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PSY8160 Psychology Masters Project A

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Bramston
Moderator: Jan Du Preez


Co-requisite: PSY8020


The scientist-practitioner model of professional practice in psychology has broad consensual acceptance within the profession. It follows that students must be able to design a substantial empirical project concerned with the application of theory in a selected area. This course gives them the opportunity to do so in a supervised, learning environment.


This is the first of two courses that contribute towards the Psychology Masters Project. The student will prepare to undertake a supervised research project by completing a literature review and determining a methodology, and obtaining the required ethical approval for the project.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate competencies in critically reviewing literature and competently designing research projects to address theoretical and practical questions and issues in the field, as identified in the APS Competencies for Psychologists (1996). Students will be able to:

  1. critically evaluate current theoretical and empirical literature pertaining to a topic appropriate to the student's area of speciality;
  2. formulate objectives and hypotheses for further research based on the critical review;
  3. develop an appropriate model to guide the research project method and analyses;
  4. develop and apply appropriate methods for addressing the hypotheses or meeting the research objectives;
  5. address practical issues related to the project;
  6. prepare a research proposal to the specifications of the criteria described below;
  7. prepare and submit an Ethics Approval Application.


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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
  • American Psychological Association 2010, Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, APA, Washington, DC.
  • Articles and books recommended by the supervisor.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Private Study 110.00
Supervisor Consultation 14.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 100 100 28 Feb 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities 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. This course requires students to attend two half-day workshops for every semester that they are enrolled in the course until it is passed.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the research proposal satisfactorily, students must obtain a pass from the Examiner and one other marker in the Department. Any disagreement amongst markers will be arbitrated by the Program Co-ordinator.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit the assignment after the due date without prior approval from the Examiner then a fail grade will be awarded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a passing grade, students must demonstrate, via the summative assessment item, that they have achieved the required minimum standards in relation to the objectives of the course by satisfactorily completing the Research Proposal.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

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

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

  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 five days if required by the Examiner.

  2. The Examiner in consultation with the Program Co-ordinator may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  3. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

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

  5. Students will require access to email and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  6. The research proposal shall include: (a) An overview of the theoretical and practical literature guiding the research; (b) A statement of the aims of the investigation and of specific hypotheses; (c) A detailed description of the Method to be used in the project including the participants to be selected, method of selection/recruitment, measures/assessments/testing/interview protocols to be used and procedures for administering these; (d) A description of the model guiding the statistical analyses to be used. In the case of qualitative data, a description of the proposed coding method and content analyses should be outlined; (e) A list of all references made in the proposal; (f) An Appendix with letters, measures etc.; (g) In most cases the literature review, method and analyses sections will not exceed a total of 20 pages; (h) The Research Proposal should be submitted to the Examiner. Evaluation will be completed by the Examiner and one other member of the Department.

  7. Upon receiving notification that the Proposal is acceptable, the student may submit the Ethics Approval Form via

  8. 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. //

  9. There is no LP (Low Pass) in any psychology core courses as these courses are exempt from awarding the LP grade.