Psychology (PSYC) 304

Research Methods in Psychology (Revision 3)

PSYC 304 course cover

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science. Course can also be used to fulfill Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: It is recommended that students have taken Athabasca University's PSYC 289 and PSYC 290 (or an equivalent). Programme students are advised to take MATH 215 concurrently with, before, or soon after taking PSYC 304.

Precluded Course: PSYC 404 and SOSC 366. PSYC 304 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been or is being obtained for PSYC 404, SOSC 366.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 304 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Psychology 304: Research Methods in Psychology is to introduce you to the principles of the scientific method and the research designs and techniques used in psychology. The course should help you become a more critical research consumer, increase your knowledge of those working in research-related occupations, and provide you with the background necessary for further undergraduate and graduate studies in psychology.


  • Unit 1: Introduction: Psychology and Science
  • Unit 2: Principles of the Scientific Method: Theory and Measurement
  • Unit 3: Principles of the Scientific Method: Validity and Control
  • Unit 4: Ethical Issues in Psychological Research
  • Unit 5: Non-Experimental Research: Observational, Archival, and Case-Study Research
  • Unit 6: Non-Experimental Research: Survey Research
  • Unit 7: Single-Subject Experimental Research
  • Unit 8: Group Experimental Research: Single-Factor Designs
  • Unit 9: Group Experimental Research: Factorial Designs
  • Unit 10: Quasi Experimentation
  • Unit 11: Reporting Research Results
  • Unit 12: Conclusions: Bias and Limitations of Experimental Psychology (Epilogue)


To receive credit for PSYC 304, you must pass the final exam and achieve an overall course grade of “D” (50 percent) or better. If you receive less than “D” (50 percent) on your exam, your exam mark will become your overall course grade. The course assignments and their weightings are as follows:

Assignments Weight
Quizzes (three quizzes) 15%
Assignment 1 8%
Assignment 2 7%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 15%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


McBurney, D. H., & White, T. L. (2010). Research methods (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Other Materials

The online course materials include a student manual, study guide, assignment manual, and readings.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 304 challenge registration, you must score at least 50 percent on the exam and obtain a composite mark of at least “D” (50 percent) to pass. If you fail the exam, your exam mark will become the final grade for the challenge.

Questionnaire items development Media report critique Research Report Exam Total
20% 15% 25% 40% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, November 4, 2010.

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