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The University of Southampton

PSYC3064 Advanced Quantitative Research Skills

Module Overview

The Advanced Quantitative Research Skills is focused on extending existing skills in analyzing data from quantitative research. The module consists of two parts. In the first part programming skills in R are being learned. In the second, students will learn how to perform mediation and moderation analyses in SPSS.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The Statistical Programming in R part is focused on extending existing skills in analyzing data from quantitative research. The focus of this bit of the course will not be on extensively expanding the mathematical knowledge of the techniques employed but will be on acquiring practical skills such as scripting, flexible matrix manipulation and advanced visualization. All these skills are particularly useful when confronted with especially large datasets, and when confronted with a multitude of repetitive statistical procedures needing implementation. Analyses will be implemented using the interactive programming environment known as R. R is a free, open source implementation of the S language for statistical analysis. The mediation and moderation part is similarly focused on extending existing skills in analysing data from quantitative research and not on expanding mathematical knowledge. Rather, the focus will be on using SPSS to conduct moderation and mediation analyses and properly interpreting and understanding statistical output. These skills are particularly useful when trying to understand the boundary conditions of the effect of one variable on another and the psychological processes that explain the effect of one variable on another.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Implementation of statistical procedures within the R environment and SPSS
  • Data manipulation - acquiring skills in flexible matrix manipulation
  • Scripting - programming an analysis in such a way that the script can be used with minimal effort for similar datasets and analyses and for especially large datasets
  • Data visualisation - learning how to create high-quality figures, especially associated with more complex analyses (e.g. three dimensional scatter plots, Trellis displays, etc.).
  • Understanding the distinction between mediation on moderation
  • Performing and interpreting mediation and moderation analyses


This module is divided into two main components. The first component is Introduction into the R. language, implementing Basic Statistical Methods and the General Linear Model (t-tests, ANOVA’s, correlation, and regressions) in R. A specific focus will be on scripting, data manipulation and advanced data visualisation. No prior knowledge concerning computer programming is required. The second component focuses on understanding, conducting, and interpreting mediations and moderation analyses in SPSS. Students will also learn how to report results following APA guidance.

Learning and Teaching

Follow-up work24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hayes, A. F (2003). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. 

Alain Zuur, Elena Ieno, & Erik Meesters (2009). A Beginner's Guide To R.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 50%
Exam  (2 hours) 49%
Research Participation 1%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: PSYC1010 AND PSYC1019 AND PSYC2019 We strongly recommend students to have at least a 2:1 in PSYC2019 as PSYC3064 is an advanced statistics module and the materials covered in PSYC2019 will not be repeated but will be built upon.

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