Research Development


Provides an overview of the steps in developing a research project from the stage of literature searching and question formulation, through to key issues of research design and choices of methodology, as well as planning for analysis and writing an ethics submission. Key underpinning principles of validity and reliability will be emphasised. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies will be discussed, including critical appraisal of relevant published research papers. Key statistical tools for research of particular relevance to both clinical and health psychology fields will be reviewed, particularly techniques for multivariate analysis.



  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Define and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of 'validity' and 'reliability' as key principles underpinning rigorous psychological research.

2. Identify clinical or health-related issues where psychological research is needed and can make a meaningful contribution, and formulate research questions and related hypotheses that are clear, specific and feasible to address.

3. Undertake a thorough literature review relevant to an identified area of research, making effective and efficient use of computerised databases and tools such as the Cochrane review database.

4. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a range of research designs, and be able to select those suitable to address particular research questions and test particular hypotheses.

5. Appreciate the broad range of research methodologies and approaches to data collection that may be applicable to research in their field, including quantitative and qualitative approaches, and be able to select the most appropriate methodologies for particular research questions.

6. Utilise appropriate criteria defining high quality, rigorous research to critically appraise both quantitative and qualitative research studies and their findings.

7. Demonstrate skills in effective presentation of research.

8. Demonstrate a capacity to employ multivariate statistical techniques and other analytical methods (such as the calculation of interrater reliability) of particular relevance for research in their field.


  1. Identifying a research area and defining research questions and hypotheses
  2. Undertaking a literature review, including the Cochrane Review database
  3. Research designs and methods - strengths, limitations and applications
  4. Critical appraisal of published research
  5. Issues in collaborative/applied research
  6. Statistical techniques


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Psychology, Master of Health Psychology, Doctor of Clinical & Health Psychology, PhD in Clinical Psychology or PhD in Health Psychology programs.

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students will have completed a four-year program in Psychology which has been accredited by the Australian Psychological Society.

Assessment Items

Proposal / Plan: Proposal Part A

Proposal / Plan: Proposal Part B

In Term Test: Take home test

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term