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The University of Southampton

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). One of the pre-requisites for PSYC8042.

Aims and Objectives

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


· 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 · Systematic reviews - the literature search process

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. Opportunities for formative assessment and feedback are built into the module in the form of in-class teaching and learning activities and blended learning resources. Staff provide verbal feedback during these activities to help you gauge and develop your knowledge and understanding. Test-yourself multiple choice questions (with automated feedback/answers) are available on Blackboard so that you can evaluate your own knowledge and understanding.

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

Resources & Reading list

Barker, C. Pistrang, N. & Elliott, R. (2015). Research Methods in Clinical Psychology: Anintroduction for Students and Practitioners. 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Assessment Strategy

The coursework assessment for the module will take the form of short-answer questions about a psychology research article. Students will be provided with a journal article and a series of questions designed to assess their ability to understand and evaluate the evidence presented within the article, draw inferences from the article, and apply these to the planning and designing of psychological research.


MethodPercentage contribution
Short answer questions 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are expected to fund their own printing and photocopying costs, if any.


Core texts should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. The library will also have at least one copy of textbooks listed as additional background reading , or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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