PSY40540 Applied Research Methods

Academic Year 2022/2023

The main aim of this module is to introduce students to the challenges of applied research. In the first part of the module we consider a range of research designs and methods that are available in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. The course also provides students with the skills required to critically evaluate research. The second part of the module has a more practical focus, which will assist students in developing a clear research question and identifying the approach and specific research design that best suits their research question.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course students should be able to: 1. Critically evaluate approaches to research; 2. Identify the benefits and limitations of different methods available in research; 3. Understand the principles of systematic review; 4. Identify a clear research question; 5. Develop a research design appropriate to their research question.

Indicative Module Content:

Part 1
Introduction to research
Critically evaluating research
Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research design
Sampling and data collection techniques
Research ethics

Part 2
Developing a research question
Selecting a research design
Developing a sampling strategy
Identifying appropriate data collection techniques
Addressing key ethical issues

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module includes a number of approaches, with two distinct phases to the delivery.

In phase 1:
- The module uses a flipped classroom, where material and reading is provided in advance of live interactive sessions with discussion and breakout activities used to engage the class
- Active learning - Over the course of this phase students work to design and complete a mini systematic review, with guidance from the lecturer on the key phases and decisions
- Peer and group work - The systematic review is completed in pairs/small groups, with students coming together weekly to actively work on their assignment.

In phase 2:
Delivery is structured as a series of seminars, where students work through the key topics with a focus on an individual research proposal. Discussion is central to supporting students to reflect on challenges and solutions and make key decisions. Students share their experience of engaging with the relevant published literature with their peers.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PSY40060 - Research Methods, PSY40290 - Developing a Research Design

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Mini systematic review and reflection Week 7 n/a Graded No


Attendance: Participation in class discussion Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Project: Prepare a research proposal Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students are provided with written feedback following completion of the mid-semester and final assignment Aggregate feedback is provided in class which involves reflection on the main strengths and areas for development

Name Role
Lisa Keenan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer