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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Psychology

PSYC42415: Statistics for Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to C8K109 Cognitive Neuroscience
Tied to C8K409 Behavioural Science
Tied to C8K107 Research Methods (Developmental Psychology)


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To teach students a core set of statistical methods that are commonly used across psychology and the behavioural sciences
  • To provide students with the capacity to confidently identify appropriate statistical techniques and analyse data using relevant software across a range of different types of research


  • Indicative content as follows:
  • Data collection and validation
  • Exploring and presenting data
  • Statistical inference/ null hypothesis testing/ multiple testing correction/ power analysis
  • Basic parametric (e.g., t-tests) and non-parametric techniques (e.g., chi-square, correlation)
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (One way / Two-way, Repeated Measures, Mixed Models)
  • Multivariate ANOVA (MANOVA)
  • Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)
  • Simple linear regression
  • Multiple linear regression
  • Exploratory factor analysis

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module, students will acquire knowledge and understanding of:
  • A range of common-used statistical tests in psychology and the behavioural sciences
  • The importance of the role of statistics in any successful data analysis 
  • The assumptions and limitations of the statistical techniques covered 
  • The advantages and limitations of using different statistical software (e.g., SPSS, R, JASP)
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Use and apply a range of statistical techniques commonly used in psychology and the behavioural sciences
  • Effectively use statistical applications software (e.g., SPSS, R)
  • Analyse data accurately
  • Interpret data appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Students will also develop some important key skills, suitable for underpinning study at this and subsequent levels, such as:
  • Implement general IT and research skills 
  • Manage their own time and resources 
  • Work to deadlines and within defined parameters 

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The weekly teaching will usually include a 1-2 hour lecture which will outline the key statistical methods and concepts, how they can be used in psychology and the behavioural sciences, and their appropriate interpretation followed by 1-2 hours of practical activities in which students will undertake practical data analysis exercises using statistical software.
  • The summative assessment will take the form of a timed in-class test which will require students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of statistics
  • The formative assessment provides students with an opportunity to perform, write up and obtain feedback on a series of analyses of pre-specified secondary data sets.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 11 1 per week 1-2 hours 16.5
Practical 11 1 per week 1-2 hours 16.5
Preparation and Reading 120
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Online Test Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online Test 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative student assessments (both written and oral) will be undertaken throughout the duration of the module. These will be assessed by the tutor to enable students to gauge their own individual rate of progress.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University