PSY6103 - Legal and ethical principles in clinical psychology practice and research - 2018

0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Peter Norton
Dr Katrina Simpson


Professor Peter Norton
Dr Katrina Simpson

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Students will develop an understanding of the role of a clinical psychologist

and of legal and ethical principles governing professional practice and

research in psychology. Students will review relevant legislation and

ethical/professional standards and develop ethically and culturally sensitive

psychological practices. This unit equips students with the necessary skills

to design research and analyse data for their thesis, placements, and

employment. After completing this unit successfully, students should be

able to undertake a comprehensive program evaluation as well as a single

subject design, and complete their thesis, confidently and competently with

training in the application of practical research skill training. Material will be presented from a student centered learning approach with theoretical and conceptual delivery in the form of lectures, applied weekly analyses, and introductions into multilevel modelling and structural equation modelling.


  1. Understand the legal and ethical principles which govern research and professional practice in psychology;
  2. Appraise Australian codes of professional conduct in psychology to such issues as confidentiality, informed consent, freedom of information, intra and inter professional relationships, responsibilities, and professional conduct;
  3. Define the professional role/s of the clinical psychologist, and differentiate roles, responsibilities, and relationships with other health professionals;
  4. Develop, maintain, and conclude appropriate professional relationships with clients;
  5. Appraise the intercultural and ethnic issues that impact on psychological practice;
  6. Design the main phases of the key research approaches, including program evaluations, single subject designs, experiments, quasi-experiments, and qualitative projects;
  7. Accommodate the considerations and complications of these approaches, (e.g., sampling biases, spurious variables, common method variance, suppressors, non-recursive relationships, confounds, consequential validity, asymmetric transfer, mediators, moderators, stakeholder needs, economic evaluation, family wise errors, power, autocorrelation, and nonlinear dynamics);

  8. Apply multivariate statistics techniques to address some of these complications, such as ANCOVA, discriminant function analysis, logistic regression analysis, multiple regression analysis, canonical correlation, and factor analysis;
  9. Recognize the fundamental principles of more advanced concepts, which can then be explored through additional reading, including HLM, grounded theory, survival analyses, meta-analyses, catastrophe theory, signal detection theory, ARIMA, interim designs, Bayesian theory, and structural equation modelling;
  10. Develop creative and insightful methods to maximise the utility of research; and;
  11. Justify and report the procedures and techniques that were utilised


Research Workbook Journal (10%)

Research Proposal and MUHREC application (35%)

Ethical Dilemmas Evaluations (30%)

  • Peer Counselling Skills Video (Hurdle requirement)
  • Non-peer counselling video and self-evaluation (Hurdle requirement)

End of Semester Examination (25%)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study