Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Research Methods in Cognitive Science (PGT) PSYCH5018

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Psychology
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

A series of seminars given by researchers in the School/Institute based upon methods used within their

own area of expertise. The methods topics will cover a broad range of topical research areas chosen to

outline aspects of modern research strategies available to researchers. This will address applied knowledge, skills and understanding of research techniques, as well as critical thinking and generic cognitive skills in the assessment of their coursework 


2 hours per week

Requirements of Entry

Typically a 2:1 honours degree in psychology or related discipline.


One written report (100%), including practical exercises and coursework in two areas (e.g., signal detection theory, eyetracking, advanced design issues, data recording and pre-processing, web survey).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

(a) to provide exposure to aspects of current psychological research approaches

(b) to consider which approaches are appropriate to given research questions

(c) to apply a range of standard and specialised research and/or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry.

(d) to use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are at the forefront of, or informed by forefront developments.

(e) to understand the principal theories, and concepts.

(f) to develop a critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, concepts and principles.

(g) to gain an extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in one or more specialized areas, much of which is at, or informed by, developments at the forefront.

(h) to develop a critical awareness of current issues in experimental psychology and cognitive sciences and related areas.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to :

■ recognise the various methods used in current Psychological research

■ identify when it is appropriate to use specific techniques

■ recognise the benefits and limitations of common approaches

■ learn specific advanced techniques (e.g., Signal Detection Theory; eye-tracking as applied to cognitive research; advanced design issues in Psychology; recording, and pre-processing of data, web survey).

■ apply these techniques in the context of their own research projects when appropriate.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.