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Module Organiser: Prof. Cynthia McDougall


This module will develop theoretical and practical understanding of a range of methods relevant to a wide range of applied research in psychology and social science.  Detailed understanding of five key methods will be developed through lectures and practicals. In addition a seminar will develop understanding of how to disseminate research findings in an effective manner. 

Module Aims:
  • To provide a theoretical and practical understanding of  key research procedures used in applied psychological research.
  • To enable the student to critically evaluate the analysis of data derived with these procedures.
  • To understand the practical issues involved in conducting research using these methods
  • To develop an awareness of effective research dissemination strategies

Learning Objectives

After completing this module students should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the rationale behind, the importance of and the practical issues in implementing the following methods in applied research: single case designs, scale construction, thematic analysis, randomised control trials and systematic reviews.
  • Use their knowledge of these methods to critically evaluate studies implementing these methods
  • Use their understanding of these methods to create a research protocol in an area of applied research of relevance to their research interests
  • Understand how to disseminate their own research findings in an effective manner. 

Topics Covered

We will cover the following five methods commonly used in applied research:

  • Single case designs
  • Scale construction
  • Thematic analysis
  •  Randomised control trials
  • Systematic reviews.

We will also address broader topics of research design and effective dissemination of research findings

Teaching Methods

This module will largely consist of lectures and practicals, with two additional seminar sessions.

Sample Reading

Haslam, A.s. & McGarty, C (Eds) (1998)  Doing Psychology: An introduction to research methodology and statistics. Sage publications (Chapter 2: Research in Psychology: Objectives and Ideals)

Barker, C., Pistrang., & Elliot, R. (Eds) (2002) Research methods in clinical psychology: AN introduction for students and practitioners (2nd Edition). John WIley & sons Ltd (Chapter 3: Doing the groundwork)
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