PSYC6042 Research Project 3

Masters Course Unit

PSYC6042 Research Project 3

Duration: One trimester

Level: Six

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: PSYC6022 Research Project 2

Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus

Core/elective: Core

Unit co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Lynne Harris

Unit description

In this unit of study students will continue the research project commenced in Research Project 1 that will form the basis of their Master dissertation, supported by weekly, individual meetings with a supervisor. Students must successfully complete all assessments for this unit before progressing to Research Project 4.

Learning outcomes and core capabilities

  • demonstrate skills in implementing a research project
  • understanding the discipline of psychology
  • ethical, legal and professional aspects of psychology practice
  • psychological assessment and measurement
  • psychological intervention strategies
  • research and evaluation for psychology practice
  • communication and interpersonal skills for psychology practice
  • psychology practice in a cross-cultural context
  • psychology practice across the lifespan

Learning and teaching process

The research project is an essential component of the MPsych(Clin) program. Students work independently under the supervision of a nominated staff member to develop a research proposal in an area relevant to clinical psychology. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of assessment requirements, for being proactive in identifying obstacles to meeting assessment requirements, and for seeking help to resolve any difficulties that arise as early as possible. You should ensure that are in regular contact with your supervisor to discuss your research topic and methodology. A one hour weekly 'meeting' is a guide, but in most cases meetings will be scheduled as needed, with a telephone and email contact as appropriate. Your research project is conducted across four trimesters. The milestones, in terms of the assessments required during each trimester, are to ensure that progress is maintained throughout this lengthy process.

Graduate attributes

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

  1. Knowledge and understanding of core topics in psychology. These topics include abnormal psychology, biological bases of behaviour, cognition, information processing and language, learning, lifespan developmental psychology, perception, social psychology and intercultural diversity and indigenous psychology.
  2. Research methods in psychology. This attribute covers an understanding of the characteristics of the science of psychology and the different and varied research methods used by psychologists. It also includes the acquisition of practical skills in laboratory-based research and other methods, the design of studies to address psychological questions, critical analysis, the formulation of testable hypotheses, the choice of an appropriate methodology, the question of reliability and validity and their meanings and operations, the analysis of data, and the writing of reports.
  3. Critical thinking skills. The attribute includes the application of scientific method to the study of mental and behavioural problems, the examination of other modes of understanding the world and the development of other world views, and recognition of the fallacies and the biases that can affect human thinking and analysis.
  4. Values, research and professional ethics. This attribute includes the evaluation of the behaviour of psychologists in psychological research and other professional contexts and is in the context of the Australian Psychological Society “Code of Ethics” and the Australian “National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce”. Values and professional ethics must also be understood and evaluated in the context of social ethical principles and ethical conduct in legal, medical and institutional behaviour.
  5. Communication skills. Students need to learn how to communicate effectively orally in various settings (group discussion, presentations, both formal and informal) for various purposes. Written communication, in the form of written reports, should be according to professionally accepted formats. In psychology we follow the American Psychological Association structure and formatting conventions.
  6. Learning and the application of psychology. This attribute includes the application of knowledge of legislative frameworks and the application of knowledge about laws and conventions in work settings, consumer and carer participation and in the general matter of the conduct of application of psychology. It also considers how there may be variation of legislation across different areas of application. 
    Students also need to be cognisant of the need to sustain independent learning for professional and personal development over their life, in the changing social and cultural practices in society and in the practice and development of the scientific basis of psychology.

Assessment summary



Word Count

Submission Week

Supervisor report on student progress with implementing 
research project

Learning outcomes: a


As required


Progress report to School of Psychological Sciences
Research Committee*

Learning outcomes: a


As required


* Both assessments for this unit of study are marked as ungraded pass or ungraded fail. Failure to complete the requirements of any one assessment component satisfactorily will result in a fail for the unit. Students are required to successfully complete this unit of study before progressing to Research Project 4.

Special provisions

Attendance at scheduled supervision is required. Students are expected to work with their supervisors and undertake an independent program of study.

Recommended readings

Students are required to read journal articles and texts in their specific area of research.

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.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.