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PSYC71-505: Research Methods, Professional Practice and Ethics May 2021 [Standard]

General information

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.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PSYC71-505
Subject title:Research Methods, Professional Practice and Ethics
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:May 2021
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Seminar: x12 (Total hours: 48) - Weekly seminar
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 72) - Recommended study hours
Attendance and learning activities: Attendance at lectures is compulsory.


Prescribed resources:
  • Australian Psychological Society (2007). Code of Ethics. Melbourne, Victoria: Australian Psychological Society
  • Michael C Roberts & Stephan Ilardi (2003). Handbook of research methods in clinical psychology. [Book]
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


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.

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  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.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Literature Review Systematic Literature Review 50% Week 8 9, 11, 12.
Take-home Examination Short Answer Take Home Exam 50% Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Meet & greet, overview of course structure, and APAC requirements

Philosophical underpinnings of ethics and classical ethical dilemmas

Introduction to the Australian legal system, Mental Health Act, Privacy Act and Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act

APS Code & Guidelines (key points of consent, boundaries, competence, confidentiality, and risk management)

Introduction to social and emotional wellbeing and cross- cultural engagement

Current topics and techniques in clinical psychological research

History, current legal framework, and practical aspects of ethical conduct in human research

Pro & Cons of different research designs, and strategies to fund research.

Introduction to the different methods and theories in qualitative research

Design and evaluation of psychological public health programs

Overview of the opportunities and pitfalls of working in private practice: Different models of setting up a private practice, unethical employment contracts, Medicare benefits for psychologists, overview of other health professions, professional support and self-care

Review of lecture content and practice exam.

Approved on: Mar 12, 2021. Edition: 5.4
Last updated: May 4, 2021.