Research Methods (PSYC399)

Research Methods (PSYC399)

Course Description:

Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. When conducting research, scientists use the scientific method to collect measurable, empirical evidence to derive results that aim to support or refute a hypothesis and theory. This course is designed for students to gain an understanding of research, the research process and the limits and potential of research. The course will mainly focus on the procedures and issues related to quantitative research approach. It facilitates students’ awareness of the ability to conduct research in an ethical and thorough manner using appropriate research methods. Students will also be exposed to basic qualitative research ideas and procedures, as well as the writing process in research.

The emphasis is on providing practical knowledge of the research process and in preparing students to conduct their own basic research projects. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of how to conduct their own research in various fields (criminology, psychology, sociology, political science, social work, etc.) as well as a better understanding of how to evaluate the research of others.


Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes
The learning will:
Assessment Criteria
The learner can:
1. Apply the principles and techniques of different quantitative research methods. 1.1 Apply the steps in the Scientific Method.

1.2 Identify the basic concepts of qualitative research.

1.3 Identify the respective strengths and limitations of quantitative approaches to research.

1.4 Apply the ethics of research.

2. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize research literature by writing a review of literature. 2.1 Explain the relationship between theory, hypothesis, data collection, and analysis in the pursuit of knowledge.

2.2 Familiarise with the writing process of research.

2.3 Demonstrate knowledge of how to design a coherent ethical piece of research that is free of validity andreliability issues.

3. Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method and research approaches in psychology. 3.1 Identify and explain the most common research methods, such as observations, questionnaire-based surveys and interviews.


Delivery and Study Plan

24 hours of lecture-cum-discussions over 8 weeks.

This module requires a mixture of lecture and self-study activities to assimilate the information covered. As per most institutes offering tertiary education, students should engage in an appropriate amount of self-study each week involving critical reflections.


Assessment summary

Form of assessments include Class Participation, Quizzes, Term Paper, Group Project and Examination.


Course Schedule

  • Methods of knowing and acquiring knowledge
  • Scientific methods
  • Research process
  • Defining and Measuring variables
  • Ethics in research
  • Writing an APA-style research report
  • Selecting research participants
  • Research strategies and validity
  • The experimental research strategy
  • Experimental Designs: between-subject designs
  • Experimental designs: within-subject designs
  • Nonexperimental and quasi-experimental strategies
  • Factorial design
  • The correlational research strategy
  • The descriptive research strategy
  • Single-subject research designs
  • Statistical evaluation of data
  • Writing an APA-style research report (Review and Integration)
  • Examination


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