COUN6181 Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Part 1

Master Course Unit

COUN6181: Counselling and Psychotherapy: Part 1

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 6 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisite: 5 Year 1 units must be completed

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit is the first in a sequence of four units to be studied consecutively, and which are:

  1. COUN6181: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Part 1
  2. COUN6191: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Part 2
  3. COUN6241: Research Project 1 – This unit requires the submission of a completed HREA (ethics application) to HREC for evaluation)
  4. COUN6251: Research Project 2

This unit is an introduction to academic research and evaluation, with particular attention to research in counselling and psychotherapy.  It will introduce you to a range of philosophical approaches to research and their related methodologies. You will gain knowledge in research and evaluation design and methods and learn the ways that the research process relates to professional practice. The unit will outline and explain different research paradigms and how they inform research practice, to help you to develop your own capacity as both an informed counselling or psychotherapy practitioner and a researcher. At the end of the course, you will have a sound knowledge and understanding of research methodologies and methods that will assist you to competently commence writing your own Project Description and Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) for COUN6191 Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Part 2.

Learning outcomes

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

a)      Differentiate between the role of the counsellor or psychotherapist and the role of the researcher;

b)      Explain how research can be used in counselling and psychotherapy including a basic awareness of some of the benefits, drawbacks and ethical issues involved;

c)      Analyse and Evaluate the ways that paradigms influence research aims, design and data collection;

d)      Achieve a basic understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research methods in practice;  

e)      Be familiar with what makes a relevant research question or hypothesis; and

f)       Demonstrate competence selecting an appropriate method to meet the research aims and objectives.

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Special provisions

Students will attend an on campus workshop of 14 hours in this unit, which will include lectures, learning activities on research design and data collection and discussions of research methods.


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.