Statistics and Research Methods for Psychological and Behavioural Science

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

To be confirmed


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

This course equips students with the bedrock knowledge and skills for conducting research in psychology and behavioural science. It integrates core concepts from the process of planning and conducting research with those involved in understanding and analysing data. Its lectures and classes introduce enough research methods and statistics to provide a foundation for Years 2 and 3. Students will be provided with a dataset that they can use to put what they learn into practice, as well as having the opportunity to collect and analyse data of their own.

By the end of this course you should:

  • Be able to situate contemporary research in psychology and behavioural science in the historical context of psychological enquiry.
  • Have an understanding of the processes required in planning, carrying out, summarising, and evaluating research in psychological and behavioural science.
  • Understand the principles for designing, conducting, and writing up qualitative and quantitative research projects.
  • Understand the statistical methods needed to familiarise oneself with a dataset, summarise its key features, and identify key relationships among variables.
  • Have practical experience collecting and analysing psychological and/or behavioural data.
  • Be prepared for later courses in statistics and research methods for psychological and behavioural science.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, lab sessions and classes totalling a minimum of 84.5 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. There is a reading week in Week 6 of both Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students will complete a number of pieces of formative work to cement learning and prepare for summative assessments:

  • A number of statistics worksheets.
  • A practice piece focusing on writing up qualitative research.
  • A practice piece focusing on writing up quantitative research.

Indicative reading

  • American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual. (7th ed.). Washington: APA.
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London: Sage.
  • British Psychological Society (2014). Code of Human Research Ethics. BPS.
  • Cooper, H., Camic, P. M., Long, D., Panter, A., Rindskof, D., & Sher, K. (2012). The APA handbook of research methods in psychology (volumes 1-3). Washington: APA.
  • Creswell, J.  W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (3rd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.
  • Danziger, K.  (1994). Constructing the subject: Historical origins of psychological research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hayes, A. F. (2017). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. London: Guilford Publications.
  • Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2011). Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology. (3rd ed.). London: Pearson.
  • Hunt, M.  (2007). The story of psychology. (2nd ed.)  London: Random House.
  • Navarro, D. (2015). Learning Statistics with R: A Tutorial for Psychology Students and Other Beginners (Version 0.5). Adelaide: University of Adelaide.
  • Phillips, N. D. (2017). Yarrr! The pirate’s guide to R.
  • Poldrack R. A. (2019). Statistical Thinking for the 21st Century.
  • Son, J. Y., & Stigler, J. W. (2019). Introduction to Statistics: A Modelling Approach
  • Urdan, T. C. (2011). Statistics in plain English. London: Routledge.


Poster (20%) in the MT.
Exercise (40%) and research project (40%) in the LT.

  • Poster (20%) in MT - Working as a group you will design a mixed methods research project and present this as a poster.
  • Research Project (40%) in LT - You will carry out the project that you proposed in your poster. Data collection will be done with your group, the analysis and write up will be completed individually.
  • Exercise (40%) in LT - You will be required you to write methods and results for two secondary data analysis tasks.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2021/22: 41

Average class size 2021/22: 29

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills