Psychology research thesis (EDF6535 and EDF6536)
Minor thesis requirements
The minor thesis component of the course must entail an empirical investigation of a high scientific standard directly relevant to counselling or educational and developmental psychology. Literature reviews and descriptive case studies are not acceptable. Students can complete this minor thesis by:
A meeting to introduce students to staff and their research areas is held in April each year. Students are advised to consult with prospective staff supervisors as early as possible.
Find a supervisor - see profiles of staff undertaking research in the areas of counselling and educational and developmental psychology.
Consult your supervisor early on the need for ethical approval for your research. This must be done prior to data collection. Because the process of obtaining ethical approval can take several months, you need to commence it well before you plan to actually collect your data.
It is a good idea for full time students to move quickly on formulating plans for what they are going to research and to aim to get ethical approval to coincide with the beginning of the second semester of the first year. This enables them to collect data in the second semester and to have the data analysis done before the beginning of their first placement. From experience we know that students find it almost impossible to do much on the thesis while on placement.
Visit the Research degrees web page for more information regarding ethical approval and funding to assist with research projects, along with a link to the Research Student Orientation Handbook. Application forms for ethical approval can be found on the Human Ethics Process web page.
A research seminar is held each year in April. At this meeting, students have the opportunity to meet with staff and hear about staff members' research areas and current research programs. The next seminar will be announced in the Announcements box on the homepage.
The Master of Psychology research thesis is a 9,000 - 16,000 word research project. The format of the research project must comply with the options as set out in the APAC Accreditation Standards research requirements for postgraduate coursework degrees at the time of commencing the research.
APAC requirements include:-
The final format of the research project must be discussed with and approved by the supervisor before the study commences as APAC requirements might change from time to time.
All research projects must be supervised by Psychology staff within the Faculty of Education.
The thesis must be typed using double-line spacing. For examples of previous projects and theses please visit the resource centre on the first floor of the Faulty of Education.
Literature review and research report format
Referencing must be in accord with the APA Publication Manual (5th Ed). This excellent resource covers just about everything concerning thesis style including referencing, grammar, punctuation and the technical aspects of scientific report writing.
Using your thesis as a preparation for a PhD
Students in the past have found that it is possible to use the minor masters thesis to save time in doing a PhD. When planning your minor thesis, consider designing your study so that it can be expanded. Obviously, you cannot use the data of the Masters thesis in a PhD, but you can (1) gain a thorough knowledge of the area which you have chosen to study and (2) do a literature review of which you only use a part for your M Psych thesis. This may save up to a year’s work for a PhD. In addition, you will already have a supervisor with whom you feel comfortable working. Some students graduate with the Master of Psychology degree and then do a specialised PhD thesis, which gives them a much deeper expertise in an area of counselling psychology of interest to them. The PhD then becomes a form of personal development in your profession. By keeping the possibility of a PhD in mind, you give yourself more flexibility.
Submitting your thesis