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COU8040 Counselling Capstone Project

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Counselling Capstone
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 14 April 2021


Examiner: Govind Krishnamoorthy


Pre-Requisite or Co-requisite: HSC8050

Other requisites

Students who have completed or are enrolled in MSC8001 Research Project A and MSC8002 Research Project B are not eligible to take COU8040 Counselling Capstone Project.


This course provides a capstone research experience for counselling students by engaging in a substantial counselling related project. This course develops research skills and teaches students how to design, evaluate and critique research in an ethical, strategic and planned manner.


This course provides counselling students with the opportunity to pursue an area of research related to counselling. This will typically involve an in-depth investigation of a specific counselling related topic in the form of a structured literature review. Students will be provided with research supervision from the course examiner to execute this project. Students will also be asked to evaluate the implications of research for their future practice.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify, review and critically analyse current research articles relating to a counselling topic of interest;
  2. Plan and write a literature review using collected research articles;
  3. Identify the implications of research for practice;
  4. Communicate research findings, to a range of audiences;
  5. Critically evaluate their own skills in relation to critical thinking, communication, and research planning;
  6. Produce a substantial piece of scholarship related to the discipline of counselling.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Research Project: Activities include conducting a structured literature review, critically evaluating literature and linking research to practice. 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.
Arksey, H., & O’Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19-23. doi:10.1080/1364557032000119616.
Aromataris E., & Munn, Z. (2020; Eds). JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. JBI, 2020. Available from
Levac D., & Colquhoun H., & O'Brien, K.K. (2010) Scoping studies: advancing the methodology. Implement Sci, 5. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-69.
Moher D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., et al . (2009) Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med, 6. e1000097.Google Scholar.
Munn Z., Peters, M.D.J,, Stern C, et al (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Med Res Methods, 18, 143. doi:10.1186/s12874-018-0611-x.
Tricco A.C, Lillie E , Zarin W , et al . (2018) PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation. Ann Intern Med, 169, 467. doi:10.7326/M18-0850 Google Scholar.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 162.00
Online Lectures 10.00
Private Study 155.00
Supervisor Consultation 3.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Research Plan 100 15 22 Mar 2021 1,2
Capstone Project 100 65 03 Jun 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6
Reflection 100 20 03 Jun 2021 3,5

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximize their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Each student will have the opportunity of scheduling two 60 minute consultation sessions with the course examiner – attendance at these consultations is not compulsory but is highly recommended.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 available weighted marks for the summative assessment items.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    NO EXAM: There will be no deferred or supplementary examination 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. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  2. Electronic submission of assignments is required for this course. All submissions must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ study desk for this course,. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner.

  3. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should upload their assignments electronically using the same computer laboratories. Online students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission. Online students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, Online students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  4. Students are expected to open their university provided email account and check it regularly for personal communication. In accordance with the Electronic Communication with Students Policy and Procedure ( information sent to the student's USQ email account will be regarded as being received.

  5. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use the 6th or 7th edition of the APA Style Manual to format their assignments. The APA Style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course: conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement. The course forms part of the MCCO and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Date printed 14 April 2021