PSYCHOL 2004 - Doing Research in Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

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. A software package 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 and PSYCHOL 1001 and PSYCHOL 1004) or (PSYCHOL 1000 and PSYCHOL 1001 and PSYCHOL 1005) or (PSYCHOL 1100)
    Assessment Online exercises, written exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Kohler

    Office: 514 Hughes Building; Phone +61 8 8313 8215; Email 
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand fundamental concepts of quantitative data analysis including descriptive statistics, probability theory and hypothesis testing, and the conclusions that can be drawn when applying them to psychological research.

    2. Identify the appropriate quantitative data analysis and/or qualitative approach to different kinds of basic psychological research questions and hypotheses.

    3. Understand basic ways of conducting qualitative research in psychology.

    4. Conduct and interpret basic types of quantitative data analyses commonly involved in psychological research using statistical software.

    5. Present the methods and results of psychological research in the appropriate APA format.

    6. Recognise 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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Details of the course textbook will be provided prior to the semester commensing.

    Students will be required to access the statistical computing and graphics software ‘R’ ( as well as the integrated development environment (IDE) for R called ‘RStudio’ ( Instructions on installation and use will be provided in class.

    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web
    The Library is a major resource centre for students. The Research Librarian for Psychology provides some useful information through the Internet at The website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.

    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
    • Access to information about assessments
    • Submission of summative assessments
    • Access to lecture recordings and materials
    • Access to tutorial materials
    • Additional readings
    • Self-directed learning activities

    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 & Online Contact Hours
    Around 3 hours per week in Lectures over a 12 week period (Total 36 hours)
    Up to 6 hours per semester in Tutorials as scheduled (Total 6 hours)
    Up to 5 hours of other course related activities, such as completing surveys, etc. (Total 5 hours)

    Revision of Material / Tutorial Preparation
    2 hours per lecture for revision of lecture content and set readings (Total 48 hours)
    1 hour of preparation for each tutorial (Total 6 hours)

    Assessment Tasks
    3 hours for the completion of each assignment module during the semester (Total 15 hours)
    Report related work, including preparation of report (approx. 40 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 Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods
    Week 10 Qualitative/Mixed Methods Qualitative/Mixed Methods
    Week 11 Qualitative/Mixed Methods Qualitative/Mixed Methods
    Week 12 Qualitative/Mixed Methods Qualitative/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
    Report Summative 40% 1 - 2, 4 - 5
    Quantitative Multiple Choice Test #1 Summative 10% 1 , 2, 4
    Quantitative Multiple Choice Test #2 Summative 10% 1, 2, 4
    Quantative Problem Set #1 (PS1) Summative 10% 1 - 2, 4 - 5
    Quantitative Problem Set #2 (PS2) Summative 15% 1 - 2, 4 - 6
    Qualitative Multiple Choice Test Summative  10% 2 - 3, 6
    Tutorial attendance Formative 5% 1 - 4

    Assessment Detail
    Report: The report will be based on activities communicated throughout the course. The report will require students to work with a dataset in order to apply appropriate analysis techniques to address the problems provided. These procedures and results, along with any interpretations, will then be submitted as a written report.

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

    Problem Sets: The 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.

    Class Attendance: Tutorial attendance is recorded. 1% is allocated for attending each of up to 5 of the 6 scheduled classes. Students are encouraged to attend all classes.
    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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