PSYCHOL 2004 - Doing Research in Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course will develop the skills and knowledge required to understand and carry out research in psychology and the behavioural sciences. Students will learn about quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. They will learn how to sensibly investigate and test various kinds of research questions and how to interpret the findings of research. The software ?R? will be used to develop skills in quantitative data analysis.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 2004
    Course Doing Research in Psychology
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PSYCHOL 1000 & PSYCHOL 1001 and PSYCHOL 1004 or equivalent
    Assessment Online exercises, written exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Amy Perfors

    Office: 508 Hughes Building; Phone +61 8313 5744; Email
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1.    Use statistical software to explore and analyse the basic types of quantitative data typically involved in psychological research
    2.    Understand the logic behind null hypothesis significance testing, confidence intervals and effect sizes and the conclusions that can be drawn when applying them to psychological research
    3.    Evaluate and synthesise various sources of evidence to assess research questions and hypotheses
    4.    Know how to match the appropriate quantitative data analysis and/or qualitative approach to different kinds of basic psychological research questions
    5.    Present the results of psychological research in the appropriate APA format (6th Edition)
    6.    Understand basic ways of conducting qualitative research in psychology that are concerned, fundamentally, with investigating human meaning-making
    7.    Evaluate critically the benefits of applying both qualitative and quantitative approaches to certain research questions in psychology
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2-4, 6-7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required reference: Navarro, D. J. Learning Statistics with R.

    This is available to download or purchase as an affordable hard copy from:

    For additional information regarding required resources please refer to the relevant Undergraduate Program Handbook at the following link:
    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web
    The Library is a major resource centre for students. The Research Librarian for Psychology, Maureen Bell, provides some useful information through the Internet at The website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.

    For additional information regarding recommended resources please refer to the relevant Undergraduate Program Handbook at the following link:
    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:

    •    Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    •    Access to general course information
    •    Submission of summative assessment
    •    Access to lecture recordings and materials
    •    Access to tutorial materials
    •    Additional readings
    •    Self-directed learning activities
    •    Exam preparation materials

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will involve a series of lectures on quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. These lectures are supported by face-to-face tutorials, online activities and readings.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Face-to-Face Contact Hours
    Up to 3 hours per week in Lectures over a 12 week period (Total 36 hours)
    5 hours per semester in Tutorials as scheduled (Total 5 hours)

    Revision of Material / Tutorial Preparation
    1.5 hours per lecture for revision of lecture content and set readings (Total 54 hours)
    1 hour of preparation for each tutorial (Total 5 hours)
    2 hours for each self-directed learning activity (Total 4 hours)

    Assessment Tasks
    3 hours for the completion of each assignment during the semester (Total 15 hours)
    Exam revision as required (approx. 36 hours)

    Total time commitment: 156 hours

    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed course timetable is provided under Course Information on MyUni.

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 2 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 3 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 4 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 5 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 6 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 7 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 8 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 9 Qualitative Methods Qualitative Methods
    Week 10 Qualitative Methods Qualitative Methods
    Week 11 Mixed Methods Mixed Methods
    Week 12 Mixed Methods Mixed Methods

    Disclaimer: This program is provisional and subject to change
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Exam Summative 50% 1-7
    Quantitative Multiple Choice Test #1 Summative 10% 1,3,4
    Quantitative Multiple Choice Test #2 Summative 10% 2
    Quantative Problem Set #1 (PS1) Summative 10% 1-5
    Quantitative Problem Set #2 (PS2) Summative 10% 1-5
    Qualitative Multiple Choice Test Summative  10% 4,6
    Assessment Detail
    Exam: The exam will consist of a combination of multiple choice questions and short answer questions. All readings and lectures over the course of the semester are assessable. Details of exam periods are available via the University’s examinations website. You are required to be available for both the primary and Replacement/Additional Assessment exam periods.

    Multiple Choice Tests: These three tests are multiple-choice quizzes that must be accessed and completed online via MyUni.

    Quantitative Problem Sets: These two problem sets must be accessed and submitted online via MyUni. They will involve analysing a particular data set and interpreting and presenting the findings.
    All assignments must be submitted electronically via MyUni, as described in the instructions for each assignment.

    Please refer to the General Handbook for Undergraduate Psychology students (available at the link below) for details on submission process/requirements, penalties for late submission, the process of applying for extensions, and the staff “turn-around” timeline on assessments and the provision of feedback and policy relating to re-submission/redemptive work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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