Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PSYC616 Thesis-Part 1

Teaching organisation

1 hour per week of individual supervision.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The practice of psychology is based on the scientist-practitioner model and as such, knowledge and critical analysis of research is essential for evidence-based practice. This unit is the second of three research units and continues the student's research in an area of relevance to the specialisation stream in which the student is enrolled. By the end of this stage, students should have completed a thorough written literature review and have made substantial progress in the acquisition and/or processing of data. The main aim of this unit is to produce a literature review on an area of psychology related to the student's specialist stream (Clinical or Eductional and Developmental).

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 - Write a literature review, register a clinical trial; or prepare a research protocol,  at postgraduate level, demonstrating a logical organisation of the material and coverage of content (GA4,GA5,GA8,GA9,GA10); 

LO2 - Collect data and enlist appropriate data analytic techniques at a postgraduate level. (GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10). 

LO3 - Continue the process of implementing a substantial, original research study (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

Graduate attributes

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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.


In this second thesis unit, students will continue to carry out original research under supervision, in preparation for the writing of their thesis. By the end of this stage, students should have completed a written literature review, and have made substantial progress in collecting and processing of data. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The teaching strategy for this unit is, primarily, meetings with the supervisor, research team and other relevant staff members, and research activities as recommended by the supervisor. Contact time and  mode are negotiated within supervision.  Attendance at the School’s research colloquia is expected in order to broaden exposure to a range of research methodologies. Approximately 150 hours of study time is required for this unit including project management, review writing, and associated activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes. The progress report will be completed by the supervisor and provides an opportunity for the student and supervisor to review progress made over the semester, including review of the progress of data collection, as relevant, to determine whether the student is ready to proceed to the final thesis unit.  Three options are available that will help prepare student to set up a research project including: literature review; register a clinical trial; or prepare a research protocol. These will be assessed by the supervisor/s. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written Progress Report by supervisor:  

Provides an opportunity for the student and supervisor to review progress in data collection, and readiness to proceed to the final thesis unit. 



GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Literature review (5000 words) 


Register a Clinical Trial 


Prepare a Research Protocol 

Provides an opportunity for the student to prepare for the research project.  



GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Data Collection and analysis:   

Enables the student to demonstrate the ability to collect research data in a timely manner.  They will be assessed by the supervisor and a progress report submitted to LIC. 



GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10 

Representative texts and references

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

Supervisors may recommend texts and peer reviewed articles relevant to your topic. 

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