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PSY4001 Psychology Honours Project 1

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1.5
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Peter Terry
Moderator: Gerry Tehan


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BSCH in Psychology major (12302) or BPSH
Co-requisite: PSY4111


Your undergraduate training in psychology has stressed the scientist-practitioner model and has placed a heavy emphasis upon evidence based practice. One way to think about this is that your training emphasises both the ability to be a good consumer of research and to be a good producer of research. The consumer aspect involves one?s ability to collect evidence about a particular topic, synthesise it, organise it, and communicate it in a way that makes the current evidence readily understandable. The producer aspect involves the ability to be able to conduct a substantial empirical scientific study concerning the application of psychological knowledge and techniques and then write a report of sufficient academic rigour to be publishable.


This is the first of two courses that contribute towards the Psychology Honours Project. The overall project will involve two work products, a literature review and a journal article that describes an individual piece of research in a selected area of the journal article is based upon an empirical study which requires advanced knowledge of statistics and research methodology. In this first course, students are required to decide on a topic; commence their review of the literature and to begin the operational phase of their empirical research.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Summarise, synthesise and organise the current state of the literature in a chosen field of psychology
  2. formulate a research question and/or hypotheses based on previous literature in the chosen field;
  3. describe an appropriate methodology that will address the particular research question and/or hypotheses;
  4. obtain and/or develop any materials necessary for the conduct of the project;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues inherent in the chosen project, and be able to address ethical issues in a manner that is consistent with Australian Psychological Society guidelines;


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be determined by the student in consultation with his/her supervisor. 100.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • American Psychological Association 2010, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, APA, Washington DC.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Adelheid, AMN & Pexman, PM 1999, Presenting your findings: A practice guide for creating tables, American Psychological Society, Washington DC.
  • Adelheid, AMN & Pexman, PM 2003, Displaying your findings: A practice guide for creating figures, posters, and presentations, American Psychological Society, Washington DC.
  • Cone, JD & Foster, SL 2006, Dissertations and theses from start to finish: Psychology and related fields, 2nd edn, American Psychological Society, Washington DC.
  • Meltzoff, J 1998, Critical thinking about research: Psychology and related fields, American Psychological Society, Washington DC.
  • Miller, AB 2009, Finish your dissertation once and for all! How to overcome psychological barriers, get results, and move on with your life, American Psychological Society, Washington DC.
  • Reference materials will depend on the particular topic under investigation. While different types of materials may be consulted, depending on the nature of the topic, it is envisaged that psychology journal articles will make up the bulk of the reference materials.
  • The references listed above are guides that may assist students in their selection of topics and writing up of their thesis project.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 235.00
Supervisor Consultation 13.00
Workshops 16.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Literature Review 100 25 23 Jul 2012
Journal Article 100 75 22 Oct 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as workshops and consultation with supervisors) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete all assessment items satisfactorily, students must submit each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Please see the extension policy contained in the current Thesis Guidelines. This is available from //

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    If satisfactory progress has been made by the end of semester, the student will be awarded an interim grade of IIP, indicating satisfactory performance in the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    When the Psychology Research Project has been assessed in its entirety, the grade of IIP will be changed to the final grade. For example, if the student receives an HD for Psychology Honours Project 2, then the grade of IIP for Psychology Honours Project 1 would be changed to an HD.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there were no examinations in this course there will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Detailed instructions regarding the assessment items will be handed out in workshops/classes. Students must familiarise themselves with these instructions.

  2. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  3. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  4. Extensions for each assessment item will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Applications for extensions must be endorsed by the supervisor, and submitted in writing to the examiner. See the current Thesis Guidelines for more information. The supervisor and student may negotiate extensions for other work not related to the assessment items. However, such extensions would usually only be given if there were extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. If extenuating circumstances are likely to severely disrupt the student's progress, the student and supervisor should inform the examiner as soon as possible so that suitable options can be discussed.

  5. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  6. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade may be awarded IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up).

  7. Students are strongly advised to maintain regular contact with their supervisor. Students should carefully read the information pertaining to the supervisor-student relationship contained in the course handouts

  8. Students are not allowed to begin data collection until the Ethics Application for their project has been approved in writing.

  9. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Attendance at the workshops is compulsory. Students should regularly check messages on the course newsgroup. Details regarding workshops and the newsgroup will be given to students at the start of semester. Students need email and internet access in order to complete their project.