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Unit information: Research Methods 1 in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

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
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

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

Your learning on this unit

  • 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

How you will learn

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.

How you will be assessed

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.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ACHSD0005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.