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Psychological Therapies Research Methods

Module titlePsychological Therapies Research Methods
Module codePYCM051
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Ian Frampton (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides you with an overview of current methods in psychological therapies and clinical research through lectures, seminars, student presentations, directed reading and web-based seminars. You will learn about the research basis for evidence-based practice and qualitative and quantitative clinical research methods relevant to psychological therapies. You will be helped to understand research findings and the strengths and weaknesses of various kinds of research methods. You will discuss key clinical research studies and critically evaluate these. An adult learner model will be the basis for learning as programme members work individually and in small groups with key texts and reading lists.

This module takes place in stage 1.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to provide you with:

  • a critical and comprehensive survey of research methodologies applied to the understanding and treatment of psychological disorders.
  • the ability to identify resources to further you learning in a way that is appropriate to their work as evidence-based psychological therapists.
  • the skills to evaluate critically psychological therapies research.
  • the ability to use clinical research as part of their professional work as psychological therapists.
  • the skills to develop a thoughtful, ethical and responsible consumption and application of research in clinical practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Describe the principal clinical research methodologies and their applications and critically evaluate their use
  • 2. Explain the process of psychological therapies research (e.g. generating research questions, designing studies, dissemination etc.)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Access and critically evaluate research relevant to your professional work
  • 4. Use research to solve problems, including the key paradigms and principles of psychological therapies research
  • 5. Use a reflective, ethical and professional framework for your research work

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Communicate and disseminate research material in a clear and engaging way
  • 7. Link the psychological therapies evidence base to personal and professional practice
  • 8. Communicate effectively about your own evidence-based practice to a group of peers

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The syllabus will include the following key areas:

  • Evidence-based practice: definitions; accessing and using the evidence base by means of systematic review.
  • Evaluating Psychological Interventions: single case designs, principal methodologies of process and outcome research in psychotherapy: randomised controlled trials, investigating moderators and mediators.
  • Fundamentals of clinical research: from generating questions to disseminating research.
  • Professional and ethical practice.

Learning and teaching

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching15Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Web-based seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Practical classes
Guided Independent Study20Online research module
Guided Independent Study100Reading and preparation for assignment


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation of evidence-based practice infographic 10 minutes1, 3, 5, 7-8Peer written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research proposal (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme) 1002250 words2, 4-6, 8Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research proposalResearch proposal2, 4-6, 8Four 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.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bryman, A. (2012) Social research methods (4th ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Clark-Carter, D. (1997) Doing quantitative psychological research: From design to report. Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
  • Everitt, B., & Wessely, S. (2003) Clinical Trials in Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
  • Harper, D. and Thompson, A.R. (eds) (2012), Qualitative research methods in mental health and psychotherapy: a guide for students and practitioners. Chichester. Wiley.
  • Kazdin, A. E. (2003) Methodological issues and strategies in clinical research. (3rd ed.) Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Parry, G. and Watts, F. N. (1996) Behavioural and mental health research: a handbook of skills and methods (2nd ed.) Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Press.
  • Roth, A. and Fonagy, P. (2005) What works for whom: A critical review of psychotherapy research. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Wampold, B. E. (2007) The Great Psychotherapy Debate New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – (all resources will be made available on ELE. This includes additional material covered in the tutorials, the required readings, information about assessment and additional material (e.g., videos))

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Research, clinical practice, psychological therapies, method, methodology, evidence base

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date