Research Methodologies and Research Design

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 8
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
18 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DOCTC89436 Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy,
MAD C89412 Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy,
DOCTCP8936 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,
MAD CP8912 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,
DOCTC8AP36 Analytical Psychology,
MAD C8AP12 Analytical Psychology,
DOCTC89P36 Psychodynamic Counselling,
MAD C89P12 Psychodynamic Counselling

Module description

This module provides knowledge of different methodological approaches to research. It will acquaint students with a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including those most relevant to and informed by psychoanalytic thinking and practice. It will provide the equipment needed to make an informed choice for the students` chosen research project and enable them to devise a viable design for their project.

Supported by ongoing individual supervision and their own independent doctoral studies, the students will be in a position by the end of the module to write a paper on the methodological issues involved in their project and to describe and justify their chosen research design.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide knowledge of different research methodologies.

  • To provide the students with enough methodological understanding to choose an appropriate methodology for their project.

  • To enhance students’ capacity to conduct research in accordance with a rigorous methodology.

  • To provide methodological underpinning to the research design for the doctoral project.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to have:

  1. Knowledge of different research methodologies and an understanding of how this knowledge relates to their chosen area of research (A3).

  2. Ability to choose relevant methodology (B1).

  3. Understanding of ethical issues involved in research (B2).

  4. Ability to understand applications of research to psychodynamic counselling / depth psychotherapy (B3).

  5. Ability to adopt and apply research methodology (C2).

  6. Ability to write effective application for ethical approval for project (C4).

  7. Communication (D1).

Module information

The module will take the form of 5 seminars/workshops on research methodology

  • Introduction and discussion of the range of available methodologies and principles of choice.

  • Qualitative methodologies – Conducting a research interview/Creating a questionnaire.

  • Qualitative methodologies - Thematic Analysis, IPA, Conversation Analysis, Process Research.

  • Using psychoanalytic research methods, Case study research.

  • Quantitative methodologies: effectiveness/outcome research, surveys, choosing appropriate tools.

Learning and teaching methods

Seminars and discussion groups will be delivered across the first and second term in blocks with other seminars. These seminars are delivered either in person on an in-person teaching day or are delivered on Zoom on online teaching days. Reading will be set beforehand. Ongoing individual supervision will provide support to the student's independent study on the topic of their choice. Students are expected to conduct extensive independent study in their chosen area thereby gaining experience of exploring the relevant literature for their project.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Research Methodologies     

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Deborah Wright, email:
Dr Deborah Wright
Graduate administrator;



External examiner

Dr Judith Trowell
Private psychiatrist and psychotherapist
Available via Moodle
Of 13 hours, 9 (69.2%) hours available to students:
4 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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