This unit (APP1016) introduces students to the different branches of psychology that they will explore throughout their degree. The evolution of each branch will be introduced by examining key historical texts and evaluating their legacy in today's society and psychological practice, with consideration for how they have informed our current understanding of human behaviour and mental processes. Students will also be introduced to academic writing and they will have the opportunity to develop their skills in searching and reading research papers, summarising and synthesising information and working collaboratively in a group environment. They will gain experience in presenting information succinctly and professionally in both oral and written modalities.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Locate relevant psychology academic studies and other material through online search and use these studies in preparing essays and presentations;  
  2. Work collaboratively in preparing and presenting evidence-based and relevant material about a key historical psychological study and its legacy, making use of contemporary technology;  
  3. Evaluate how psychologists design studies to explore particular questions; and  
  4. Review key studies that have shaped both the discipline and profession of psychology and discuss how they have had an impact on subsequent developments in understanding human behaviour.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Journal Responses to short answer questions based on required class readings (2 x 500 words) 30%
Essay Essay based on one of the studies in the required text (1200 words) 40%
Presentation Group project and presentation involving research of an historical psychological study and its impact on the discipline (20mins per group) 30%

Required reading

Forty studies that changed psychology, 7th ed.
Hock, R., (2015)
New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

How to Write Psychology Research Reports and Essays 8th ed.
Findlay, B. & Kaufmann, I. (2019)
Melbourne, VIC: Pearson

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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