Introduction to Statistics

Module titleIntroduction to Statistics
Module codePSY1205
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Fraser Milton (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will give you training on a variety of different statistical techniques commonly used in research conducted by psychologists. As such, it provides core skills required for other modules that will be taken during the degree. The aim is to provide you with knowledge of the theoretical principles underlying the tests as well as the ability to independently select the appropriate test and apply it correctly. Whilst basic mathematical skills are required, the module does not assume Mathematics A level (or the equivalent) has been taken. Instead, a good grade in Mathematics GCSE (or the equivalent) is desirable.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to equip you with the ability to analyse the data of experiments that you conduct throughout your degree and to understand the meaning of the results of published papers you encounter in other modules. In particular, you will learn how to analyse lots of different types of data, how these analyses actually work, and what they mean. You will also be introduced to a computer based package that you will be using extensively in your second and third years.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the central theoretical principles underlying statistical tests at a basic level
  • 2. Perform fundamental statistical tests
  • 3. Manipulate at a basic level the SPSS statistics package (it is compulsory for all PSY1205 students to pass the closed-book exam with a percentage of 40% or above and the whole module at 40% or above, in order to progress to the second year of study)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Illustrate basic and essential factual and conceptual knowledge of the subject and demonstrate understanding of this knowledge
  • 5. Address well-defined problems systematically at a basic level
  • 6. Evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using defined techniques at a basic level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Communicate effectively within the format of the discipline
  • 8. Apply methods accurately and carefully to a well-defined problem

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Indicative Term 1 topics:

  • Chance and probability
  • Wilcoxon rank-sum
  • Wilcoxon matched-pairs
  • Variance
  • Chi-square
  • Normality
  • Related samples t-test
  • Unrelated samples t-test
  • Correlation
  • Test selection
  • Revision

Indicative Term 2 topics:

  • Introduction to SPSS.
  • Use of one-factor ANOVA and introduction to simple contrasts
  • Polynomial planned contrasts and two-way ANOVAs
  • Three way ANOVAs and effect sizes
  • Post-hoc comparisons and revision

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching16Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4Tutorials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Practicals
Guided Independent Study30Reading and preparation for lectures
Guided Independent Study24Preparation for tutorials
Guided Independent Study66Wider reading, practice with tests covered in lectures. Revision


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorials4 hours1-2, 4-8Oral
Practicals10 hoursAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written examination (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)672 hours1-2, 4-8Student-specific feedback on performance in 3-5 areas in each of 5 exam questions
SPSS examination on ELE (open book)331 hourAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written examinationWritten examination1-2, 4-8August Ref/Def
SPSS examinationSPSS examinationAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. For both assessments, the reassessment will be in the same format as the original. Where you have been referred/deferred in the written examination you will have the opportunity to take a second written examination in the August/September re-assessment period. Where you have been referred/deferred in the SPSS examination you will be required to retake the SPSS examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Haslam, S.A. and McGarty, C. (2003). Research methods and statistics in psychology. London: Sage.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Psychology, statistics, ANOVA, SPSS, correlation, t-test

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date