PSY540 Clinical Research Methods (8)

This subject has two broad aims. The first is to advance the student's understanding of the theoretical concepts underlying research design in psychology, particularly as they relate to professional practice in clinical settings. The second is to assist the student to critically evaluate the merits of their proposed research Masters dissertation.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY540. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Enrolment Restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology


PSY533 and PSY534

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to critically evaluate the applicability of a range of research techniques and methods to research and practice in clinical settings
  • be able to critically evaluate research methodology (measurement, design and analysis) as applied to research and practice in clinical settings
  • be able to analyse and synthesize a large body of complex literature in order to be aware of ethical and professional issues that arise in research and practice in clinical settings
  • be able to critically evaluate and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to the Scientist-Practitioner model, to research and practice in clinical settings


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Review of the fundamentals of research design
  • Program evaluation
  • Review of fundamental statistical concepts and techniques
  • An introduction to more advanced statistical concepts
  • Strategies for selecting the appropriate research design to answer different types of questions
  • The development of research proposals
  • Ethical issues in clinical and forensic research
  • Handling data
  • Research report writing

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY540 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online test 1
Online test 2
Online test 3
Online test 4
Research report and proposal
Online class participation
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 2.5 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school is intended to serve a number of functions

  • to teach selection of research methodologies applicable to stduent projects
  • to review and analyse student proposals for research

Activities include

  • lectures
  • demonstrations
  • student self-evaluation tasks

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.