for their dissertation

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Face To Face Seminar 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 176
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Learning Log 60 1,2,3 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Report 40 4,5 10 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

This module introduces you to advanced research skills in psychology and the social sciences. You will learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods and you will have the opportunity to explore these methods across a variety of research examples. You will also plan a major piece of research and produce a successful application for ethical approval for this project. If you have not studied research methods before, additional support sessions will provide you with research skills to the relevant level. This module will equip you to undertake masters level research using a variety of advanced techniques.

The content of this module covers three related areas:
Quantitative Research
a) Applying multivariate statistical analysis techniques using SPSS (e.g. principal components analysis, ANCOVA, cluster analysis)
b) Applying multivariate statistical analysis techniques using appropriate software

Qualitative Research
a) Designing research instruments and collecting qualitative data (e.g. interviewing, ethnography, conducting focus groups etc).
b) Documentary analysis.
c) Analysing qualitative data.

Ethics in Research
a) You will study the importance of ethics in the design and implementation of research.
b) You will produce a successful application for ethical approval for a piece of research.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Critically reflect on theories underpinning research design.
LO2: Evaluate and apply the use of multivariate quantitative research methods.
LO3: Evaluate and apply the use of qualitative research methods.
LO4: Critically engage with ethical issues in research.
LO5: Design and plan a piece of Masters level research.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
PSY11102 Advanced Research Skills