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RESM6012 Applied Research Methods (ARM): Planning & Designing Research

Module Overview

The Applied Research Methods Modules cover the common needs for training in research methods and statistics of all students in their first year of postgraduate study in psychology. As one of a series of research units, it provides trainees with knowledge and skills to develop proficiency in the Health Professions Council (HPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP) 12 One of the pre-requisites for PSYC8042

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide the foundation for the skills needed for both evidence based and evidence generating practice in psychology through a series of six workshops. These sessions will combine lectures with group work and tasks to be completed on the computer. Topics to be covered include an introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of research, research ethics, research design in psychology, concepts underlying the statistical analysis of data, and reviewing the research literature. Thus it aims to introduce students to the theoretical basis for a wide range of research methods.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Conceive and design research in clinical, educational or health settings
  • Identify relevant research questions and generate testable hypotheses
  • Conduct ethical research
  • Critique published research reports
  • Explain and apply the principles of sampling, statistical power, confidence interval, effect size, and measurement error
  • Begin to design effective research studies
  • Time manage a research project


· Philosophical underpinnings of research, research questions and hypotheses, & mixed methods · Ethics and Governances · Data preparation, power and effect size. · Clinically significant / statistically significant change & case studies and single sample studies · Clinical trials and interventions · Reviewing the literature and introduction to meta-analysis

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This is a 10 CATS (5 ECTS) module, which translates into a total study time of 100 hours. These 100 hours are split into 18 teaching hours and 82 hours of independent study. Teaching will consist of six three hour long workshop sessions. During teaching sessions a variety of teaching and learning methods will be used including lecture presentations; group work (for example role play of an ethics committee, assessing research questions and forming hypotheses, discussing study designs), using a computer to conduct literature searches and calculations.

Supervised time in studio/workshop6
Completion of assessment task52
Wider reading or practice18
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Field and Hole (2003). How to Design and Report Experiments. 

Thomas, G. (2011). How to do your research project. 

Barlow D.H. (2008). Single Case Experimental Designs: Strategies for Studying Behavior Change. 

Bauer, R.M. (2007). Evidence-based practice in psychology: Implications for research and research training. Journal of clinical psychology. ,63 , pp. 685-694.

Marks, D. F. & Yardley, L (2004). Research methods for clinical and health psychology. 

Jacobson, N. S. & Truax, P. (1991). Clinical significance: a statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research.". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. ,59 , pp. pg.12-19.

Barker, C. Pistrang, N. & Elliott, R. (2002). Research Methods in Clinical Psychology: An introduction for Students and Practitioners. 

Howitt, D & Cramer, D. (2008). Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology. 


Assessment Strategy

A max 3000 word research proposal. To be submitted at the very end of semester 1. Proposals will reflect an actual research project to be completed by the student. For the DCinPsych and DEdPsych this will be the small scale research project (SSRP), for the Masters in Health Psychology, Research methods, and Foundations in clinical psychology courses this will be the dissertation. Proposals will be marked by the project supervisor or SSRP co-ordinator and moderated by the Module co-ordinator. Proposals will include a summary and sections detailing the research objectives, beneficiaries, research outline, and plans for communicating and engaging users with the research, and an appendix on how the research time will be managed.


MethodPercentage contribution
Research proposal 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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