Introduction to research methods in psychology/IRMP100 OERu course specification

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Part A: Course specification


  • OERu course name: Introduction to research methods in psychology
  • Level: 2nd Year Bachelor Degree
  • Notional learning hours: 120
  • Micro-courses: Foundations of Research, Research Methods, Data Analysis and Reporting
  • OERu course codes: IRMP 101, IRMP 102, IRMP 103
  • OERu assessing institutions: Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning - Prior Learning Assessment
  • Micro-credential options: 1 credit per course, 3 credits need to be completed with Final Exam
  • OERu mode of study: Self-paced, self-study.

Course aim

Learning outcomes

  1.  Describe the scientific approach to the study of behaviour
  2. Apply the ethical principles that govern research in psychology
  3. Conduct a literature search using peer-reviewed sources
  4. Design a research proposal
  5. Discuss the key concepts in research design including operational definitions, variables, reliability, validity and sampling procedures
  6. Explain the strengths and limitations of research designs used in psychology, including experimental and non-experimental designs
  7. Identify potential flaws in research design
  8. Collect and analyze data based on an instructor-approved research proposal
  9. Construct and analyze graphical representations of data
  10. Describe basic descriptive statistics including measures of central tendency and variability
  11. Explain the purpose and appropriateness of inferential statistics such as t-tests and anova
  12. Draw valid conclusions from empirical evidence with an awareness of the limits of various research methods 

Indicative content

You are encouraged to complete one or more introductory psychology course(s) before taking this course.

Assessment and credit transfer options

Assessing institution 1

Assessment type Learning outcomes Details Weighting Completion requirements


Part B: Detailed objectives

Micro-course structure


Micro 1: IRMP 101 - Foundations of Research

The topics to be covered are:

  •  An Introduction to Psychological Science
  • Literature Searches
  • Reading Research Reports
  • Variables
  • Sampling and Measurement
  • Statistical Relationships Between Variables
  • Conducting Ethical Research Projects 
  • Theories
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Levels of Measurement
  • Reliability & Validity
  • Conceptual and Operational Definitions of Psychological Constructs 

Learning objectives

Micro 2: IRMP 102 - Research Methods

The topics to be covered are:

  • Correlational Research
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Archival Research
  • Case Studies
  • Quasi-Experimental Research
  • Cross-sectional Research
  • Longitudinal Research
  • Survey Research
  • Common Threats to Internal Validity 
  • Basics of Experimental Research 
  • Internal and External Validity 
  • Between-Subjects Experiments 
  • Within-Subjects Experiments 
  • Practical Considerations 
  • Complex Research Designs 
  • Single-Subject Research 

Learning objectives

Micro 3: IRMP 103 - Data Analaysis and Reporting

The topics to be covered in this unit are:

  • Introduction to American Psychological Association (APA) Style
  • Writing a Research Report in APA Style
  • Describing Single Variables
  • Expressing your Results

Learning objectives

  • List of objectives

Course links (if available)