Course Title: Research Thesis I

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Thesis I

Credit Points: 24.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Amanda Richdale

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7366

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora

Course Coordinator Availability: Not available Fridays

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students undertaking this course must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree and an undergraduate major sequence in Psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society.

Course Description

This course consists of two components: The research methods and data analysis component is a classroom-based lecture course. The other component comprises the first semester requirements for the 4th Year research project: a research proposal and a literature review. The marks for these two components are combined to provide the final mark for the course.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course students will develop both data analysis skills and research skills that will enable them to critically evaluate scientific literature and design a research project.

At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Describe the major methodological and design issues related to carrying out research in psychology.
2. Describe the conceptual and practical features of several major techniques for analysing data obtained from psychological research.
3. Enter, analyse, and describe data using SPSS.
4. Use the principles and methods taught in this course to design an 4th Year-level research project.
5. Design a research project using one of the common approaches to applied psychological research design, and present that design as a properly formatted research proposal.
6. Carry out a literature review, synthesise and evaluate that literature in the light of their proposed research, and present this material as a properly formatted literature review that conforms in all respects to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).

Overview of Learning Activities

The unit provides a synthesis of didactic and experiential learning. The theoretical material underlying research design and analysis is learnt using traditional lecture/seminar mode, with guided reading and practical data analysis exercises. Students learn the skills of carrying out a piece of scientific research in psychology by directly engaging in the research process in a way that mimics the real-world research process as closely as possible.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course handbook on-line on the RMIT DLS

Access to RMIT student computers

RMIT library - texts and journals

Psychology test library

Student purchased textbook for statistics component

Overview of Assessment

1. A three-hour multiple choice examination on the material taught in the research methods and data analysis component.

2. Analysis of a unique unique data sheet.

3. Research proposal (including ethics application & research budget).

4. Literature review