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The University of Southampton

EDUC2054 Research Methods in Education and Psychology

Module Overview

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of research methods in education and psychology. Working from research questions that might inform your future dissertation, the module builds on those in Part 1. You will cover fundamentals of a good research design and data collection and analysis, including both qualitative and quantitative techniques, with the research question always being central. There will be a clear emphasis on collecting and analysing your own data and on reporting your findings in American Psychological Association (APA) format. The module will cover the steps necessary to prepare for your dissertation project. You will be encouraged to be critical and analytical. You will work independently and collaboratively and will benefit from feedback from both your tutors and your peers.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research design for education and psychology
  • Use a range of research instruments and designs to collect data
  • Use appropriate statistical and other research software to analyse data
  • Manage educational and psychological research projects
  • Critically evaluate and interpret information
  • Actively investigate issues and collect evidence to assess their validity
  • Work collaboratively in a group environment and be able to report and effectively communicate the results of investigations
  • Recognise the need to manage time and personnel
  • Design, analyse, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data and evidence
  • Design appropriate research instruments for collecting primary data from education and psychology contexts
  • Know how to design an original research project
  • Design your own piece of research, from initial research question to research design and data collection
  • Evaluate ethical issues in education and psychology research
  • Design research instruments and select appropriate data analysis techniques for qualitative and quantitative educational data
  • Carry out a range of qualitative and quantitative data analyses
  • Report education and psychology research findings in an appropriate format


Topics normally covered in this module will include: - An introduction to designing a good research question for a dissertation project; - Research design, including experimental, survey designs, not limited to issues like design setup and sampling; - Collecting data in practical work using a range of research designs and methods (e.g. laboratory experiments, observation, interview, focus groups and questionnaires) as research methods; - Analysing qualitative (educational and psychological) data, for example ‘codes and themes’ and grounded theory; - Analysing quantitative (educational and psychological) data with SPSS (or other statistical software): this builds on Part 1 with two-group designs, ANOVA, basic regression; - Reporting data analysis results; - Structuring a research project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A mix of lectures and seminars normally in two-hour sessions supported by directed reading and additional practical research activities. The sessions will include peer feedback and assessment opportunities, and whole group interactive teaching. Where useful, technology will be used to support the session (e.g. use of statistical software, questionnaire software, etc.). In addition, sessions will generally be supported by tutorials for additional questions, stretch targets and support.

Completion of assessment task48
Preparation for scheduled sessions84
Follow-up work48
Wider reading or practice24
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Denscombe, M (2014). The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects. 

Muijs, D (2004). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. 

Online videos and resources will be made available.. 

SPSS Software. SPSS, available via

Lichtman, M (2010). Qualitative Research in Education: a User's Guide.. 

Punch, K (2009). Introduction to Research Methods in Education. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education. 

Sharp, J (2009). Success with your Education Research Project.. 

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (3000 words) 40%
Coursework 40%
Statistics examination 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (3000 words) 40%
Coursework 40%
Statistics examination 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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