Course Title: Professional Issues and Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Professional Issues and Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:




Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: Dr James Collett

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3712

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.07.016

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The research methods component of this course will provide you with practical skills and theoretical material related to carrying out research in applied psychology. You are now apprentice researchers, and will be provided with background information that will enhance your knowledge, understanding and practical skills in conducting Honours-level psychological research. The professional issues component of this course will provide you with an introduction to the professional practice of psychology. Legal and ethical issues fundamental to the practice of psychology will be discussed and the formal legislative and organisational frameworks reviewed.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes:

  • PLO 1:  Understand appropriate and relevant fundamental and applied evidence based knowledge and undertake lifelong learning to improve personal and professional practice
  • PLO 2: Demonstrate a capacity to employ a variety of approaches and procedures to research to permit judgements and decisions to be supported by appropriate evidence that places practice within a global and local context
  • PLO 6: Develop collaborative partnerships with colleagues, other professionals and the community that build on the capacity of others and develop open and flexible relationships that adapt to evolving needs and aspirations

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Describe the major methodological and conceptual issues related to carrying out research in psychology.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of the use of research tests and instruments in psychological research.
  3. Apply Honours level research skills to achieve the range of research goals associated with the successful submission of a research project.
  4. Describe the regulations and procedures for the registration of psychologists in the State of Victoria.
  5. Review the function and membership requirements of the Australian Psychological Society.
  6. Critically analyse the major legal, philosophical, and ethical issues associated with the practice of psychology across a range of client groups and settings.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be required to attend one lectorial or equivalent per week. Learning activities will build on your knowledge and provide a solid theoretical and practice driven basis for your learning. You will be expected to explore scientific literature to further support and consolidate your learning.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Human Research Ethics Application
Weighting 45%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2  & 3

Assessment Task 2: Clinical Ethics Case Studies
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 3: Formative Online Quizzes
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4 & 5

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.