COUN6211 Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

Master Course Unit

COUN6211: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

Duration: One trimester

Level: 2nd year

Credit points: 3 (out of a total of 48 points)

Prerequisites: 5 Year 1 units must be completed

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit is an introduction to academic research and evaluation, with particular attention to research in counselling and psychotherapy. A range of philosophical approaches to research and their related methodologies will be introduced. Students will develop skills in research and evaluation design and methods. The benefits of both process and outcome research to professional practice will be highlighted. Students will examine and critically evaluate published research and evaluation reports in the counselling and psychotherapy field, with the aim of developing their own capacity as informed consumers of research. Topics for student research and evaluation projects will be identified and developed, and linked to appropriate methodologies. The ethics of research, in particular the NHMRC Ethical Guidelines, and ethical principles associated with informed consent, confidentiality, privacy, data collection, and reporting, will be critically examined. 

Learning outcomes

By the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Apply skills in research design, including developing research questions and critically evaluating other research in the development of their research proposals
  • Understand and apply skills in a range of qualitative and /or quantitative research methods
  • Understand and apply the steps involved in designing a research or evaluation study in counselling and psychotherapy, including the development of data collection measures and timeline
  • Critically analyse the ethical issues involved in research
  • Apply NHMRC ethical guidelines and  counselling and psychotherapy research ethics to the development of the National Ethics Application Form

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts using literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. 

  • Independent and Lifelong Learning

A commitment to continued and independent learning, intellectual development, critical analysis and inquiry, integrative thinking, and creativity.

  • Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve across a range of settings including professional, social and cultural contexts. 

  • Information Literacy

The ability to assimilate, analyse and utilise information effectively in a range of contexts, genres and texts types.

  • Innovation and Sustainability

A capacity to promote innovation within a socially sustainable environment.

  • Social Justice

An acknowledgment of and respect for equality of opportunity, individual and civic responsibility, indigenous and other cultures and times, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • Discipline Knowledge and Skills

A command of a significant body of discipline knowledge and relevant professional skills.

  • Ethics and Ethical Practice

An awareness of, and sensitivity to, ethics and ethical standards on interpersonal and social levels, and within a field of study and/or profession.  To demonstrate integrity on social, cultural, and environmental issues.

  • Teamwork and leadership

A capacity for and an understanding of teamwork and leadership.

  • Global Perspective

An appreciation, respect and valuing of cultural and intellectual diversity.

Special provisions

Students will attend an on campus workshop of 14 hours in this unit, which will include lectures, discussion of research methods and practice of research skills.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:  

Relevant journals and resources

Knowledge and understanding of these topics will be enhanced by wide reading of international peer-reviewed journal articles from various domains of counselling and psychotherapy, which can be accessed via the ACAP Library’s journal databases.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing.  Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.