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)



Mode(s) of delivery:

On-campus and Online Delivery




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.

Unit Description

The aim of the unit is to provide an advanced understanding of issues and methods used in psychological research and the application of this research. Topics covered in the unit include qualitative research methods, interviewing techniques, case studies, focus groups, and narrative methods; analysing qualitative data; planning and determining budgets for research; analysis of data resulting from quasi-and non-experimental research designs using correlational and regression techniques. The use of SPSS to accompany these research designs is also covered.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • critically evaluate the range of applications of psychological research
  • employ a range of non-experimental research methods
  • 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
  • apply an advanced understanding of the principles involved in the ethical conduct and validity of qualitative research
  • plan research and determine research budgets
  • 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
  • interpret the results of SPSS output from statistical analyses for quasi and nonexperimental research designs (e.g. correlation and simple linear regression)

Unit content

  • Psychology, science and philosophy: The quantitative-qualitative divide in psychology
  • The fundamentals of qualitative research.
  • Planning and designing qualitative research: Research proposals and budgets
  • Data collection in qualitative research I: Interviews and focus groups
  • Data collection in qualitative research II: Case studies, observational research, and narrative methods
  • Analysing qualitative data I (Thematic Analysis; Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis; Grounded Theory)
  • Analysing qualitative data II (Discourse analysis; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis)
  • Quality and validity in qualitative research and Writing up the qualitative research report         
  • Analysing quasi and non-experimental data I: Techniques of correlation        
  • Analysing quasi and non-experimental data II: Simple linear regression

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly 2.5 hour lectures and 9 weekly 1 hour tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

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.

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 on the online class space.