Current Research Issues in Psychological Research Methods

Module titleCurrent Research Issues in Psychological Research Methods
Module codePSYM212
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Dr Anke Karl (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module addresses current issues in psychological research methods used in cognitive neuroscience, clinical, and social psychology. A series of research seminars and a weekly seminar hour allows for critical appraisal of these seminars, consequently requiring you to compose a number of thought papers on a selection of topics.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to enable you to sample and learn from a wide range of examples of current research within a specific discipline, using the expertise of visiting specialists, Psychology’s academic staff, and advanced postgraduate research students. It aims to develop a critical awareness of the broad range of research methods available in the context of discussion of, and reflection on, larger issues of scientific method. It aims to develop expertise in critical analysis and research design and encourage the communication of ideas in a concise and engaging manner.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Discuss in detail the types of research questions that are being addressed in your specific discipline
  • 2. Describe extensively current methods and their applications in your specific discipline
  • 3. Summarise at an advanced level the problems that arise in research development across a range of topics

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a range of methodologies
  • 5. Adequately relate specific research questions to appropriate methodology

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Engage in advanced critical analysis of research design
  • 7. Discuss research with instructors and peers
  • 8. Work effectively with others as a member of a group and meet obligations to others
  • 9. Undertake independent learning and self-directed study (including good time management and the setting of appropriate deadlines, precise clarification of the aims and expected results of research, library use and website investigation)

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

You will be expected to attend seven 2 hour research seminars relevant to your research stream. In the first hour, you will attend regular seminars organised for the MDC group; alternatively or additionally you can attend the school seminars or the cognitive seminars. These seminars will provide you with an opportunity to hear about and discuss research projects in progress. In the second hour, you will engage in an in-depth discussion and critical analysis of methods used in the research.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching14Research seminars (7 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study136Background reading


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Thought paper500 words1-6, 8-9Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar participation10Weekly1-8Oral
Thought paper 1 18700 words1-6, 8-9Written
Thought paper 218700 words1-6, 8-9Written
Thought paper 318700 words1-6, 8-9Written
Thought paper 418700 words1-6, 8-9Written
Thought paper 518700 words1-6, 8-9Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Thought papersThought papers1-6, 8-9By the end of August
Seminar participationThought paper1-6, 8-9By the end of August

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The module mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit further assessments based on the table above. The module mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Seminar speakers will provide you with a reading list.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Research, research methods, psychological

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date