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Cognitive Psychology (PSYC20007)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
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 demonstrate 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;
  • the research methods and ethical principles appropriate to the design and analysis of research questions in Cognitive Psychology.

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

  • critical review of the main theories in one or more areas of cognitive psychology;
  • derivation of 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 empirical 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 cognitive psychology theories, measurement techniques, and research findings can inform everyday problems in areas such as:

• biases in decision-making;
• failures of attention and memory;
• eye-witness testimony;
• reasoning and solving problems;
• learning and remembering information;
• the role of cognition in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders;
• cultural assumptions of cognitive theories and methods for measuring cognitive processes.

Generic skills

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;
  • work effectively in a team on a group project;
  • critically analyse research findings.

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 (two hours) (50%) to be completed at the end of semester during the examination period.
  • Participation in a group oral presentation/debate (10%) between weeks 10-12.


  • Each piece of assessment must be submitted
  • Completion of weekly online quizzes on lecture content
  • Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes. In case of failure to meet the attendance requirement, additional work related to the missed class activities (e.g. a 500 word essay on the missed topic) will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of laboratories
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    Dr Meredith McKague


Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Goldstein, E.B. (2014). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 4th Edition. Cengage Learning.

  • Breadth options

    This subject is available as breadth in the following courses:

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 13 September 2019