WELF 7020 Practising Research and Researching Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102358

Coordinator Robert Moss Opens in new window

Description This unit equips Therapy Studies students with the conceptual frameworks and skills needed to conduct basic research in the areas of counselling and psychotherapy. The question 'How do we know what we know?' becomes the connecting thread throughout an introduction to quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approaches to practitioner research. Building on considerations from the prerequisite unit 102357 Ethics and Diversity in Research and Therapy, students will develop their understanding of research as a scholarly, professional, social and intersubjective practice. They will learn to generate answerable research questions and a coherent research proposal within appropriate intellectual and methodological frameworks.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Counselling

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) WELF 7008

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 7001 - Advanced Social Research Methods


Students must be enrolled in 1817 Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling.

Assumed Knowledge

Concurrent or previous study of at least one first year postgraduate subject in counselling theory and practice. Broad foundations and ethics of research at postgraduate level.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research design and its applications in counselling research.
  2. Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of research methods in relation to the sub-discipline of counselling and psychotherapy.
  3. Reflect constructively on the positioning of researchers and research participants in practitioner research.
  4. Critically position and evaluate selected published research studies in counselling.
  5. Frame an answerable research question that is significant and relevant for their field of practice, and plan how they would systematically approach this question.
  6. Relate questions of method to research epistemology and an understanding of research as a scholarly, professional and social practice.

Subject Content

- introduction to A broad range of research methodologies and methods relevant to practitioner research in psychotherapy and counselling.
- introduction to The foundations of quantitative, Qualitative and mixed method research design.
- exploration of The relationships between epistemological assumptions, methodology and method.
- Critical reading and evaluation of selected published research in The areas of counselling and psychotherapy.
- practice in framing research questions and A research proposal in The student?fs professional field.
- reflection on research as A social, professional and interpersonal practice.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Participation (in-class article review activity) N/A 10 N Individual
Literature Review: Review of counselling literature in a substantive area of interest 900 words 30 N Individual
Proposal: Research Proposal in a substantive area of interest 2,100 words 60 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • McLeod, J. (2015). Doing research in counselling and psychotherapy. 3rd Ed. USA: Sage

Teaching Periods

2nd Half

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Robert Moss Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window