PSYC20061 - Research Evaluation for Psychology Practice

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Evidence-based practice is integrated throughout the Master of Professional Psychology and aligns with the scientist-practitioner model. It is essential that you establish and evaluate your professional practice work based on scientific research. This unit will equip you with knowledge and skills related to the conduct of research evaluation in a professional practice context. Building on the research question and research plan you developed in Research and Professional Practice in Psychology (PSYC20056), in this unit you will complete an evaluation report or review which answers an individual question relevant to the professional practice of psychology.


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 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

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. Self assessment 0%
2. Research Assignment 100%

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 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 2 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 15.38% 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: Verbal feedback from students and feedback from Unit Coordinator.
Students felt that the unit tasks built upon their existing research skills and improved confidence.
Continue approach to develop existing research skills and support student learning and confidence.
Action Taken
Student development of these skills continued in 2021.
Source: Verbal feedback from students and feedback from Unit Coordinator.
Students suggested the size of the systematic review was difficult to complete within one term and may not be relevant to professional work.
Systematic review assessment task will be reviewed to reduce workload and improve relevance to professional practice. Students will also be given clearer explanation of the importance of evidence-based practice and the scientist-practitioner approach within psychology.
Action Taken
The assessment was changed to be an evaluation report. Evidence-based practice was a feature of the initial mini lectures and discussions with students.
Source: Verbal feedback from students and supervisors, and feedback from Unit Coordinator.
Students and supervisors requested more clarity about unit expectations and how the unit fits within the broader Master of Professional Psychology course.
Continue to meet with supervisors prior to the beginning of term to discuss expectations within the unit and include information for students to situate the unit within the broader Master of Professional Psychology Course.
Action Taken
The individualised supervision model was not utilised in 2021 due to the change in the assessment tasks. Instead, a weekly discussion session was held with all students, followed up by students booking individual sessions with the Unit Coordinator as required. This worked well as it allowed students who were confident with their approach and skills to work more independently, whilst allowing students who required or wanted additional feedback and discussion to work with the unit coordinator individually.
Source: Feedback from students via the 'Have your Say' survey.
Some students indicated that they did not understand why the content related to research, and the requirement for a substantive written research evaluation assessment item, was included in the course.
Include a discussion of requirements specified by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) in orientation and unit information so that students understand unit/course requirements and the relationship to professional competencies.
Action Taken
Source: Verbal feedback from students and feedback from Unit Coordinator.
Students reported that they found the weekly discussion session class-style, and the ability to book individual sessions with the Unit Coordinator to be very useful.
Continue to offer weekly discussion sessions and the ability to book individual sessions with the Unit Coordinator throughout the term.
Action Taken
Source: Feedback to the Unit Coordinator during term.
Students indicated there was a lot of overlap with the rapid review they completed in Term 1, and there was some confusion as to how the two pieces of work were to be differentiated.
Move completion of the research evaluation plan into Term 1, with focus in Term 2 to be solely on the conduct and development of the evaluation report/review.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Communicate research in a manner that is professional, ethical, and culturally appropriate, and critically considers prior literature relevant to the professional practice of psychology.
  2. Conduct a substantive individual research evaluation relevant to the practice of psychology, to a standard that would be suitable for publication.

Learning outcomes are related to core competencies specified by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), program of study criteria as stated by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), and specifications for study at level 9 as indicated by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

This unit addresses Professional Competencies as specified by the Australian Psychology Accrediation Council (APAC). This unit specifically aligns to the following APAC competencies:

3.2 Apply evidence-based and scientific methods to professional practice across the lifespan in empirically valid and culturally responsive ways.

3.3 Employ professional communication skills, in a culturally responsive manner, with a range of socially and culturally diverse clients.

3.8 Interpret and communicate findings in oral and written formats, including formal psychological reports, using culturally appropriate language.

3.10 Demonstrate respect for the skills and contribution of other professionals.

3.15 Evaluate the effectiveness of their professional practice, identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes where needed.

3.16 Critically evaluate contemporary scientific literature to inform practice.

3.17 Investigate a substantive individual research question relevant to the discipline of psychology.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2
1 - Self assessment
2 - Research Assignment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8