PY0548 - Advanced Experimental Methods and Lab Experience

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about the more common advanced quantitative research methodologies and associated analyses employed in psychological experiments. The module aims to provide practical skills in research design and operationalisation, the analysis of data (using a computer package where appropriate), and the interpretation, evaluation and subsequent reporting of research findings. In addition, you will learn about research ethics, and have the opportunity to apply these research skills to the core areas of psychobiology, cognitive psychology and the study of individual differences.

How will I learn on this module?

You will have the opportunity to learn about quantitative research methods and analyses in a lecture-based format, and attend weekly workshops which will provide the opportunity to learn and practice data analysis skills under supervision (using appropriate statistical software packages), these will take place in our specialist IT labs. Further to this, practical laboratory-based workshops are active learning sessions designed to increase the depth and breadth of your knowledge by giving you practical experience of designing and implementing your own research studies, along with discussion and debate with regard to topics, methods and any associated ethical issues. You will have the opportunity to handle primary source material, demonstrate that you can comprehend and use data effectively, to understand, analyse and present data sets, and develop skills in interpreting and reporting the findings of your research. Lectures will be recorded to support your learning, and assessment and feedback will be managed through online assignment submission and feedback systems.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will support you by making a variety of resources linked to the lectures series, workshops, practical’s and assessments available on the e-learning portal (e.g. PowerPoint slides, lectures handouts, workshop materials, revision tasks, online tests, reading lists, mock exam papers) along with links to resources to encourage further exploration of research methods and specific research topics. A discussion board on the e-learning portal will be available for students to pose and respond to questions among peers and to module, assessment and laboratory tutors. This enhances collegiality and also means that support is available to all students. Technology enabled learning will be implemented through the use of Panopto recording software, SPSS and other statistical packages, online submission and marking of both summative and formative assessment, and the use of a range of technologies designed for data collection.

Students will be assigned to a laboratory tutor who will work with them in practical classes, and provide feedback at various designated points throughout the module. Additional one-to-one or group tutorials can provide an opportunity for students to discuss issues related to the module with a member of staff.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

• MK1: You will demonstrate your knowledge of a range of advanced quantitative research methods

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIP1: You will develop the ability to generate and a research question and devise an appropriate method for testing by developing a proposal for an empirical study it
• MIP2: You will develop the ability to operationalise research questions, by conducting, reporting and interpreting an empirical study
• MIP3: You will build employability through development of effective teamwork, computer literacy, problem solving skills, time management and sourcing and organising information

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MPV1: You will develop the characteristics of a Northumbria psychology graduate as you use research skills to contribute to knowledge generation and dissemination, demonstrating awareness of ethical principles

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
You will have the opportunity to complete formative tutor-marked online data analysis exercises in order to develop your skills in analysing and reporting numerical data (MK1)
You will complete a formative tutor-marked laboratory report in order to allow you to develop your ability to report the findings of research according to conventions (MIP2, MIP3; MPV1)
A mock examination will also be available to be completed in-class (MK1)

You will complete a group proposal for an empirical project (1000 words). The purpose of this is to assess your ability to develop a research question and design and plan an experiment to test it. (MIP1). It is also designed to assess your ability to work effectively in a group (MIP3) and anticipate ethical issues in research (MPV1)

You will then complete a laboratory report (3000 words), the purpose of which is to assess your individual ability to execute and report an experiment (MIP2, MIP3, MPV1)

You will also complete an end of year two-hour research methods examination, which will allow the assessment of your ability to independently select, report and reason about appropriate statistical analyses under controlled conditions (MK1)

Feedback for the laboratory report assessments (formative and summative) will provided through typed comments on electronically submitted assignments which are returned to students. As a minimum, these will identify a strength, a weakness and an area for improvement. Common issues and methods for improvement will be presented at a feedback lecture for each assessment
Written feedback and model answers will be provided for the examination, along with a report on common issues and methods for improvement
Students are encouraged to attend individual tutorial sessions with assessment tutors if they wish to discuss their work.





Module abstract

This module aims to provide you with knowledge and practical experience of quantitative research methods in psychology, including conceptual and historical development of research methods. You will be able to explore psychological research through application to your own empirical research studies.

Lectures and workshops will support you in developing the practical skills needed to design studies and interpret collected data. Practical laboratory classes will allow you to learn the practical skills needed to operationalise your ideas and report the findings of your investigations according to accepted conventions in psychology. These practical reports, along with an end of year research methods exam, will form the assessment for this module.

You will be supported in a variety of ways, with a dedicated lab tutor supervising your practical work, and e-learning resources to allow you to tailor the level of support to suit your development needs. Group work in practical laboratory classes will encourage the development of your interpersonal skills.

Course info

UCAS Code C8M9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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