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Cognitive Psychology (PSYC20007)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codePSYC20007
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Mental processes such as attention, memory, language and categorisation form the basis of our creative human cognitive abilities. An understanding of these cognitive abilities and the methods used by cognitive psychologists to study them provides an essential foundation for ongoing study in psychology. Classic and current research findings will be discussed to reveal what is known about the workings of the human mind.

Specific topics may include: Perceptual processes and their role in cognition; the nature and function of selective attention; categorisation and the mental representation of knowledge; the structure, function and organisation of the human memory system; human linguistic ability, including language acquisition, language disorders, and models of spoken and written language processes; higher order cognitive processes such as explanation formation and decision making.

A quantitative methods component will be integrated into the lecture, tutorial and assessment structure of this subject to provide an understanding of and practical experience with the experimental design and statistical analysis techniques used to evaluate theories in Cognitive Psychology.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge: On completion of this subject students should demonstration knowledge of:

  • the historical and philosophical foundations of cognitive psychology;
  • the key theories, models and experimental findings central to cognitive psychology;
  • the core assumptions of the major competing paradigms in cognitive psychology.

Skills: On completion of this subject students should have developed skills in:

  • reviewing critically the main theories in one or more areas of cognitive psychology;
  • deriving testable empirical predictions from a cognitive theory and assessing the adequacy of these against a set of experimental findings;
  • summarising and analysing data in a way that is appropriate to the e
  • mpirical test of a cognitive theory;
  • working as part of a group to develop and present an oral presentation/debate on a topic related to cognitive psychology.

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

  • explain how theories and research findings from cognitive psychology can inform everyday problems; for example, biases in decision-making; failures of attention and memory; eye-witness testimony, reasoning and solving problems; learning and remembering information; how cognitive processes are involved in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders.

Generic skills

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • conceptualise theoretical problems, form hypotheses, and arguments
  • communicate ideas clearly in written and oral formats;
  • participate in teamwork through small group discussions;
  • research an area and analyse the information critically.

Eligibility and requirements


There are no prerequisites for this subject



Non-allowed subjects

51224 Cognitive Psychology 2

512226 Cognitive Psychology

Recommended background knowledge

Prior coursework in PSYC10003/PSYC80001 Mind Brain and Behaviour 1.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

Written laboratory report of 1500-2000 words (40%) due mid-semester.

A multiple choice examination of no more than two hours (50%) to be completed at the end of semester during the specified University examination period.

Completion of weekly online quizzes on lecture content (hurdle requirement).

Participation in a group oral presentation/debate (10%) between weeks 10-12.

Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes is a hurdle requirement.

In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorMeredith Mckague
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of laboratories
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period23 July 2018 to 21 October 2018
    Last self-enrol date 3 August 2018
    Census date31 August 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 September 2018
    Assessment period ends16 November 2018

    Semester 2 contact information


    Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 12 July 2019