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PSYC5212 Psychology: An Evidence-Based Approach 2 Advanced

Graduate Diploma Unit


One trimester


Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8

Credit points:

6 (out of 54)


PSYC5132, PSYC5142, PSYC5152

Mode(s) of delivery:

Online and on-campus




This unit is delivered within the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science. The unit covers experimental and survey designs along with the statistical techniques used to analyse data obtained from such methods.

Unit description

The aim of this unit is to provide a further understanding of the issues addressed and the methods used in psychological research that were presented in PSYC1012 (or PSYC5132): Psychology and Evidence-Based Approach 1. That unit provided a broad introduction to a range of methodological issues that are central to psychological research. This unit has a more specific focus: quantitative research design and analysis. Topics to be addressed include experimental design; descriptive statistics; exploratory data analysis; assumption testing; t-tests; correlation; chi-square; simple regression; and the analysis of variance (ANOVA), including multiple comparisons. The goals of the unit are to develop an understanding of the role of quantitative data analysis and statistical testing in answering research questions in psychology, which involves developing knowledge and skills in research thinking, research doing, and research consuming. The SPSS data analysis package features heavily in both lectures and tutorials. The unit relies on problem-based real-world examples as a forum for considering the material, as opposed to calculation and statistical theory, which is kept to an absolute minimum.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit you should be able to:

a)    Evaluate research papers

b)    Demonstrate an understanding of experimental design

c)     Demonstrate an understanding of a range of statistical tests

d)    Run a range of statistical tests using SPSS

e)    Interpret data analyses

f)      Present the results of data analyses in correct APA style 

Unit content

  • The science and practice of psychology: Evidence-based interventions.
  • Fundamentals of survey and questionnaire design and construction.
  • Survey and questionnaire analysis: Reliability and Validity.
  • Critical appraisal of published literature.
  • Steps in designing and implementing psychological research; project proposal; ethical considerations; identifying a population; sampling.
  • Mathematical assumptions of parametric statistical tests; confidence intervals, standard error and statistical power.
  • Parametric tests of difference: Comparing two means (Independent and dependent samples t-tests).
  • Parametric tests of difference: Comparing several means (ANOVA).
  • Parametric tests of difference: Repeated measures ANOVA.
  • Non-parametric tests of difference: comparing several means (Kruskal-Wallis and Friedman's ANOVA).

Learning and teaching process

This unit is taught over 10 weeks and totals approximately 4 student contact hours per week.

This unit comprises ten (10) weekly 2.5-hour lectures and nine (9) weekly 1 hour tutorials. Lectures commence in Week 1 of the trimester and will be captured electronically at the time of delivery and will automatically be made available online within the following 24 hours. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory: students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled. 

Study schedule

N.B. This unit is at a higher level than that taken by the Bachelor’s degree students, and therefore students will be expected to adopt a critical and evaluative position on the topics and be ready to engage with the tutor at an advanced level.

Assessment Summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space

Recommended text(s)

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

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 the full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.

Parallel teaching statement

This unit involves parallel teaching. In order to ensure the required coverage of psychology and meet the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Standards, students enrolled in this unit will attend the same lectures as undergraduate students enrolled in the second and third years of the psychology sequence. To ensure learning at the appropriate level, however, students enrolled in this unit will attend separate laboratory and/or tutorial sessions from the undergraduate students. These sessions, rather than focusing on reinforcing the learning of material presented in lectures, are designed to extend this learning in more depth and at an advanced level. This will involve students preparing for these sessions by reading more advanced material. Assessment tasks also differ from the parallel undergraduate unit to ensure students are able to demonstrate the higher level of learning that is required for successful completion of the unit.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester. A full and update to date unit outline will be posted on the class space