The aim of this course is to facilitate participants to become informed consumers and producers of research.


Researchers in the social sciences must have a good understanding of and grounding in both the practice and philosophies of social science research. This course facilitates participants to become informed consumers and producers of research. Participants will explore different approaches to knowledge construction and examine various research paradigms, their approaches to enquiry and their underlying assumptions. Participants will evaluate a range of research designs and methodological processes and will have opportunities to consider the principles which underpin and guide research.

This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/201920/postgraduate-certificate-of-professional-development-19834

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About this course

In this section


In this course, particiapants will learn how to:

  • Define and formulate research problems and questions, and, where appropriate, formulate hypotheses that can be tested.
  • Understand the rationale for using particular quantitative research methods.
  • Understand the relationship between empirical research and theory generation and testing.
  • Understand and apply the concepts of generalisability, validity, reliability, and replicability (recognising that there are different perspectives on how these may be defined).

Linked programmes

PgCertPD Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development, PgCert Quantitative Methods for the Behavioural and Social Sciences,


100% coursework - (a) Class Test - two timed online quizzes (worth 20% each), relating to the core topics. Quizzes will comprise a mix of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Each quiz will last 30 minutes in duration (40%) and (b) Written assignment - participants will be required to critique a selected systematic review article.


This course is delivered fully online for 12 weeks with no on-campus attendance requirements starting 23 September 2019.

Entry requirements

Degree in the behavourial or social sciences (e.g. psychology, geography, political science, health econmics, sociology or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).

Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.

Please see details of the English language qualifications and certificates we can accept - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/177404/Other-english-language-tests-and-qualifications-2017.pdf

International applicants will also require a short-term study visa. Further information is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration

Start dates

  • 23 September 2019
How to apply


How to apply

The following page explains the postgraduate short course application procedure:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/short-courses (choose postgraduate short courses)

Start dates

  • 23 September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section


Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:


Fees information

Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at


Scholarships, awards and prizes

Fee waivers may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. More information is available from FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk


Email: FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk

Telephone: (+44) 028 9036 6680

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Psychology