Unit description

Introduces the general concepts, ethics, and methodology of scientific research as it applies to the discipline of psychology. Topics include methods of observation, measurement, and assessment used in psychology and the effective use of information resources. Students will engage in oral and written presentation of the material covered.

Unit content

  1. The scientific method
  2. Ethics in psychology (research and professional issues)
  3. Descriptive methods
  4. Archival research
  5. Experimental methods
  6. Complex designs
  7. Applied research
  8. Single case and small 'n' research
  9. Quasi-experimental designs
  10. Analysis and reporting of research

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Shaughnessy, J, Zechmeister, B & Zechmeister, S, 2014, Research Methods in Psychology, 10th edn, McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780077825362.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Coffs Harbour

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour
Annotated bibliography20%
Exam: closed book50%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial online 1 hour
Annotated bibliography20%
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2015 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.