PSYC3310 Psychology: Specialist Research Topics

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Psychological Science; Psychology major sequences
  • Level 3 elective
This unit is taught by seminar presentation and a small-group problem-based research project. The seminar topics are offered in areas of staff expertise and are based on a set of target papers drawn from the current literature. Student seminar presentations consider the theoretical context of the research and evaluate the hypotheses examined, the research methodologies used, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn in the research being considered. The small-group research project is carried out in the topic area of the seminar and actively engages students in formulating and implementing an experimental approach to a research question. The unit gives students the opportunity to explore issues of contemporary psychology in depth and to acquire skills in areas such as research design and written and oral communication that prepare them for advanced study in psychology.
Students are able to (1) identify research questions; (2) develop awareness of ethical issues in psychological research; (3) design an experiment to answer the research question; (4) collaborate with others in a team; (5) analyse and interpret data; (6) communicate the results of scientific research both orally and in writing; and (7) give and receive feedback.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group work; (2) individual assessment; and (3) active participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Donna Bayliss
Unit rules
PSYC1101 Psychology: Mind and Brain and PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context and PSYC2203 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Psychology
Contact hours
Lectures: 24 x 1 hour; labs: 6 x 1 hour; approximately 30 hours of project work outside of seminar/labs
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).

Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They are required to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), and so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.

Readings as outlined by the lecturers.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.