Psychological Science: Theory & Practice

Subject PSYC30021 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment for this subject is 170 hours.


Completion of PSYC30013 Research Methods for Human Inquiry (or equivalent) plus the completion of at least two Level 2 psychology subjects from Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Personality & Social Psychology.


For students undertaking a Bachelor degree with a major sequence in psychology, the completion of at least 200 points is required.

For students undertaking the Graduate Diploma in Psychology, the completion of at least 50 points is required.

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior coursework in two Level 1 psychology subjects including Mind Brain and Behaviour 1, and Mind Brain and Behaviour 2.

Non Allowed Subjects:

512310 Psychological Science: Theory and Practice

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit Website:


Dr Judi Humberstone


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

This subject draws together students’ undergraduate experiences in psychology by emphasising links between the science and practice of psychology in contemporary life (the science-practitioner model). The subject comprises a lecture and a research seminar stream. In the lecture stream the three areas of strength in the Psychology Department—Clinical Sciences, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience—will be reviewed in depth. In the research stream, students work on a research topic with a small group of peers, under the supervision of a psychology department academic. The aims of the lecture and research streams are to prepare students for further studies within the discipline or the workplace by practicing core research skills. These include understanding ethical aspects of research and professional practice, collaborating with peers in planning research, collecting and analysing data, and report writing. Consistent with best practice, groups will construct professional research posters to report their findings. These will be displayed in the Department of Psychology to illustrate the range of research activities engaged in by psychologists.

Learning Outcomes:


On completion of the Lecture Stream students should demonstrate knowledge of:

1. The key research findings that underpin psychological science and how these can be applied to psychological practice and wider social issues;

2. The principles of ethical practice and an awareness of and respect for cultural diversity.


On completion of the Research Seminar Stream students should have developed skills in:

1. Critically reviewing literature in an area of psychological inquiry in a way that could lead to clearly motivated research questions;

2. Translating psychological research questions into meaningful and appropriate methods of investigation;

3. Interpreting data accurately on the basis of appropriate analytical methods;

4. Evaluating and drawing conclusions from research findings;

5. Communicating psychological research findings effectively in oral and written formats.

Application of knowledge and skills

On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:

1. Articulate how psychological research can inform public policy;

2. Solve problems posed in psychology related case-studies based on knowledge of psychological research findings;

3. Apply psychological concepts and theories to problems of behavioural change in a range of contexts such as, workplace, community and global settings.


The lecture stream will be assessed in a two hour end of semester examination worth 40% of the overall mark to be held during the specified University examination period.

The research stream will account for 60% of the overall mark and will be assessed through a project comprising two components: (1) an individual report of 1500 words to be submitted during the semester (worth 50%), and (2) a group poster presentation to be completed by the end of semester (worth 10%).

An 80% attendance hurdle requirement will be enforced. Failure to meet the 80% attendance requirement will result in an additional piece of assessment being set before students will be considered to have satisfactorily completed the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

No prescribed texts

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have worked collaboratively to develop skills in:

1. Literature review and research methods;

2. Critical thinking and analysis of arguments;

3. Reflective thinking and self-evaluation;

4. Giving and receiving feedback;

5. Goal setting, time management and self-directed learning;

6. Written and oral communication;

7. Sensitivity to ethical issues and cultural diversity.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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