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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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PSY4111 Advanced Research Approaches

Semester 1, 2023 Online
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 7 June 2023


Course Coordinator: Erich Fein


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BSCH (12302 Psychology) or BSHP or MRES (19112 Psychology). BPSH students need to apply for manual enrolment in this course.


Students undertaking fourth year study in Psychology need to be able to evaluate a variety of research designs in published research. Studies published in Psychology use a range of research methodologies including multivariate analysis and qualitative research approaches and in common practise there are both qualitative and quantitative (i.e., mixed methods) used simultaneously. This course encourages students to develop both a practical and theoretical understanding of these analysis techniques, which will allow them to evaluate existing research and apply these insights to their own research. This course also forms a major foundation for student research at Masters and PhD level, and for the data analytic aspects of professional elective courses.

There are two major sections of instruction within the course. In the first section of instruction students are taught about both quantitative and qualitative research design methods. At the conclusion of this section the students will develop a mixed methods research proposal using both quantitative and qualitative aspects of design.

In the second section of instruction students are taught about quantitative and qualitative analyses methods. Basic types of analyses and stages within analyses are covered for both quantitative and qualitative research methods, including knowledge about psychometric principles such as norms, reliability, validity, and test construction. At the conclusion of this section the students will choose from several options of data analyses (they will be given data and instruments from hypothetical research protocols), and will conduct an assignment for both quantitative and qualitative analyses.

BPSH students must have completed the first 3 years with a GPA of 5.0 across levels 1 to 3 psychology courses. These students will have to be manually enrolled.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify appropriate analytical techniques to address various kinds of research questions.
  2. Utilise knowledge of psychometric theory and the principles of test construction.
  3. Select and apply relevant methods to explore, visualise and evaluate typical research data, resulting in appropriate conclusions being drawn from the findings.
  4. Accurately report results obtained from the analysis of research findings.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Basic commonalities and distinctions in quantitative and qualitative research methods; introduction to mixed methods research. 25.00
2. Stages and considerations for quantitative and qualitative research design. 25.00
3. Essential aspects and examples of quantitative research analyses. 25.00
4. Essential aspects and examples of qualitative research analyses 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Creswell, J. W 2018, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, 5th edn, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Latest SPSS Graduate Pack (recommended, but earlier version is accepted) or Base Pack (previously known as Student Version). (Students should discuss with supervisor of Honours Project before purchase).
Students will need to download the latest version of the free PROCESS Macro from https://www.processmacro.org/index.html.
UniSQ open text Statistics for Research Students: https://usq.pressbooks.pub/statisticsforresearchstudents/.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz No 20 1,3,4
Assignments Written Research (paper) No 35 1,3
Assignments Written Report No 45 2,4
Date printed 7 June 2023