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PSY8170 Psychology Masters Project B

Semester 1, 2014 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 3
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology, Counselling and Community

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Examiner: Paul Bramston
Moderator: Jan Du Preez


Pre-requisite: PSY8160


The scientist-practitioner model of professional practice in psychology has broad consensual acceptance within the profession. It follows that students must be able to conduct a substantial empirical project concerned with the application of theory in a selected area. This course gives them the opportunity to do so in a supervised, learning environment.


This is the second of two courses that contribute to the Psychology Masters Project. The course will consist of an individual empirical project in a selected area of psychology of relevance to the student's chosen specialisation. Under the supervision of a staff member, the student will design the study based on a review of appropriate literature, collect and analyse data and write a report normally of 9,000 to 15,000 words (but not exceeding 20,000 words). It is expected that the report of the project would be of sufficient standard to be accepted for publication in a professional journal.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate the ability to think analytically, critically and creatively about a chosen research topic and related issues within the area of specialisation chosen;
  2. demonstrate competence in each component of empirical research procedures, viz; identify and analyse research problems, formulate hypotheses, operationalise research procedures, collect relevant data, carry out appropriate analysis of data, interpret results obtained, and draw appropriate conclusions;
  3. competently write a report of a research project to communicate all aspects of the project to professional peers.


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be determined by the student in consultation with his/her supervisor. 100.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Department of Psychology, Preparing a Dissertation - Guidelines for Successfully Completing a Psychology Masters Project A & B.
    ([NB: To be provided by the Department].)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • American Psychological Association 2010, Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, APA, Washington, DC.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Private Study 240.00
Supervisor Consultation 39.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DISSERTATION (20,000 WORD MAX) 1 100 04 Mar 2014 (see note 1)

  1. Examiner will advise of due dates.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. International students must attend all activities scheduled for them and ensure that their attendance is registered with the staff member in charge of the activity. This course requires students to attend two half-day workshops for every semester that they are enrolled in the course until it is passed.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the Dissertation satisfactorily, students must obtain a pass from two markers (one from the Department and one external) and therefore be allocated a mark of 1. Any disagreement amongst markers will be arbitrated by the Examiner.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a passing grade, students must demonstrate, via the dissertation, that they have achieved the required minimum standards in relation to the objectives of the course by satisfactorily completing the dissertation.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  2. The Examiner in consultation with the Program Co-ordinator may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  3. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  4. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  5. Students will require access to email and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  6. The report will conform to guidelines on the content, style and format of reports issued from time to time by either the USQ or the Psychology Department.

  7. The dissertation will be marked by two examiners; one external to the USQ, and the other a staff member who was not the supervisor. In the event of substantial discrepancy between the markers, the Examiner will arbitrate.

  8. Prior to submission of the dissertation, the supervisor should consult with the Examiner regarding a suitable external and internal examiner. The supervisor should then contact the nominated potential examiners to seek their informal agreement to examine the dissertation.

  9. The supervisor will approve the dissertation for examination. Two loose bound copies of the dissertation should be given to the Examiner who will distribute copies to the two examiners.

  10. The Examiner is responsible for the return of the two examiners' comments and should review these carefully. A decision will be determined on the basis of the consensus of the their evaluations. According to their evaluation, the outcome will be: that the dissertation be accepted as satisfactory for the award of the degree; that the dissertation be accepted as satisfactory for the award of the degree subject to the completion of specified minor revisions to the satisfaction of the University of Southern Queensland; (These revisions might involve minor editorial changes, improvement of expression, better presentation of data, etc. In some cases, where English is the candidate's second language, there might be the need for considerable editing); that one or more sections of the dissertation be rewritten prior to the resubmission of the dissertation for re-examination; (These revisions might include structural changes to the dissertation and/or revisions on the basis of conceptual, methodological or analytical discussion of the data); or that the dissertation be rejected and the degree not be awarded.

  11. The Examiner is responsible for checking that these revisions satisfy the examiners' reports

  12. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //