MEng Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Research Methods & Statistics
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Offered by||Division of Psychology and Mental Health|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course will introduce students to core principles and techniques in Research Methods and Statistics.
The aim of this course is to introduce you to quantitative and qualitative research approaches used in psychological research. It will outline and examine the components of research designs and methodologies, and explore the fundamental principles and techniques of statistical analysis.
You will gain experience in conducting statistical analyses during practical classes and will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge of research methodology in empirical work classes linked to other course units. More generally, the course aims to promote the development of critical thinking skills, enabling you to objectively evaluate psychological research.
You will be introduced to quantitative and qualitative research approaches used in psychological research. The course has three major components in which students will learn foundational principles of: i) Research methodology and design; ii) Statistical analyses; iii) Qualitative and Mixed methods.
This unit will outline and examine the components of research design and methodology and explore fundamental principles and techniques of statistical analysis. It will also incorporate an introduction to the principles of open science. You will gain experience in conducting statistical analyses using appropriate software and will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge of research methodology in empirical work/ lab classes linked to other course units. More generally, the course aims to promote the development of critical thinking skills, enabling you to objectively evaluate psychological research.
Teaching and learning methods
The course will include lectures, and statistics examples classes.
Other provision includes moderated discussion boards for both Research Methods and Statistics; webcasts covering topics students commonly find difficult; regular MCQ quizzes with formative feedback; an Excel assignment.
Knowledge and understanding
Employ key terminology and outline concepts of research methods and statistics
Interpret the results of statistical analyses in the context of the research design
Discuss ethical considerations relating to research with human participants
Identify and evaluate the methodological elements of published research in psychological science
Explain the limitations imposed by particular design decisions
Design a methodology which is appropriate for a given research question
Choose appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics for different research hypotheses
Undertake basic statistical calculations using Excel
Analyse quantitative and qualitative data and present the results accurately, clearly, and concisely in tables, plots and text
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Use Excel to organise, explore and conduct basic statistical tests on data
Demonstrate confidence in handling and analysis of research data
Open Book Blackboard Quizzes and final examinations in semesters 1 and 2.
Separate online discussion boards will be set up for the Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods and Statistics components of the course. Students are encouraged to make use of these for further support and staff will monitor them regularly. Teaching Assistants will be available during the Statistics Practical classes to provide hands-on support. Online assessments will be marked and graded within 3 weeks of the submission deadline and students will have an opportunity to review their grades and the correct answers to questions. In addition, a revision quiz will be made available in the lead up to exams and an exam revision session provided.
You will be provided with the core text for this course:
Warren, P., Fisher, A. & Edge, D. (2013). Statistics and Research Methods (3rd ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
This custom text was developed specifically for this course and the 2nd year Statistics unit by the course leaders. It combines selected, essential reading from:
- Dancey, C. P., & Reidy, J. (2011). Statistics without maths for Psychology (5th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
- Langdridge, D. & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2009). Introduction to research methods and data analysis in Psychology (2nd ed). Harlow: Prentice Hall.
- Howitt, D. & Cramer, D. (2007). Introduction to research methods in psychology (3rd ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Howell, D. C. (2009) Statistical methods for Psychology, International edition (7th Edition). Wadsworth.
If you like mathematics then this is the statistics text of choice. Authoritative and interesting to read there is little if anything you will come across in Psychology that isn’t given a lucid treatment in this book. It may, however, be scary for those who don’t like maths. Note this book is recommended as an additional text, it is not essential and it is secondary to the essential reading text.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Paul Warren||Unit coordinator|