PSYC5352 Psychology: An Evidence-Based Approach 3 Advanced

Graduate Diploma Unit


One trimester


Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8

Credit points:

6 (out of 54)


PSYC5212 Psychology: An Evidence-Based Approach 2 Advanced


This unit is one of the coursework units for students in the Graduate Diploma of Psychology. This unit will review and significantly extend upon material covered in undergraduate accredited psychology sequences on research design, research methods and data analysis. The unit will cover advanced qualitative research methods and analysis, some advanced statistical techniques, and will support students in their preparations to engage in the research process in fourth year.

Learning and Teaching Process

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.

All students are provided with secure online access to comprehensive unit learning resources via the Student Portal. Unit Coordinators, Lecturers, and Student Support staff are available to students (in all modes of delivery) at designated times via email and telephone contact throughout the duration of the unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

a) critically evaluate the range of applications of psychological research

b) employ a range of non-experimental research methods

c) conduct analysis of data generated by quasi and non-experimental research using a variety of methods, including thematic analysis, grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, narrative analysis, memory work, discourse analysis and Foucauldian discourse analysis

d) apply an advanced understanding of the principles involved in the ethical conduct and validity of qualitative research

e) plan research and determine research budgets

f) communicate the results of psychological research in a way that demonstrates an advanced understanding of theoretical and methodological concepts and that is accessible to a wide audience

g) interpret the results of SPSS output from statistical analyses for quasi and non-experimental research designs (e.g. correlation and simple linear regression)

Unit content

Week Lecture Topic Tutorial Topic

Psychology, science and philosophy: The quantitative-qualitative divide in psychology

No Tutorials in Week 1

The fundamentals of qualitative research.

The critique of quantitative research and the role of reflexivity


Planning and designing qualitative research: Research proposals and budgets

Qualitative research design, proposals and budgeting

Data collection in qualitative research I: Interviews and focus groups

The interview process
5 Data collection in qualitative research II: Case studies, observational research, and narrative methods Memory-Work: An example of a narrative-based research method

Analysing qualitative data I (Thematic Analysis; Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis; Grounded Theory)

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
7 Analysing qualitative data II (Discourse analysis; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis) Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
8 Quality and validity in qualitative research and Writing up the qualitative research report Ethics in qualitative research
9 Analysing quasi and non-experimental data I: Techniques of correlation Analysing quasi and non-experimental data I: Techniques of correlation
10 Analysing quasi and non-experimental data II: Simple linear regression Analysing quasi and non-experimental data II: Techniques of linear regression

Assessment Summary

Type Weighting Length
Assessment 1: Mid-Trimester Quiz 10% 25 Short Answer Questions; 30 minute time limit
Assessment 2: Qualitative Research Report 40% 2000 words
Assessment 3: End-Trimester Quiz 10% 25 Short Answer Questions; 30 minute time limit
Assessment 4: Final Examination 40% 80 Multiple Choice questions, 10 Short Answer questions on SPSS output; 2 hour time limit


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time.