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PSY8604 Psychology Doctorate Project D

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 4
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Bramston
Moderator: Jan Du Preez


Pre-requisite: PSY8603


The scholar-practitioner model of training in psychology has broad consensual acceptance within the applied profession. The professional doctorate therefore requires the student to be proficient in applied research skills to conduct a substantial program of research concerning a meaningful problem within the practice of psychology. This course gives the student the opportunity to develop skills in reporting on and critically examining the findings from the program of research conducted in Psychology Doctorate Project B and Project C.


This is the fourth of four project courses that contribute to the professional doctorate. This course involves the completion of the research component as outlined in the proposal submitted in Project A and conducted in the studies in Project B and Project C. The student will be expected to exhibit competence in using the appropriate analytical procedures to examine the hypotheses guiding the research program, reporting and integrating the results of the studies completed, critically examining the findings in terms of theoretical underpinnings of the research, previous findings, methodological issues, and directions for future study. When required, it is also expected that the student will use qualitative and quantitative techniques to triangulate sources of evidence and substantiate the thesis arguments. A written report (up to 30,000 words) will be submitted for examination and an oral presentation of findings will be required. The quality of the dissertation will meet the standard of a good refereed journal in its field.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate competencies in critically reviewing literature and competently conducting research projects to address theoretical and practical questions and issues in the field. In general they will be able to:

  1. demonstrate analytical, critical and creative thinking in postulating research hypotheses and problems;
  2. operationalise research procedures; triangulate sources of evidence; report and critically examine findings;
  3. postulate new directions of research and new unsolved problems;
  4. suggest new paradigms and methods of investigation and;
  5. present findings and ideas for future research in a professional and scientific manner.


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be determined by the supervisor after consultation with the student. 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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 130.00
Private Study 500.00
Supervisor Consultation 52.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DISSERTATION 1 100 01 Oct 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. International students must attend all activities scheduled for them and ensure that their attendance is registered with the staff member in charge of the activity.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the Dissertation satisfactorily, students must obtain a pass from two external markers. Any disagreement amongst markers will be arbitrated by the Examiner.

  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 that they have achieved the required minimum standards in relation to the objectives of the course by satisfactorily completing the dissertation.

  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 report will conform to guidelines on the content, style and format of reports issued from time to time by either the USQ or the Psychology Department.

  7. Prior to submission of the dissertation, the Supervisor should consult with the Examiner regarding two suitable external and internal Examiners. The Supervisor should then contact the nominated potential examiners to seek their informal agreement to examine the dissertation.

  8. The Supervisor will approve the dissertation for examination. Two loose bound copies of the dissertation should be given to the Examiner who will distribute them to the two examiners.

  9. The Dissertation (up to 30,000 words) will be sent to two external markers. According to their evaluation, the outcome will be: that the dissertation be accepted as satisfactory for the award of the degree; that the dissertation be accepted as satisfactory for the award of the degree subject to the completion of specified minor revisions to the satisfaction of the University of Southern Queensland; (These revisions might involve minor editorial changes, improvement of expression, better presentation of data, etc. In some cases, where English is the candidate's second language, there might be the need for considerable editing); that one or more sections of the dissertation be rewritten prior to the resubmission of the dissertation for re-examination; (These revisions might include structural changes to the dissertation and/or revisions on the basis of conceptual, methodological or analytical discussion of the data); that the dissertation be rejected and the degree not be awarded.

  10. If revisions are required, the student will revise the dissertation accordingly and will resubmit it to the examiner with a letter indicating the changes that have been made. The Examiner in conjuction with the Program Co-ordinator will then decide to Pass or Fail the student.

  11. 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.