PSY4402 - Psychology research project: Literature review - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 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)

Dr Stephen McKenzie


Dr Janelle Levesque

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 1 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 3 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 5 2019 (Online)


Completed Bachelor's Degree and a major sequence in psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society or qualification assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society, with a distinction average (70%) for third year psychology units.



Must be enrolled in Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced (M5003)


PSY4001, PSY4002, PSY4011, PSY4012, PSY4021, PSY4022, PSY4100 and PSY4210


Students are required to finalise the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC) application and receive approval from MUHREC prior to commencement of enrolment in PSY4403.


The overall GDPA research project is divided into three units, PSY4402, PSY4403 AND PSY4404, beginning with this unit, PSY4402. The collective aim of these units is to increase students' understanding of theoretical and methodological aspects of research, develop analytic, research and communication skills, as well as provide students with advanced knowledge in the science and practice of psychology. The research project meets the requirements of the Australian Psychological Society for Associate Membership.

The aim of PSY4402 is to enable students to produce a high quality research project component, consisting of the production of a research report introduction/ literature review.

Students will undertake a supervised research project that aims to provide training in both discipline specific and generic research skills, and form the basis of a literature review and research report presented at the end of the course. The thesis introduction/ literature review component of the research report will consist of a description of the students' project, a detailed review of the relevant literature, and a statement of the research hypotheses to be tested. Students will be provided with course materials and guidance to help them produce a high quality research proposal, source and synthesise appropriate research findings, and coherently synthesise this into a research project. The development of these skills and their application to the production of the introduction/ literature review component of the students' research project will build on their research and writing skills developed in previous courses.


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

  1. Explain how their own research fits into a broader research context;
  2. Produce a testable proposal for research that will contribute to the development of knowledge in a particular area of psychology;
  3. Develop and demonstrate high level skill in sourcing, reading and synthesising relevant psychological literature into a coherent research review;
  4. Generate coherent and testable hypotheses that will allow a contribution to the development of knowledge in a particular area of psychology;
  5. Explain how their data collection, analyses and interpretation will be informed by the need to advance existing knowledge in a particular area of psychology.


  • Research Project Proposal Presentation (5 minutes plus 2 minutes questions) (20%)
  • Research Project: Introduction (3,500 - 4,000 words) (60%) (hurdle)
  • Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee application (900 - 1,200 words) and an Explanatory Statement (1000 - 1,250 words) (20%)

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend an average of 20-25 hours per week per unit. Broadly, this time will cover:

Video materials (2hrs)

Synchronous & asynchronous discussion including with other students and with their research project supervisors (2hrs)

Synchronous web-based 'class-time' for skills-based activities (2hrs).

See also Unit timetable information

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