Unit description

Acquaints students with ethical issues involved in the practice of psychology in research and professional contexts. Material covered includes ethics of research and practice, professional issues (Registration Board, APS, etc) and legal matters. This unit involves an examination of confidentiality and the nature of the relationship with clients.

Unit content

This is one of two units spanning sessions 1 and 2. The first session will focus primarily on issues related to research ethics and session 2 will primarily focus on professional issues.

Session 1 topics include:

  • Introduction to the APS code of Ethics
  • The role of ethics committees
  • National protocols related to research with human and animal participants
  • Ethical issues in research (informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, protection and safety, use of deception, recruitment processes and debriefing).
  • Conduct of research which involve indigenous people or topics

Session 2 topics include:

  • Ethical issues in professional practice
  • Registration boards and Colleges in the APS
  • Professional practice
  • Confidentiality
  • Nature and limitations of the relationship with clients
  • Legal matters

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

  • APS, 2007, Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics, Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Coffs Harbour

Teaching method
Self-directed project See BHS40007 (See BHS40007)
See BHS40007 Ethics and Professional Issues (Part 1 of 2)SR

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 2014 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.