The aim of this unit of study is to provide students with an introduction to several key discipline areas in the field of psychology, thus establishing a solid basis for further, more in-depth study in subsequent years. This unit (APP1012) covers topics including the research enterprise in psychology; neuropsychology; memory; language and cognition; learning; motivation and emotion; interpersonal relationships; and personality. Classes involve activities and discussion of research papers that foster understanding of theoretical content by focusing on specific topics and applications of research and knowledge in psychology.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Examine current issues in psychology and how theories within the topic areas covered have evolved over time;  
  2. Assess the basic principles of methodologies employed in psychological research;  
  3. Evaluate research literature relating to the topic areas covered;  
  4. Collect and interpret original data; and  
  5. Demonstrate formal academic writing and conform to APA formatting and referencing conventions.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Other Concept map relating to workshop readings and lab report (600 words equivalent) 30%
Report Lab Report related to theoretical content (1500 words) 50%
Test Tests - Test A: 30-minute multiple choice; Test B: 60-minute multiple choice and short answer 20%

Required reading

Further readings will be made available via the unit VU Collaborate site.

Psychology 5th ed.
Burton, L, Westen, D & Kowalski, R., (2018)
Australia: Wiley

An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology 5th ed.
Burton, L., (2020)
Australia: Wiley