Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

24 points, SCA Band 1, 0.500 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Louise McLean (Full year: Mar-Oct); Professor Helen Watt (Full year: July-May)



  • Full year 2016 (Day)
  • Second semester to First semester 2016 (Day)


The second offering runs from 25/07/2016 to 26/05/2017.


This unit covers all aspects of the conduct of research. Students undertake a study program in statistics and research design and under the guidance of a staff member plan an independent research project. This project involves designing research in relation to previous work on the topic of the study, gaining ethical approval for data collection or use of data, data gathering, data entry and analysis using appropriate statistical techniques or methodologies, the preparation of a research report and a literature review according to the specifications of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA).


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. appreciate the role of scientific research in the field of psychology
  2. describe, apply and evaluate the different research methods used by psychologists
  3. describe the strategies and processes involved in program evaluation
  4. understand how to evaluate the validity of research conclusions
  5. collect, analyse and interpret data related to their independent research project
  6. correctly apply the appropriate statistical methods for designs commonly encountered in psychological research
  7. identify ethical issues that can arise in research in psychology and how these are to be addressed
  8. use an appropriate statistical package for analysing research data, such as the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
  9. produce an assessable research project in a format consistent with the specifications of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)
  10. produce a literature review to an acceptable standard on the topic of their research.


Examination (2-hour short answer and multiple choice, taken in the first semester of the unit) and two short-answer assignments on all topics covered in the statistics and research design program (4000 words equivalent, 15%)
Research project, comprising an oral presentation of the research proposal and either:

a report written in APA format (report should include a substantial literature review and may take the final form of a traditional thesis) (9000-12,000 words, 85%)
a literature review (4000-5000 words, 25%) accompanied by a report of the research presented in the format of a peer-reviewed scientific journal article (5000-7000 words, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

The statistics and research methodology component of the unit consists of:

  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 6 x 1-hour fortnightly tutorials

(b.) Additional requirements

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week
  • Each student also plans, carries out and writes up an individual research project under the supervision of a staff member. In conjunction with this, students undertake an extensive literature review in the area of their research. The research is conducted over two semesters.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)