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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. Students will learn two sections in this subject. 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 learn how to build capability around inclusion and cultural diversity, to develop self-reflective and culturally, responsive professional practice. To develop procedural skills in regards to risk management and ethical conduct, students will learn 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 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 section includes an emphasis on developing capabilities to critically appraise the strengths and limitations of the various qualitative and quantitative research methods that are employed by psychologists. Finally, students will learn to individually investigate a psychological research question in the form of a systematic literature review.

Subject details

Type: Postgraduate Subject
Code: PSYC71-505
EFTSL: 0.125
Faculty: Faculty of Society and Design
Semesters offered:
  • May 2024 [Standard Offering]
Credit: 10
Study areas:
  • Psychology, Criminology, and Social Sciences
Subject fees:
  • Commencing in 2023: $5,640.00
  • Commencing in 2024: $5,760.00
  • Commencing in 2023: $6,070.00
  • Commencing in 2024: $6,440.00

Learning outcomes

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

Enrolment requirements



Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.

Restrictions: This subject is not available to
  • 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 dates

  • Standard Offering
    Enrolment opens: 17/03/2024
    Semester start: 13/05/2024
    Subject start: 13/05/2024
    Cancellation 1: 27/05/2024
    Cancellation 2: 03/06/2024
    Last enrolment: 26/05/2024
    Withdraw - Financial: 08/06/2024
    Withdraw - Academic: 29/06/2024
    Teaching census: 07/06/2024
Standard Offering
Enrolment opens: 17/03/2024
Semester start: 13/05/2024
Subject start: 13/05/2024
Cancellation 1: 27/05/2024
Cancellation 2: 03/06/2024
Last enrolment: 26/05/2024
Withdraw - Financial: 08/06/2024
Withdraw - Academic: 29/06/2024
Teaching census: 07/06/2024