MEd Psychology of Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Analysis and Evaluation

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC60772
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit covers key methods and processes relating to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data in psychological research, with a focus on quantitative and qualitative methods. This includes sessions exploring practical approaches to data collection, elements of quantitative and qualitative analysis, rigour and quality throughout the research life cycle, effective management and communication of research and the future of psychological research practices.


This unit aims to: 

  • Provide coverage of the BPS Syllabus core area of Research Methods
  • Examine the practical and theoretical issues associated with research in psychology and education and their application to real world problems
  • Develop an understanding of methods and processes involved in the collection and analysis of  data 
  • Develop and extend understanding of scientific processes and rigour and the research life cycle 


Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:


Indicative Curriculum Content

  • Reliability and Validity: Collecting Survey Data
  • Collecting Qualitative Self-Report Data
  • Revisiting Statistical Hypothesis Testing: ANOVAs
  • Revisiting Statistical Hypothesis Testing: Regression
  • Writing and Presenting Research: APA Conventions
  • Qualitative Coding Analysis Workshop
  • Quality and Rigour in Qualitative Research
  • Recording Behaviour
  • Future of Psychological Research

Teaching and learning methods


The course unit will be delivered using a variety of methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical experiments, and independent research activities. Students will be required to work both independently and in small groups and active participation will be encouraged at all times.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate an understanding of research methods and analysis in psychology and education
  • Demonstrate an understanding of quality and rigour across the design and implementation of research

Intellectual skills

  • Undertake independent learning and reflect upon achievements
  • Present information, ideas and arguments
  • Apply theory to practice in a range of situations

Practical skills

  • Identify and apply a range of methods for collecting data
  • Appropriately apply methods and tools for analysing and presenting data
  • Use software tools for research methods where appropriate (e.g. SPSS, NVIVO)
  • Undertake searching of electronic databases, access library facilities, word processing
  • Demonstrate an ability to prepare and interpret data, graphs, charts and tables

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Time management
  • Build confidence in independent study
  • Build research skills
  • Develop confidence to tackle unfamiliar problems

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

Unit Feedback and Student Engagement

Student representation at both the programme and unit level plays an important role helping the quality of provision be upheld.  MEd student representatives liaise between staff and students on matters of concern to either side; provide two-way feedback on the course and on teaching quality, and promote student involvement in course development.  Student representatives participate in course review meetings (including a confidential meeting with external examiners) and feedback information from these meetings to other students.

At the end of each semester all students are asked to complete an on-line evaluation questionnaire for each course unit they have taken.  This anonymous feedback is circulated to unit leaders and supports quality assurance.

Formative assessment and written feedback to students is a key feature of this unit. Students are provided with formative written feedback when marking has been completed

Recommended reading


As with all units on the MEd, we like to offer a range of books and let you choose the combination that appeals to you. As such, you are advised to have a look through them all first (either in the University Library or online). 

The Online version of this Reading List will show you where these core texts can be found in the library or online:

In addition to the recommended texts above, you will be provided with an expanded reading list, including additional recommendations, reading lists of journal articles, chapters in edited texts and on-line resources that you are strongly encouraged to make use of.  You will also be expected to search relevant databases (e.g. PsycInfo) to find research that extends beyond explicit recommendations and the content covered in sessions.


General core conceptual and theoretical texts

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications.

This is a great introductory text for understanding the qualitative research process. It’s a very practically oriented book, so you’ll need to look elsewhere to understand theoretical underpinnings, but it provides a lot of guidance and clear strategies for actually undertaking qualitative research.

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2016). Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (Fourth edition). Pearson.

An introduction to research methods in psychology. With comprehensive coverage of both quantitative and qualitative methods as well as the ethical and legal realities of carrying out research, this is the ideal guide for students just beginning and those moving on to more advanced projects. Available as an e-book:

Haslam, S. A., & McGarty, C. (2019). Research methods and statistics in psychology (3rd Edition). London: Sage.

An accessible highly readable and comprehensive introduction to conducting research in psychology. The book guides readers through the range of choices involved in design, analysis, and presentation. The book is also supplemented by a range of online learning resources:

Meltzoff, J., & Cooper, H. (2018). Critical thinking about research: Psychology and related fields (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association

This book provides a useful companion for approaching research critically. It explores how research methods and conclusions align, including how we can critically evaluate others’ research and consider planning robustly for our own research. Available as an e-book via Reading Lists Online.

Mertens, D. (2015). Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology (4th Edition). London: Sage. 

The Mertens’ text provides great introductory reading on issues relating to research design in education.  It is written in an accessible manner, and provides coverage of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (4th ed.). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications.

This is a comprehensive textbook for qualitative approaches and methods. It clearly outlines theoretical, conceptual, and methodological foundations of qualitative inquiry and includes detailed guidance on each stage of the research process, with consideration of a range of qualitative approaches.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22.5
Tutorials 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 122.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alexandra Hennessey Unit coordinator
Sarah MacQuarrie Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If possible, we encourage part-time students to undertake this unit in their first year.


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