Available in 2021
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


PSYC4804A (together with PSYC4804B) forms a fourth year honours research project in Psychology. The course covers advanced topics in research methodology and research ethics relevant to the current set of projects undertaken by the cohort of students at this level. These topics are integrated and related to students' individual research projects. Students carry out a detailed literature review of the research area relevant to their research project on which they receive feedback (the mark from this course will contribute to their mark in PSYC4804B), they develop a research proposal and consider the ethical implications of their research. This course requires the development and conduct of a piece of original empirical research under supervision of a member of academic staff of the School of Psychology.

This course forms part of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited sequence.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Multi-term sequence

This course is part of a multi-term sequence. Both Part A and Part B must be completed to meet the requirements of the sequence. Part A and Part B must be completed in consecutive terms. Students must complete Part A before completing Part B. Students must complete the sequence within a twelve month period. If students complete Part A but are unable to complete Part B within the timeframe, they must re-enrol in Part A. Part A cannot be completed as a standalone course, it will only count towards your program once you have successfully completed Part B.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop a research design including the selection of appropriate research methodology

2. Develop a research proposal

3. Consider the ethical implications of the intended research

4. Search for relevant and suitable reading material

5. Critically analyse and evaluate published research material

6. Demonstrate psychological research skills such as appropriate use of research instruments and appropriate data analysis

7. Demonstrate scientific writing skills

8. Critically evaluate research data

9. Present information in written format in an interesting and comprehensible manner with appropriate interpretation and evaluation

10. Present information in verbal format in an interesting and comprehensible manner with appropriate interpretation and evaluation


The course will cover:

•                     ethical principles in psychological research,

•                     development of a research project application,

•                     development of skills related to critical thinking, as well as

•                     critical analysis and evaluation of published research.

Students will prepare a research proposal for the approval of the Fourth Year Proposal Committee and an ethics application on their research topic area.

They will also prepare an extended review of the relevant research and rationale of their research that will include critical analysis of background published research relevant to their research topic.

Details of research topics will be available at the commencement of the academic year.


This course is only available to students enrolled in

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) [40100],

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) [12362],

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (pre 2020) [10214], or

Bachelor of Science (Honours) [10496].

Assessment items

Proposal / Plan: Written proposal and presentation

Literature Review: Literature Review

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Individual Supervision

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

Individual supervision hours to be arranged with supervisor Student research project will require extensive work outside of scheduled supervised meetings.


Face to Face On Campus 24 hour(s) per Term Full Term starting in week 2

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.