COUN6241 Research Project 1

Master Course Unit

COUN6241: Research Project 1

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

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


  • COUN6191 Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 2
  • Approved HREA (ethics application) by the ACAP HREC

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit is designed to develop the student researcher’s understanding of the research enterprise by exploring further research approaches, through conducting a literature review, and by collecting field data. Different paradigms and approaches to research will be reviewed with a particular focus on counselling and psychotherapy research. An emphasis will be placed on matching research designs to the aims and purposes of respective research projects and to promote ethical research practices. Students will examine how best to construct a literature review that is comprehensive and fit for purpose. Different approaches to data collection will be examined including surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, self-report questionnaires, to name a few. In addition, approaches to data analysis will be explored with particular attention to the organisation of research data ready for more detailed analysis. 

To effectively meet the learning outcomes for this unit, approval of the students Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) by the ACAP Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) must be received before commencing this unit.

Learning outcomes

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

  • undertake a systematic literature search on their research topic, using electronic data bases, to contextualise their research study
  • critically analyse a body of literature relevant to their research topic to identify level of evidence of published research, findings, areas of consensus and disagreement and gaps in the literature
  • demonstrate advanced writing skills in developing a literature review which demonstrates critical analysis of a body of published research
  • undertake the data collection phase of a research study effectively
  • apply ethical guidelines for researchers to research practice and critically reflect on ethical issues as they arise
  • accurately record and organise research data systematically in preparation for data analysis

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Graduate attributes

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

  • Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts using literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. 

  • Independent and Lifelong Learning

A commitment to continued and independent learning, intellectual development, critical analysis and inquiry, integrative thinking, and creativity.

  • Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve across a range of settings including professional, social and cultural contexts. 

  • Information Literacy

The ability to assimilate, analyse and utilise information effectively in a range of contexts, genres and texts types.

  • Innovation and Sustainability

A capacity to promote innovation within a socially sustainable environment.

  • Social Justice

An acknowledgment of and respect for equality of opportunity, individual and civic responsibility, indigenous and other cultures and times, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • Discipline Knowledge and Skills

A command of a significant body of discipline knowledge and relevant professional skills.

  • Ethics and Ethical Practice

An awareness of, and sensitivity to, ethics and ethical standards on interpersonal and social levels, and within a field of study and/or profession.  To demonstrate integrity on social, cultural, and environmental issues.

  • Teamwork and leadership

A capacity for and an understanding of teamwork and leadership.

  • Global Perspective

An appreciation, respect and valuing of cultural and intellectual diversity.

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.