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PSYC71-505: Research Methods, Professional Practice and Ethics


This subject provides training in ethics, legal frameworks, and research methods as relevant to the professional practice of psychology. The subject is taught in two sections. In section 1, students receive formal academic training in the philosophical foundations of ethics, the legal frameworks and professional codes relevant to psychological practice. In addition, students will learn to apply the APS Code, APS Guidelines and ethical decision making models to analyse and manage ethical dilemmas that can arise in psychological practice. Students will also undertake learning activates to build capability around inclusion & cultural diversity, to develop self-reflective and cultural responsive professional practice. To develop procedural skills in regards to risk management and ethical conduct, the first section of this course will also provide current first-hand accounts of psychological practice. In section 2, students receive advanced training in research ethics and research methods with a focus on applied research settings. This will include learning activities on developing an understanding of the unique ethical issues that arise when conducting research in professional psychological contexts. Furthermore, students will learn to apply and critically appraise evidence-based scientific methods in contexts ranging for single case studies, to clinical trials, and the evaluation of public mental health programs. This will section will further include an emphasis on strengthening capabilities to critically appraise the strengths and limitations of the various qualitative and quantitative research methods that are employed by psychologists. Finally, this subject provides students with the opportunity to individually investigate a psychological research question in form of a systematic literature review.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Society & Design
Semesters offered
  • May 2021 [Standard Offering]
Study areas
  • Social Sciences, Psychology and Counselling
Subject fees
  • Current: $5,630
  • Commencing in May 2021: $5,920

Learning outcomes

1. Apply evidence-based and scientific methods to professional practice across the lifespan in empirically valid and culturally responsive ways.
2. Employ professional communication skills, in a culturally responsive manner, with a range of socially and culturally diverse clients.
3. Interpret and communicate findings in written formats, including formal psychological reports, using culturally appropriate language.
4. Knowledge of how to practice effectively with a range of professional and support staff in the workplace and communicate and collaborate effectively, within the bounds of ethical and legal requirements.
5. Operate within the boundaries of their professional competence, consult with peers or other relevant sources where appropriate, and refer on to relevant other practitioners where appropriate.
6. Rigorously apply professional practice policies and procedures.
7. Engage in self-reflective professional practice, taking account of the impact of their own values and beliefs, and taking appropriate actions as a result.
8. Evaluate the effectiveness of their professional practice, identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes where needed.
9. Critically evaluate contemporary scientific literature to inform practice.
10. Knowledge of the requirements of regulatory and statutory authorities.
11. Competence in the evaluation and application of research.
12. Investigate a substantive individual research question relevant to the discipline of psychology.
13. Demonstrate an understanding and application of cultural responsiveness, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
14. Demonstrate an understanding and application of the principles of inter-professional learning and practice.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?
  • Study Abroad Students

The Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology programs are accredited pathways towards registration as a Psychologist. Entry into these programs is based on a calculated GPA derived from a completed four year sequence of study in Psychology as accredited by APAC as well as invitation into the degree. As such, this subject can only be taken by those students successfully admitted to the degree.

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.