Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

As part of your advanced training in the discipline of psychology, this unit provides you with the opportunity to learn about how psychological principles inform the development of theory, assessment, interventions and psychological practice. This unit presents specialised research topics in an area of applied psychology, highlighting the translation of psychological knowledge into psychological practice. The unit provides a platform for developing critical thinking and applying advanced understanding to designing interventions and translating evidence to practice. The material will be of an advanced nature, offering critical engagement with cutting edge research and innovation and in-depth examination of contemporary perspectives on and interpretation of recent trends in the field of applied psychology. The aim of this unit is to broaden your knowledge in an area of applied psychology and enable you to apply that knowledge to real-life settings.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - articulate relevant and current knowledge of the relevant research topic(s) in applied psychology (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO2 - articulate an informed understanding of the issues of current debate in the field of applied psychology and modes of investigation in the topic area(s) (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10);

LO3 - understand and apply psychological principles to theories, methodology, intervention and practice in various domains of applied psychology (GA2, GA4, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO4 - critically evaluate the contributions of research to our theoretical understanding of the topic(s) in applied psychology (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO5 - enunciate promising possibilities for future research in the topic(s) in applied psychology (GA 2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO6 - describe some of the main implications of knowledge of the topic(s) for practice (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10).  

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


Applied Psychology focuses on the application of psychological principles to specialized behavioural domains in real-life settings. The unit will cover four broad themes that lie within the core of Applied Psychology: Theory, assessment/methodology, intervention and practice. One specific area in applied psychology will be focused on.  

Specific topics or a range of topics can be drawn from (but are not limited to) the following themes: 

Applied Cognitive Psychology; Applied Experimental Psychology; Applied Developmental Psychology; Child and Family Welfare; Community Psychology; Counselling Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Cross Cultural Psychology; Educational Psychology; Environmental Psychology; Forensic/Criminal Psychology; Health Psychology; Human Factors; Indigenous Psychology; Mediation and Dispute Resolution; Neuropsychology; Occupational Psychology; Industrial and Organisational Psychology; Personnel Psychology; Psychology and the Law; Sports Psychology. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is delivered in face-to-face mode with 2 contact hours per week: each week there will be a 2-hour lecture. This mode of delivery is designed to enhance in-class participation, in-depth discussion and critiques of the content covered in the unit. To assist you in your self-directed learning, other learning resources may include: online forums; videos, seminars and lecture recordings. The suite of strategies in any one year will vary according to the topic, staff member, and other factors. Students will be expected to complete any prescribed reading (or related activity) in advance of the class, to attend class and to actively participate in any discussion, debate or learning activity, as directed.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, you will need to complete and submit all of the assessment tasks listed in the table below. In addition to this, you must obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% to pass the unit.   

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. Two assessment strategies are used including: (1) Two research essays that will address the two themes on Theory and Practice with the opportunity to critically evaluate and synthesise current evidence; (2) an in-class oral presentation to assess your ability to design an intervention and assess relevant outcomes which will demonstrate your combined knowledge and communication skills. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Research Essay (1) 

This task addresses the “Theory” theme of the unit. You are to write a research essay that will demonstrate your understanding and critical thinking of relevant theories pertaining to the focused topic area. 


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Oral presentation 


This task focuses on the “Intervention” and “Assessment” theme of the unit. You will conduct an in-class oral presentation which requires you to develop an intervention to address a hypothetical issue, You will need to justify the methodology and its possible application to practice


LO2, LO3, LO5, LO6 

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Research Essay (2) 


This task focuses on the “Practice” theme of the unit. You are to write a research essay that will critique the intervention you developed for the oral presentation and address the dissemination and implementation issues associated with this intervention in real-life settings. 


LO1, LO3, LO5, LO6 

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

REPRESENTATIVE JOURNALS (Specific references will be provided by Lecturer-in-charge and they are dependent on the topic selected) 

American Journal of Applied Psychology 

Annals of Behavioural Medicine 

Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 

Health Psychology 

Health Psychology Review 

Human Factors 

International Journal of Allied Psychology 

Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 

Journal of Applied Psychology 

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 

Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 

Journal of Conflict Resolution 

Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology 

Journal of Educational Psychology 

Journal of Environmental Psychology 

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 

Journal of Forensic Psychology 

Journal of Sport Psychology 

Personnel Psychology 

Psychology and Health 

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 

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