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PSY8020 Advanced Research Techniques

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Tony Machin
Moderator: Paul Bramston


Pre-requisite: PSY8010


Advanced study in any field of Psychology requires a sound grasp of reasoning, evidence, methodology, analysis, and interpretation. At the Masters and Doctoral level, it is expected that students will be able to select from a wide range of techniques and research designs and to carry out appropriate analyses. Some of these skills and underlying knowledge bases have been introduced in previous courses. This course, therefore, aims to build upon earlier study by extending the range of techniques with which students are familiar and by exploring new applications of previously studied methods and analytic techniques. The course also aims to introduce students to alternative techniques and research designs that may not have been covered in previous courses.


Students will be introduced to a number of techniques. The course also revises and builds upon relevant previous course material. Students will learn to think about research designs and research hypotheses in a more critical, intuitive and constructive way. These techniques are also applied to examples that students may face as a part of their professional career. The course is broken into 3 residential workshops - each one runs for 2 days. The material covered is assessed in 2 assignments of equal weighting. The Examiner may choose to break either or both assessment pieces into multiple smaller assessment items, if they believe this will aid student learning. Final details of each assessment item will be discussing in the first workshop.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. critically evaluate the published research of others;
  2. think critically and systematically about the paradigms used in research;
  3. demonstrate practical skills by applying some specialized techniques.


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be advised. 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. (

  • “Structural Equation Modeling With AMOS: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programming, Second Edition” by Barbara Byrne, 2009.

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.
  • Students will be notified of any recommended readings.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 120.00
Workshops 45.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)

  1. To be advised by the examiner.
  2. To be advised by the examiner.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Participation in On-campus Workshops. The skills components of this course will be taught in three, two-day compulsory workshops held on campus. During these workshops, students will engage in practice of techniques for a variety of situations. If circumstances prevent a student from attending a workshop, the student must contact the examiner to arrange an alternative activity. This could be a written assignment based on the material covered in the missed workshop. Attendance at the three workshops and/or completion of one or more alternative activities at a standard judged to be appropriate by the examiner is required before a final grade can be awarded.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assignment.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course (and by considering the students' level of achievement of the objectives of the course).

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are 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. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  2. 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.