Methodological Approaches in Psychological Therapies Research

Module titleMethodological Approaches in Psychological Therapies Research
Module codePYCM002
Academic year2017/8
Credits20
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

4

4

4

Number students taking module (anticipated)

60

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The development of effective psychological treatments requires the practical application of clinical epidemiology using a range of methodological and statistical approaches. In this module you will gain an advanced applied understanding of the range of varied research methodologies required to establish a sound evidence for practice. This includes evidence synthesis, qualitative approaches, phase II feasibility designs, randomised controlled trials, observational and surveillance methods, health economics, process evaluations and implementation science methods. The majority of the module will be delivered across three terms by an online computer assisted learning package, supplemented by practical exercises to extend statistical knowledge and seminars to discuss relevant topics.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to provide you with an advanced applied understanding of methodologies and statistics used in clinical epidemiological approaches to develop effective treatments which will be required if you undertake the Masters level clinical research dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 1. Illustrate the range of methodological approaches and ethical issues used to develop an evidence base for psychological therapies
  • 2. Critically evaluate ways in which different qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches combine in the development of psychological interventions
  • 3. Apply and critically evaluate relevant frameworks (e.g. CONSORT, PRISMA) used to report study designs commonly employed in the development of evidence-based psychological treatments
  • 4. Apply a range of advanced statistical methods commonly used in studies to develop and implement evidence-based psychological treatments research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 5. Acquire detailed, systematic and comprehensive knowledge of statistical and methodological approaches commonly used to develop and test evidence-based psychological treatments
  • 6. Understand and apply, at an advanced level, essential principles in designing novel research, critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using a range of defined techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 7. Select and manage information, and competently undertake study tasks and practical exercises with minimum guidance
  • 8. Manage your own learning using the full range of resources of the clinical discipline and with minimum guidance
  • 9. Enhance skills in academic/scientific writing to a level commensurate to that required to get research published in peer reviewed journals

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Content will be included to introduce an understanding of the main methodological and statistical approaches used to develop an evidence base for psychological therapies. Teaching content will include:

Methodological Approaches - Introduction to applied clinical epidemiology, evidence synthesis including systematic reviews, meta-analysis, meta-synthesis; focus groups, semi structured interviews, consensus techniques; phase II feasibility study designs, randomised controlled trials; single and multiple case designs, CONSORT and PRISMA guidelines to evaluate and report randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews; health economics; clinical research ethics.

Statistical Approaches - summarising data, inferential statistics, comparing continuous, dichotomous and survival data, correlations and regression, standardised mean differences, odds ratios, calculating sample size, ANCOVA, minimally important clinical differences, standard effect sizes.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
451550

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Computer Assisted Learning – a CAL package will support student learning across areas of course content. It will be supported on demand from the electronic learning environment to deliver module content
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lectures – these will be digitally recorded and available on demand from the electronic learning environment to support module content
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Tutorials – these will be organised in small groups and delivered by virtual classroom to help apply learning
Guided independent study80Reading and research
Guided independent study45Reading, preparation and writing of project proposal
Guided independent study30Scheduled web-based practicals and activities located on the computer assisted learning package

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Web-based practicals 10 x 1 hour2-3, 5-8Online written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research project proposal (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)1004000 wordsAllWritten and oral

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research project proposalResearch project proposalAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

One assessment is required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core reading:

  • Kirkwood, B. and Sterne, J. (2003). Essential Medical Statistics. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Wang, D. and Bakhai, A. (2005). Clinical Trials: A Practical Guide to Design, Analysis, and Reporting. London: Remedica.

Suggested reading:

  • Bowling, A. (2009). Research Methods in Health: Investigating Health and Health Services. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2009) Systematic Reviews: CRD's Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in HealthcareYork: CRD.
  • Peacock, J. and Peacock, P. (2010). Oxford Handbook of Medical Statistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Phillips, C.J. (2005). Health Economics: An Introduction for Health Professionals. Oxford: Blackwell.  

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Methodology, statistics, research methods

Credit value20
Module ECTS

10

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

7

Available as distance learning?

Yes

Origin date

23/01/2015

Last revision date

23/01/2015