PSYCHOL 1005 - Research Methods in Psychology (BPsycSc)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course combines lectures from Research Methods in Psychology (PSYCHOL1004) with a specialised set of Case-Based Learning (CBL) activities. The focus is on students learning how to do research in psychology, with an emphasis on student-centred activities and problem solving to introduce basic principles. Students will learn about such key concepts as the scientific method; operationalizing constructs; independent and dependent variables; data types and ways of measurement; confounding variables; experimental and non-experimental design; questionnaire construction; developing and testing hypotheses; descriptive statistics and describing data graphically; and the ethics of research. Case-based Learning will extend this by providing BPsycSc students with an opportunity to develop analytic thinking and decision making skills for applied, real-life problems.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 1005
    Course Research Methods in Psychology (BPsycSc)
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 1-2 per weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible PSYCHOL 1004
    Restrictions Restricted to BPsychSc Students
    Assessment Online quiz, written assignments, tutorial attendance
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Deanne Green

    School of Psychology Office
    Phone +61 8313 5693
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

    1 Understand and apply the fundamental principles of the research process as they relate to answering research questions in psychology
    2 Critically analyse information particularly in relation to identifying causal and spurious relations in research claims
    3 Make decisions about the appropriate use of basic research techniques and research design as they apply to answering different psychological questions
    4 Utilize specific research skills as they relate to the development and implementation of research designs in psychology, including experimental manipulation, operationalizing variables, measurement, and making decisions about validity and reliability
    5 Effectively interpret and communicate research findings
    6 Identify appropriate techniques underlying different research approaches

    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Text
    Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
    6th Edition; published by Cengage
    Authors: Frederick J Gravetter & Lori-Ann B Forzano

    This book is available as an e-book ($67.45).

    However, I strongly recommend that you also purchase the online resources that accompany the e-book because the total package is only an extra 4 dollars: $71.95 (i.e., e-book + online resources). 

    Please see a posting on the MyUni site for this course for a link for purchasing.

    For readings associated with the lecture content, please see the MyUni website.

    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web
    The Library is a major resource centre for students. See The website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.
    Online Learning
    In this course you will participate in online learning environments via MyUni ( In your online learning you will read, listen to a number of presentations, be expected to participate in online discussions via discussion boards, and complete and submit assessments online.

    This course may also use MyUni for one or more of the following:
    • Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    • Submission of summative assessment- Access to lecture recordings
    • Access to tutorial materials
    • Additional readings
    • Self-directed learning activities
    • Exam preparation materials

    Link to MyUni:

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is about doing psychology. The focus is less on lecturing, and emphatically on students engaging with research principles and techniques in psychology. Thus, the bulk of the course is concerned with students doing - that is, engaging in activities during contact times to solve problems and undertake tasks that are closely related to lecture content. To facilitate this, contact will be structured such that there will be pre-recorded lecture content made available at the start of the week, during which time basic principles will be introduced. Students may listen to and engage with these lectures at a time of their choosing. There will be weekly in lecture sessions that are highly interactive, during which time key points from the associated lecture materials will be reiterated and expanded upon. The weekly A member of the teaching staff will lead and guide students through key conceptual points, illustrating them with reference to actual research, and engaging students with research-related problems that need to be solved. The tutorial program focusses on further developing analytic thinking and decision making in response to applied problems that are linked with core psychology topics.

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

    [1] Tutorials x 6 = 6 hours
    Tutorial engagement [i.e., 15%]; Preparing for and completing this assessment = approximately 6 hours

    [2] Conceptual Knowledge MCQ addressing understanding of key concepts = 20%
    Preparing for and completing this assignment = approximately 20 hours

    [3] Research report covering concepts and principles addressed in the first eight weeks of the course = 30%.
    Preparing for and completing this assignment = approximately 45 hours

    [4] End of semester exam = 35%. This exam is multiple-choice and open book and will be submitted online in week 12. The exam items will be provided to students approximately 5 weeks ahead of the submission date.
    Preparing for the exam = 45 hours

    * In lecture interactive sessions = 10 hours

    * Pre-recorded online lecture material + revision = 25 hours

    TOTAL = 157 HOURS

    Disclaimer: Assessment details are provisional and subject to change.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week 1 Housekeeping; the scientific method and the research process
    Week 2 Operationalizing constructs; IVs and DVs; Ways of measuring; Types of data; Questionnaire design
    Week 3 Validity and Reliability
    Week 4 Experimental design; Repeated measured design; Generalizing from experiments;
    Week 5 Non-experimental design; 3rd variable problems; threats to validity
    Week 6 Describing data; Examining relations between variables
    Week 7 Examining differences between groups; Turning research questions into testable hypotheses
    Week 8 no interactive session: Applied paper submission
    Week 9 Ethics
    Week 10 Longitudinal and pre-post intervention designs
    Week 11 Quasi-experimental design; thematic analysis; coding qualitative data and relations between two categorical variables
    Week 12 no interactive session: Exam submission
    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 Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Research report  Summative 30% 1-6
    Open book MCQ exam administered internally in week 12 Summative 35% 1-6
    Tutorial engagement Formative and Summative 15% 1-4, 6
    Conceptual Knowledge MCQ Formative and Summative 20% 1-3, 6
    Assessment Detail
    • Applied paper: This assignment will require students to demonstrate understanding of key concepts as covered in the first 8 weeks of the course, and demonstrate how to apply these concepts and principles.
    • Case-based learning assessment: reflects engagement in tutorials
    • End of semester open book multiple choice exam: The items in this exam test ability to apply learning. Thus, the vast majority of items in the exam are problem-based [as opposed to testing knowledge of facts].
    • Conceptual Knowledge Quiz: requires students to demonstrate knowledge of key concepts

    Disclaimer: These assessment details are provisional and subject to change

    No information currently available.

    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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.