Introduction to Research Methods

Introduction to Research Methods

Unit Description

This capstone unit introduces students to the role and significance of research in developing the evidence base for counselling and psychotherapy.

This capstone unit introduces students to the role and significance of research in developing the evidence base for counselling and psychotherapy. Students will be introduced to a range of research paradigms, research designs and methodologies, with an emphasis on qualitative methodology. Social, legal and ethical aspects of research in the discipline will be addressed.

Students will learn how to develop a research question and a draft research proposal, including a timeline for implementation. Students will be encouraged to give feedback to each other on the merits of each other’s proposals.

Students will also be introduced to systematic literature search techniques, and ways to record and display searches of literature. Students will conduct a search of published peer- reviewed research for the research question they develop, relevant to the counselling and psychotherapy discipline, and will produce a quality literature review synthesising and evaluating these findings.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 2, Semester 1

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Dr Claire Jankelson

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • (a) Clearly articulate the role of research in advancing the counselling and psychotherapy
  • profession
  • (b) Critically analyse social, legal and ethical aspects of conducting counselling and
  • psychotherapy research
  • (c) Critically analyse epistemological and methodological differences between qualitative,
  • quantitative and mixed method research paradigms
  • (d) Develop and evaluate sound research questions for exploring a topic relevant to
  • process work
  • (e) Critically evaluate published peer-reviewed research in the selected research topic
  • (f) Critically review the body of literature pertaining to the selected research topic and synthesise the findings in a literature review

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their practice and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Professionalism Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensive on-campus, Start of Year 2, Semester 1

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

12 hours in total.

Online delivery

2 x 1.5 hour Zoom discussions. Total = 3 hours Synchronous Online Training.

Study Buddy activities

12.6 hours over the semester, guided by lecturer

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 6.56 hours per week over the semester, 105 hours in total.

  • 12 hours on-campus workshop intensive
  • 3 hours Zoom discussion
  • 12.6 hours study buddy work, with lecturer involvement
  • 77.4 personal study hours

Available in Courses

This unit is available in the following courses:

Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Holistic Practice)

Created: April 28, 2021, 4:48 p.m. • Updated: March 4, 2024, 4:53 p.m.