Skip to main content

Unit information: Research Methods 1 in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Research Methods 1
Unit code ACHSD0005
Credit points 20
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Dan O'Hare
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce research methodology as it will be encountered by educational psycholgists both from the point of view of analysing other research work and from the point of view of conducting their own studies. Since all students are graduate psychologists the unit assumes knowledge of the statistical bases of research, including design (sampling, selection of instruments, validity and reliability, ethical considerations); conduct (surveys, questionnaires, interviewing, testing); data preparation (coding, keying, verifying, editing, issing data); and analysis (descriptive and inferential statistics). These will be available for on-line revision and self-study on the course website. Sessions in the Unit will introduce methods of enquiry for educational and child settings. As well as presenting the theoretical underpinnings of research methodology, the unit will provide examples of qualitative and quantitative studies for critical analysis. It will also introduce historical methods, and provide a framework for the inclusion of case studies and action research within the remit of an educational psychologist. On the bases of these analyses, students will be guided towards the construction of their own research progect with tutorial work designed to produce the written project proposal and pilot work.


  • To present the theoretical basis for research methodology
  • To introduce the priorities and contexts of educational psychology research work
  • To support critical examination of research studies
  • To introduce a range of techniques including historical research methods, use of case studies and participant research
  • To develop the process of research planning and the conduct of pilot work

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To be able to critically evaluate published research studies
  • To be able to choose appropriate research methodology for studies in educational psychology
  • To demonstrate capacity to produce a research plan and to carry out pilot wok
  • To be able to explain the theoretical basis for research methodology

Teaching Information

Blended learning will be delivered though a range of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Thses will involve Blackboard collaborate and on-campus sessions where possible with the aim of critiquing and presentation views in seminars and small group work as well as personal tutorials on research planning.

Assessment Information

Completion of a 4000 word assignment which will include critical analysis of research methods used in selected relevant studies and the development of proposals for pilot work for research on an agreed topic relevant to the field.

Reading and References

  • Bell J (2005) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science, Buckingham: Open University Press
  • Bryman A (2002) Social Research Methods, Oxford: OUP
  • Cohen L, Manion L & Morrison K (2000) Research Methods in Education, London: Routledge
  • Denscombe M (2003) The Good Research Guide, London Open University
  • Robson C (2002) Real World Research, Oxford: Blackwell
  • Williams M (2003) Making Sense of Social Research, London: Sage