PSYCH 306 : Research Methods in Psychology


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Deals with principles and practices relevant to psychological research, including philosophy of science, research ethics, research design, measurement of dependent variables, describing and analysing data, and interpreting results. Participation in the laboratory component of this course is compulsory.

Course Overview

This course provides an overview of the diverse research methods used in psychology, as well as training in statistical analysis and data interpretation. Throughout the semester, we will explore how different research questions and contexts may employ quantitative methods to work with numerical data, as well as qualitative methods to work with visual, textual, or interview data. The course will cover best research practices, ethical and cultural considerations, common experimental designs, and how the general linear model is used in psychological science to test research hypotheses. Practical lab sessions provide students with a unique opportunity to learn how to visualise, analyse, and interpret data in R. R is one of the most widely-used programming languages not only in psychology, but also in other fields of research and in industry data science. Students completing the course will thus possess a unique set of skills including statistical proficiency and competency in data analysis, broadly defined.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Recognise the diverse quantitative and qualitative research methods used in psychology, and be able to identify contexts in which each is appropriate. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Be familiar with and alert to ethical considerations in research. (Capability 1, 5 and 6)
  3. Understand and apply the principles of experimental design, core statistical techniques, and interpretation of evidence in quantitative psychology. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Formulate hypotheses and select appropriate analyses to test these hypotheses, and interpret results from these analyses. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Differentiate between frequentist and Bayesian approaches to data analysis, and understand their major strengths and weaknesses. (Capability 1 and 2)
  6. Use R to visualise data and to conduct a variety of statistical analyses, including t-tests, ANOVAs, and regressions. (Capability 1 and 3)
  7. Identify and apply relevant tools and techniques to their own projects, in the professional or the research domain, and communicate their findings. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  8. Be familiar with Kaupapa Māori and other indigenous methodologies. (Capability 1 and 6)
  9. Be familiar with best research practices to guide any future research activities, as well as to critically evaluate research findings reported in the scientific literature and popular media. (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Weekly Quizzes 30% Individual Test
Assignment 30% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Final Exam
Weekly Quizzes


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle — an integral relationship in which an older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

The computer lab tutorials cover practical techniques and material that are directly relevant for the assignments, as well as material that is examinable. It will be very difficult to complete the assignments without attending tutorials. For these reasons, the tutorials are compulsory.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in. For each week of this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, a 2-hour tutorial, 2 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This course is available to offshore students and students who have been exempted from in-person attendance. Different conditions will apply for these students. 

  • Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including tutorials, to receive credit for components of the course. 
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities, including tutorials, will not be available as recordings. 
  • The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials. 
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam. 
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecturers will provide specific readings for each module including background reading if necessary.

See the reading list on CANVAS for the required and recommended readings for each module. Core readings will be available electronically. These will be specific to the content given in lectures and be assigned by the relevant lecturer.
When relevant, a list of reading material will be recommended for each assignment and will be available electronically. You will also be expected to source your own material. This is an upper-level course and so we assume that you are able to use the library databases to search for relevant literature.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student feedback was considered during the semester.  In response, changes have been made to lecture content, course structure, and assessment.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 09/12/2022 12:02 p.m.