PSYC20056 - Research and Professional Practice in Psychology 1

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Research and Professional Practice in Psychology 1 is the first of two professional practice units designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop the required skills and knowledge necessary for progression in the general psychology registration pathway (5 + 1). This unit incorporates a practicum designed to simulate 'real-world' aspects of working as a psychologist within a safe learning environment. Opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration, critical analysis, reflective-practice, and ethical decision making will be provided. Class content draws upon case studies and evidence-based theoretical formulation frameworks, and will examine requirements for initial and ongoing registration, and legal and ethical aspects of psychological practice and research. You will also begin to research an area of applied practice in psychology and develop a research plan for an evaluation project to be completed in Term 2.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Students must be enrolled in the Master of Professional Psychology

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).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

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 Postgraduate 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. Professional Practice Plans (learning plans) 0%
2. Online Test 0%
3. Written Assessment 0%
4. Research Proposal 0%
5. Portfolio 0%

This is a pass/fail (non-graded) unit. To pass the unit, you must pass all of the individual assessment tasks shown in the table above.

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 66.67% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 75.00% 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: Have Your Say feedback
Students appreciate working through real ethical dilemma in a class environment. Several students commented that they enjoyed the variety of solutions or views on ethical dilemmas common in the psychological field
Lectures will continue to include "real life" ethical dilemmas as they occur in the field of psychology.
Action Taken
The lecturers maintained "real life" dilemmas and scenarios in their teaching content.
Source: Have Your Say Feedback
Students enjoyed the focus of the Rapid Critical Review (assessment 3) on clinical work and practical applications in the field. Positive comments focused on the collaborative tutorial style of lectures surrounding the Rapid Critical Review.
The lectures regarding the Rapid Critical Review will continue to focus on practical applications and be delivered as a collaborative tutorial, working through students' questions in the online class room.
Action Taken
The collaborative tutorial format was retained to help students pose questions and work through their research assessment.
Source: Have Your Say Feedback
Based on students' effort and input of time, students suggested to increase the weight of the Rapid Critical Review (Assessment 3) and decrease the weight of the online Test (Assessment 2)
Assessment tasks and weightings will be reviewed by the Master of Professional Psychology teaching team.
Action Taken
The assessment tasks were reviewed and the rapid review task was replaced with a research plan to scaffold research tasks in Term 2 units. Due to the change in scope and focus of the assessment, the weightings did not require adjustment.
Source: SUTE Unit comments
Students felt that the contents of the Inter-Professional Education (IPE) task aligned more with the "PSYC20055 Assessment: child and adolescent" unit.
The IPE task is a requirement for Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) acccreditation. Students complete this assessment in their first year (both full-time and part-time students). After review by the teaching team it was noted that including this assessment task in PSYC20055 does not allow part-time students to complete this assessment in their first year, as this unit is taught in the second year for part-time students. However, additional materials such as resources and videos will be added to the IPE Moodle site to support students in this task.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit comments
Starting the Practicum Review and simulated roleplaying is difficult for part-time students as they don't have any units with therapeutic techniques in their first year.
From 2023, students will demonstrate and develop competency in micro-counselling skills prior to their practicum review. Students will thus learn techniques and skills to scaffold their learning.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate and apply relevant legislation and ethical principles related to psychological practice, including those endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia
  2. Critically evaluate the contemporary scientific literature to develop an appropriate plan for evidence-based practice, including research
  3. Articulate and apply models and approaches for the professional and ethical practice of psychology
  4. Communicate effectively with a range of client, specialist, and nonspecialist audiences.

Learning outcomes are drawn from specifications for study at level 9 as indicated by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), program of study criteria as stated by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsychBA), and the following core competencies stated by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC):

  • 3.1 Demonstrate successful (prior or concurrent) achievement of pre-professional competencies,
  • 3.10 Demonstrate respect for the skills and contribution of other professionals,
  • 3.11 Work effectively with a range of professional and support staff in the workplace and communicate and collaborate effectively, within the bounds of ethical and legal requirements,
  • 3.12 Operate within the boundaries of their professional competence, consult with peers or other relevant sources where appropriate, and refer on to relevant other practitioners where appropriate,
  • 3.13 Rigorously apply professional practice policies and procedures, including as they relate to referral management and record-keeping, across a range of workplace settings and with recognition of different organisational cultures and practices,
  • 3.14 Engage in self-reflective professional practice, taking account of the impact of their own values and beliefs, and taking appropriate actions as a result,
  • 3.15 Evaluate the effectiveness of their professional practice, identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes where needed, and
  • 3.16 Critically evaluate contemporary scientific literature to inform practice (APAC, 2019, p.13-14).

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Professional Practice Plans (learning plans)
2 - Online Test
3 - Written Assessment
4 - Research Proposal
5 - Portfolio
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8