PSYC11012 - Research Methods 1

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit is designed for first-time researchers. It provides you with an introduction to the research methods and critical thinking approach that will be used throughout your psychology degree. At the end of this unit, you will be able to describe, apply, and evaluate a range of basic qualitative and quantitative research methods used in the social sciences. You will develop critical thinking, problem solving skills and group work skills. You will gain introductory competence in critically evaluating scientific literature, constructing empirical arguments, generating research questions, applying basic statistical concepts, and preparing scientific research reports in American Psychological Association (APA) formatting style. A focus will be placed on conducting research with diverse populations and in an ethically responsible manner. The skills and knowledge gained in this unit will be developed further in Research Methods 2 (PSYC12048) and Research Methods 3 (PSYC13015).


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Term 3 - 2023 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Group Work 30%
3. Report 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.7 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 29.3% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback via 'Have Your Say'
"A good aspect of this unit is the breakdown of weekly lectures and how they were uploaded in 3-4 parts that thoroughly covered the weekly the topics. This prevented having to sit through a 2+ hour lecture each week."
Continue splitting the lecture videos for each weekly topics into digestible parts.
Action Taken
This was continued, and appears a successful method of delivery.
Source: Student feedback via 'Have Your Say'
"The questions in the APA quiz were quite tricky to read. It felt like they were trying to make it harder than necessary to understand what they wanted."
Review the quiz questions relating to APA referencing and formatting to ensure questions are relevant and instructions are clear.
Action Taken
Quiz questions were reviewed and updated to ensure any questions or instructions were clearly articulated.
Source: Student feedback via 'Have Your Say'
"...a guide on how to juggle multiple research journals at the same time for the report would be nice."
Provide resources and advice for searching, managing and utilising journal articles for preparing essays, literature reviews, and research reports.
Action Taken
More content (resources) and discussion in live sessions was dedicated to how to manage articles once they have been located, and how to convert this into a piece of writing.
Source: Have your say (student feedback), staff feedback
On a few occasions the weekly live sessions were cut short, and the lecturer was under pressure to finish delivering the content. Longer live sessions provide more opportunity for contact with lecturers
The weekly live sessions should be a minimum of 1.5 hours to enable sufficient discussion with students.
Action Taken
Source: Have your say (student feedback)
Weekly email updates could be sent out introducing that weeks content, expected assessment timeframes and potential resources for the upcoming content that week
Continue to develop the weekly milestones for the unit on the Moodle site, and encourage students to utilise this feature to assist with their studies.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe and apply foundational quantitative and qualitative research methods in psychology.
  2. Apply knowledge of research methodology and research ethics to the evaluation of academic and non-academic sources of information.
  3. Critically reflect on how personal and societal attitudes, experiences and values influence perceptions of ethical research and scientific knowledge.
  4. Write a scientific report using American Psychological Association (APA) format.

This unit addresses Foundational Competencies as specified by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). The unit specifically aligns to the following APAC graduate competencies:

1.1 Comprehend and apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge of psychology, with depth of understanding of underlying principles, theories and concepts in the discipline, using a scientific approach, including the following topics: i. the history and philosophy underpinning the science of psychology and the social, cultural, historical and professional influences on the practice of psychology; and xii. research methods and statistics.

1.2 Apply knowledge and skills of psychology in a manner that is reflexive, culturally appropriate and sensitive to the diversity of individuals. 

1.3 Analyse and critique theory and research in the discipline of psychology and communicate these in written and oral formats.

1.4 Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate values and ethics in psychology.

1.5 Demonstrate interpersonal skills and teamwork.

1.6 Demonstrate self-directed pursuit of scholarly inquiry in psychology.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Group Work
3 - Report
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10